Slow Cooker Vegan White Bean Stew

Before we indulged in our decadent dessert on Sunday night, we enjoyed a very healthy vegan white bean stew that I made in my slow cooker. Slow cooking is such a great way for me to save time (and money) and still make healthy meals for my family. I’m a big fan of making a big pot of soup on the weekend that will serve as my lunches for the coming week.

We’ve cut down on meat and poultry over the last two or three years, and I’m ready to branch out from all the beans I cook. (I’m sure I will still make a pot once a week because we really do love them.) So watch for more slow cooker recipes to come as I get creative with it. My mind is swirling with all sort of ideas for healthy meals I want to try to convert to using my slow cooker.

In the meantime, Kalyn’s Slow Cooker From Scratch is a great repository of fantastic slow cooker recipes.  (I can’t wait to make her Indian-Spiced Slow Cooker Red Lentil Soup with Spinach and Coconut Milk.)  I know this is going to be fun!

This stew is really flavorful.  I used a variation on my Slow Cooker Black Beans to make the white beans.  I’m telling you–add aromatics when you cook dry beans it they will have so much more flavor.  It’s impossible to go wrong when you start with flavorful beans as a base for a soup or stew.  For this I started with diced carrots, celery, onions, fresh garlic and dried herbs.  I used larger white beans so they took a little longer to cook than black beans or smaller white navy beans.  Keep that in mind if you use a different kind of bean.  Another big flavor boost comes from the canned tomatoes.  I used my favorite Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes.

Update 09/02/14 – NOTE: The recipe does call for 2 Tablespoon of salt. I use a ratio of 1 Tablespoon per pound of dry beans. It sounds like a lot of salt, but by the time the beans absorb some and the rest is in the cooking liquid, and the vegetables are added in, it’s about right. You can start with less – 1 Tablespoon – and add more at the end.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Slow Cooker Vegan White Bean Stew
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Quick and easy vegan white bean stew made in a slow cooker.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Serves: 10-12 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. white beans
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 large celery stalks, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. each: dried rosemary, thyme, oregano
  • 10-12 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. salt (according to taste, can start with 1 Tablespoon and add more at end if needed)
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes (I like Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted)
  • 5-6 cups (or more) roughly chopped leafy greens (spinach, chard, kale)
  • Rice, polenta, or bread for serving
Instructions
  1. Sort through and rinse beans several times in cool water. Add to the slow cooker along with the diced carrots, celery, onions, garlic, bay leaf and dried herbs. Add the water. (Use less for a thicker stew, more for more of a soup.) Cover and cook on high for 3 hours, or low for 6 hours. Remove lid from slow cooker and add the salt and pepper, and diced tomatoes. Let cook for another 1-1½ hours, or until beans are very soft. (If they are already soft after the initial cooking time, different kinds of beans may vary in cooking time, then add the tomatoes and greens and serve immediately.) Before serving, stir in the chopped greens.
  2. Serve over hot cooked rice, polenta, or with bread.
  3. Makes a lot--enough for at least 10-12 servings. Freeze half for later or invite friends over.

We like beans with rice almost always, but I’ve also served similar stews served over polenta.  But there is still something comforting about spooning up a big ladle full of flavorful stew chock full of healthy veggies and eating it with rice.  I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it.

Other tasty recipes using white beans:
Heirloom Verdina Bean Salad
White Beans with Carrot and Radish Top Gremolata and Pan-Roasted Veggies
Quick Roasted Chicken and White Beans
Provencal Winter Squash with White Beans
Mushroom White Bean Tostada from Dine and Dish
White Bean Dip from David Lebovitz
Farro and Kale Salad with White Beans and Sun-Dried Tomatoes from The Perfect Pantry
Vegetable Soup with Pesto Gruyere Toasts from me for Petit Elefant
Creamy White Bean and Kale Risotto-Style Stew from Food Nouveau

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19 Responses to “Slow Cooker Vegan White Bean Stew”

  1. mountain mama cooks February 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    This looks delicious, Lindsey! I’m always looking for healthy slow cooker recipes!

  2. Kalyn Denny February 14, 2013 at 1:42 am #

    This looks delicious, and thanks for the shout-out for Slow Cooker from Scratch!

  3. Anonymous April 8, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    Do you think it would work well to cut the recipe in half?

  4. Katie May 12, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    Yum this was so good! I made it today. I made only half the recipe and it took about 5 hours on low to cook.

  5. Lindsey Johnson May 15, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    I’m so glad you liked it Katie!

  6. Laura January 3, 2014 at 4:30 am #

    do you soak the beans overnight first?

  7. Lindsey Johnson January 3, 2014 at 4:34 am #

    Hi Laura!

    No need to soak the beans first. I have found it doesn’t make much of a difference in the cooking time, so I stopped doing it. Feel free to do it if that’s your preference. It certainly won’t alter the recipe other than the beans may cook a tiny bit faster.

    • Hazel November 22, 2014 at 11:29 am #

      Hi Lindsey
      In the uk we don’t have anything called ‘white beans’
      Are they the same as haricot beans? Could I use canned beans instead?

      Thanks

      • Lindsey Johnson November 22, 2014 at 11:32 am #

        Hi Hazel! Yes, they are the same as haricot beans. Canned would work fine, just be sure to reduce the water by quite a lot since the beans won’t be soaking up all the liquid. (You probably already knew that!)

  8. samantha May 11, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

    this was wonderful! it made SO MUCH which will be nice this week as easy meals to take to work. thanks for the recipe!

  9. Sam May 13, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    Hi Lindsey! This looks SO delicious. I can’t wait to make it! I’m wondering how many ounces the “large” can of diced tomatoes that you used was. Thank you!!

    • Lindsey Johnson May 13, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

      Hi Sam! A large can is 28 ounces, or about 3 cups. Let me know how you like it!

  10. Danna Vitt September 2, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    Made this stew last night and it was a huge hit with my family. Used kale as the greens in my inaugural attempt at this recipe and it was delicious. And it made enough that I have a lot left over for this week. One question: is 2 Tablespoons of salt correct? Just want to make sure. Thank you for this recipe, it will become a staple.

    • Lindsey Johnson September 2, 2014 at 8:28 am #

      Hi Danna! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Yes, it really is 2 Tablespoons of salt. One tablespoon per 1 pound of dry beans is the ratio I use whenever I cook beans in the slow cooker. If that was too salty for your taste, you can definitely use less. I’ll go back up into the recipe and add a note. :)

      • Danna Vitt September 21, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

        Thanks for your suggestion about the salt, Lindsey. This recipe is so delicious. In the last 3 weeks I’ve made it twice with kale and once with spinach. The love the aroma that fills the house during the last two hours of cooking. This stew is 5+ stars!

        • Lindsey Johnson September 22, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

          Hi Danna! Oh, that makes me so, so happy! I’m ready to make a big batch this week to put in the freezer for quick lunches. I really appreciate you coming back to tell me! xo

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