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Smoked Paprika White Bean Stew

Mike and I aren’t vegetarian, but we try to eat vegetarian meals two or three nights a week for our health and for environmental reasons.

After countless meals of veggie soup, hummus, lentil stew, eggs every way you can imagine, falafel, grilled cheese (or if you’re Mike, lebaneh (yogurt cheese) with tea, olives, and za’atar), and tofurkey, you start to look for new ideas. (Side Note: If you have a favorite vegetarian meal, please feel free to share!)

Smoked Paprika White Bean Stew 2

We love trying dishes from different cultures. Fabada Asturiana is a bean stew from Asturia that’s made with creamy fabada beans, which are similar to butter beans. Since Mike and I don’t eat pork, it’s ironic that this stew typically contains several different types of pork: always Spanish chorizo and morcilla (also known as black pudding or blood sausage), and sometimes prosciutto, bacon, salt pork, ham hocks, and/or longaniza (which is another type of Spanish sausage).

Smoked Paprika White Bean Stew 3

I wanted to recreate this dish in a vegetarian way such that the flavors of chorizo are echoed and complimented in the broth, which is why I used the particular herbs and spices that I did. I’m not calling this recipe an authentic Asturian Bean Stew, but for being vegetarian (vegan, actually), it does a pretty good job of mimicking the flavors found in the authentic dish.

I like to eat this stew along with garlicky braised kale and crusty bread. Mike likes to eat it topped with chopped onion and tomato and a healthy drizzle of olive oil, along with Arabic bread. Either way, it’s a definite winner.

Smoked Paprika White Bean Stew 4

Smoked Paprika White Bean Stew {Vegan}
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 6 servings
  • 1¾ cups (350 g) dried white beans or butter beans (I used Great Northern beans)
  • 4 to 5 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 4 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground saffron or a generous pinch of saffron threads
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  1. Soak the beans overnight in cold water (1 part beans, 3 parts water).
  2. The next day, drain the beans and add them to a heavy-bottomed 3-quart pot with a lid. Add 4 cups vegetable stock to the beans along with the olive oil, onion, garlic, thyme, paprika, cumin, black pepper, saffron, cinnamon, and bay leaf.
  3. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, and let it gently simmer until the beans are tender, about 1½ to 2 hours, stirring every so often and adding up to 1 cup more stock if necessary to make sure the beans are always covered with liquid.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the salt. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. Serve.

Update (February 18, 2015): I made this dish again and perfected the recipe and snapped a few pictures, so I decided to update both the recipe and the photos in this post.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. Loves how this stew mimics the taste of chorizo. Really hearty. Definitely be making it again.

  2. BBQ Queens says:

    Such a delicious hearty looking soup !

  3. i Love bean stews, i’m definitely making this, thanks for the recipe

  4. I was checking the web for related recipes, since I have this simmering away now. I saw you were trying to keep it vegetarian. Since you don’t want to use Chorizo, you can try just to add some spanish smoked paprika (sweet) aka pimenton. A little goes a long way, but a major flavor boost. Also, in Jose Andres recipe, he uses a pinch of saffron. Saffron and Pimenton – great spanish flavors.

  5. I was not sure if you wanted me to link this up or you were just sharing. I did link it up but I will remove it, if I am mistaken.

    This is a warming way to use those beans.

  6. even the fact that i’ve never even heard of asturia (shameful, i know, but geography was never my best subject) can stop be from being utterly smitten with this stew. i LOVE beans. :)

  7. I don’t know how I missed this but it looks good and it would make a great vegetarian dinner.

    I had to come back and tell you to try that cranberry shortbread cake, on the Dorie bakers’ blogs. We all are agreeing that it may be the best cake, we made. Although, I am not sure if it is a giant cookie or cake. All, I know, is that we love it. I don’t usually bring up a recipe like this.

  8. Such a delicious hearty looking soup! I love soups in the winter. I feel they really stick to the ribs :)

  9. I love bean casserole and this recipe looks very yummy. I have never been a doughnut fan, but I do like pumpkin so think I may try this recipe out. Diane

  10. This would be perfect on this chilly, rainy day. Creamy beans that are so good for you are such a pleasure in winter.

  11. I love the bean stew and those soup crocks too! It sounds perfect with kale and crusty bread – yum!

  12. Oh Faith ,a absolutely delicious hearty stew u have here!
    Loving the creamy Fabada beans already!

  13. This bean stew looks so inviting, total comfort food. Perfect for this weather!

  14. This looks like such a delicious bean stew! Yum! We love to make roti with tortillas. So good!

    Thanks for stopping by. It’s great to meet you! Have a wonderful weekend!

  15. Your bean stew looks so hearty and delicious Faith! And I like the kale alongside it – I just made soup with white beans and kale – they’re a nice combo. Do you eat bean burgers? Or how about roasted veggies tossed with pasta or couscous?

  16. This bean stew looks great & yes, ideal for meatless Mondays – or any night of the week. It would be perfect for lunch box to-go meals too. That pinch of cinnamon is a great spice here :) xo

  17. What lovely flavors…I am sure I would be crazy for this type of bean dish. I make several bean soups, and you are right, sometimes we need to think up something a bit different when eating vegetarian. Looks fantastic :)
    And congratulations to your winner :)

  18. This reminds me of not having a bean stew for a long while. It’s a great autumn dish!

  19. Nice one, Faith. We’re having our first cool fall day today, and this recipe would really hit the spot for tonight. The dinner menu at our house also typically includes two or three vegetarian meals a week. So good, so good for us, and budget minded too.

  20. I love this recipe…I am a huge fan of white beans. And I also love your soup bowls!

  21. I really do like bean soups, Faith. And this one looks like comfort food personified. Great recipe!

  22. I love this attempt to mimic pork but in an all-natural no preservatives kind of way! You did a fantastic job and when I want my next bacon fix…I’m going to make this instead!

  23. Love that creamy bean soup. Looks very delicious. I’m not sure whether I can find here but I suppose I can try with other beans. Would love to try. Thanks very much for dropping by while I was away. Hope you have a great weekend.

  24. I don’t think I would ever get sick of lentil soup, but this stew looks like a great addition to my vegetarian repertoire! I love the flavors!

  25. Oh yes, this would be perfect with some crusty sourdough bread. I adore bean soup, especially as the days get colder. My husband is a vegetarian, so we eat meatless most nights of the week. Thank you for sharing another great recipe with me!

  26. 5 Star Foodie says:

    This bean stew looks so wonderfully delicious! I recently discovered that my daughter loves all kinds of beans so I’ll be bookmarking this to make for her soon!

  27. I sure don’t mind a bowl of this bean stew right now. It is cold here and thick rich stews like this one would be perfect to warm the tummy. Congrats to M.J.

  28. Mmmm, this looks just like the dishes I was raised on! In the winter we’d have pots and pots of beans along with huge chunks of buttered cornbread. My favorite vegetarian meal is falafel smothered with tzatziki in pita pockets. Second place is bean and cheese burritos!

  29. Congratulations to M.J. Jacobsen. This recipe sound very yummy and great for winter. Diane

  30. wow- this looks totally delicious. Heavy on the beans- my kind of soup! I’ve never heard of anything like this. Vegetarian meals are (obviously) my usual, but Josh really enjoys them too. They open up the possibilities of what dinner can be. Hope you two have a great weekend

  31. This is my kind of food!!!Comforting and with delicious flavor.

  32. Faith,

    Love it. I grew up eating Fabada. It is one of my favorite dishes of all time. Great job with your version. I need to try it with Arabic bread.

    There is a product called Soyrizo that I buy in Whole Foods. It has some great spice flavor and is a good alternative to chorizo.

    I shared this post on my facebook page. Two thumbs way up!

  33. This looks so warm and inviting. I love your idea of serving it with a side of kale. Have a wonderful weekend!

  34. Bean stew is delicious. Love the rice stew. Congrats for the winner

  35. Oh, I love this, Faith! And I think I’d eat my bowl just like Mike – that sounds so delicious!

  36. Lovely stew and I can imagine it would be great with kale on the side (and there is a spectacular kale recipe in the NYTs today… grilled!). I do need to eat more things like this after the rich food I’ve been making lately…. thanks for the recipe!

  37. What a comforting dish… I love beans and I really should cook with them more often than I do, they’re so healthy and a great sub for meat :)

  38. This sounds so hearty and delicious!! I love the blend of spices you used!!

  39. This stew sounds really good Faith! And congrats to the winner!

  40. We love bean soup. This looks awfully delicious! It has lots of wonderful spices!

  41. I like that you made this dish totally vegetarian. It’s good for our health to eat couple of times per week only vegetarian dishes. I am sure it tasted great.

  42. Congrats to the winner! That stew is marvelous.



  43. I mostly eat only vegetarian food so this beautiful dish is really right up my alley!
    I love anything with these spices included, so warming and comforting :-)

  44. Sweet Potato black bean burritos!
    They are so good.
    I cook the sweet potato/bean mixture in a pan
    (along with a splash of apple cider, cumin, cinnamon)
    and then put into a wrap (sprinkle with some cheese if you like)
    and then bake in the oven for about 15mins.
    So so good! I promise!

    Perfect with a side of salsa or sour cream.

  45. That’s a great looking stew! No vegetarians in my house but they do love a bean dish! They’d love this one!

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