Quick Navy-Bean Stew

This flavorful potato, bean, and mushroom stew is ready in less than an hour. You can use other beans, such as black-eyed peas, in place of the navy beans; kale or Swiss chard would be nice substitutions for the spinach leaves.–Editors of Everyday Food

LC Note

This versatile recipe, much like a proper minestrone, is more a general formula than an actual equation. In addition to trying the substitutions mentioned above, you can turn to other creative alterations. Vary the herbs, using a generous pinch of fresh thyme if you happen to have it on hand or omitting it entirely if you have none on hand. Toss in a little leftover plain pasta at the end. Or go through that vegetable bin and see if there are leeks languishing, cabbage collapsing, or green beans going limp.

Quick Navy-Bean Stew Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 small red potatoes, (10 ounces), scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon store-bought or homemade tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • One 10-ounce package baby spinach
  • One 15 1/2-ounce can navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar, optional


  • 1. Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • 2. Add the mushrooms and thyme and season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • 3. Stir in the tomato paste and the water. Cover and cook until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • 4. Add half of the spinach to the skillet, cover, and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the remaining spinach and the beans. Cook, covered, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, if desired. Season with the salt and pepper and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Using Dried Beans

  • If you have a little more time, you could soak and cook dried beans, which would make the soup even more economical and a bit richer in flavor and texture.
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