Quick and easy pea stew is delightful with a subtly sweet tomato sauce and cooked carrots making great use of a bag of frozen peas, and can be on the table in 30 minutes or less. Serve this on its own for a simple, healthy side dish, lite main dish, or serve it with rice, bulgur, or other grains for a vegan meal.
Quick – This green pea stew requires very little prep and enough cooking time to simmer the sauce and cook the carrots through. 30 minutes is at the top of the time requirement.
Easy – A perfect recipe for beginners, you only need to chop an onion and a few carrots (although those could also be frozen.
Family-friendly – The flavor of this dish is driven by cinnamon and smoked paprika. You can also use sweet paprika so that it is less spicy to appeal to everyone.
Healthy vegan – We're ticking all the boxes for a whole-food, plant-based recipe. No added oil, including the cooking process.
Frozen peas – I highly recommend that you use frozen peas for this recipe. It’s simply the easiest and best way to go. Canned peas have a different flavor profile and can get mushy after cooking for more than a few minutes.
Carrots – I used fresh carrots because I almost always have carrots in the crisper. Dice the carrots into small pieces or slice them thin. This helps them cook quickly. You can also use frozen carrots, which will cut back on the cooking time.
Tomato sauce – Tomato sauce or tomato passata gives the sauce a creamy texture. Use a good quality sauce and check the label that it doesn’t contain extra flavors or oil. It makes a difference.
Vegetable broth – Use vegetable broth for a more flavorful sauce than using just water.
Smoked paprika – We love the flavor of hot smoked paprika; however, it isn't for everyone, so use sweet paprika or a mix if you don't want as much spice.
Lemon juice – Lemon juice refreshes the flavor. I ended up using a whole fresh lemon, which is about ¼ a cup of juice. Add this at the end and adjust the amount as you go.
Cilantro – Cilantro (coriander) is the finisher. Flat-leaf (Italian) parsley is a good option if you need a substitute. A few tablespoons of fresh dill would also compliment the flavors.
- Be sure to have everything ready to go before you start cooking. You can leave the peas in the freezer. Once you add the onions, be prepared to add the ingredients including, the tomato sauce, carrots, and vegetable broth. This prevents burning the onions and seasonings.
- Heat the pot before you add the onions. This helps keep them from sticking to the oil-free bottom. For no-oil sautéing, this is your best practice, no matter what ingredients you start with. Onions are particularly susceptible to melting into the bottom of a cold pan.
- The sauce is designed to be lite. If you want a deeper tomato flavor or the tomato sauce is thin or bland, add a tablespoon of tomato paste.
- Once you add the carrots, tomato sauce, and vegetable broth, be sure to use a wooden spoon to get any stuck-on onions or garlic from the bottom of the pot. Adjust the heat so that the sauce is slowly simmering. Stir it a few times as it simmers. This helps the flavors combine and thickens the sauce.
- After adding the peas and heating them up, add the lemon juice and cilantro (or parsley). Taste as you add the lemon juice. You can also add salt at this point and ground black pepper if you like.
In general, tomato sauce and tomato passata can be used interchangeably, although there are some differences. Some tomato sauce brands can contain extra herbs, spices, and oil. Tomato passata is often thinner, with a sharper flavor that is more like fresh tomatoes.
Pea stew makes a tasty side dish or main dish if you serve it with rice, bulgur, quinoa, or another grain. You can also ladle pea stew over noodles or over pasta. Quinoa will add protein, but other sources that could be added include red lentils, chickpeas, or white beans.
Pea stew freezes for up to 3 months (or a bit longer). Place it in an airtight container or sealed freezer bag. Thaw it in the refrigerator and then reheat it on the stove in a covered pan over medium heat. Stir it frequently so that it heats evenly.
up for stew? Here a few of our favorites
quick & easy pea stew
Quick and easy pea stew is delightful with a subtly sweet tomato sauce, carrots, and frozen peas and on the table in 30 minutes or less.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: stews
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed or finely minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon smoked (or regular) paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced (about 4 medium carrots)
- 2 cups tomato sauce (tomato puree) - 16 ounces (450 grams)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 4 ½ cups frozen peas (24 ounces/652 grams)
- Juice of 1 lemon (about ⅓ cup)
- ½ cup fresh cilantro (coriander) or flat-leaf (Italian parsley)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sauté the onions. Heat a medium pot. Add the onions and cook them for 3 – 5 minutes until they start to soften.
- Add the garlic and spices. Stir in the minced garlic, cinnamon, paprika, and black pepper. Sauté for another 30 seconds.
- Mix in the carrots, tomato sauce, and vegetable broth. Adjust the heat so that the ingredients are simmering. Cover the pot and cook until the carrots are tender (about 10 minutes).
- Add the frozen peas. Mix in the frozen peas and continue simmering the stew until the peas are heated through. About 5-10 minutes.
- Finish the stew. Add the lemon juice and cilantro (or parsley). Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Taste and adjust the flavor. Add salt, additional pepper, lemon juice, or other spices as needed. Garnish pea stew with slices of fresh (or jarred jalapenos) if you want it spicier, additional chopped herbs, or lemon wedges.
- Be mindful of the time required for cooking rice or another grain if you are serving them with pea stew.
- Depending on availability, tomato passata can be used in place of tomato sauce. If you want the sauce thicker, add a tablespoon of tomato paste (tomato puree).
Keywords: Pea Stew