White Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Kale Recipe (2024)

By Susan Voisin 87 Comments
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Based on the Chilean Porotos Granados, this vegan white bean stew includes butternut squash, kale, and fresh basil for a hearty and flavorful one-pot meal.

White Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Kale Recipe (1)

I’ve been hearing the internet chatter about the wonders of Rancho Gordo beans for a while, but with no Whole Foods in my town (yet), I thought I wouldn’t get a chance to try them unless I ordered them. But then I saw them in The Fresh Market (which I usually call the Froo-Froo Market because of its fancy prices) and couldn’t resist picking up these pretty Yellow-Eye Beans:

White Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Kale Recipe (2)

First, let me just say–Ouch! That pound of beans cost me $7-something plus tax. Regular old navy beans in Kroger cost less than a dollar a pound, and if I think too long about how many bucks I could be saving for my daughter’s education, I’d never buy fancy beans again.

But these beans were very good–they cooked quickly in the pressure cooker, became tender without falling apart, and, most importantly, are organically grown. I won’t be shelling out the big bucks for them every day, but I was happy with their flavor and eager to try some of Rancho Gordo’s other varieties.

White Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Kale Recipe (3)

For my first foray into fancy-bean territory, I made a relatively simple stew modeled on a traditional Chilean dish called Porotos Granados, which is usually made with fresh cranberry beans and topped with a pesto-like mixture of herbs (cilantro, basil, parsley) and hot peppers called pebre. To me, the one ingredient that makes the flavor of porotos granados different from other South American bean stews is the fresh basil, so I wanted to try a variation of it while my basil plants were still thriving.

Because I like to make everything I can a one-pot meal by adding veggies, I threw in a bunch of lacinato kale. I skipped the pebre (many of you know my intolerance for cilantro), increased the seasonings significantly, and served it with some Tabasco garlic sauce.

The results were encouraging: My husband loved it, I really liked it, and my daughter E (who currently claims to hate white beans and squash) ate it under protest and thought it contained too much basil. Since I’ve given up on E loving anything but pasta, I consider that a success.

The time it takes to cook beans is affected by the type and age of the beans and possibly the hardness of your water and your elevation. I made this in the fa*gor Multi-Cooker pressure cooker using yellow-eye beans, so the times below reflect that. You may need to add a few more minutes to get the beans fully cooked. If you’re not using a pressure cooker, see the instructions in bold.

Prep Time 30 minutes minutes

Cook Time 50 minutes minutes

Total Time 1 hour hour 20 minutes minutes

Servings 6

Author Susan Voisin


  • 1 pound dried yellow-eye or navy beans soaked overnight or quick soaked
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons smoked paprika divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 pound winter squash or pumpkin peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice (I used butternut)
  • 1 large red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper optional, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes fire-roasted preferred
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 bunch kale removed from stems and sliced (about 12 ounces,)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn optional
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil


  • Make sure to rinse your beans first and check for rocks and then soak overnight in cold water. Or do a quick soak by boiling the beans in enough water to cover by an inch for one minute, and then cover and allow to stand for at least an hour. Drain before proceeding with the recipe.

  • Heat a pressure cooker or large Dutch oven. (In an electric pressure cooker like the Instant Pot, use the Sauté or Brown setting.) Add the onions and a pinch of baking soda (optional but speeds up the browning). Cook until onion is soft and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

  • Add the beans, water, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon cumin, and dried basil to the pot. If pressure cooking, seal your cooker and bring to high pressure. Cook at high pressure for 8 minutes; then perform a quick release. (Choose the Pressure Cooker or Manual setting on your electric pressure cooker and set the time to 8 minutes; release the steam when the time is up.)If cooking in a regular pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until beans are just barely cooked all the way through, 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. Check pot occasionally and add more water to cover the beans if it seems low.

  • Add the squash along with the remaining seasonings, peppers, tomatoes, and salt, if using. Seal the cooker and cook at high pressure for 8 more minutes. Let pressure come down naturally; after 15 minutes, quick release pressure if necessary. For stovetop cooking, add more water if necessary to cover all ingredients. Cover and simmer until beans and squash are very tender.

  • Check the seasoning and add more cumin, oregano, or salt to taste. Add the kale and corn and simmer, covered, until the kale is tender. Stir in the basil and cook for another minute before serving.


Tip: If you have a microwave, you can make the squash much easier to cut by microwaving it for a couple of minutes on high power.

This is a zero-points meal on Weight Watchers Freestyle program.

Nutrition Facts

White Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Kale

Amount Per Serving (1 serving)

Calories 383Calories from Fat 21

% Daily Value*

Fat 2.3g4%

Sodium 589.7mg26%

Carbohydrates 74.3g25%

Fiber 24.3g101%

Sugar 9.9g11%

Protein 25g50%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional info is approximate.

Have you made this recipe?Mention @SusanFFVK and tag #fatfreevegankitchen in your photos on Instagram.

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White Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Kale Recipe (9)


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I have no affiliation with Rancho Gordo and have not received any compensation from them. However, this post contains Amazon affiliate links to products I like. When you buy something through them, I receive a commission that helps support this site at no cost to you. Thanks for your purchase!

White Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Kale Recipe (2024)


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