This spiced butter bean stew with kale and sweet potato is a rich and warming vegan stew. Tasty, filling and nutritious, this is serious vegan comfort food.
This butter bean stew is warming, filling and easy to make. A one-pot vegan stew that will keep you cosy and warm. Packed with butter beans and sweet potatoes this is a lovely nutritious, tasty stew that the whole family will love.
It's mildly spiced so the kids can enjoy it too. It's great for a quick and tasty weeknight dinner. Perfect on its own or you can add some home-cooked bread if you are particularly hungry.
🍴Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Great Weeknight Dinner - this is perfect for an easy but very tasty weeknight dinner! It's a one pot meal so light on the washing up too!
- Ready in under an hour! - you can have this on the table in under an hour!
- Perfect for the whole family - this stew is mildly spiced so it's suitable for all the family, you can up the heat if you like though.
- A very versatile stew - this is so easy to adapt, you can add more veggies or more beans if you want!
📝 What You'll Need
- Butter beans - also known as Lima beans. I use canned butter beans as they don't need to be cooked, saving some time. You can use dried beans if you want.
- Kale - curly kale of cavo nero works well for this. I prefer curly kale for this one though.
- Sweet potatoes - you just need a couple of sweet potatoes for this. I peel them first and roughly chop them.
- Vegetabes - you'll need one onion, garlic, a couple of large carrots, celery and 2 cans of chopped tomatoes.
- Herbs and spices - for herbs I add fresh thyme and dried bay leaves to this stew and some fresh parsley for serving. For the spices you'll need dried red chilli flakes, smoked paprika, ground cumin and ground cinnamon.
- Stock - I use a vegan vegetable bouilion to make the stock.
🥣 How To Make Butter Bean Stew
1. Start by cooking the onion and celery. Once they are translucent add the garlic and spices, these need to cook for just a minute. Next, add the sweet potato and carrots to the pan.
2. Now add the chopped tomatoes. I always add a little water to the empty cans, give it a swirl to catch any tomatoes or juices left in the can, then add that to the pan. About a quarter of a cup of water into each can should do the trick. Stir in the vegetable stock then add the thyme and bay leaves. You need to cover the pan now and leave it to simmer for about 20 minutes.
3. Check the sweet potatoes, they should be almost cooked now, if not give them another five minutes. If they are done add the beans and stir them into the stew.
4. Add the kale to the stew now, pop the lid back on for another 5 minutes. This will steam the kale and heat up those butter beans. After five minutes take off the lid and stir in the kale.
👩🍳 Top Tips
- Use a pan or pot with a tight-fitting lid. I use a stock pot to make this but you can use a dutch oven or a large saute pan too.
- Stir the stew often so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan or worse burn!
- Chop the sweet potatoes into roughly the same size. That way they will all cook at the same time, larger chunks will take longer to cook, smaller chunks will turn to mush if overcooked.
- Remove any woody stems from the kale, you want tender kale not tough woody bits in your stew.
- Swap the kale for spinach - if you're not fond of kale then you can easily swap it for baby leaf spinach or spring greens if you like. If do you use spinach it will wilt a lot quicker than kale so adjust the timings with this in mind.
- Swap the sweet potatoes of waxy potatoes - if you want to you can easily use waxy potatoes or baby potatoes instead of sweet potatoes. You will need to adjust the cooking time if you do though.
- Don't like butter beans? cannellini beans, borlotti beans or kidney beans will work really well too. You coud mix and match the beans too if you like.
You can make this butter bean stew a day or two in advance. In fact, it tastes even better the day after. Just keep covered in the fridge.
Any leftover stew can be kept in the fridge or you can freeze it. Leave it to cool then transfer it to suitable freezer containers. To defrost the stew, remove it from the freezer 24 hours before you want it and leave it to thaw in the fridge. You can reheat the stew on the hob, just make sure it is piping hot before you serve it.
🍲 More Tasty Comfort Food
If like me you love a good stew, then you'll love my hearty Vegetable Stew, this is one of my favourite recipes and we have it a lot! Another favourite of ours is my Vegan Sausage Casserole with beans, this always goes done a treat! And if you fancy something with some Tex Mex flavours then you'll love my Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole.
Butter Bean Stew with Kale and Sweet Potato
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large white onion (200g) cut in half widthways then sliced
- 1 stalk of celery thinly sliced
- 2 large carrots (260g) peeled then sliced
- 2 medium sweet potatoes (465Gg) peeled then cut into medium cubes
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- ¼ teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 400g cans of chopped/ tomatoes ( 2x 14.5oz cans US)
- ½ cup of vegetable stock (100ml) made with one teaspoon of vegan, gluten-free vegetable bouillon and 100ml/1/2 cup of boiling water.
- 2 cans butter beans/large lima beans (400g cans drained weight 240g) (16oz cooked beans US)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 ½ cups of kale (100g) roughly chopped, woody stems removed.
- 4 or 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 dried bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- A squeeze of lemon
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- flat-leaf parsley for serving chopped
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan. Add the onion and celery and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until they are translucent. About 10 minutes. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and the spices. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes or until the spices release their aroma.
- Add the carrots and sweet potatoes to the pan, and stir well.Next, pour in 2 cans of chopped tomatoes, add a little water to both tins to catch any tomatoes or juice left in the cans and add that to the pan too.Pour in the stock, stir well then add 2 bay leaves, 4 or 5 sprigs of thyme, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Cover the pan then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes check that the sweet potatoes are cooked, then add the butter beans. Stir well. Add the kale to the pan then return the lid and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.Check the season and add a squeeze of lemon juice to the stew. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme stems.Give the stew a good stir, add some chopped parsley to the finished dish then serve immediately with some crusty bread if you like.
- Nutritional Information is approximate and is calculated using an online nutrition tool. It is based on a serving of 4 and does not include bread or rice.
- Butter beans - I use two cans of butter beans/large lima beans if you are in the US. However you could get away with one can if you prefer.
- Pan - I make this stew on the hob, using a deep saute pan with a tight-fitting lid.
- Freezing - This stew can be frozen, just make sure it has cooled fully before freezing. It will keep for up to a month in the freezer. Defrost the stew in the fridge 24 hours before you want to eat it. Reheat it on the hob making sure it is piping hot before you serve it.
- Is this Gluten-Free? Yes it is, just make sure the stock you use is gluten-free.
Really loved this! I was surprised how tasty it was. Also easy to make and easy to add random other veg you want to use up. Perfect ☺️
Hi Sel, I'm so glad you enjoyed it 🙂
I had this for dinner with the family and then lunch for the next two days - really lovely dish. I added quite a bit of chilli for an extra kick, worked well. Off to find my next recipe to try from your great blog.... 🙂
Thank you so much, Elaine! I'm so glad you loved it 🙂
Thank you for a wonderful recipe. Made for our dinner tonight and was absolutely delicious served with sourdough bread. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes
Hi Becky, thank you so much for your lovely comment. I'm so glad you enjoyed the stew x
Made this recipe for dinner tonight, it's really, really tasty. We loved it. Very easy to make too. Definitely recommend that people give it a try.
Hi Elaine, thanks so much for your lovely comment! I'm so glad you enjoyed it x
Made this for a family dinner and we all loved it! Served with jacket potatoes, and then at the leftovers with some pitta bread the next day.
Hi Libby, I'm so glad you all loved it 🙂
I made this last week and loved it! It's really a unique recipe and not like anything else I've made before, which is fun to find. The seasonings and flavor combinations are really delicious. It was easy to make, and it felt so nourishing and hearty. It's hard to find a recipe that's nutritious and healthy while still being very filling and flavorful, but this stew really was all of the above. I got five (almost six) really good-sized portions out of it. I will definitely make this again.
Hi Shauna, thank you so much for your lovely comment. I'm so glad you loved the recipe 🙂
Mmmm this is all the best flavors of fall and so hearty and delicious. Loved this!
wow those butter beans look fantastic and the tomato broth looks so tasty this is my kind of food for the fall and winter
Sounds like comfort food to me! And just in time for the chilly weather. 😉
One of the best vegan stews I've seen recently. It looks amazing and I bet it tastes even better. Great comforting option that is just perfect for this time of the year!
What a great vegetarian dish for fall/winter! I love all the ingredients you used, it looks so packed with delicious flavours. Yum!!
How colorful and delicious this stew is. Would love to try this soon.