Olla Gitana (Spanish Chickpea Stew with Pear)

This vegan chickpea stew is traditional to Murcia. It has chickpeas, pumpkin, some veggies and ... a surprising though not-so-secret ingredient. Because we are about to tell you.

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An Olla Gitana is a healthy and good traditional dish from Murcia, Spain.

Olla Gitana: a traditional vegan chickpea stew from Murcia

Olla Gitana is a vegan chickpea stew that is traditional to Murcia. The literal translation of the Spanish word ‘gitana’ is ‘gipsy’ and ‘olla’ means ‘pot’. So: a gipsy pot.

The dish originated in the Spanish province of Murcia. It is a one-pot dish with ingredients typically found in abundance in (Southern) Spain. It’s a kind of a veggie stew meets legumes soup. With the mix of veggies and legumes it is traditionally vegan.

The surprising touch

There is one surprising touch to Olla Gitana: the vegan chickpea stew does not only contain veggies, but also pear! They put a pear in the pot together with the chickpeas and the vegetables and it tastes great! That sweetness balances with the legumes. 

Less special, more common and very Spanish is the sofrito that is added to the pan. A sofrito is a sauce-like taste-maker that mostly contains onion, tomato and some spices. It is also the base for Samfaina, the Catalan version of Ratatouille.

Kitchen utensils

  • A big pot
  • A small saucepan


Serves 3-4 as a main dish

Pear is the big surprise ingredient in Olla Gitana, a traditional vegan chickpea stew from Murcia.
  • 250 grams (9 Oz) of chickpeas, soaked and boiled
  • 250 grams (9 Oz) of green beans
  • 500 grams (18 Oz) of pumpkin
  • 1 big potato, chopped into big chunks
  • 1 pear, peeled
  • 1 onion, chopped up
  • 1 tomato, chopped up
  • 1 tablespoon of hierbabuena (dried mint)
  • 1 teaspoon of saffron
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

How to make Olla Gitana

Soak time: 6 hrs. | Cook time: 45 min.

  1. Soak 250 grams (9 Oz) overnight (or for some 6 hours when you make Olla Gitana for dinner).

  2. Boil the chickpeas in water in a big pot for 15 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile cut 250 grams (9 Oz) green beans in pieces of about 2 inches (5 centimeters) long. Peel both the pumpkin and the potato and cut into chunks. Also, peel the pear.

  4. For the so called sofrito, chop up 1 onion and 1 tomato. Heat a bit of olive oil in a small saucepan and add the onion and tomato to the pan. Fry until the onion becomes translucent.

In a separate pan you make a sofrito for extra flavor in your Olla Gitana
Make a so-called sofrito in a seperate saucepan before adding it to the pot.
  1. Add 1 tablespoon of hierbabuena (dried mint), 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of chili powder and 1 teaspoon of saffron to the sofrito and stir well. Fry for a minute more.

  2. After the chickpeas have boiled for 15 minutes, add the pumpkin and potato chunks and the green beans to the chickpeas. Also add the entire pear to the pot. Let simmer for 30 minutes.

  3. If the sofrito is done, also add to the pot.

After the simmering your vegan chickpea stew is done.
An almost ready to serve Olla Gitana.
  1. If after 30 minutes the broth is too thin for your liking, take out a few chickpeas, mash them and add to the broth.

    Your vegan chickpea stew from Murcia is ready to be served!|

A Gipsy Pot from Murcia: Olla Gitana.


Recipe: Olla Gitana
Soak: 6 hrs.
45 min.
45 min.
onion, tomato, hierbabuena, chickpea, pumpkin, potato, green bean, pear, saffron, chili powder
Type of meal: main dish, dip

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