Do you have a craving for a hearty, nutritious stew that is perfect for weeknights? Then look no further! This vegan kidney bean recipe is perfect for those following a plant-based diet or if you’re looking to add more plant-based foods to your weekly menu.
Although this vegan bean recipe is meatless, it is high in protein. Thanks to the different flavor profiles of the vegetables and the warm, earthy flavor of cumin, this dish is incredibly yummy. When I cook this recipe, I like to make a large batch as I find that the stew tastes even better the next day.
WHY WE LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Great source of protein. One serving (or ½ cup) of cooked beans provides about 7 grams of protein, the same as one ounce of meat.
- Full of healthy ingredients. Apart from featuring highly nutritious legumes, this vegan kidney bean recipe also has winter squash, carrots, and celery. We should all eat more of these!
- It’s filling. Beans are loaded with fiber, which helps you feel full for longer.
- It’s easy to make. Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never made beans from scratch. This recipe shows you how easy it is, and making the stew is pretty simple as well.
These are the ingredients that make this kidney bean stew recipe so delicious:
- Dried kidney beans
- Vegetable medley: winter squash, carrots, celery
- Kombu sea vegetable
- Vegetable broth
- Beans: It may be more convenient to use canned kidney beans for this vegan kidney bean recipe, but I find it cheaper to make everything from scratch. Furthermore, making kidney beans is pretty straightforward. Just soak the beans and then cook them in a stovetop pressure cooker, Instant Pot, or a slow cooker.
- Veggies: The winter squash, carrots, and celery help bulk out the stew to make it a really hearty and filling dish.
- Vegetable broth: Homemade vegetable broth adds a ton of flavor to the dish. In addition, it has less sodium and is free from preservatives when compared to the store-bought varieties.
- Kombu: This is a natural flavor enhancer that adds a savory umami taste to dishes. Additionally, kombu contains enzymes that help to make beans more digestible and less gas-producing.
- Kudzu: This is an all-natural, gluten-free alternative to cornstarch. Kudzu (or kuzu) has no perceptible taste and is an excellent thickener for sauces, gravies, soups, and stews. Moreover, it has many health benefits.
STEP 1: COOK THE DRIED KIDNEY BEANS
Sift through the kidney beans and remove any debris and unwanted grains. Rinse thoroughly. Soak the seeds in cold water for at least 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
Soak the kombu in cold water for 10 minutes.
Use a fine-mesh strainer or colander to drain the soaked beans and rinse them thoroughly under running water. Place them in your pressure cooker, Instant Pot, or slow cooker. Drain the kombu and place it under the beans.
Add enough cold water to cover the beans and kombu by around ½ an inch. If you’re using a stovetop pressure cooker like me, cover the pot and bring it up to full pressure on high heat. Turn the heat down to low and let it cook for 10 minutes.
STEP 2: PREPARE THE MILLET CAULIFLOWER MASH
Pre-soak the millet for 1 to 2 hours or overnight, though this is optional. Use a fine-mesh strainer to drain and rinse the grains.
Cut the cauliflower into big chunks. In a saucepan, add the onion, garlic, and cauliflower. Next, add the millet and vegetable broth or water. Cover the pan and bring it to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down to low and let it simmer while covered for 20-25 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Use a potato masher to mash the millet and cauliflower together. Add the vegan butter or olive oil. However, if you’re making it oil-free, you can skip this. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Mash until the mixture is at your desired texture.
If you want a smooth and creamy mash, let the mixture cool down and then put it through a food processor.
STEP 3: MAKE THE KIDNEY BEAN STEW
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped scallions and minced garlic and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the chopped carrots, celery, and squash. Mix well with the scallions and garlic mixture. Add the cooked kidney beans. Next, add the ground cumin and black pepper.
Add the vegetable broth or water and make sure it’s enough to cover the mixture. Keep the pot uncovered and bring everything to a boil. Turn the heat down and let the mix simmer on low heat while covered for 20 minutes.
Dissolve the kudzu in a little bit of cold water to make a thin paste. Stir it into the pot and let everything cook and thicken for a few minutes. Add more if you want a thicker stew.
Add sea salt and other seasonings to taste.
STEP 4: PLATE AND SERVE
Transfer the millet cauliflower mash to a warmed plate. Ladle the kidney bean stew over the mash. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
- Switch up the veggies. This vegan kidney bean recipe is very forgiving. Feel free to use the root vegetables in season, and the dish will still be delicious.
- Spice it up. If you like some heat, add some fresh chilies or red pepper flakes. You can use other spices to season the dish, including garam masala, fenugreek, curry powder, and turmeric.
- Make it oil-free. If you want to make this a healthier recipe, omit the olive oil and heat a little vegetable broth before adding the chopped scallions and minced garlic.
- Add some greens. For extra flavor and color, add some leafy greens like spinach, swiss chard, or even kale. These veggies are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can red kidney beans kill you?
Raw kidney beans contain toxic lectins, which, when ingested, can cause severe nausea and vomiting. It might not kill you, but it can make you sick for days. Soaking the beans and then cooking them in boiling water helps to lower the toxin content. Discard the water used to soak the beans as it may contain leached lectins.
How long does this dish keep?
This stew can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. To defrost, leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
Is this recipe vegan-friendly and gluten-free?
Yes, it is. In addition, it’s dairy-free and nut-free.
What do you eat kidney beans with?
I love to serve mine with millet cauliflower mash, which is a more nutritious alternative to potato mash. However, you can also have it with brown rice, pasta, cauliflower flatbread, or gluten-free naan.
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Vegan Kidney Bean Stew
- Yield: Serves 4
Who doesn't love a hearty bowl of stew? This vegan kidney bean stew is a healthy yet yummy bowl of goodness!
Kidney Bean Stew
1 cup dried kidney beans* (or use 2 ½ cups canned beans)
2-inch piece kombu sea vegetable
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 clove minced garlic
½ cup sliced scallions
1 cup diced winter squash
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
½ teaspoon ground cumin
4 cups vegetable broth
Sea salt and pepper
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons kudzu root starch
Garnish: fresh parsley
Millet Cauliflower Mash
1 small head cauliflower, cut into big chunks
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup millet, rinsed
3 cups vegetable broth or water
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter of your choice
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
Black pepper to taste
If using canned beans skip to the “To make the stew section.”
To cook dried beans:
Soak the kidney beans in cold water to cover overnight or 6 to 8 hours. The next day, drain them and place them in a pot. Cover them with fresh water, enough to cover them by two inches.
Soak the kombu sea vegetable in a little cold water for 10 minutes. Drain it and discard the water. Place the kombu under the beans.
Using a stovetop pressure cooker: Bring the beans, water and kombu to full pressure over high heat. Reduce the heat and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and release the pressure. Make sure the beans are nice and tender.
Using an Instant Pot: Put the beans, kombu, and water in the Instant Pot. Make sure the pressure regulator valve is closed. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Once cooking is complete, let the pressure release naturally before trying to do a quick release. Make sure the beans are nice and tender.
Using a slow cooker: Bring the beans, water and kombu to a boil over medium high heat. Skim off any foam that appears and discard. Reduce the heat a little bit and continue to cook them on a strong simmer for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add additional water if needed to make sure the beans are covered with water by about an inch. Turn the slow cooker on high and cook, lightly covered, for 5 to 6 hours. Make sure the beans are nice and tender.
*Note: Kidney beans contain a naturally occurring toxin so they must be brought to a boil before using them in a slow cooker. The slow cooker may not heat up high enough to eliminate the toxin so be sure to not skip this step.
To make the kidney bean stew:
In a large soup pot on the stove top, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the scallions and the garlic and cook and stir for five minutes.
Add the winter squash, carrots, celery and ground cumin. Add the cooked beans. Then add the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil over medium high heat uncovered. Reduce heat to simmer on low, lightly covered, for 20 minutes. Add sea salt and pepper to taste, along with the maple syrup.
Place the kudzu starch in a small bowl and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of cold water or vegetable broth. Stir until the starch is dissolved. Slowly stir this mixture into the bean-vegetable mixture. Stir occasionally for several minutes, until thickened. If you want the texture to be thicker, feel free to add a little more kudzu that has been diluted in some cold water first.
Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve hot, over rice, pasta or millet cauliflower mash.
To make the millet cauliflower mash:
In a medium saucepan, put the onion, cauliflower and garlic. Place the millet on top and add the vegetable broth or water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered lightly, for 25 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Add the olive oil or butter, sea salt and pepper. Mash thoroughly with a potato masher. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Serve with kidney beans stew and fresh parsley.
MORE RECIPES LIKE THIS:
My mung bean soup recipe that is warming, filling, and comes together in one pot.
This lentil soup recipe that is rich in flavor and vegan-friendly.
My white bean soup recipe that is simple, budget-friendly, and tastes and smells amazing.
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