If you're craving a delicious and unique new take on chili to warm your belly, then my chickpea chili with a Moroccan twist is for you. Filled with tender chickpeas, organic lean ground beef, fresh tomatoes, an array of warming spices, a kiss of citrus and a trio of fresh herbs, my chickpea chili recipe is a zesty and hearty meal to cozy up with!
Chickpea Chili with a Moroccan Twist
Nothing beats a thick, rich chili in the cooler months of autumn and winter when I'm craving extra comfort and coziness.
Chili is one of those easy to prepare meals, belly-warming and hearty, and offers lots of nutrition by way of protein and fiber.
I have a handful of chili recipes on the site such as this lentil chili, this sweet potato chili, white chicken chili, and this chili verde, and really love to experiment with different flavor profiles and different beans and legumes to change things up a bit.
My chickpea chili is my most recent take on classic chili, filled with some of my favorite ingredients leaning in the direction of the flavors found in Moroccan cuisine, a cuisine which my hubby and I really enjoy.
This recipe boasts organic chickpeas, organic grass-fed beef (though lamb would be really outstanding as well), spices such as cumin, coriander, cinnamon, allspice and ginger, a touch of citrus, fresh tomatoes, plus a trio of herbs including parsley, oregano and cilantro.
Simmered slowly until tender and aromatic, my chickpea chili recipe is sure to be on repeat in our household this autumn and winter season, warming our bellies and offering up a bit of extra TLC and comfort!
My Recipe for Chickpea Chili
What makes this chickpea chili really delicious and savory is that it's brimming with layers of flavors and textures.
It begins with a basic base of diced onion and ground beef, along with lots of garlic.
I also sprinkle in an aromatic and warming array of spices, which are often used in Moroccan cuisine, such as ground cumin and coriander, ground cinnamon and ginger, allspice, plus a bit of a kick from cayenne and black pepper.
This combination of spices gives the chili its unique flavor profile, and the kiss of orange zest and juice offers a hint of citrus, which rounds things out.
I use good quality, organic chickpeas here, draining them well before using.
Once simmered, the chickpeas become tender with an almost creamy center, also helping to naturally thicken the chili.
While you can certainly use canned whole tomatoes, I like to use fresh Campari tomatoes when they're available, as they add juiciness and flavor as well.
Here's a glance at my chickpea chili recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I prepare my spice mixture in a small ramekin, then set that aside for a moment.
- Next, I heat up a large pot or Dutch oven, then add the onion when it's nice and hot.
- Once the onion is softened, I add in my ground beef, breaking it up well with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Next, I my spice mixture to the pot, along with garlic, a bay leaf and some orange zest, and allow it all to become aromatic.
- Then, I add in a touch of tomato paste, the chickpeas, followed by the tomatoes.
- Next, I add my orange juice and beef stock, then bring the chickpea chili to a vigorous simmer, reduce the heat, and gently simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, I cover the chili and cook an additional 30 to 35 minutes, or until the chickpeas are completely tender.
- To finish the chickpea chili, I stir in my fresh cilantro, parsley and oregano, and enjoy with warm flatbread on the side.
by Ingrid Beer
This zesty chickpea chili has a Moroccan twist with an abundance of warming spices, a kiss of citrus, tomatoes and fresh herbs!
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 688 calories per serving
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (add more or less depending on taste)
- Olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 pound organic, grass-fed ground beef (93/7 fat ratio) or ground lamb
- 6 large cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon (slightly heaping) orange zest
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 large (29 ounce) cans organic chickpeas, drained
- ¾ pound Campari tomatoes (about 8 small tomatoes), chopped
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice (from about ½ of a large orange)
- 2 cups beef stock
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
- Warm flatbread, to serve alongside (optional)
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Prepare your spice mixture by adding the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, allspice and cayenne to a small ramekin, and mixing with a fork to combine. Set aside for a moment.
- Place a large pot or deep, heavy bottom pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Once hot, add in the diced onion and saute for 3 minutes or so, just until it begins to soften.
- Add in the ground beef or lamb, and using a wooden spoon or spatula, break up the meat into a fine crumble. Add a generous pinch or two of salt, plus your spice mixture from your ramekin, and cook the meat for a 3 to 4 minute, until mostly cooked through.
- Next, add in the garlic, the bay leaf and the orange zest, and stir to incorporate into the meat mixture until aromatic. Stir in the tomato paste.
- Then, add in the drained chickpeas and stir to combine, followed by the chopped tomatoes. Add in the orange juice and the beef stock, and stir to incorporate.
- Bring the chickpea chili to a vigorous simmer, then reduce the heat and allow it to very gently simmer and bubble, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After 45 minutes, cover the chickpea chili and cook an additional 30 to 35 minutes until thickened, and the chickpeas are tender with an almost creamy texture. (You may need to simmer longer if chickpeas are still not tender enough for your taste, using 15 minute increments.)
- To finish the chickpea chili, drizzle in about 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil to enrich it and add some body to it, then stir in the cilantro, parsley and oregano.
- Serve hot with warm flatbread on the side as an accompaniment, if desired.
Tips & Tidbits for my Chickpea Chili recipe:
- Delicious with beef or lamb: While I'm opting for organic grass-fed beef here, ground lamb would be a terrific option in this chili with a Moroccan twist. Lamb is often used in Moroccan cuisine, and takes on the flavor of the spices and herbs deliciously. You could even use half ground beef and half ground lamb, if desired.
- Simmer the chickpeas until tender: Sometimes chickpeas will take a little longer to become completely tender, and this may have something to do with the brand of chickpeas. The cook time for the chili is 1 hour and 20 minutes, but if your chickpeas are not quite as tender as you'd like them to be at the end of that time, add additional increments of 15 minutes until you get the desired tenderness. Also add additional stock or water, if needed.
- What to serve with chickpea chili: I like to skip the cheese with this particular chili, but feel free to add some if you wish. Alternatives to traditional cheddar cheese that would work well are crumbled goat cheese or queso fresco sprinkled over top. Warm flatbread or pita is a really tasty accompaniment on the side.
- Reheating your chickpea chili: You may notice that leftovers of the chickpea chili can get a little thick, but no worries. Simply reheat the chili in a sauce pan or small pot, stirring gently as you do, and it will loosen up for you. And if you need a touch more liquid, add a bit of water or stock.