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Spicy Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Spicy Chickpea & Spinach Stew Recipe

Spicy Chickpea & Spinach Stew with HarissaSponsored RecipeThis Spicy Chickpea and Spinach Stew recipe comes together in about 25 minutes. Serve it over couscous for an easy, delicious vegetarian dinner!

Reader Survey Results

When I did my reader survey, quite a few of you asked me to write more about the products I use everyday in my kitchen. Some people even requested that I take photos of the inside of my refrigerator. That was funny to me, because I had thought about doing something like that before and I thought, “People are going to think I’m nuts.” But apparently not! I guess I’ll have to put together a post like that soon, although really, there’s not that much to see. I keep a whole lot of fruit and veggies on hand and then all the racks on the refrigerator door are jam packed with sauces and condiments. It’s like a United Nations of hot sauces all up in my fridge.

I have definitely come a long way from the girl who grew up thinking that Tombstone frozen pizza was unbearably spicy. Now I like spicy foods! And I add hot sauce to so many dishes—sriracha on salad (don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it!), Cholula on tacos, harissa in soups. All hot sauces are not created equal and I’ve come to appreciate how some are sweet, some are garlicky; some have a slow warmth that creeps up on you, while others pack an immediate punch. Hooray for hot sauces!

Mina Harissa

What is Harissa?

Harissa is a hot sauce that’s often used in Tunisian and Moroccan food. It’s a flavorful combination of chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, and spices. I’ve found that different brands have different levels of heat—some just right, others almost unbearably hot. Some are thick like a paste, others are more saucy. Because there’s such a wide variety in formulations for harissa, when you use it in a recipe, it’s best to add a little, taste, then add more as needed.

When Mina Harissa asked me to develop a recipe using their products I was excited because their harissa is my favorite harissa. The spice level is perfect in their Spicy harissa and I like the consistency of it too—it’s more of a sauce than a paste. Mina harissa is made with only 6 ingredients and it’s all natural, so unlike a lot of other hot sauces, there are no preservatives or food coloring in it. A few teaspoons will perk up a soup or add a welcome kick to your next batch of roasted potatoes.

Spicy Chickpea & Spinach Stew with Harissa

About the Recipe

Since it’s starting to get a little chilly out (I wore a cardigan the other day—yay for cardigan weather!), I thought a Moroccan-inspired Chickpea and Spinach Stew would be the perfect recipe for this harissa. This stew is good on its own, but it’s great when you add the harissa and a big squeeze of lemon juice. (Don’t skip the lemon juice!) The heat of the sauce is a slow one—at first, the stew doesn’t seem spicy, but every spoonful gives you a little more heat. We had this over whole wheat couscous, but rice, quinoa, or any other grain you have on hand would work too.

Oh, and bonus: if you serve this over couscous, dinner is done in about 25 minutes!


Spicy Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Spicy Chickpea & Spinach Stew Recipe

Harissa is a Moroccan hot sauce made with chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, and spices. It gives this stew a slow heat, making it the perfect dinner for a chilly fall evening.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 3 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp harissa (I used Spicy Mina Harissa)
  • 1 (6 oz) bag baby spinach
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • lemon wedges and couscous or rice, for serving


  1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook until softened, 5–7 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and cumin and cook for a minute, until fragrant.
  4. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and broth.
  5. Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the harissa and spinach to the pot and stir until the spinach has wilted.
  7. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve over couscous or rice with lemon wedges.


Different brands of harissa can vary a lot in spice level. You might want to start out with a teaspoon or less and add more to taste.

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Disclosure: Mina compensated me for the time spent developing and photographing this recipe. Sponsored Recipes are a once-a-month feature on Oh My Veggies—my sponsors help make this blog possible!

This post was originally published on 19 September 2013.

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  • Reply
    September 19, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I love harissa and using it here looks like a fabulous way to spice up a simple, hearty meal. I usually use it in tagines or dressings to stir through grain and bean salads.
    I’ve been thinking of doing a vid or some pics to show readers my pantry/fridge, especially after after doing my A-Z ingredients series. I’d love to see yours!

    • Reply
      September 19, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      I’ve never thought to use harissa in a dressing–that is a great idea!

  • Reply
    Anele @ Success Along the Weigh
    September 19, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Yum! That made my tummy full just looking at it!

  • Reply
    Eat Good 4 Life
    September 19, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Oh boy, I love this recipe. Chickpeas are my ultimate favorite legumes. I bet this would also be great with quinoa 🙂

  • Reply
    September 19, 2013 at 10:11 am

    This looks delicious! I’ve never actually purchased harissa, but I love the stuff. I’ll definitely give Mina a shot next time I go to the store! I’ve been eating chickpeas like crazy lately, so this meal looks super appetizing to me 🙂

    • Reply
      September 19, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      You definitely need a jar of harissa in your fridge! 🙂 Before I came up with this recipe, I was going to do crispy roasted chickpeas with harissa. I think I’m going to give them a try next week as a snack.

  • Reply
    September 19, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Yay for cardigan weather returning – I wore one on Tuesday and it was fab wasn’t it. Even if I did have to take it by noon once it hit 85 but heck for that morning I could pretend it was autumn 🙂 I’m heading back up to Asheville next weekend and at the moment it looks like NC is going to be a little cooler than SC so that’ll be fun.

    I’m the worst in the world with spicy food….did spicy food just slowly grow on you or did something just change with your tastebuds?

    • Reply
      September 19, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      I’m probably tagging along with my husband to Asheville in October. I can’t wait! I’m going to eat sooooo much chocolate. 😉

      I think spicy food slowly grew on me. My husband loves spicy food, so I’d eat what he was having and little by little, my tolerance for it grew. I never had spicy food growing up because my mom doesn’t like it, so I think I had to retrain my tastebuds.

  • Reply
    Kare @ Kitchen Treaty
    September 19, 2013 at 10:26 am

    I bought a jar of harissa (more of a paste) months ago and never got around to trying any. 🙁 In fact, as I was unpacking yesterday and put it in the pantry, I thought, “I have got to try this already!” I might have to try Mina brand first, though – and in this stew, to boot. Holy moly. This recipe makes me excited for winter, and that’s saying something.

    • Reply
      September 19, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      Unpacking! That is a good thing–yay! When we moved, it was like Christmas morning with all the things I rediscovered in our pantry.

  • Reply
    dishing up the dirt
    September 19, 2013 at 10:47 am

    I love harissa! this recipe sounds like a bowl full of comfort. It is finally chilly here and I know this would be the perfect autumn dinner.

    • Reply
      September 19, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      I think the high was 65 here yesterday–I love it! I have so many ideas for stews and soups and comfort food now that it’s cooler out.

  • Reply
    September 19, 2013 at 10:48 am

    This looks delicious! I made your veggie chili last night and now I can’t wait to make this stew!! 🙂

    • Reply
      September 19, 2013 at 7:02 pm

      Yay! It’s definitely chili season now, right? 🙂 I hope you like the stew!

  • Reply
    Robin Gagnon {Mom Foodie}
    September 19, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I love harissa but the brand I used to use is no longer made & I’ve been doctoring up some Portuguese hot pepper paste to be like it. I’ll have to try this.

    • Reply
      September 19, 2013 at 7:01 pm

      I really like Mina. I’ve even tried making my own harissa, but this one is better. 🙂 I don’t know if it was the recipe I used or what, but the homemade one I made was so spicy it was pretty much inedible!

  • Reply
    Katy @ Katy's Kitchen
    September 19, 2013 at 11:04 am

    I’ve never used Harissa and always wondered how it tastes. Thanks for the description. I’m all over spicy foods recently, this one looks so simple, healthy and right up my alley!

  • Reply
    Maria Tadic
    September 19, 2013 at 11:26 am

    This looks so yummy! I love harissa! The one I get has such a nice sweet heat to it. I love it! Cant wait to try this stew – it’s definitely getting to the point of stew weather!!!

    • Reply
      September 19, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      I know! I was bummed about summer ending, but now I think I’m ready for heartier meals and brisk fall mornings. 🙂

  • Reply
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl
    September 19, 2013 at 11:44 am

    YUM! This sounds super tasty and SO kind of recipe!

  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    September 19, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I am also a spicy food lover, gimme that hot sauce, Siracha, you name it! I love that you called your fridge the “UN of Hot Sauces”! : )

    • Reply
      September 19, 2013 at 6:57 pm

      High fives! 😀 I could put hot sauce on everything.

  • Reply
    Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens
    September 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    This is calling me … loudly, actually. I love how simple this is, yet just from the (gorgeous!) photos, you can tell it’s jam-packed with flavor! I can’t wait to make it! Oh – and I am so smirking about the very thought of photographing the guts of my own fridge! My bloggy partner, Gretchen, just laughs at me because I keep so much stuff on hand (UN of hot sauces? Oh, yeah, I hear you!), and it’s usually one big, happy, disorganized jumble of ingredient possibilities. (Her fridge, by comparison, is impeccably tidy. Completely indicative of our personalities, I’m tellin’ ya!) Anyway, love this post (as usual!) 😀 ! Thanks, Kiersten!

    • Reply
      September 19, 2013 at 6:57 pm

      Oh yeah, I keep a ridiculous amount of things on hand. You should see my pantry. We don’t even have room in there anymore because I hoard so many ingredients!

  • Reply
    Arthur in the Garden!
    September 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm


  • Reply
    September 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Looks awesome – but where do you find Mina Harissa? On-line only?

  • Reply
    September 19, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Love this recipe. Definitely harissa is a fantastic addition to the chickpea. I like everything about this dish.

  • Reply
    September 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    can you believe i’ve never used harissa in a recipe before? this is a must try. it looks and sounds delicious!

    i can’t remember what i put in the survey, but i’d totally love for you to do a post on your kitchen 😉

    • Reply
      September 19, 2013 at 6:49 pm

      You should try it! And yeah, I’m going to put together a what I keep in my fridge post soon. 🙂

  • Reply
    Meg @ Beard and Bonnet
    September 19, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    YUM! I love harissa and chickpeas and pretty much everything else in this stew. Awesome recipe!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    September 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    A hearty and warming stew, Kiersten.

  • Reply
    McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN | Nutrition Stripped
    September 19, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Oooooh this looks so good!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    September 19, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Your stew looks like a bowl of comfort! Love the harissa!

  • Reply
    dixya| food, pleasure, and health
    September 19, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    I have heard so much about harrisa sauce but never tried it before. I would absolutely love to try this on a stew.

    • Reply
      September 19, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      You should try it–I bet you would like it!

  • Reply
    September 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    So funny – I was the same way. Up until a few years ago I couldn’t handle any spiciness in food – and then it somehow slowly changed. And now I like it as much as my husband! This stew sounds awesome – I’ve been on a chickpea kick the last two weeks so this fits right in with that!

    • Reply
      September 19, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      Isn’t it funny how that happens?! I think I got used to spicy food because my husband likes it and sneaking bites of what he was eating slowly upped my tolerance. 🙂

  • Reply
    Natalie @ Once Upon a Cutting Board
    September 19, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    I’ve actually never tried harissa (intentionally anyway, it’s likely I’ve consumed it at some point without knowing!). It’s one of those things that I’ve always been curious about but feel like I’d buy and then never use. This has encouraged me to try it though!

    • Reply
      September 22, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      Yeah, I try to steer clear of ingredients like that too. I have jars of things like piri piri and annatto and every time I look at them, I feel like, “Argh, when will I use this?!” But harissa is something I use a lot. Even when I make oven fries, I mix a little harissa into the ketchup to give it a kick.

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