Slow Cooker Squash Stew with Garbanzo Beans and Red Lentils

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Slow Cooker Squash Stew with Garbanzo Beans and Red Lentils - Andrea Meyers

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Our kitchen counter is covered with five different types of squash, a few steps up from our normal routine of acorn and butternut squash. On my last squash run, I came home with sweet dumpling, delicata, buttercup, acorn, and butternut and plans for all of them, mostly revolving around roasting and soups. And of course I wanted some photos of the squash pile.

Squash collection - Andrea Meyers

Though it’s only November, the temperatures have been chilly and my soup cravings kicked in right away. The thoughts of a comforting bowl of squash soup came to me almost constantly until I finally broke out the slow cooker one evening before going to bed and left the stew to cook overnight. The house smelled fantastic when we woke up in the morning and this made a perfect stew that I even enjoyed for breakfast this morning.

It’s hearty, filling, and healthy with plenty of protein and no added fat, and preparation couldn’t be easier. I soaked the garbanzos for 12 hours then tossed the ingredients into the slow cooker and turned it on Low and left it for about 10 hours. Because slow cookers vary in cooking temperature, keep an eye on the stew and test the beans for tenderness. One of my favorite things about this stew is the opportunity to play with various combinations of spices, and I put together a list of recommendations below, and of course if you come up with some great spice combinations for the stew, please share in the comments!

Slow Cooker Squash Stew with Garbanzo Beans and Red Lentils

Adapted from EatingWell.

Makes 8 servings.


5 to 6 quart slow cooker
medium bowl or pot with lid or pressure cooker


3/4 cup (113 g) dried garbanzo beans
2-1/2 pounds (1.134 kilos) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup (170 g) red lentils
32 ounces (~1 liter) vegetable stock or broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon peeled minced fresh ginger
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon saffron or achiote
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 ounces (59 mil) lime juice

roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
fresh cilantro leaves, chopped


1. SOAK (choose your method): (No Heat) Pour the dried garbanzo beans into the medium bowl and add water until it is 2 inches (5 cm) above the beans. Allow the beans to soak for 12 hours. Drain and rinse well. (Heat) Boil beans in a heavy pot for three minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for 2 hours, covered. Drain the water and rinse well. (Pressure) Put the beans in pot with water and bring to pressure and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and allow the pressure to drop naturally. Drain the water and rinse well. (Note: Follow the manufacturer’s directions for pressure cookers.)

2. SLOW COOK: Add the beans, squash, carrots, onion, lentils, vegetable broth, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, saffron, ground pepper, and salt to the slow cooker pot. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 6 to 8 hours. If your pot has an automatic high/low setting, use that and cook for 8 hours.

3. Stir in the lime juice then serve in bowls, topping each with chopped peanuts and cilantro leaves.

Other Spices to Use

Moroccan: Cumin, chili powder, ground cinnamon, garlic, ground cloves

Indian: Curry powder or garam masala

Mexican: Cumin, chipotle powder or chili powder

More Soup and Stew

Andrea's Recipes - Curried Lentil and Potato Stew Andrea's Recipes - Winter Minestrone Andrea's Recipes - Vegetarian French Onion Soup

More Squash Soup Recipes From Around the Blogs

La Tartine Gourmand – Curried Winter Squash Soup with Red Lentil, Coconut Milk, and Clams

Karina’s Kitchen – Curried Butternut Soup

Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska – Spicy Squash Soup

[Disclosure: This blog earns a small commission through affiliate links.]


  1. says

    You mention the pressure cooker, only briefly. But this dish would be wonderful and easy to make entirely in the pressure cooker in less than 25 minutes from start to finish. And it would taste great. So if you ever have the time to try it, do so. I love squash, too, and your pile looks fantastic, very similar to mine. Keep on getting people to cook great food.

  2. says

    Hi Andrea,
    I too am going squash crazy these days. This soup you made looks simply yummy and a great vegetarian option. I love the fact you put it in a slow cooker because it is so simple and easy, and it makes the soup even yummier with the added time. The spice blend looks great and I love the fact you wrote some other options. I personally love saffron and many others you have listed.
    Have you tried Kuri squash – I can’t stop talking about it – it is so yummy and sweet. I wrote a recipe for it on my blog.

    Thanks again for the yummy recipes!

  3. says

    I currently have the following on my kitchen counter: spaghetti, acorn, butternut, and kabocha squash. I can’t help myself. And though I don’t have slow cooker pot, I have been making many squash soups lately. Yours looks delicious, Andrea!

  4. says

    Your squash photos are just lovely.

    I saw Ning’s roundup and took that to be “the passing of the torch” on to me as guest host for Round #21 of your baby, Grow Your Own. I just posted the event announcement for this fun event and hope I got everything included that I needed to. Looking forward to another pile of cool recipes!

  5. says

    I had been researching a slow-cooker squash recipe and found yours on your blog. What a delight! It was so easy and simply DELICIOUS! I have enough to eat for the entire week. A beautiful, warming meal for the fall days of squash.YUM and thank you!

  6. says

    hi, i was browsing for squash pics- since i wasnt sure what is that i have home- pumpkin or squash. so i saw ur pics and that brought me to ur recipe. now i already stuffed my squash so no stew for me today BUT i must say it is a great idea and next time ill lay my hands on one ill definitely make it :)

  7. Pamela says

    Found this recipe through the Kitchen Parade list of vegan recipes. I’m not vegan, but I do avoid dairy and try to eat meatless meals a couple days a week. Anyway, I’ve had a mystery squash sitting in my kitchen for a few months (Beautiful light blue skin, pear-shaped) and decided to finally try it out with this recipe) This has been in the slow cooker all day and smells divine. Even my husband commented on it when he came home from work. My 8-year-old (my official taster) declared it good and wants to be in charge of squeezing in the lime juice. Thanks for posting and sharing with KP!


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