Spicy White Bean Stew with Winter Greens

This is one of my favorite weeknight meals — it all comes together with some pantry staples, and a bunch of bitter greens. 

This stew is delicious, and I also love all of the nutritional goodness happening here:

  • White beans: all beans and legumes are a really great addition to a heart and gut healthy diet — they’re high in fiber, as well as protein. Plus, canned beans are really convenient and inexpensive. Just be sure to buy them in a BPA free can. 
  • Cauliflower: a cruciferous vegetable that’s really high in cancer fighting antioxidants, as well as vitamin C and K.
  • Leafy greens: high in fiber and antioxidants, these are among the healthiest, most healing foods you can put on your plate.

This recipe was adapted from this recipe from Alison Roman.

  • spicy white bean stew with winter greens

Serves 4


  • 1 large bunch (or 2 small bunches) broccoli rabe, chard, or kale, thick stems separated from the leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons harissa sauce (the Mina brand is fairly easy to find) OR you can substitute with tomato paste and a big pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans large white beans, such as cannellini, butter or great Northern, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 preserved lemon, thinly sliced, or 1 lemon, halved, for squeezing
  • 1 cup parsley or cilantro, chopped


  • Step 1

    First, prepare the greens. Tear broccoli rabe or kale leaves into bite-size pieces and set aside. If using broccoli rabe or chard, chop the stems into ¼ inch pieces. If using kale, discard the stems. Set aside.

    Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.

  • Step 2

    Next, add the garlic. Stir while cooking for about a minute, until fragrant.

    Add harissa (or tomato paste and red pepper flakes), and stir to coat in the oil. Cook until the harissa mixture turns to a bright orange color, 2-4 minutes.

    Next, stir in the cumin, coriander, and smoked paprika.

    Add the beans, and season with salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, crush a few beans against the side of the pan. This will help the beans release their starch, which will make for a thicker stew.

    Add the broth and reserved stems from the greens.

    Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes, until the stew reaches desired consistency.

  • Step 3

    Add the broccoli rabe, chard or kale leaves, as well as the preserved lemon or lemon juice. Give things a stir, and cook for a minute or two, until the greens are wilted but still bright in color.

  • Step 4

    Season with salt and pepper.

    Ladle into wide bowls and garnish with chopped parsley and additional preserved lemon slices, if desired.



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