Slow Cooker Indian Spiced Chickpea Quinoa Stew

As promised, here is the ridiculously easy and tasty stew I mentioned over the weekend. I seem to be on a streak of ugly but packed-full of flavor recipes this month.

I guess the veggies that are available in January aren’t quite as flashy as some of the summer ones. That, and well, stews aren’t always pretty – but you can’t beat a one dish meal for an easy dinner.

In my its next incarnation I think I’ll add a handful or two of chopped greens to shake things up a bit.

You can really add any veggies you have on hand too. I’m all about options and using what you have on hand. Yellow lentils instead of red, potato in place of turnip and even carrot would all work just as good as the listed ingredients.

Slow Cooker Indian Spiced Chickpea Quinoa Stew
gluten-free, soy-free

serves 4 to 6

  • 4 to 5 cups water
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (or 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen)
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup peeled turnip, chopped
  • 1 cup sweet potato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped (about 1 stalk)
  • 1 tablespoon not-chicken bouillon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • salt, to taste

The night before: Chop veggies and store in the fridge.

In the morning: Put everything in the slow cooker and cook on low 6 to 9 hours. Taste, re-season if needed (you may not even need the salt if your bouillon is salty.)

This is a good one to make if you are going to be away from the house a little longer than usual. If your slow cooker runs hot add a little extra water if it will be cooking longer than 9 hours.


  1. I adore quinoa – and these flavors, so this is my kind of meal!

    • Donna J. Wiant says:

      I have everything in this recipe…here I go to make it for dinner! So happy to have found you..this site thank you.

  2. I am definitely making this next week, it looks delicious, and actually quite pretty to me. I only have one question, normally I would saute my spices first when making curryish dishes either dry or in a little cooking spray when making this on the stove, to prevent a ‘raw’ taste, is that still necessary, or does the long cooking take care of that? Also in my latest Penzey’s trip I found some Sweet Curry Powder which I think I will sub for the garam masala as I have been dying to try it…

    • One thing about garam masala is that it should already be roasted before it’s ground, so it shouldn’t produce that raw taste.

      In the Indian Slow Cooker, Anupy doesn’t pre-saute her spices. So I think it must be the longer cooking time that makes it meld.

      • I used the Sweet Curry powder and it turned out delish! Thanks for the idea and the recipe! I did sub white potato for 1/2 of the turnip and used the whole sweet potato which was a cup and a half diced. Yum Yum Yum! I did saute the spices because I also decided to add a smidge of onion that I had languishing in my vege drawer but next time I will simply add it to compare as you suggest…I ended up cooking it on low for 6 hours and then was hungry but the lentils weren’t done so I put it on high for an hour and it was perfect. I love slow cookers!

  3. This sounds glorious, and I shall make it as soon as I run out of soup in two days. Thank you!

  4. Patti Boye-Williams says:

    Sounds fantastic! I’m assuming it should have water, too? How much did you use?

  5. Heather B. says:

    I actually have my version of this cooking as I type! I really needed something fast and easy for today, and this came at the perfect time. I didn’t know whether the can of tomatoes would end up adding enough liquid to this to make it a stew (plus, I love having leftovers), so I added 4 cups of hot water as well, then added more bouillon as well. I also upped the amount of red lentils to 1 cup to ensure it would still be a thick stew. I used potatoes (since that’s what I had on had) and baby carrots as well. I also sauteed and onion in a pan with the garlic and added the dry spices at the end and sauteed for a bit before adding to the slow cooker. Again, because I’d added the extra water, I decided to boost the spices by adding a generous spoonful of Patak’s mild curry paste (great stuff!). I wish I had greens on hand to add as well, but next time. It really does smell heavenly, and when I tasted it, the flavor is great! I’m glad to see that we should have enough to have leftovers for dinner tomorrow night as well… Yeah! Thanks for the great recipe!

  6. It seemed dry, so I added a giant can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes and another can of garbanzos. I had no garam masala, so used many spices used in Indian cuisine. Unfortunately, I put in too many cardamom pods — next time I’ll use them more sparingly! It cooked in 4 hours on high, and came out beautifully! Thank you for inspiring me to cook after work, something I never manage!

  7. How much water do you add? It’s missing from the recipe!

  8. I love your recipes involving quinoa. I especially love how this is Indian inspired!

  9. lovetheheights says:

    I can’t wait to try this!

    I wonder – does anyone have a way of figuring out the calories etc, in a recipe builder perhaps? I just don’t know if a slow cooked recipe does something to the breakdown etc.

  10. the first thing I said (or thought!) was how yummy the pic looked! definitely going to try this next week, going to pin it now :)

  11. This is a really lovely recipe and solo easy to make… Going to try this out today.. Thanks for this :0)

  12. This is very delicious! I used fresh, organic grape tomatoes and three not-chicken bouillon cubes (another easy crock pot recipe from Kathy’s book). Instant fave on a chilly autumn night!

  13. Did you use a 2 quart slow cooker for this?

    • Kathy Hester says:

      Keisa – All the slow cooker recipes use a 4 quart slow cooker unless other wise noted. There are a lot of goodies for smaller slow cookers on this site too and they are all marked that they use a 1 1/2 to 2 quart slow cooker.

  14. Thanks for sharing the recipe. It seems to taste a lot better with fresh ingredients. Good post.

  15. Hi,
    Do the lentils need to be cooked beforehand, or do they go in dry?


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