A thick and hearty vegetarian sweet potato chickpea stew made with creamy coconut milk. Serve with quinoa or brown rice for a cozy fall or winter meal!
I originally shared this sweet potato chickpea stew back in 2016, and it quickly became a reader (and family and friends!) favorite. Both my mom and sister still have this on their weekly meal rotations, and I make it frequently, too.
So, I figured it was time to give this post a bit of a facelift with some new photos and updated text!
Soups and stews are some of my favorite dishes to make during the fall and winter. I love to cook a big batch of soup, stew, or chili in my big (5.5 quart) Xtrema ceramic pot and enjoy it for a couple of days. Then, I’ll freeze the extra in mason jars because soup and stew freeze beautifully.
Later on, I’ll let a jar of soup defrost in the fridge overnight before heating it up for lunch or dinner the next day. It’s like the homemade version of a frozen entree!
I originally created this recipe because I wanted a thick, hearty winter stew with simple ingredients, very little prep time, and no special tools like an immersion blender or food processor so there’d be fewer dishes to wash. I dislike washing dishes almost as much as I love cooking, so I’m all for simple one-pot soups and stews.
This is THE easiest stew, and you can throw everything in the pot and have it simmering away in less than 20 minutes. From start to finish, it can be ready in under an hour.
This hearty vegetarian stew is packed with chickpeas, tender chunks of sweet potatoes, and tomatoes, with spinach for some extra nutritional goodness. Coconut milk makes it extra creamy, and adds a little bit of healthy fat, too.
For spices, I just used curry powder, cayenne pepper, and chili powder, keeping it as simple as possible. I made this sweet potato chickpea stew all of the time in college, and I actually kept all of those spices in my dorm room!
Stores like Whole Foods sell spices in their bulk bins, so you can also purchase as little as you need for a recipe if you’re wanting to try a particular spice without buying an entire bottle.
You can eat the sweet potato chickpea stew with quinoa or rice, or serve it with a batch of your favorite naan since it’s almost curry-like. And top with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt if you want to make it extra delicious. Hope you love this one as much as I do!
If you try out this sweet potato chickpea stew, feel free to let me know in a comment or take a picture and tag me @livbane on Instagram. I’d love to see!
Things I Used: 5.5 Quart Xtrema Ceramic Pot
Sweet Potato Chickpea Stew
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil
- 1 medium or large onion
- 4 cloves garlic (can sub 1 tsp. garlic powder)
- 2 cans (15 oz. each) diced tomatoes, with juices
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for some heat)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cans (15 oz. each) chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 large sweet potato, cubed
- 1 can light coconut milk* or half a can of full-fat coconut milk diluted with half a can of water
- 2 cups spinach, tightly packed
- Optional: 1 cup quinoa or brown rice, cooked according to package directions
- Optional: sour cream for topping
- In a medium or large pot, sauté onion and garlic in cooking oil for 4-5 minutes over medium heat.
- Once onion is soft and translucent, add diced tomatoes and spices: curry powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and salt. Then, add chickpeas, sweet potato cubes, and coconut milk.
- Cover pot and turn heat to high to bring liquid to a boil. Then, reduce heat to medium-low and lightly simmer uncovered for 35-40 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft.
- While stew is cooking, prepare quinoa or rice, if using.
- When sweet potatoes are soft, run a potato masher through the stew and mash just a bit to thicken it up. Add chopped spinach and wait a few minutes for spinach to wilt. Top with sour cream, if desired, and enjoy!
A Healthy Liv original recipe
Originally published in January 2016. Photos and text updated in October 2018.
Chrissa - Physical Kitchness says
This looks PEFECT for cold, January evenings. I love using coconut milk in my soups and stews. Makes them so rich and creamy. Can’t wait to try this.
As an Indian, I usually avoid any recipes with curry powder (curry powder doesn’t exist in India). However, this looked yummy to try and it was! Love the recipe and this will be a staple stew for the winter months!
I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the stew, Reena! It’s one of my new winter staples, for sure 🙂
So glad to hear it!
Can I sub anything for coconut milk?
The coconut milk makes the stew thicker and creamier, but you could use almond milk or regular dairy milk, as well! I’d use about half the amount of almond or dairy milk that the recipe calls for.
i served mine with mango chutney, raita and pappadums!!
Jordan Anderson says
I just made this for dinner. Holy crap that’s good! I subbed farro for the brown rice, and it added some interesting texture.
I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this sweet potato and chickpea stew, Jordan! It’s one of my favorite easy meals!
Can this recipe be adapted for the slow cooker? I would need to be able to turn i on in the morning (8 am-ish?) and have it read when I get home (6 pm-ish?). Time is a luxury I don’t have after work to get food in the little one’s belly…
Hi, Jen! I haven’t personally tried it, but I imagine this would work great in the slow-cooker. I’d toss everything in the slow-cooker and leave it on low for 7-8 hours. If you need to let it go longer, that may work as long as you set the temperature as low as possible, or if it can automatically switch to the “warming” setting.
Misty Bane says
I made this for dinner last night with quinoa and topped with sour cream. It was delicious! I was looking forward to lunch today because I got to have leftovers!!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe! It’s one of my favorite fall/winter meals!
I can’t wait to try it! Looks delicious!
You’ll have to let me know what you think 🙂
I’m planning to make this tomorrow! I have a question – would it still work with butternut squash chunks instead of sweet potatoes? I may just try the classic first and if it’s good, give the butternut squash version a try. Wish me luck!
I think that sounds great! You can definitely shorten the cooking time a bit if you use butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes. Let me know how it turns out!
Good point about cooking time. I don’t want it to be mush. Stay tuned!
Ok, made the regular version with sweet potatoes- amazing! I added a little more tomatoes than it said (I had one extra large can and who knows what to with leftover canned tomatoes) and it was GREAT. It was a hit. Really great. Sort of like a creamed tomato soup like consistency with the coconut milk, but wth some kick. Very warm and comforting. Served it over spaghetti squash and it was jut great. Thanks!
Thanks for reporting back! I’m so glad to hear you loved it and serving it over spaghetti squash was GENIUS! Sounds so good!!!
Ooh, I just found this recipe and it looks delicious! Do you reckon it would work with frozen spinach?
I do think that’d work well! Feel free to give it a try 🙂
Richard T says
Thanks Liv, this stuff is great. Time wasn’t an issue so I used up a pound of dried chickpeas I’d bought a while ago. I also threw in an extra sweet potato and half a teaspoon of turmeric. They seemed to go well. Oh, and used up some old frozen spinach.
Tomorrow this county “shelters in place”, but my wife and I will eat well.
Richard Treitel says
And yes, I used frozen spinach, and yes, even my teenage son likes the result.
This recipe is an absolute favorite and so easy to make!
I’m so glad you enjoy this recipe!!
Andy Bishop says
I made this recipe last night and it is absolutely delicious and very easy to make. Thanks!
So glad you enjoy this stew!!
Wow! looks yummy. I’m a sweet potato lover. So, this recipe is perfect for me.
I made this two nights ago. My boyfriend and I absolutely loved it! It tasted like something delicious from a restaurant, and not something we could produce in our own kitchen, but the coconut milk and curry powder do magical things. We used a full cup of full fat coconut milk instead of half. We had an extra sweet potato on hand, so we added that, as well as some fresh chopped tomato in addition to the crushed tomatoes. We love wilted spinach so we added extra. (Like most stews, this one was pretty forgiving in that way!) I finally ate the last of the leftovers today for lunch and am sad to see them go. We’ll definitely make this again. Thank you!
I’m the same way with recipes, always adding a bit of this and that 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed this chickpea stew!
I cut curry, as its not really my favorite spice and it was divine taste!!!
I added naan bread as well.
Even my non-vegan other half and son loved it xxx
So glad to hear that you and your family enjoyed this recipe!
Hannah Frazier says
This is one of my new favorite things to make! It’s tasty and filling and easy to make. And I also especially like it during these colder months. Thanks for sharing!
I did actually use frozen spinach, which worked well, and also did not add the tomatoes this time.
I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying this stew, Hannah! Thanks for reporting back 😀
This was delicious. I just made it today. Spicy!
So glad you enjoyed, Yvette!
Should I have drained the tomato juice from the diced tomato cans?
Nope, no need to drain the diced tomatoes! I’ll update the recipe to clarify 🙂
This sounds delicious, although I hate sweet potatoes.. can you use regular potatoes as a replacement?
What size can of coconut milk?