This nutritious and filling sweet potato and bean stew can be made over the weekend so you can have a comforting meal throughout the rest of the week. You can use canned beans to save time and add leftover veggies you have in the fridge!
At the beginning of every new year, many people resolve to eat healthier. This usually involves cooking more at home and eating out less. My focus was to buy less food and to use up what I had in my pantry. As a result, I cleaned out my fridge and made a dish using common leftover veggies, thereby reducing food waste.
In keeping with the theme of less food waste, I developed a sweet potato and bean stew recipe for Imperfect Produce. Since then I have updated the recipe. I did not receive compensation for this post.
The inspiration for this quick weeknight stew came after a recent visit to Costa Rica. Does anyone else like to visit the markets and grocery stores when they travel? After a visit to a grocery store, I came back with an affordable 1 pound bag of dried cubaces beans. Since I don’t cook while on vacation, I knew they would be coming back with me in our luggage.
What are Cubaces beans?
Cubaces beans are a large, broad red bean that is common in Costa Rica.
The cubaces beans lend a mild sweetness to this stew. In fact, whenever we went out, black beans were usually on the menu. If you don’t have any cubaces beans or black beans, you can use other beans.
The alternatives to cubaces beans that I recommend are:
- pinto beans
- kidney beans
- Peruano beans
- red beans
Cooking the beans
How to cook beans
If you are not in a hurry, you can cook the beans on the stovetop, after soaking them. I usually soak a pound of beans on the same day I plan to cook them. In a large stock
After soaking the beans for 6 to 8 hours, drain them. In a large pot, cover them with a couple of inches of fresh water, and cook on a low-medium simmer for approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Stir occasionally, add one tablespoon of sea salt. Add water if it is boiling off. Taste the beans at 45 minutes for doneness. Cook longer if needed.
A tip when cooking the beans
If you enjoy spice, try this tip. Add a couple of dried Arbol chilies to your beans while they are cooking. Drain the beans and rinse them. Chop up the chilies and add to the beans for flavor.
What do you do with leftover cooked beans?
You can freeze any leftover beans. Once they are
Feel free to make this recipe any way which suits you! Add leftover vegetables to the stew to use them up. You may use canned beans if you are short on time. Be sure to drain and rinse them.
For another comforting meal, you may enjoy this pumpkin veggie stew.
If you make this sweet potato and bean stew, be sure to leave me a comment, rate this recipe and tag me on Instagram.
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Sweet Potato and Bean Stew
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 red bell peppers chopped
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 3 cloves garlic diced
- 1 serrano chile pepper diced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 sweet potatoes, unpeeled chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 14.5-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with medium green chilies
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups cooked large red beans cubaces, black beans or pinto beans, or 2 15-oz cans of black beans or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup chickpea rice, uncooked optional
- 1 avocado chopped, optional (highly recommended)
- 3 green onions chopped for garnish, optional
- 4 – 6 tablespoons cashew cream optional
- Put a heavy bottomed large saucepan or dutch oven on medium heat. After 3 minutes of preheating, place onions, red bell pepper, and salt in the pan and sauté for several minutes, stirring frequently. Continue stirring for several minutes and onions will start to sweat. Keep stirring occasionally for approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add garlic and serrano, and stir for another minute. I don't usually add oil as I prefer to add water or vegetable broth instead if the vegetables start browning. I don't usually add oil as I prefer to add water or vegetable broth instead if the vegetables start browning.
- Stir in oregano, cumin, and chili powder. After stirring for a minute, add sweet potato and continue to stir well for another couple of minutes.
- Add canned tomatoes with mild green chilies and 4 cups of vegetable broth, and black pepper. Keep the heat on medium until stew is simmering, for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Check the sweet potato for doneness by placing the sharp tip of a knife into a piece of sweet potato. If resistance is met, the sweet potato needs more cooking. The tip of the blade should be able to pierce the middle of the sweet potato piece easily.
- If using chickpea rice, add it into the stew 7 minutes before being done.
- Add 3 cups of cooked or canned beans and cook on medium heat until heated through, for an additional 3 to 5 minutes.
- Serve into bowls. Top the stew with chopped green onion or avocado. Top with 1 teaspoon cashew cream to each serving, if desired.