Speedy Bacon and Three-Bean Skillet Stew 6.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post

Oct 12, 2018

The bacon gives this quick dish a long-simmered flavor, says chef Carla Hall, but she doesn’t crisp it: When it’s cooked just to a golden soft consistency its salty goodness will soak into the creamy beans.

Serve it plain with corn bread; here, it is pictured with a gremolata-type accompaniment.

Make Ahead: The stew can be refrigerated for up to 1 week; reheat with a bit of water to loosen it up.


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

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, cut into small dice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 ounces thick-cut bacon, each slice cut into 1/4-inch batons (like lardons)
  • 1 clove garlic, cut into thin slices
  • 1 Scotch bonnet or habanero chile, seeded and minced
  • Three 15-ounce cans butter beans, small kidney beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Generous 1 3/4 cups (15 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth


Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the onion and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened, then push the onion to one side of the pan.

Scatter the bacon pieces on the other side; cook for about 5 minutes, until golden but not crisped. On the bacon side, stir in the garlic, chile pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for about 1 minute, then add the beans and broth. Once the mixture begins to bubble at the edges, reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes, so everything’s heated through.

Serve hot.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration” (Harper Wave, 2018).

Tested by Helen Horton.

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