This delicious butter bean stew with walnuts, sun-dried tomato and lemon is packed with flavour and nutritious too! Perfect to batch-cook and freeze.
🍴 Why you will love this recipe
This easy weeknight stew is full of punchy flavours and delicious textures. What's more, it is made from ingredients you probably already have in your cupboards!
Butter beans are nutritional powerhouses. Creamy and nutritious, they are packed with protein, fibre, iron and vitamins to the point of being considered a 'superfood'. They don't have a strong flavour of their own, which works well here as they show off all the other punchy flavours and textures in the stew.
You can enjoy the stew on its own for a hearty lunch, or serve it with steamed greens and a hunk of sourdough for a substantial supper.
📝 What you need
Butter beans are both delicious and nutritious, and very cheap too! If you don't have butter beans to hand you could use cannellini or borlotti beans instead, just as delicious.
Sun-dried tomato paste is so much cheaper than a jar of sun-dried tomatoes, but with all the same intense tomato-ey flavour. If you prefer, you could slice up some sun-dried tomatoes instead or as well as the paste.
Walnuts give both texture and flavour to this stew. Chop them roughly rather than finely, so they don't get lost! If you don't have any to hand you could use cashews instead.
Kale I'm a huge fan of kale - another 'superfood', but you could use spinach, spring greens or cavolo nero if you prefer.
A good, sturdy casserole dish with a lid is ideal for this butter bean stew. My trusty Le Creuset casserole gets used almost every day in our house, and thirteen years later (it was a wedding present!), it looks just the same as it did the day we got it. (Can't say the same about me or Mr F, sadly!!).
👩🏽🍳 How to make your Butter Bean Stew
For a full, printable recipe with ingredients and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this page 👇🏼 .
Finely chop the onion, carrot and celery and fry gently with the crushed garlic for 5 minutes.
Drain and rinse the butter beans, halve the cherry tomatoes and add both to the pan. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Add vegetable stock and sun-dried tomato paste. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove tough stalks from the kale and roughly chop. Roughly chop the walnuts. Add to the stew with the zest and juice of the lemon. Cook for 2 minutes until the kale is just cooked. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve.
🔪 Top Tips & FAQs
Adjust the consistency as the stew cooks. Add a splash of water if it is getting a little dry, and leave the lid off and simmer for an extra few minutes if it needs thickening up.
Chop the walnuts roughly, not too finely or they will get lost in the stew.
Adjust the flavour to your own taste. Keep testing and adjusting the seasoning and lemon juice to your own taste. I often drizzle each portion with a little chilli oil just before serving.
Yes - the stew freezes really well and is perfect for batch-cooking, but I would recommend leaving out the kale and just stirring some kale or spinach through each portion when you defrost and reheat it. You may also need to adjust seasoning when you reheat as freezing dull the flavours.
Yes it would be ideal for slow-cooking. If you can, I would really recommend frying the onion, celery, carrot and garlic over a gentle heat first, then when they are softened, tip them and the beans, tomatoes, stock and tomato paste into the slow cooker. Cook for 3-4 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low. Stir through the lemon, walnuts and kale right at the end of cooking.
It is lovely on its own for a hearty lunch, but for a more substantial dinner I like it with a hunk of sourdough and/or steamed green vegetables - Tenderstem broccoli and green beans are my favourites.
🍽 If you liked that...
.... you might also enjoy these vegan recipes from The Veg Space:
Butter Bean Stew
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 small carrots
- 2 sticks celery
- 2 x 400 g tins butter beans
- 200 g cherry tomatoes
- 250 ml vegetable stock (I use 1tsp vegetable stock powder in 250ml boiling water)
- 2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
- 50 g walnuts
- 1 lemon
- 50 g curly kale
- Heat the oil in a large, lidded casserole or sauté pan.
- Peel, trim and finely chop the onion, carrot and celery, then add to the pan.
- Peel and crush the garlic cloves and add to the pan. Cook gently for 5 minutes until soft.
- Drain and rinse the butter beans and add to the pan. Halve the cherry tomatoes and add to the pan. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock and sun-dried tomato paste, season with salt and black pepper, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time. If the stew becomes too dry at any time just add a splash more water.
- Remove any tough stalks and roughly chop the kale. Roughly chop the walnuts. Add both to the pan.
- Grate the lemon zest into the pan then squeeze in the lemon juice.
- Cook for just 2-3 minutes until the kale is cooked through. Taste and adjust seasoning if required. Serve immediately.
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