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Spicy Berbere Bean Stew, plant based, vegan, vegetarian, whole food plant based, gluten free, recipe, wfpb, healthy, healthy vegan, oil free, no refined sugar, no oil, refined sugar free, dairy free, dinner party, entertaining, stew

Spicy Berbere Bean Stew

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  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop


Spicy Berbere seasonings makes for a beautifully earthy and lively bean stew that is sure to add some zest to your life.  This quick and easy Spicy Berbere Bean Stew recipe is packed with flavor and is amazingly delicious. Spicy, slightly sweet, and earthy – YUM!



Berbere Bean Stew Ingredients:

  • 3 – [ 15 oz. cans ] chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed or 2 cups dry – then pressure cooked (divided), – approx. 5 cups of chickpeas in total
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 – [ 28 oz. can ] tomato puree
  • 2 ½ cups water (or broth) (put the water in the empty tomato puree can to ensure you get all the tomato puree flavor rinsed into the water)
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ teaspoon, up to 1 Tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup (see recipe notes)
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon Berbere spice (see recipe notes)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • Large pinch cayenne pepper (+/- to taste) (see recipe notes)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt (+/- to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper (+/- to taste)
  • 1 bunch of organic red chard (swiss chard, escarole, or baby spinach)

Additional Serving Items (Optional)

  • Pita bread
  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Quinoa bread
  • Injera bread


  1. In a large ceramic or enamel lined Dutch oven or similar stock pot, add the diced onion and red bell pepper, sauté until they begin to soften, approx. 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Next add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  3. Then add all the remaining ingredients into the pot except the chickpeas and chard.
  4. Bring to a boil, then immediately lower to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. After 5 minutes, add 4 cups of the cooked chickpeas (or canned) and keeping one cup reserved. Simmer for 10 minutes. (If using canned chickpeas, you may have to cook for 14 to 17 minutes to soften the outer shell.  Canned chickpeas tend to have a harder shell than chickpeas processed in a pressure cooker).
  6. After 10 minutes, taken an immersion blender and partially break up some of the chickpeas. Do not over-process. The result should be some partially chopped chickpeas and some completely broken down. You want texture, not mush. Stir well to combine.
  7. Taste test the flavor. Add more spices and/or more maple syrup (if you started with ½ teaspoon of maple syrup) to achieve the desired spice blend and flavors.
  8. Then, add the chard and remaining whole chick peas and cook approx. 5 to 10 minutes more. Note:  The chickpeas should be varied, some broken down completely making the stew thick, some partial chickpea fragments, and finally the whole chickpeas (garbanzo beans) added in this step.
  9. Enjoy!


*Serving: The beauty of this dish is the diverse serving options.  It can be served over rice or quinoa.  The traditional serving style is to break off pieces of pita bread or injera bread and use the bread as tongs.  In other words, break off a piece of pita (or other bread) and pinch up some stew between the bread with your fingers, and pop it in your mouth.  No utensils required. We love using the quinoa flatbread as a stew scooper.

*Maple Syrup Amount:  The sweetness of this stew is purely personal taste.  We have made this stew a ton of times with varying degrees of sweetness (or lack thereof).  We have found that some prefer a sweeter flavor, while others want little to no sweetness.  We suggest starting with ¼ teaspoon of maple syrup (to remove any acidic flavor from the tomato puree), and increasing it by ¼ teaspoon until the desired level of sweetness (or lack thereof is achieved) up to 1 Tablespoon.

*Berbere Spice Amount:  The amount of Berbere spice (heat) is purely personal taste as well as what Berbere spice blend brand you have.  We suggest starting with ½ teaspoon and increasing it by ¼ teaspoon until the level of spice is achieved.  Some may enjoy up to a Tablespoon or more of  Berbere spice.

*Cayenne Pepper Amount:  The amount of Cayenne Pepper (heat) is purely personal taste as well.  We suggest starting with a large pinch and increasing it by small pinches until the level of heat is achieved.  Make sure you do not add too much to begin with as you want the spices to marry before you begin to add more.