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Spicy White Bean Stew

$7.26 Recipe/$1.82 Serving

Spicy bean stew is quick, easy and so filling! This healthy spicy white bean stew is ready in under 20 minutes with pantry ingredients! Easy to modify too based on what you have in your pantry/fridge. Once you try this tomato white bean kale soup you are going to want to make it every week!

Spoonful of spicy white bean soup over the bowl.

Why you will love this recipe

  • Quick and easy recipe – this recipe has very few steps and is quite easy to throw together. It’s healthy, filling and delicious and would be perfect for meatless Mondays or a simple meal prep for lunches during the week.
  • Simple ingredients – this spicy white bean stew has simple ingredients and many different options on how to modify the ingredients based on what you might have on hand. The base of this soup does use chimichurri sauce (which you can find at stores like Trader Joe’s or make yourself in under 5 minutes). If you don’t have chimichurri, check out the other seasoning ideas below!
  • Great for meal prep – this budget friendly spicy bean stew is great for meal prep too! You can easily double the recipe and freeze half for later. This soup tastes even better the next day, making it great for meal prep lunches too!
  • Healthy and delicious – this soup is not only incredibly flavorful but it’s also naturally vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free. It’s low in fat and high in fiber and plant based protein. You can serve this with premade rice or quinoa to make it even more filling.
Ingredients to make spicy white bean stew.
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Ingredients

  • Onions and garlic – onions and garlic provide the base of flavor for this spicy white bean stew. When I cook the onions and garlic I just use a bit of olive oil spray or avocado oil spray, but you can also use about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to cook them in.
  • Vegetable broth – vegetable broth is used instead of water in this recipe. The vegetable broth adds so much flavor and helps the soup taste like it’s been cooking all day long (instead of in under 20 minutes). You can also use chicken broth or stock or bone broth if you are not vegan or vegetarian.
  • Diced tomatoes – I like to use fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles but you can use regular diced tomatoes or fire roasted diced tomatoes in this recipe. Be sure to drain the can of as much liquid as possible before adding it to the soup.
  • White beans – to keep this recipe quick and easy, I recommend using canned beans for this chimichurri soup. Use whatever white beans you have on hand (cannellini, great northern beans, chickpeas or butter beans). You can also make dried beans in the instant pot and drain them before using them in the soup.
  • Chimichurri sauce – chimichurri sauce is a condiment that is used regularly in South America. It’s typically served over steak or protein, but I love how much flavor it adds to this soup. The chimichurri I use is a combination of cilantro and parsley, but you can use whatever your go-to chimichurri sauce is. You can now buy chimichurri at Trader Joe’s and you can freeze leftovers if you make a large batch so you always have some on hand.
  • Spices: Salt, garlic powder, crushed red pepper flakes – these spices help to enhance the flavor of the soup and add more spice.
  • Kale – I like to use Tuscan kale (sometimes called dino kale or lacinato kale) but you can also use regular curly kale or even red kale. Be sure to remove all the thick stems before chopping up the kale for this soup. You can also use baby spinach, swiss chard or collard green, all finely chopped.

How to make spicy white bean stew

Start by chopping all the vegetables. Finely chop the onion and garlic. Remove the stem from the kale and chop it into small bite size pieces. I like to also drain the beans and soak them in clean fresh water at this point.

Place a large pot over medium heat. Once the pot is hot, spray with olive oil or avocado oil and add the onions and garlic. Cook 3-4 minutes until translucent and the onions start to leave brown bits at the bottom of the pot.

Before and after cooking the onions and garlic in a white pot.

White the onions are cooking, drain one can of the beans and mash them with a fork.

Fork mashing white beans in a white bowl.

Add about ½ cup of vegetable broth to the pot and scrape the bottom with a spoon or spatula to get off the brown bits. Add the rest of the broth, drained beans, drained diced tomatoes, chimichurri and spices to the pot.

Adding the ingredients to make spicy white bean stew to the pot after deglazing the onions.

Bring the pot to a boil over medium high heat.

Once boiling, add the chopped kale and turn off heat. Serve hot.

White pot filled with soup with chopped kale added to the pot. then stirred in.
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Top tips

  • Be sure to rinse your canned beans well – I rinse them a few times and let them soak in clean fresh water for a minute or two before draining them. I find this helps make them easier to digest as the liquid they are packed in is hard on my digestion.
  • Use a fork or potato masher to crush up a can of beans, this gives a thicker consistency to the stew.
  • The longer you let this soup boil on the stove, the thicker it will get. You can also add an additional can of beans to also make this stew seem thicker.
  • Be sure to remove the thick stem from kale, swiss chard or collard greens before adding them to the soup. The thick stems will not soften quickly in the stew, and they will be chewy, stringy and hard to swallow. Check out my tips below on how to destem and chop kale.
  • If you don’t have chimichurri on hand, you can make your own quite quickly. For this recipe, I used my cilantro chimichurri recipe, but you can use whatever your favorite version is. If you don’t have the ingredients for chimichurri on hand, you can simply omit it and add a splash of red wine vinegar (about 1 tablespoon) and 2 tablespoons of harissa or tomato paste.
Large ladle filled with spicy white bean soup.

What to serve with spicy white bean soup

This hearty soup is very flavorful and filling on it’s own but could also be a great appetizer (especially for a party). Here are some other recipes this soup would pair well with:

Mexican vegetables, spiced black beans and yellow rice for a vegan meal that is souper filling.

Shredded Mexican chicken, cilantro lime quinoa and creamy cilantro lime slaw

Cajun chicken and vegetables paired with red cabbage slaw

Mexican buddha bowl

Instant pot Mexican rice and beans

Mexican black bean lentil burgers and air fryer sweet potato wedges

Other vegetables you could use

  • Baby spinach
  • Broccoli rabe
  • Swiss chard
  • Collard greens
  • Frozen spinach
  • Frozen kale

Other additions to this spicy bean stew

  • Cooked quinoa – cooked quinoa would add more protein and more fiber to this soup. I like to make a large batch of quinoa and freeze it in ½ or 1 cup cubes to use in recipes like this. Tip: you could also cook the quinoa in the soup, but you will need to add an extra 1.5 cups of liquid for each cup of quinoa you add. Once boiling you would add the quinoa and cook for 12-15 minutes).
  • Cooked rice – cooked rice would help to make this soup even more filling and as the stew boils, it would make the stew even thicker. I like to make a large batch of jasmine rice in the instant pot and freeze it in ½ or 1 cup cubes to use in recipes like this. Tip: you could also cook the white jasmine rice in the soup, but you will need to add an extra 1.5 cups of liquid for each cup of rice you add. Once boiling you would add the rice and cook for 12-15 minutes).
  • Avocado – cut the avocado into cubes or slices and add it right before serving.
  • Cooked sausage – cooked chicken sausage or vegan sausage would add more protein to this recipe and also add another layer of flavor.
  • Shredded chicken – adding shredded chicken to this spicy white bean soup would help it be even more filling and packed with protein. I like to make chicken early in the week to use in recipes like this. You can also freeze shredded chicken in ½ -1 cup portions to use in recipes like this.
  • Poached or fried egg – add a poached egg or top the soup with a fried egg for more protein.

Other ways to add spice to this soup

If you don’t have chimichurri sauce to use in this recipe, you can use any of the following instead:

  • 2 tablespoons of Harissa (a paste made from roasted red peppers, chiles, tomato paste and spices)
  • An additional ¼ – ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek chili sauce + 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste + 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes + 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika + 1/2 teaspoon cumin
Large bowl filled with spicy white bean stew with spoon on the side.

Common questions

How to destem kale

The easiest way to destem kale is to pull the leaf away from the stem in one motion from the bottom of the leaf to the top. To do this:

  • Start by tearing away about 1-2 inches of the kale leaf from the bottom of the stem so the stem is free from the leaf.
  • Wrap your pointer finger around the kale stem and pull down from the bottom of the stem towards the top of the leaf. The kale leaf will come off the stem in one piece.
  • Once the stem is removed, you can easily chop the kale into bite size pieces.

Can you use frozen kale or frozen spinach

Yes! If you don’t have any fresh kale or fresh greens to use in this stew, you can use frozen kale or frozen spinach instead. You will want about 1 cup of frozen kale or spinach.

What are the best white beans to use

For this recipe I would recommend any white beans you have on hand. Some great options would be:

  • Cannellini beans
  • Great northern beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Butter beans (large or small)
  • Navy beans

Can you use dried beans

If you only have dried beans on hand, you can make dried beans in your instant pot then use them in this recipe. I have not tried making this stew on the stove or in the instant pot with dried beans (only with canned beans or cooked dried beans).

How to make this in the instant pot

You can make this spicy white bean stew in the instant pot easily.

  1. Start by putting the saute function on the instant pot then spray the insert with olive oil or avocado oil.
  2. Saute the onions and garlic for 3-5 minutes, until translucent and starting to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Turn off the saute function and add ½ cup of broth. Scrape down the bottom of the instant pot well so there are no brown bits left.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients except the kale and put the lid on.
  5. Cook on high pressure for 1 minute. After 1 minute, allow the stew to naturally release pressure at least 10 minutes. You can either manually release pressure or allow the instant pot to naturally release all pressure.
  6. Once pressure has been released, add the kale and stir. Once kale is wilted, serve hot.

Can you double this recipe

Yes you can easily double this recipe as long as you have a large enough pot. You do not need to increase the cooking time of this recipe, but it may take longer for the soup to come up to a boil.

Would this be good for meal prep

Yes! This healthy spicy white bean stew is even better the next day and would be great for meal prep! Since you can make a double batch of this easily, I would recommend freezing some leftovers so you always have something delicious in the freezer for weeks when you can’t prep.

Bowl filled with spicy white bean stew with a spoon in the bowl.

Storing leftovers

Fridge: Store leftover spicy white bean soup in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container.

Freezer: Freeze leftover white bean soup in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. I like to freeze the soup in 1 cup portions using Soupercubes, then once frozen I pop them out of the silicone trays and into a stasher bag. Be sure to always label your freezer bags with the name of the recipe, the date and the use by date.

Substitutions

  • Onions and garlic – For this recipe, you could use yellow onion, white onions or red onions. You can omit the onion or garlic if you don’t have it on hand. You can also use shallots in place of the onion or green onions (the whites and greens would both work well) in place of the onion or garlic. If I don’t have any fresh onion or garlic, I often use about a tablespoon each of dried onion flakes and dried garlic granules to give the soup some flavor.
  • Vegetable broth – if you don’t have any vegetable broth on hand, you can use vegetable stock, chicken broth or stock, bone broth or water if needed.
  • Diced tomatoes – if you don’t have diced tomatoes on hand, you can use canned whole tomatoes that you dice yourself or a can of crushed tomatoes (just know this will slightly change the texture of the soup).
  • Chimichurri sauce – if you don’t have chimichurri sauce on hand but have fresh cilantro and parsley in your fridge, you can make your own chimichurri sauce. Get my go to recipe for cilantro chimichurri here. If you do not have the ingredients to make your own, you can also use harissa paste, tomato paste and spices, or sambal oelek chili sauce in place of the chimichurri. See above for measurements.
  • White beans – you can use cannellini beans, great northern beans, chickpeas, butter beans or navy beans as the white beans in this recipe (they all work well). If you don’t have white beans on hand, you can also use black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans or cooked green lentils in place of the white beans.
  • Kale – If you don’t have kale on hand, you can also use baby spinach, frozen spinach or frozen kale (about 1 cup), broccoli rabe, collard greens or swiss chard.

If you love this recipe, you should try

Instant Pot White Bean Soup

Chimichurri Rice

Green Cauliflower Rice

Mexican Cauliflower White Bean Soup

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below!
White bowl filled with spicy white bean soup.

Spicy White Bean Stew

$7.26 Recipe/$1.82 Serving
Spicy white bean soup is quick, easy and so flavorful! The perfect weeknight meal, ready in under 20 minutes and made with budget friendly ingredients! You won't believe how delicious this healthy soup is! Vegan, gluten free and dairy free and perfect for meal prep too!
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: spicy bean soup, spicy bean stew, spicy white bean soup, spicy white bean stew
Prep Time: 2 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 17 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion - $0.33
  • 4 cloves garlic - $0.24
  • 3 cups vegetable broth - $1.25
  • 2 cans white beans - $1.98
  • 1/3 cup chimichurri - $1.00
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (fire roasted with chiles optional) - $1.29
  • 1 tsp salt - $0.05
  • 1 tsp garlic powder - $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes - $0.02
  • 1/2 bunch kale - $1.00

Instructions

  • Start by chopping all the vegetables. Finely chop the onion and garlic. Destem the kale and chop it into bite size pieces. I like to rinse and drain the beans at this time too.
  • Preheat a large pot over medium heat. When hot, spray with olive oil or avocado oil spray and add onions and garlic. Cook 3-4 minutes.
  • While onions are cooking, drain one can of the beans and mash them in a bowl with a fork or potato masher.
  • Once onion and garlic are translucent and starting to leave brown bits on the bottom of the pot, add about 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and scrape the bottom of the pot.
  • Once the bottom of the pot is clean, add the rest of the ingredients except the kale.
  • Turn the heat to medium high/high and bring to a boil.
  • Once the soup is boiling, add the chopped kale and turn off the heat. Stir until kale is wilted and serve hot.

Notes

To make this spicy white bean soup in the instant pot:
  1. Start by putting the saute function on the instant pot then spray the insert with olive oil or avocado oil.
  2. Saute the onions and garlic for 3-5 minutes, until translucent and starting to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Turn off the saute function and add ½ cup of broth. Scrape down the bottom of the instant pot well so there are no brown bits left.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients except the kale and put the lid on.
  5. Cook on high pressure for 1 minute. After 1 minute, allow the stew to naturally release pressure at least 10 minutes. You can either manually release pressure or allow the instant pot to naturally release all pressure.
  6. Once pressure has been released, add the kale and stir. Once kale is wilted, serve hot.
Top tips
  • Be sure to rinse your canned beans well – I rinse them a few times and let them soak in clean fresh water for a minute or two before draining them. I find this helps make them easier to digest as the liquid they are packed in is hard on my digestion.
  • Use a fork or potato masher to crush up a can of beans, this gives a thicker consistency to the stew.
  • The longer you let this soup boil on the stove, the thicker it will get. You can also add an additional can of beans to also make this stew seem thicker.
  • Be sure to remove the thick stem from kale, swiss chard or collard greens before adding them to the soup. The thick stems will not soften quickly in the stew, and they will be chewy, stringy and hard to swallow. Check out my tips below on how to destem and chop kale.
  • If you don’t have chimichurri on hand, you can make your own quite quickly. For this recipe, I used my cilantro chimichurri recipe, but you can use whatever your favorite version is.
Other ways to add spice to this soup
If you don’t have chimichurri sauce to use in this recipe, you can use any of the following instead:
  • 2 tablespoons of Harissa (a paste made from roasted red peppers, chiles, tomato paste and spices)
  • An additional ¼ – ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek chili sauce + 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste + 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes + 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika + 1/2 teaspoon cumin
Storing leftovers
Fridge: Store leftover spicy white bean soup in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
Freezer: Freeze leftover white bean soup in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. I like to freeze the soup in 1 cup portions using Soupercubes, then once frozen I pop them out of the silicone trays and into a stasher bag. Be sure to always label your freezer bags with the name of the recipe, the date and the use by date.
See how I calculate food cost.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
324
Fat
 
10
g
Carbohydrates
 
44
g
Fiber
 
11
g
Sugar
 
5
g
Protein
 
19
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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