If you're short on time, consider making this delicious vegan Bean Stew. It's not only a quick and easy dish, but it definitely doesn't compromise on flavor either. Plus, it's hearty, comforting, and absolutely nourishing making it perfect for the family. And what's best is that it's also healthy!
This stew is perfect for anyone looking for a nutritious meal that's easy to make and tastes great at the same time. It's my go-to recipe for busy weeknights and the best part is that you can easily add in any veggies you have lying around, or customize the spices to change things up.
This comfort food recipe is delicious and is sure to become your go-to healthy meal. It's a dish that will truly satisfy both your taste buds and your cravings for a wholesome, nourishing meal.
What sets this White Bean stew from other recipes is that the ingredient list is very short and simple. In fact, you might already have them in your pantry.
Read on to learn exactly how to make this delicious white bean stew today!
What is a Bean Stew?
Bean stew is a filling soup packed with different veggies, seasoned broth, and, of course, white beans! It's packed with delicious, nutritious plant-based ingredients and your body will thank you for nourishing it with such wonderful ingredients!
White beans are a nutritious powerhouse and are high in protein and fiber. But just because something is healthy doesn't have to taste horrible! This bean stew tastes wonderful and is quite simple to prepare. You cook everything in one pot, so cleaning up is easy too!
What's best is that you can customize it to your preference and add whichever veggies your family loves or the ones you have at hand. It's truly a nourishing dish that's also comforting.
Why This White Bean Stew Recipe Works
- Vegan: If you've always been looking for a delicious stew recipe that's also vegan, then this is the one for you. It's my go-to recipe for busy weekdays and tastes incredible every single time.
- Nutritious: White beans provide plenty of nutrition and plant-based protein and they will keep you full and satisfied longer.
- Quick and easy: What's best is that this recipe can be easily made quickly. If you make this dish with canned beans, it'll be ready in less than 30 minutes.
What You Need to Make Bean Stew At Home
All you need are some incredibly simple, pantry-staple ingredients to make this delicious beans stew recipe at home.
Here's an overview of the specific ingredients for this recipe. For the exact ingredients and measurements, please scroll to the recipe card below.
- Beans: First of all, of course, we'll need some beans for this delicious bean stew. You have a ton of options to choose from, but I've used Cannellini beans. They have a soft and creamy texture when cooked, which adds a delightful creaminess to the stew. Check out the variations section below to find out about other types of beans you can use.
- Water: We'll also need some water. It acts as the base liquid for the stew, providing a neutral canvas to absorb the flavors from other ingredients. You can also easily adjust the consistency with it.
- Olive oil: You'll also need some extra virgin olive oil. We'll be using it to saute our onions and garlic for the best-flavored bean stew.
- Onion: We'll be adding an onion to the stew as well. It serves as the aromatic base for the stew and will add depth and complexity to the overall flavor profile.
- Garlic: You'll also need some garlic. Its pungent and slightly spicy flavor profile adds depth and complexity to the dish.
- Bell pepper: We'll be using some bell peppers as well. Although red bell pepper makes for a pretty red-colored stew, yellow or orange bell peppers will work here as well. When cooked in the stew, they retain some of their sweetness while softening slightly.
- Tomato juice: We'll also be using some tomato juice. It'll add a natural acidity to the stew and while balancing the richness of the beans and other ingredients.
- Italian seasoning: You can actually use any dry herbs that you have. If you don't have Italian seasoning, you can throw in dry oregano, thyme, or even rosemary.
- Cayenne pepper: To add the right level of heat, we'll also be using some cayenne pepper in our stew. You can easily add more if you want your stew to be spicier.
- Salt and pepper: For seasoning, we'll be using some simple kosher salt and black pepper. They will help bring out all the flavors while balancing them out perfectly.
- Parsley: For garnishing, we'll be using some freshly chopped parsley that will not only make our stew look great but also taste fresh.
How to Make Bean Stew Step by Step
Making this nourishing bean stew recipe at home is super easy and will give you great results every single time. Here's how to make it step by step:
1. Start off by soaking your white beans. Rinse your white beans and add them to a large bowl. Fill the bowl with water. It should cover the beans completely. Leave it on the counter for at least 8 hours or better overnight to expand.
2. Cook the Cannellini beans by filling a large saucepan with water. Add beans and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook on a medium low heat for 60-90 minutes until beans are tender. 15 minutes before the beans are ready, stir in ½ teaspoon of salt. Drain the beans and set them aside for now.
3. Next, heat olive oil in a large non-stick pan and over a medium heat. Add onion and sauté stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes until the onion is translucent. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.
4. Finally, add bell pepper, beans, tomato juice, Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, the remaining salt and pepper. Bring the stew to a boil and give everything a nice stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 20 minutes.
5. When the white bean stew is ready, turn off the heat, sprinkle it with parsley and serve with some crusty or toasty bread.
Your delicious Bean Stew is ready to be served.
Tips For Making the Best Bean Stew Every Single Time
Soak the beans: If you're using dry Cannellini beans, be sure to soak them in water for at least 8 hours before cooking. This helps soften the beans and reduces the cooking time. Drain and rinse the soaked beans before adding them to the stew.
Salt your beans: When cooking white beans, don't forget to salt them. Properly salted beans retain their shape better and develop a more delicious and balanced flavor.
Adjust the liquid: If at any point during cooking the stew appears too thick or if you prefer a soupier consistency, you can add more tomato juice as mentioned in the recipe notes. Adjust the amount according to your preference, but be careful not to dilute the flavors too much.
Garnish with parsley: Sprinkle the chopped parsley on the stew just before serving to add a fresh and vibrant touch.
🍽 Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! If you need to make dinner fast and have a few cans of white beans on hands, rinse them well and use instead of fresh beans. Your dinner will be ready in less than 30 minutes.
Yes. Otherwise, the cooking time will be really long. It's easier to soak the beans overnight rather than babysitting a pot of beans that have been cooking on the stove for hours.
Another benefit of soaking the beans is that water helps neutrilize lectins. These are the proteins found in all plants. They bind to carbohydrates and sometimes can cause stomach discomfort. In addition, some studies suggest that lectins prevent the absorption of important minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc.
Good news is soaking and then boiling the beans destroys active lectins almost entirely.
Yes! Beans are one of the healthiest plant-based foods. White beans provide a whopping 10 grams of fiber per half-cup serving. Given that most people who eat a standard American diet are deficient in fiber, eating more beans is a very good way to lower harmful LDL cholesterol which is linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
Crusty bread: Serve the bean stew with slices of crusty bread or a freshly baked baguette. The bread can be used for dipping into the stew, sopping up the flavorful broth, or simply enjoyed alongside each spoonful. It adds a delightful textural contrast and makes for a satisfying meal.
Rice or grains: Accompany the stew with cooked rice, quinoa, or your favorite grains. These can be served as a side dish or as a bed for the stew, allowing the flavors to mingle. The grains absorb the delicious stew juices, providing an additional element of heartiness and serving as a base for the beans and vegetables.
Side salad: Pair the stew with a refreshing side salad to add a crisp and fresh element to the meal. Consider a simple green salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and a light vinaigrette. The salad provides a nice contrast to this warm and savory white bean soup.
Yogurt or sour cream: Top the bean stew with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream just before serving. This adds a creamy and tangy element that balances the flavors and adds richness to the dish. It can also help cool down the spiciness if you've added cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
Fresh herbs: Garnish the stew with additional chopped fresh parsley or other herbs like basil, cilantro, chives, or some rosemary sprig. The herbs add a burst of freshness and a pop of color to the dish, enhancing the overall presentation and providing a fragrant aroma.
Squeeze of lemon: Just before serving, squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over the stew. The citrusy tang brightens the flavors and adds a refreshing touch. It can help enhance the taste of the beans, vegetables, and herbs in the stew.
Recipe Variation Ideas for Bean Stew
This white bean stew is absolutely delicious as is, but if you're looking to customize the flavor here are a few variation ideas you can try:
Different beans: While the recipe calls for Cannellini beans, feel free to experiment with other white bean varieties like Great Northern beans or navy beans. They have similar tastes and nutritional profiles even though they're slightly smaller in size. You can use either dry beans or canned beans. But keep in mind that if you choose the latter, the cooking time will be significantly reduced. You can also add other types of beans such as pinto beans to your delicious stew.
Other veggies: If you want to add more vegetables to the stew, consider adding diced carrots, celery, potatoes, leaks, peas, or even zucchini. These vegetables can add extra flavor, texture, and nutritional value to the dish. Simply sauté them along with the onion and garlic before adding the beans.
Dried herbs: While Italian seasoning is recommended, don't hesitate to experiment with other herbs and spices to suit your taste preferences. Fresh herbs like basil or thyme can be added at the end of cooking for a burst of fresh flavor.
Spices: You can also adjust the level of spiciness to your preference by altering the amount of cayenne pepper or substituting it with other spices. You can try using smoked paprika, chili powder, or a pinch of chipotle powder for a smoky and slightly spicy flavor profile.
White bean stew should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
The stew also freezes well. Divide it among freezer-friendly bags, lay it flat in a freezer, and freeze it for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating it on the stove.
If you make this recipe, please leave me a comment below and rate it. I always appreciate the feedback. Also, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
If you're looking for a quick overview of the recipe, please check out my Simple White Bean Stew web-story.
White Bean Stew
- 1 c dry Cannellini beans or 2 (15-oz) cans Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ c water
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion finely minced
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 c tomato juice
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper or more
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoon parsley chopped
Soak the beans for the stew
- Rinse your Cannellini beans and add them to a large bowl. Fill the bowl with 6 c of water and leave it for at least 8 hours to expand.
Cook the beans
- Drain the expanded beans. Fill a large pot with 6 cups of water, add beans and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook on a medium low heat for 60-90 minutes until beans are tender. 15 minutes before the beans are ready, stir in ½ teaspoon of salt. Drain the beans.
Sauté the onion and garlic
- Heat olive oil in a large non-stick pan and over a medium heat. Add onion and sauté stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes until the onion is translucent. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.
Add bell pepper and beans
- Add bell pepper, beans, tomato juice, Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper. Bring the stew to a boil and give everything a nice stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 20 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, sprinkle white bean stew with a parsley and serve with some crusty bread or rice.
- Beans. Although in this white bean stew recipe I used Cannellini beans, you can also prepare it with Great Northern Beans. They have similar taste and nutritional profile. Although Great Northern Beans are slightly smaller in size. When cooking white beans, don't forget to salt them. Properly salted beans retain their shape better and develop a more delicious and balanced flavor;
- Italian seasoning. You can actually use any dry herbs that you have. If you don't have Italian seasoning, you can throw in dry oregano, thyme or even rosemary;
- Bell pepper. Although red bell pepper makes for a pretty red colored stew, yellow or orange bell peppers will work here as well
- Cayenne pepper. You can replace it with ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
- Tomato juice. If at any point, there's not enough liquid in a stew, you can add more tomato juice.