The Washington Post

Potato-Bean Stew

Potato-Bean Stew 6.000

(Scott Suchman for The Washington Post; food styling by Marie Ostrosky for The Washington Post)

Weeknight Vegetarian Jan 14, 2015

This simple and satisfying bowl can come together quickly if you use canned beans, but it can take on deeper, more complex flavors if you plan ahead and cook the beans from dried. Serve with grated fresh, mild white cheese, toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), crema and/or minced cilantro.

Active time: 45 mins; Total time: 1 hour.

Storage Notes: The stew can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings; makes about 12 cups

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped (about 11 ounces or 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder, preferably chipotle chili powder, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 large sweet red bell pepper (about 7 ounces), seeded and cut into small dice
  • 1/2 to 1 poblano chile pepper and/or Anaheim chile peppers, (2 to 5 ounces) seeds and ribs removed, cut into small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher sat, or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed well and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 cup bean-cooking liquid or water, plus more as needed
  • 3 cups drained home-cooked pinto beans or 30 ounces canned, no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • One (15-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes and their juices
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice from 1/2 lime, plus more to taste


Heat a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat for about 1 minute, then add the oil and swirl to coat. Add the onion, chili powder and cumin and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add the bell pepper, chiles (to taste), garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add the bean cooking liquid or water, cover and cook until the potatoes are tender but not mushy, 15 to 30 minutes. Add more cooking liquid or water if the mixture seems dry.

Gently stir in the beans, along with the tomatoes and their juices. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil; then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until warmed through, about 5 minutes.

Taste, and season generously with the black pepper, plus additional salt and/or chili powder, and the lime juice, to taste. Serve hot.

Recipe Source

Adapted from Mollie Katzen's "The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation" (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 312

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 6g 9%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 317mg 13%

Total Carbohydrates: 56g 19%

Dietary Fiber: 13g 52%

Sugar: 9g

Protein: 12g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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