This Mediterranean-inspired chickpea skillet is made in one pot in under 30 minutes for a hearty, healthy and delicious meal.

Two bowls of tomato chickpea stew with spinach. A skillet of leftover stew is show in the background.

This easy chickpea stew is perfect for those nights you don’t feel like doing much in the kitchen. It’s ready in less than 30 minutes and all made in one pan.

The recipe features Mediterranean-inspired ingredients like passata, olives, balsamic vinegar, roasted red pepper and zucchini and is finished off with a sprinkle of parsley and nutritional yeast. You’ll love how flavour-packed it is!

Serve the stew hot over rice, with fresh pita or naan bread for dipping or use as a pasta sauce paired with your favourite noodles.

Recipe Features

  • Dietary Needs: Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free and soy-free.
  • Easy to make in one pot in under 30 minutes.
  • Serve it with rice, pasta, quinoa or pita bread.
  • Can be made ahead for meal prep.
  • Flavourful and nutritious.

Ingredient Notes

All of the ingredients needed for making a Mediterranean chickpea skillet recipe. Each ingredient is labelled with text and the list can be found in the recipe card on this page.

This list is not complete. Please see the recipe card at the end of the post for the complete ingredient list with measurements and detailed instructions.

  • Oil: Use any oil you like for sauteeing or substitute a bit of water or broth for an oil-free recipe.
  • Red Onion: If you only have white or yellow onion, that will work.
  • Spices: The recipe calls for oregano, thyme, cloves and allspices. If you don’t have both cloves and allspice available, one of them will do the trick!
  • Chili Flakes: Use 1/2 tsp for some heat. If you’re sensitive to spice, reduce to 1/4 tsp or omit.
  • Passata: Usually found with pasta sauces or canned tomatoes. It may be labelled “strained tomatoes” and usually comes in a tall glass jar.
  • Chickpeas: You’ll need roughly 3 cups, which is 2 14 oz cans or 1 28 oz can. You can use chickpeas you’ve cooked from scratch as well.
  • Spinach: Use fresh spinach or baby spinach.
  • Roasted Red Peppers: You can use jarred roasted red peppers or easily make your own (that’s what I do) using this tutorial: how to make roasted red peppers.
  • Olives: I like kalamat olives best here but black olives would also work. If you don’t like olives, you can omit them.
  • Nutritional Yeast: Used for sprinkling on top but optional. You can also just add it when you serve the stew.
  • Sweetener: Taste the stew before adding the toppings. If it’s on the acidic side, you can mix in 1-2 tsp sugar to balance the flavour.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Cook the red onion and zucchini for 4-5 minutes over medium heat until starting to soften. You can use olive oil, water or broth for cooking.

Chopped onion and zucchini cooking in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

Step 2: Add the garlic and spices and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Chopped onion and zucchini with herbs cooking in a skillet on the stovetop.

Step 3: Add the passata, chickpeas, bay leaf and stock or water and simmer until the sauce reduces (starts to thicken). This should take about 12-14 minutes.

Chickpeas cooking in a tomato sauce in a skillet on the stovetop.

Step 4: Add the spinach, balsamic vinegar, olives and roasted red peppers. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the spinach is wilted and mixed in.

Chickpeas, zucchini and spinach cooking in tomato sauce in a skillet on the stovetop.

Step 4: Top with parsley, nutritional yeast and optional bread crumbs and additional red chili flakes.

Overhead view of a tomato chickpea stew topped with parsley and breadcrumbs in a skillet sitting on a cutting board.

Notes & Tips

  • Can’t find passata? You can use a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes as an alternative.
  • Fresh basil is also delicious sprinkled on top or mixed in with the dried herbs.
  • Try finishing the stew in the oven. If you have an oven-safe pan, bring to simmer after you add the passata then transfer to the oven and cook uncovered at 400 F for 12-15 minutes. Spinkle with nutritional yeast and bread crumbs and put it back in the oven for a few more minutes. Serve with the fresh parsley.


The stew is best served:

  • over your choice of pasta such as spaghetti or fusilli
  • over basmati, jasmine or brown rice
  • over quinoa
  • with fresh pita or naan for dipping (my favourite!)
Hand using a spoon in a bowl of Mediterranean tomato chickpea stew with spinach.


  • Let cool before storing,.
  • Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.
  • Can be frozen in a freeze-safe container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
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Two bowls of tomato chickpea stew with spinach. A skillet of leftover stew is show in the background.

Mediterranean Chickpea Stew

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegan
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Hearty, flavourful and nutritious chickpea stew in a delicious tomato sauce with spinach, zucchini and olives.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil or water
  • 1 red large onion, diced (1 ½ cup) 
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into ½-inch dice (1 ¼ cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 heaping tbsp)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ½ red chili flakes
  • 1680 ml/24 oz jar passata (strained tomatoes)
  • ¾ cup vegetable stock or water 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 214oz/425 g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 1 28 oz can, 3 cups total)
  • 3 cups packed fresh baby spinach
  • 1170 ml jar roasted red peppers, drained and roughly chopped or 1 roasted red pepper
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (15 ml)
  • ½ cup kalamata olives, chopped, optional
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped 
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper
  • 12 tsp sweetener, if needed


  1. Cook Onion & Zucchini: In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat (or use water for oil-free). When the pan is hot, add onions and zucchini.  Cook for 4-6 min, stirring occasionally, until almost tender.
  2. Add Garlic & Spices: Add garlic, oregano, thyme, cloves, allspice and chili flakes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 1-2 mins, stirring often, until fragrant.
  3. Add Liquid & Chickpeas: Add passata, vegetable stock, bay leaf and chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper. Tip: pour passata into the skillet, then add vegetable stock to the empty jar. Put the lid on and give it a shake and then pour into the pan to get the excess sauce from the jar.
  4. SimmerBring to a boil over high, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 12-14 min, stirring occasionally, until sauce reduces slightly. 
  5. Mix in Final Ingredients: Stir in roasted red peppers, balsamic, spinach and olives.  Cook for 2-3 min, stirring often, until spinach wilts. Taste and season, if needed.
  6. Add Toppings: Sprinkle with parsley, nutritional yeast and additional chili flakes, if desired.
  7. Serve: Serve on a bed of quinoa, rice, over pasta of choice or with fresh pita or naan for dipping.


If the sauce seems too acidic, you can balance with 1-2 tsp sugar, stirring it in before you add the toppings.

Roasted red peppers are easy to make at home: how to make roasted red peppers. You’ll need 15-20 minutes to prepare your own roasted red peppers and this can be done while the stew is cooking.

Store the stew in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days. Reheat as needed on the stovetop or in the microwave.


  • Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe
  • Calories: 235
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35 g
  • Fiber: 11 g
  • Protein: 11 g