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Creamy Three Bean Stew

This creamy three bean stew is the ideal healthy comfort food – with fresh veg and three types of beans, in a luxurious creamy tomato sauce!

Overhead shot of a bowl of creamy three bean stew with a dollop of sour cream.

This creamy three bean stew is basically my perfect dinner. It feels like a luxurious, comforting meal, but is packed with fresh vegetables and protein-rich beans (three kinds, in case you couldn’t have guessed) – all coated in a creamy, silky sauce with heaps of flavour (swoooon).

It ticks all the boxes!

A bowlful of creamy three bean stew topped with parsley and a dollop of sour cream.

Healthy comfort food

Veggie-packed comfort food has got to be my all-time favourite food category, and it doesn’t get much better than this creamy three bean stew. It’s absolutely full of goodness, but is about as far from rabbit food as you can get (I’ve never been much of a salad person).

After eating a meal like this, you feel totally satisfied, and your body thanks you too.

Close up photo of a spoon being dipped into a bowl of creamy bean stew.

What’s in this creamy three bean stew?

There are 3 main elements to this hearty vegetarian stew:

  1. the vegetables – I chose carrots, courgette (zucchini) and mushrooms
  2. the beans – three different types! I used black beans, kidney beans and cannellini beans
  3. the sauce – made with tomatoes, creamy tomato soup, and an extra dollop of cream for good measure

As long as you make sure your bean stew contains these three elements, it will be a success – even if you decide to switch things up a bit (see below for some ideas for how to adapt the recipe!).

A spoon taking a scoop of vegetarian bean stew from a bowl.

How to make creamy three bean stew

Step 1: Fry off the vegetables

Start by dicing your veggies, and adding them to a large saucepan. Cook them for a few minutes until they’re just starting to soften.

Diced vegetables being cooked in a saucepan.

Step 2: Add most of the remaining ingredients

We’re already at the ‘add everything else’ stage – this recipe really couldn’t get much simpler.

Add the beans and sauce ingredients to the pan, and leave everything to simmer for a little while, until the sauce has thickened nicely and the vegetables and beans are totally soft.

Three bean stew being cooked in a saucepan.

Step 3: Make it extra creamy

As a little finishing touch, I like to add one more little dollop of something to make it extra creamy. To be honest, there are lots of ingredients you could use for this purpose, which would all have pretty much the same effect:

  • cream
  • sour cream
  • Greek yogurt
  • cream cheese

Just be careful if you’re using the low fat version of any of these ingredients, as low fat dairy products can sometimes split and curdle in this kind of situation.

It’s best to stick to the full fat version if you can, or if you really want to use low fat, temper the ingredient first. To do this, mix a spoonful of your hot stew into the yogurt (or whatever you’re using) first, then add it all back into the pot. This helps to minimise the temperature shock, and reduces the risk of curdling.

A dollop of sour cream being added to a rich tomatoey bean stew in a saucepan.

The difference that one good dollop of sour cream had on my three bean stew was really pretty amazing:

Creamy three bean stew in a saucepan.

It makes the whole thing so much more luxurious, and transforms a simple bean stew into something seriously tempting.

A bowlful of creamy vegetarian three bean stew topped with parsley and sour cream.

How to serve three bean stew

This stew already contains all the most important food groups, so there’s no need to serve anything alongside it if you don’t want to. Just a nice big bowl and a spoon are all you need.

Personally though, I think a bit of garlic bread or some crusty bread and butter are absolutely perfect for mopping up the bowl and adding a nice bit of crunch…

A hand using a piece of garlic bread to scoop up some three bean stew.

How to adapt the recipe

One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s endlessly adaptable – it’s such a good fridge clearer. I would be willing to bet that almost all of you could make this three bean stew entirely from ingredients you already have in the house.

Who doesn’t already have a cupboard full of random tins of beans? And a fridge full of veggies that could do with being used up?

Just chuck ’em all in – the more the merrier.

You could choose different vegetables, different beans, or adjust the sauce ingredients, and you’ll almost certainly still end up with a really tasty meal. In fact, it’s pretty fun if it ends up slightly different each time you make it.

Overhead shot of a bowl of creamy three bean stew.
Print Recipe
4.8 from 5 votes

Creamy Three Bean Stew

This creamy three bean stew is the ideal healthy comfort food – with fresh veg and three types of beans, in a luxurious creamy tomato sauce!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main meal
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 4
Calories: 368kcal
Author: Becca Heyes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, sliced or diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium courgette (zucchini), diced
  • ~ 5 medium mushrooms, diced
  • 400 g tin cannellini beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
  • 400 g tin black beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
  • 400 g tin kidney beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
  • 400 g (~ 1⅓ cups) tinned tomatoes
  • 400 g (~ 1 1/3 cups) tin cream of tomato soup
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp cream, cream cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt (full fat versions)
  • Small bunch fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat a dash of oil in a large saucepan, and add the diced onion and carrot. Cook over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring regularly, until the onion has softened slightly. Add the garlic, courgette and mushrooms, and cook for a further 5 minutes, until the vegetables are beginning to soften.
  • Add the three drained tins of beans, tin of tomatoes, and tin of tomato soup. Also add the oregano and black pepper, along with a crumbled stock cube (or just some salt, if you prefer).
  • Bring to a simmer, and cook for around 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to produce a thick sauce.
  • Add the cream, mix to combine, and serve warm, garnished with fresh parsley if desired.

Notes

Feel free to use different vegetables or different beans, depending on what you have in the kitchen.
It’s best to use full fat dairy products for cooking, as low fat varieties tend to split and curdle when added to heat. If you really need to use a low fat dairy ingredient, temper it before adding it to the stew. To do this, mix one spoonful of the hot stew into the low fat yogurt (or whatever it is), and stir it together. Then add it back into the stew. This reduces the temperature shock to the yogurt, and minimises the risk of curdling.
Nutrition Facts
Creamy Three Bean Stew
Amount Per Serving (1 portion)
Calories 368 Calories from Fat 67
% Daily Value*
Fat 7.4g11%
Saturated Fat 2.5g13%
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 1082mg45%
Potassium 1217mg35%
Carbohydrates 60.1g20%
Fiber 17.8g71%
Sugar 9.8g11%
Protein 18.6g37%
Calcium 111mg11%
Iron 7mg39%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/4 of the recipe.

Love healthy comfort food? My veggie-packed slow cooker black bean soup is perfect:

Quick Red Thai Curry Noodle Soup
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