A Daily Dinner: Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew with Couscous

Cauliflower, Chickpea and Couscous Stew from Real Simple

Sometimes you just need a rib-sticker, you know?

You know what I’m talking about: the kind of meal where just one bowl can keep you full or warm in the frigid air for hours, but yet you still can’t resist going back for leftovers.

Ryan and I had one of those last week in the form of a hearty cauliflower and chickpea stew with couscous.

Cauliflower, Couscous and Tomatoes for a Stew

Cauliflower has been a staple for us over the past few weeks since it’s in season, and we’re always big fans of chickpeas and the whole tomatoes that made up the stew’s sauce.

Canned, whole San Marzano tomatoes

While I normally steer away from anything canned in the house, San Marzano tomatoes are our go-to for stews and sauces. The tang and fresh flavor satisfies that tomato craving even when the late summer heirlooms are long gone.

Combined with fresh spinach from Satur Farms on Long Island and salty, protein-rich chickpeas, it’s pretty to easy to see why this was a filling meal.

We’ve unintentionally been posting a lot of vegetarian recipes lately, but I really hadn’t even noticed until writing this post—even the vegetarian recipes we cook are so filling that you won’t miss the meat. This stew is no exception.

A hearty stew of cauliflower, whole tomatoes, couscous and spinach

Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew With Couscous
Adapted from RealSimple.com

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 28 oz. can whole San Marzano tomatoes
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed
1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into small florets
1 5 oz. package baby spinach, chopped
1 c. couscous

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to soften, 4 to 5 minutes.
2. Add the cumin, chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute.
3. Add the tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you add them, and their liquid, chickpeas, cauliflower, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Fold in the spinach and cook until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, place the couscous in a large bowl. Add 1 c. of hot tap water, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve with the stew.

Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew with Couscous

Ryan loves the whole San Marzano tomatoes and could admittedly eat an entire can of them on their own, but I knew this dish was a winner when he kept going back for bowls of the tender cauliflower and chickpeas.

I’m embarrassed to admit that we had no leftovers! We ate part of the batch for lunch and the remainder for a cozy weekend dinner—but I imagine that a day of flavors melding in the fridge would only make this stew even better.

Nevertheless, it’s great fall meal that will keep you full, even if you don’t keep coming back for more!

- Laura


  1. rebecca
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 09:59:31

    fist pump for the vegetarian dish. thanks guys! :)


  2. Vanessa
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 15:13:43

    I’ve been on some weird cauliflower kick lately, too, but I couldn’t tell you why. I was never into it before… I even worked it into our Thanksgiving menu this year.


  3. ainsley
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 00:44:19

    wow, yum! thanks for sharing, looks delicious!


  4. jessica clare
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 03:01:49

    can’t wait to try this, i LOVE the canned san marzanos…. just discovered your blog, love it! :)


  5. Editorial Team | Healthy Aperture
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 09:46:04

    Our fans would love this. Please consider submitting to Healthy Aperture… this looks amazing.


  6. Amy Anderson
    Nov 22, 2011 @ 00:10:57

    This looks delicious! We are also in a current cauliflower obsession stage….. have you tried the cauliflower pizza crust? It’s pretty good! No replacement for actual crust, but a whole new taste and obviously healthier choice. I’ll let y’all know when we try this recipe out!



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  8. auste
    Nov 24, 2011 @ 10:29:23

    delicious! i made this for dinner the other night – with the addition of some italian sausage (since my carnivore husband would probably get up and order a meat-lovers pizza if i tried to skip the meat in any meal), and added some red chili pepper flakes to add an extra kick. it was hearty, delicious, and lasted us half the week…. thanks for posting!


  9. Jo
    Nov 26, 2011 @ 23:54:15

    This looks so delicious. Would love for you to share this with us over at foodepix.com.


  10. TravelingThisPath
    Nov 28, 2011 @ 16:57:04

    This looks delicious, I can’t wait to try it!


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  13. Rebecca
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 11:22:22

    I am excited to try this dish today! As I don’t love cooking and want to make the most out of it – do you think I could double the recipe and freeze it or do you think couscous probably shouldn’t be frozen? Thanks!


    • Smith & Ratliff
      Dec 04, 2011 @ 22:37:48

      Hey Rebecca, I think you can freeze it with the couscous, but couscous is so easy to make that maybe you just make however much you want per serving and freeze the stew on its own? The stew should be great to freeze. -LR


  14. Mary
    Jan 29, 2012 @ 02:28:39

    Just made this and it was delicious. Best part is, I have plenty left over so that I won’t resort to eating cereal yet again for a late-night study session. Big thanks from a no-longer-starving college student.


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  21. Terry
    Jan 11, 2013 @ 16:00:53

    Great recipe. I made this last night and it was delicious. I used kale instead of spinach which gave it a chewy but nice texture. Thanks for posting!


  22. Chrissy
    Jan 20, 2013 @ 20:07:07

    Just ate this for dinner and it was lovely – so easy to make, so comforting to devour. Thanks for the recipe!


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