Creamy Chickpea Stew with Saffron

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I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting vegetarian recipes that make a perfect comfort food meal.

Looking to add a few more chickpeas into your diet? Try this stew that makes for a complete meal in one dish with the exoctic flavors of saffron. It’s also vegetarian-friendly. Now on Foodal.

My oldest daughter does not eat meat, but she loves stews and soups, so this recipe is great for when she is home and needs something hearty and wholesome.

This quick chickpea stew is filled with ingredients the whole family loves. The best part about it is that I always have most of the ingredients readily available in my kitchen pantry and fridge: canned beans, onions, garlic, carrots, and vegetable stock are usual staples in my home.

Do you love the flavors of saffron? Looking for a tasty way to use it in a vegetarian friendly dish? Try this creamy chickpea soup now. Find the recipe on Foodal.

What’s different about this recipe is that the broth is thickened by a creamy mixture of egg yolks and yogurt.

The addition of yogurt gives this dish a burst of bright acidity, and it helps that this particular ingredient is a type of fermented food that can help aid digestion for a healthy microbiome!

Another unique flavor feature is the saffron, with its subtle floral taste and aroma gently infusing the stew. If you always want to have a taste of luxury at home, learn how to grow your own crocus plant at home on our sister site, Gardener’s Path.

Serve with a side of homemade pita bread for a comforting meal that will be sure to nourish you, body and soul!

The Recipe

Bowls of chickpea stew |
The Best Chickpea Stew with Saffron
Votes: 6
Rating: 4.17
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Looking to add a few more chickpeas into your diet? Try this stew that makes for a complete meal in one dish. It’s also vegetarian-friendly. Now on Foodal.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Bowls of chickpea stew |
The Best Chickpea Stew with Saffron
Votes: 6
Rating: 4.17
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Looking to add a few more chickpeas into your diet? Try this stew that makes for a complete meal in one dish. It’s also vegetarian-friendly. Now on Foodal.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 large carrots chopped
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • ground paprika for garnishing
  • chopped cilantro for garnishing
Servings: servings
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium stockpot. Saute the onions and garlic until the onions start to soften and become translucent, stirring occasionally. Add carrots and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add chickpeas, brown rice, and vegetable broth. Add some water, about 1 cup, so that all the vegetables are submerged. Bring to a boil. Cover the pot, lower the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Mix in the yogurt and saffron until completely incorporated.
  4. Take a cup of the hot liquid from the pot and add it slowly to the egg and yogurt mixture as you constantly whisk. Once combined, slowly add this mixture back into the pot.
  5. Continue to cook for about 5 more minutes while stirring constantly. The stew should start to thicken and appear creamy.
  6. Once thickened, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve in bowls with a dash of paprika and chopped cilantro.

Nutritional Information*

Nutrition Facts
The Best Chickpea Stew with Saffron
Amount Per Serving
Calories 216 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 80mg 27%
Sodium 905mg 38%
Potassium 418mg 12%
Total Carbohydrates 28g 9%
Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
Sugars 7g
Protein 10g 20%
Vitamin A 64%
Vitamin C 7%
Calcium 8%
Iron 13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep the Ingredients

Gathering ingredients for a vegetable stew |

Gather all the ingredients needed for the recipe. Using a sharp chef’s knife and sturdy cutting board, chop the onion and carrots. Pull out your trusty garlic press and mince the garlic.

Always get tearful when cutting onions? Read up on how to prevent the crying!

Measure the olive oil, brown rice, vegetable broth, yogurt, and saffron. Drain the cans of chickpeas.

Break and separate the yolks of three eggs from the whites. Reserve the whites for another use, like in our recipes for Swiss meringue buttercream or meringue cookies.

Step 2 – Saute the Vegetables

Cooking onions and carrots for a soup |

In a medium-sized stockpot, heat the olive oil. Saute the onions and garlic until slightly softened and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the carrots and continue to sauté for a few more minutes.

Step 3 – Simmer

A pot of broth with beans, carrots, and onions |

Add the chickpeas, rice, and vegetable stock. Pour in one cup of water to ensure all the vegetables are fully submerged before cooking.

Bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat, and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.

Step 4 – Prepare the Egg and Yogurt Mixture

Yogurt, egg yolks, and saffron in a bowl |

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Mix in the yogurt and saffron until completely incorporated.

Take a cup of the hot liquid from the pot and add it slowly to the egg and yogurt mixture as you constantly stir with the whisk. Once combined, slowly add the mixture back into the pot.

Making a creamy thickener for a vegetable soup |

This process is called tempering. Learn more about this cooking technique to master it perfectly!

Step 5 – Temper and Thicken

Stirring a silky and creamy vegetarian soup |

Continue to cook the stew for about 5 more minutes while stirring constantly. It should start to thicken and look creamy.

Step 6 – Serve

Vegetable stew with beans and rice with pita chips |

Once the stew has thickened and the rice is soft, it’s almost ready to eat! Season to taste with salt and pepper, ladle into individual bowls, garnish with cilantro and paprika, and serve.

A Silky Soup with Plenty of Veggies and Flavor

This hearty chickpea stew is so fast to make – an ideal vegetarian meal to feed the whole family on a busy day.

I can just throw the ingredients in a pot after a long afternoon of running around with the kids. It really is just that simple.

I happen to keep saffron on hand – it’s expensive, but it’s worth it. If you’ve never had a dish flavored with saffron, you’re in for a treat.

A bowl of creamy vegetarian chickpea saffron stew with served pita chips |

And if you’re hungry for another Mediterranean-inspired dish (and one great for carnivores), give our Moroccan lamb, veggie, and lentil stew a try – for a classic meat-lover, also try our one-pot beef option.

Need more recipe inspiration to use chickpeas? If you love crunchy snacks, make our recipe for spicy and smoky roasted chickpeas. Handfuls of crunchy goodness!

How do you like to use chickpeas in your meals? Ever cooked with saffron before? Share your stories in the comments below.

Don’t forget to Pin It!

Looking to add a few more chickpeas into your diet? Try this vegetarian-friendly stew. With onions, garlic, carrots, and brown rice, you'll get so much wholesome goodness in every bite. It's also infused with saffron and thickened with egg yolks and yogurt for a silky texture. Make this hearty recipe now on Foodal.

Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published July 5th, 2015. Last updated: November 11, 2020 at 15:20 pm. Additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.

*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Jennifer Swartvagher

Jennifer is an experienced journalist and author. Her work has been featured on TODAY Parents, The New York Times Blog, BlogHer, Scary Mommy, and scores of other parenting and cooking publications.

16 thoughts on “Creamy Chickpea Stew with Saffron”

  1. I have never had saffron before. Do you buy it from a specialty store or online?

    I must admit, that dish is calling my name and I want to try it out.

  2. My daughter is the same way she will not eat meat, but loves soups. She is also away at college I know she would love this. I know I would to it loves so good. I am printing this out, and when she comes home it’s going to be made just for her thanks for sharing.

  3. I am not much of a soup fan, but chickpeas are one of my absolute favorite, and the combination of ingredients in here sounds very interesting! I have never heard of using yoghurt in a recipe like this one. It also sounds like it would be full of protein, too; I’d like to have this after a bike ride to get back the energy I burned off. Definitely a unique idea, I’m sure we’d all enjoy giving this one a try. Very balanced, healthy ingredients, so I bet even my health-conscious aunt would love this idea. I’ll have to pass it on to her.

  4. Oh my, this sounds simple and delicious! Perfect for a dinner after a long, hard day as well, lots of nutritious ingredients to help rejuvenate the body. Adding this recipe to my collection for sure.

  5. The stew looks delicious. The yogurt is an interesting one to put in this. Vegetarians don’t usually eat dairy though. There might be an acception with this one. I’m trying to think of what replacements could be used for the eggs and yogurt if you didn’t want dairy. I am always amazed to see what is put in some dishes to replace things like this. I saw a mayo that was made from cashews and avocados. It’s interesting. I haven’t tried it yet but it should be good.
    This really seems like it’s a very tasty dish. I’m going to have to trying this one for sure.

  6. I’ve always liked chickpeas, and welcome the chance to try a new recipe incorporating them. I like that this recipe requires minimal pans/dishes, so there’s less clean up, and doesn’t require an immersion blender, since I don’t have one yet. I have most of these ingredients on hand, and am looking forward to trying this out. It’s great that this is nutritious and filling, on a budget.

  7. Accompany that amazing delicious plate with a piece of bread and I’ll be in Heaven in a matter of seconds…that presentation has me reeled in and attentive…I had no clue, one can use yoghurt when cooking…thanks Foodal, every now and then I have that awesome opportunity to learn something new 🙂

  8. Generally, I don’t really like soups much, but I love chickpeas. This recipe feels like it has an Indian vibe about it: yogurt, garlic saffron and chickpeas are all ingredients used regularly in Indian cuisine. Although my family isn’t usually hot on soups and stews, I think they’ll like this one. Thanks!

  9. Seeing this with yogurt threw me off a bit. But it looks good so I’d at least give it a try. Especially if it has brown rice in there.

  10. This is perfect for the many cold and rainy days of late, leaving me trying to find what to cook. This sounds delicious and I like the touch of yogurt. It gives it a very interesting color. I had never heard of this recipe before, and will certainly try it. This dish looks like something my family is going to enjoy during the Holidays.

  11. I can’t recall ever eating a dish with saffron, but I am eager to try this one. The combination of ingredients sounds amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever had garlic and yogurt in a dish together. Looking forward to trying this one!!!

  12. I normally don’t like soups. My country is so hot that I always do away with soups. However, of late I’ve been curious and on the lookout for soup recipes. I don’t know, coming off from a week of fasting I can’t seem to rid my mind of soup recipes. It keeps urging me to try it out for a change. There’s a kiosk near my former office that sells Shawarma and my favorite has been the one without meat; but with chickpeas instead. So, I guess this recipe is good one to start as I already like chickpea. I don’t think our supermarket’s foreign section actually carry saffron though.

  13. I must say this stew looks very tasty. I am not a big fan of chick peas but they have tons of fiber so it couldn’t hurt. I have a big tub of plain yogurt that the kids claimed was disgusting… maybe I can use it in some recipes is what I thought. Then I saw this stew, it looks so rich and creamy. I may give it a whirl.

  14. That looks extremely creamy! I just can’t decide whether it’s a stew or a soup. Either way, it needs to be served with a hunk of crusty bread for dipping in that delicious sauce/soup!

  15. Well this just gets me all excited knowing that it is fall here soon and the cooler weather is about to come my way. This means that the soups and stews will be a favorite go to once again, and I really like the sounds of this one. I cannot say I have ever had a chickpea soup or stew, but I do like them so this is definitely worth a try.


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