This Middle Eastern butter bean stew is inspired by my love of Fasoulia – a bean dish I grew up eating and loving! 

Middle Eastern Butter Bean Stew

Growing up, my mum’s Fasoulia was one of my favourite dishes. I used to get so excited when it was Fasoulia day! A rich tomatoey stew with white beans and chunks of meat served with rice and a fresh salad. 

Although this dish is traditionally made with white/cannellini beans, I decided to make a slight variation and used butter beans instead. The creaminess of the butter beans marries so well with the zingy, rich tomato sauce. They both taste equally as delicious though, so whichever you have available will do.

A super speedy meal that’s ready in just 20 minutes! This is a great recipe to have under your belt for those days when you’re stretched for time, but still want to make something healthy, but also tasty. The best thing about it is that you only need a handful of ingredients, some of which you make already have in your cupboard/fridge. 

The combination of beans and tomatoes makes for something so comforting and moreish. You can enjoy it with rice, quinoa or bread. It goes really well with a basic tomato, cucumber salad topped with a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.

Middle Eastern Butter Bean Stew

What you need to make this Middle Eastern butter bean stew:

Butter beans – traditionally this dish is made using white/cannellini beans, but I find both work just as well. I love the creaminess of the butter beans, but if you can use either/whatever you have available! You can either use canned beans for convenience, or dried beans for a more cost affective option. You would need to soak your beans overnight, then boil them for 1-2 hours before hand. 

Onion & garlic – essential for most savoury recipes as they enhance the depth of flavour in dishes. 

Tomato pure – this is what will make your stew rich and pack in the tomato flavour.

Lemon juice – heavily used in the Middle East to add lots of zing to dishes. It goes really well with the rich tomato undertones. 

Spices – you can play around with the spices, but don’t overdo it. Milder spices like cumin and turmeric work best to avoid overpowering the tomato, zingy flavours. 

Vegetable stock – I like to use a vegetable stock pot, but you can simply replace it with a stock cube. No extra water needed. 

This Middle Eastern butter bean stew is:

  • Vegan 
  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Easy to make
  • Healthy & nutritious
  • Warming & comforting
  • Cheap using staple cupboard ingredients 
  • Ready in 20 minutes! 

Middle Eastern Butter Bean Stew

This Middle Eastern butter bean stew inspired by my love of Fasoulia - a white bean dish I grew up eating and loving! I'm using butter beans in this version, but both work equally as well. Ready in 20 minutes - the perfect speedy dinner that's also comforting and nutritious.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean, middle eastern
Servings 4
Calories 181 kcal


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 cans butter beans beans + its water
  • 1 vegetable stock pot/cube
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish


  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large pan. Add the onions and bay leaves and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add the spices, butter beans with its water, garlic, vegetable stock and tomato puree (I didn't add any extra water as I prefer a thicker sauce, but you can add a little water if you want a thinner consistency).
  • Bring to a quick boil, then reduce the heat, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Once the sauce has thickened, take off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Season to taste with salt & pepper and garnish with fresh parsley.
  • Serve with rice or crusty bread and a salad. Enjoy!


Calories: 181kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 10gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.01gSodium: 178mgPotassium: 751mgFiber: 10gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 73IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 42mgIron: 4mg
Keyword 20 minute meals, dairy-free, easy meals, gluten-free, healthy meals, healthy recipes, main meals, savoury recipes, speedy meals
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