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Manchego vegetable stew recipe

Manchego vegetable stew recipe

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This is sort of a Spanish ratatouille, a vegetable stew that hails from La Mancha. Serve with with a fried egg on top and some crusty bread for a lovely and light meat-free meal!

4 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 150ml olive oil
  • 6 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • 1 to 4 cloves garlic, or to taste, chopped
  • 2 green peppers, chopped
  • 2 courgettes, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • olive oil for frying
  • 4 eggs

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:35min ›Ready in:1hr5min

  1. Heat 75ml olive oil in a saucepan. Add the tomatoes, sugar and salt and cook for 5 minutes. Blend with a hand-held blender until smooth.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat the remaining 75ml olive oil. Add the garlic and cook till fragrant. Add the peppers, courgettes and onion. Stir frequently and cook till soft, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato mixture to the vegetable mixture in the frying pan. Stir well and cook for a further 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Taste again and season to taste with salt, if needed.
  4. In a separate frying pan, heat some olive oil and fry one egg per serving.
  5. To serve, place a generous spoonful of the vegetable stew on a plate, top with a fried egg and serve with crusty bread.

Cook's note

Use either green or red peppers in this recipe, or a combination of both!


Manchego vegetable stew

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Pisto (Vegetable Stew)

Pisto is a Spanish dish of stewed vegetables. Also known as Pisto Manchego (from La Mancha, its supposed region of origin), it is very popular in the whole Spain. It is a very colourful and rich dish, healthy and very versatile, as it can be eaten hot or cold, as a side dish, starter or as a main dish.

Some French cooks claim that pisto is a version of the French ratatouille, a very similar dish. Although this may be true, I tend to think that it was the other way around, since some of the main ingredients such as tomatoes or peppers were first brought by the Spanish from America and were first cultivated in Spain and some others as the aubergines were brought to Spain by the moors in the middle ages.

Origin debate aside, pisto and ratatouille are basically the same thing, its ingredients are the main vegetables used in all the Mediterranean area and that might be why it is present with diferent names in many regions and countries (pisto in Spain, ratatouille in France, ciambotta in Italy or kapunata in Malta).

As it happens with many other popular dishes in Spain, there is not an exact recipe of Pisto and its ingredients may vary depending on availability and taste. Some people peel the vegetables, some people don't. Some people add sugar to reduce the acidity of the tomato. Some people use bay leafs or other spices. An that is why everyone's favourite recipe is their mom's.

I'm offering you my version of it. Let's cook!

Pisto (Vegetable Stew) recipe - 4 servings

1 aubergine
2 courgettes
4 or 5 tomatoes on the vine, red and tender. You could use a can of chopped tomatoes instead.
1 onion
1/2 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
3 cloves of garlic
Salt, olive oil

Peel the aubergine and dice it. Put it in a colander with some salt on it. Leave it drain while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

Put a pan on the heat and cover the bottom with olive oil. Switch it on to medium heat.

Chop the onion and add it to the pan when the oil is hot. Add a pinch of salt and let it cook for 2-3 min.

Chop the peppers and the garlic.

When the onion is taking a brownish colour, add the peppers and garlic. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes.

Peel and dice the courgettes. Add them to the stew.

Rinse the aubergine. You will see it has drained some excess water. Eliminating this moisture will remove the bitterness of this vegetable. Add the aubergine to the stew. Switch the heat up.

Dice the tomatoes and add them to the stew. Cover loosly and let it cook for about 20 minutes. Stir from time to time to check it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. If it does, lower the heat. When it is ready, try in case it needs some more salt.

And that's it! As I said, it is very versatile. In Spain we eat it very often either on its own or with fried eggs.

Pisto Manchego

Pisto, commonly known as pisto manchego, is a traditional Castilian dish that originated in La Mancha region in central Spain.

It is every Spaniard’s favorite with each region and family having its own variation and recipes. The most popular versions of pisto include pisto andaluz from the Andalusian region, pisto toledano, pisto a la bilbaína from the Basque country, which includes scrambled eggs and so on. It is one dish that is unanimously popular both among the vegetarians and meat eaters throughout Spain. Due to its simplicity in preparation and the use of commonly available vegetables, it gained popularity instantaneously.

How to make pisto?

Pisto is a hearty dish with rich and juicy flavors from fresh vegetables that are slow cooked in olive oil. The highlight of the recipe is that these vegetables are cooked separately one at a time. The onions are sautéed first. Only after they are well cooked, the bell peppers are added and then zucchini and then tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are added, the pisto is simmered until the flavors meld in perfect harmony. Each step of the process is done on a low flame, which amplifies the taste manifold. This has to be done patiently and certainly not recommended for those in a hurry!

What is the origin or pisto?

It is believed that the pisto originated from the ancient Moorish dish al-buraniya or as it is known in Spanish as alboronia. Al-buraniya was specially created and served at the wedding of the Moorish princess Būrān. Hence the name al-buraniya in her honor. It is certainly a surprise to have a popular vegetarian dish from the Muslim rulers.

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It is no doubt that the modern day Spanish cuisine is still highly influenced by the Arabic flavors. The Moorish rulers ruled the Iberian Peninsula for centuries. Hence it is inevitable that there are traces of Moorish impressions in the Spanish lives. Along with their historical and cultural significance, they also left an enduring mark on the Spanish gastronomy. Moors introduced the technique of frying in oil to the Spanish community and also advanced the production of olive oil.

Pisto in Spanish generally refers to diced vegetables. It is derived from the Latin word pistus meaning crushed or pounded. The ancient recipe only had eggplants and olive oil and garlic. Over the years, the dish has evolved and been adapted with time. With the introduction of capsicum and tomatoes from the American continent, eggplant was gradually replaced. In the present day pisto, tomatoes and bell peppers are a must and as per the availability, other vegetables are included. It is a vegetarian delight that makes use of the Mediterranean vegetables that are in season.

Serving pisto manchego is quite simple. It can be served warm or cold. It is generally a meal in itself when served with a platter of bread or with a Spanish style fried egg on top. Stews always taste better the next day! Letting it rest melds the flavor properly.

Sometimes, it is also served as an accompaniment to other dishes. It can also be served as a part of tapas selection. More or less like a bruschetta, the pisto is served on top of bread with pieces of ham. It is also used as a filling inside the flaky empanada or served with pasta.

Vegetable stews around the world

Vegetable stew is not uncommon to man and it exists in every nook in the world. The Mediterranean belt is no exception and in fact it is home to many of these one-pot meals including hearty summer vegetables. The traditional stew-based dishes invariably had eggplants as their main ingredient with abundance of olive oil and they are slow cooked in a traditional earthenware pots. As mentioned earlier, the new foods from the western world replaced eggplants giving birth to so many pisto like dishes around the world.

The French have their famous ratatouille and pisto is often known as the Spanish ratatouille due to its worldwide popularity. Undoubtedly, many Spaniards argue that pisto is the predecessor of ratatouille, which travelled from La Mancha through the Basque country into the French territory. Piperade is a typical Basque dish, which is very similar to the pisto.

Similarly, the Turks have their turlu and sakşuka (do not confuse it with shakshuka), the Moroccans have zaalouk, the Greeks have their famous ikaria soufiko, the Italians have ciambrotta and the Sicilians have their own special – caponata.

Within Spain, we have samfania from the Catalan region and tumbet from Mallorca, which are the local variations of pisto.

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 small potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 4 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar, or to taste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add potato and bell peppers, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add zucchini cook and stir for 5 minutes more.

Add tomatoes, stirring well to combine the mixture together. Cover and simmer until the mixture has softened, about 15 minutes. Add sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Increase heat and cook, stirring continually, to allow the mixture to thicken to desired consistency.

Notes about this recipe

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Pisto Manchego

I hope everyone’s been having a fantastic weekend – around Cincinnati we have a giant Labor Day fireworks display along with a huge Labor day picnic (that my husband incidentally helps organize) but the rain has been sprinkling on and off for the past two days, i.e. the weather has not been cooperating with all of our standard outdoor activities.

Labor Day started in 1882 in New York City by the Central Labor Union and was officially recognized by Congress in 1894. The entire holiday is dedicated to the workers that made the USA great, the men and women who were and still are the backbone of the country.

In that spirit I’d like to present this Pisto Manchego, a Spanish sort of vegetable stew.

I’m sure you thinking, “What? What does a Spanish vegetable type stew have to do with American workers?” Here’s my thought process, this is the kind of dish that working men and women can easily put together, while sticking to a budget that gives you that feeling of deep soul satisfying yummy-ness as you eat it.

It seems simple, but is so much more than the sum of its parts. Served with a medium fried egg on top with the perfect runny yolk to mix in and tie all the vegetables together, plus some simple whole grain bread on the side and you end up with one awesome dinner that everyone ends up gobbling up.

For lunches, I hardboiled eggs, one for each portion, and then the eggs were peeled, quickly crumbled and mixed it. Plus due to the very nature of this dish it was, dare I say it, one of those dishes that only improves when eaten as a leftover lunch.

One caveat is that the dish isn’t the quickest – keep in mind that you’ll spend around 20 minutes chopping, 15 minutes of cooking and about 30 minutes of simmering (but at least that part is hands off) so for the super busy, they may want to keep this as a weekend meal versus a weeknight. Or even better, feel free to double it and make it on Sunday for a super simple make ahead Monday or Tuesday night dinner (just wait to cook the eggs until you’re actually serving it).

How do you serve Pisto?

This Spanish vegetable stew is enjoyed warm, served with eggs for breakfast. It also goes well with bread and manchego cheese. Some people enjoy this delicacy as a side meal alongside fish or meat. Generally, if you’re looking for a fantastic vegetable delicacy for your vegetarian or gluten-free diet, it is an excellent choice.

The Spanish vegetable stew can also spruce up your lunch when served alongside sausages or grilled chicken, thanks to its great taste when served cold.

  1. Slice the zucchini in small pieces.
  2. In the same way, peel and chop the onion.
  3. Clean the peppers. Be careful of removing all the seeds. Then, slice in small pieces.
  4. Blanch the tomatoes by making a cross cut at the bottom and then placing them in boiling water. After a few minutes, take the tomatoes away, peel them, and remove the seeds. Slice in small pieces.
  5. Place a pan to warm over mid fire. Pour an oil trickle on it and once it is warm add all the vegetables besides the tomatoes. Cook for about 25 minutes.
  6. Once the vegetables have poached or show a transparent color, then it is time to add the tomato. Stir thoroughly and cook for approx. more 10 minutes.
  7. Make an opening in the center of the pan putting the pisto away and add one raw egg.
  8. Cover and take away only once you consider the egg is done. Add a pinch of salt and then is ready to be served with a tasty bread!

The quantities of the ingredients in this recipe can be vary to taste. Add different spices and aromatic herbs like a pinch of sweet paprika, turmeric, black pepper, thyme leafs, etc.

If you liked this recipe of Pisto Manchego we advise you not to miss more Vegetables recipes and dont forget download free Our App here.

Bubbling Lot

While traveling through Spain, our tour stopped at Puerto Lapice, La Mancha, which is the birthplace of Don Quijote. We ate lunch at a small restaurant, which is where I tried pisto manchego. It was such a good dish! At the restaurant, they served it with crusty, fresh bread that you use to scoop up the pisto manchego. It is tasty hot or cold.

It does take a bit of time (around 20-30 minutes) to completely cook the vegetables until they are soft! Just make sure that you use really nice, flavorful tomatoes. I made this recipe using one red bell pepper and one green one, although you can use any type you like. You can also add garlic and onion if you choose, although I find that the combination of these vegetables is really tasty. Once the vegetables are cooked, salt and pepper to taste. If you find that the tomatoes taste bland, you can add some tomato paste.


Love Love Love this recipe. I have been making it for years and Iɽ say at least 20 times. It's just a great basic recipe and it's my go-to. I add 2 chopped green onions if I have them available. I've added corn before but it increases cooking time and makes it a little wet. This last time I didn't have enough oil so I added butter and it was Amazing!! I usually add extra pickled jalapenos since we like spicy food. I drizzled some honey (1 TB) in the last 5 minutes of baking when I made this yesterday and it made the house smell wonderful. If you use a fancy cheese, this will taste better. I used an artisan cheddar and it was noticeably better. You can use really any kind of cheese you have in the fridge, but I dare say freshly shredded is superior.

Honestly, I didn't care for this much. Usually I find sweet and spicy/salty can mix well together, but that wasn't the case here. It was crumbly and the jalapenos seemed to actually detract from the flavour rather than add to it. I might try this one again without them and modify the other ingredients, but if that doesn't work I'll have to find something else.

I've made this twice now, and both times, it came out kind of greasy and heavy. Either I'm doing something wrong, or there is just way too much oil in the recipe. Will try again before moving on to a different recipe.

Great spin on cornbread. I added some thawed corn and more jalepenos. I put it into loaf pans and it definitely took at least 35 minutes maybe a little more to cook all the way through.

Best cornbread ever! Made it for a party, added about 1/2 C of thawed frozen corn and another tbsp of so of minced jalapenos. Highly recommend!

Tasted good, but a little greasy. Like the idea of using corn instead of cheese and will try that next time. Easy to make. The 30 minutes it took to bake allowed time to BBQ chicken breasts and to prepare & steam vegetables. Also added a few more jalapenos. My market carries "tamed" pickled jalapenos - they had flavor and texture, but not too much heat.

I thought this recipe was okay but not outstanding. I made muffins (cooked in 15 minutes). I used 3 tablespoons of minced pickled jalapeno, and I thought the heat in the muffins was perfect. It was the cheese flavor that I missed. With all of the cheese in the recipe (I used a good sharp cheddar), I expected more presence. I might give this recipe another try and add some whole corn to the mix. I just didn't think the overall flavor was that interesting.

Per the directions we made this with gouda instead of manchego because we had a block sitting around. We enjoyed it, the corn bread was pretty moist and tasty. Didn't have a ton of heat, but a nice amount. Definitely wasn't hard to make either. The cheese just wasn't all that prevalent and we wouldn't add the additional calories again I don't think.

YUM! This smelled so good coming out of the oven and the cheese was all melty and delicious. I followed the recipe exactly except I used half cheddar/half pepper jack (couldn't find manchego). I also added some extra fresh chopped jalapeno for some heat. Definitely way moister and more flavorful than other cornbreads. The only thing Iɽ suggest is maybe adding more sugar. Enjoy!

Loved these! I made them to go with white chicken chili, but can't wait to make them alongside barbecue or Brunswick stew. A little pricey with the Manchego so I'll try it with Gouda. See the whole story at

That is the best cornbread recipe I've found. I made it with gouda as I couldn't find Manchego. It's best hot out of the oven. Very easy to make.

Really delicious and so easy to whip up! I used a nice aged cheddar instead of manchego and used a bit more than the recipe specified. Made it a few times as per the recipe, then tried baking individually in muffin tins and loved it. Bake for 15-17 minutes instead if you try this. Used a gluten-free flour mix and almond milk and it was cheesy, jalapeno-y, and delicious :)

Very good but could use some more oomph. Iɽ add more pepper, more cheese next time. I also put an ear or two of fresh corn in and I liked the result.

oh yum! had this for a 4th of July bash and the question kept coming up " this can't be corn bread- it must be corn cake!" rich and delicious. must make again!

This is a wonderful recipe and I would give it 3.5 forks if that option were available. I did not have the cheese specified and used a sharp cheddar in it's place. Very moist, flavorful and attractive to boot. Bread took 28 minutes to cook.

I loved this recipe after I tweaked it just a little bit. I am not a fan of manchengo, but I LOVE Cabot's chipotle cheddar and rather than using jalapenos, I used canned green chiles. The combination of the sweet chipotle and the mellow green chiles is out of this world, and 10 minutes later there is just a hint of heat still in my throat. Can't wait to see what people think at the bbq this afternoon. Happy Memorial Day!

I loved this recipe. I altered it a bit. Using fresh Jalapenos and tripled the quantity of diced fresh peppers than what was called for and it could have been more. Also added 1 cup of frozen Corn Kernals that were defrosted and drained. The cheese I used was a shredded mixture of 4 cheeses (Provolone, Asagio,Parmesan & Romano) It may impart a different "cheesiness". But it was cheap and easy to use since you can buy containers of these shredded cheeses and they are great for salads etc. Cooked it a full 30-35 minutes and the top browned slightly and it was DELICIOUS! Am sure it would freeze well too!

Actually Janex is not totally correct. Yes, you can buy jalepenos in a can. They are just sliced, diced peppers in a can. However, pickled jalepenos are in a can and have been seasoned to pickle and are usually whole. The can clearly states "pickled". I can only find them at the latino markets. They sell for about $1.60 a can and usually have sliced carrots in them too. They are spicy and provide excellent flavor.

To answer endomadre's question - pickled jalapenos are canned jalapenos. I have not tried the recipe yet!

I chose this recipe for the intriguing combination of ingredients in the title. The finished product was less exotic than I had expected, although it is an excellent cornbread recipe. Cornbread, to me, is usually pretty dry and boring, and this was, well, less dry and more flavorful. I would make this again, but I might try fresh, minced jalepenos (what are pickled jalepenos anyway - I used canned) and I wouldn't waste the good Manchego (which I prefer straight-up with a glass of tempranillo). I would use any semi-hard, sharp cheese on hand.

I made this recipe with Gouda because it happened to be cheaper than Manchego at the store. I LOVE it. I added far more jalapenos than called for in the recipe and I think that was a good thing. One of the best things about the recipe is putting tons of cheese on the top before putting the bread in the oven--the resulting melty deliciousness is fabulous. If you're wondering if these different flavors really go together, stop worrying. They are quite harmonious.


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