Vegan Instant Pot White Bean Stew

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A dump-and-go Instant Pot recipe that couldn’t be simpler! This Instant Pot White Bean Stew is healthy, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free and has no added oil. And it comes together with zero hands-on cooking!
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Total 55 minutes
4.9 from 156 votes

Pantry meals came into high demand in 2020 for obvious reasons, and one of the easiest yet tastiest pantry meals I made was this Vegan Instant Pot White Bean Stew. It’s incredibly easy to make, hearty and satiating, and very flavorful!

This stew a dump-and-go recipe, which means you can quite literally, dump all the ingredients into the Instant Pot, do no hands-on cooking, and come back to a warm, delicious dinner!

Unfortunately, a lot of dump-and-go recipes you’ll find online seem to lack creativity and flavor—think mixing canned beans and salsa on top of a chicken breast (blah). Luckily, I am a stickler for maximizing flavor, so your taste buds definitely won’t be bored with this recipe!

bowl of white bean tomato stew with plate of toasted bread

Why you’ll like this vegan white bean stew

Dump-and-go. See above. Dump and go = no hands-on cooking!

Weeknight-friendly. See above. You can have dinner on the table and all you need to do is 10ish minutes of chopping. Oh, and one-pot meals also mean minimal dishwashing! Bonus: the Instant Pot inner pot is dishwasher safe!

Hearty and satisfying. This is hearty yet healthy comfort food that satisfies your cravings and your hunger, and leaves you full for hours. Especially if you serve this stew with some crusty, whole grain bread.

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Allergen-friendly and healthy. This stew is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free, and nut-free so it is definitely allergen-friendly!

Flavorful. There are multiple levels of flavors in this dish, from the bouquet garni (more on that below) to the ground cumin and paprika to the fresh gremolata topping (my favorite part).

Ingredient Rundown

The aromatics. If you’re familiar with my savory recipes, you know that I usually like to start with some aromatics. This could be as simple as onions or garlic, but it always varies based on the flavor profile and cuisine. The aromatics I use in this recipe are shallots, celery, and garlic.

This recipe is a bit different than most of my savory recipes in that you don’t cook the aromatics in oil. That’s because there’s no hands-on cooking in this dump-and-go recipe. But don’t omit the aromatics – they still add a good amount of flavor.

Yukon Gold Potatoes. To naturally thicken the stew, I add one large Yukon Gold Potato. I grate it with a box grater (the side with the large holes). Why grate them? Because the potatoes practically melt into the stew. But if you don’t have a grater, just peel and finely dice the potatoes.

Dried white beans. The beauty of the Instant Pot is that it makes it much simpler to cook beans from scratch. No need to babysit the pot, wait for it to boil, or check to see if your beans are burning.

You do need to soak the beans for this recipe overnight or for 8 hours, so it does require a little advance planning. But as long as you can remember to soak the beans, the soaking step takes just 2 minutes.

As for bean variety, my go-to is cannellini beans (so creamy and rich). But great northern beans or navy beans work just fine too.

Crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Read up, this part is important! Thick ingredients like crushed tomatoes tend to burn in the Instant Pot.

To avoid the burn warning, add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste at the end and layer them on top of all of the other ingredients without mixing in. The tomatoes are less likely to mix into everything and sink to the bottom of the pot if you pour them as low and close to the pot as possible and not from high above.

Gremolata. An Italian word for a chopped herb condiment featuring lemon zest, garlic and parsley. I make the gremolata while the stew is cooking, and stir it into each bowl when ready to serve. I promise you it will take your stew from good to AHMAAZING. It adds an incredible amount of bright, lemony freshness that makes every bite sing!

vegan instant pot white bean stew with bread slices and spoons

Substitutes and Modifications for this Recipe

Using unsoaked dried beans. If you do forget to soak your beans, you can make this recipe with unsoaked beans, but a few notes

  1. the texture of soaked beans is much better IMO (you’ll end up with more split skins if you don’t soak the beans);
  2. You’ll need to add more liquid (about 4 3/4 to 5 cups of vegetable broth instead of 3 cups – that’s about 1.1-1.2 liters instead of 720 mL);
  3. You’ll need to increase the cook time from 12 minutes to something about 55 minutes.

Using canned white beans. Since the beans are already cooked, you don’t need to cook them for very long. I’d say 5 or 6 minutes using the pressure cook setting. IMO, dried beans are better in taste and texture, but if you don’t got ‘em and can’t get ‘em canned beans will work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I substitute this ingredient?

No Shallots? Try leeks or a sweet onion.

No Thyme? Try oregano, rosemary, or sage, but use less. Or, use dried thyme (1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons).

Is the gremolata necessary? 

Yes! When making dump-and-go recipes, you’re missing out on some of the opportunities to build flavor during the sauté step. So, it’s important to find other ways to build flavor elsewhere.

What to serve with white bean stew?

A hunk of crusty bread is the best pairing! If you’re gluten-free, try serving this over a bed of millet or brown rice.

Can I freeze this white bean stew? 

Yes! Freeze it without the gremolata in freezer-safe containers (affiliate link). Defrost in the fridge before reheating.

tomato white bean stew with parsley and bread

More Delicious White Bean Recipes to Try  

If you give this recipe a try, be sure to tag me on Instagram with your recreations and please comment with your feedback below!

Vegan Instant Pot White Bean Stew

4.9 from 156 votes
A dump-and-go Instant Pot recipe that couldn’t be simpler! This Instant Pot White Bean Stew is healthy, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free and has no added oil. And it comes together with zero hands-on cooking!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mediterranean, New American
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 4

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces (340g) dried white beans, such as cannellini or great northern beans, soaked overnight*
  • 3 medium shallots, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1 large or 2 small-to-medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and grated**
  • 3 1/2 cups (840 mL) vegetable broth***
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (use 1.5 tsp if you love cumin like I do)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
  • Bouquet garni: 2 bay leaves + a few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley and thyme, tied tightly together with kitchen twine
  • 1 ½ – 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 (14.5-ounce / 410g) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons (50g) tomato paste

Gremolata Topping

  • 1 large handful of Italian flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stems
  • 1 large garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
  • 1 small organic lemon
  • Coarse or flaky sea salt
  • For serving (optional): fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and crusty whole-grain bread

Instructions

  • Pour the vegetable broth into the Instant Pot. Add the soaked and drained white beans, shallots, garlic, celery, grated potatoes, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and the bouquet garni. Stir to combine.
  • Pour the crushed tomatoes and scoop the tomato paste on top of the other ingredients, but do not stir, allowing the tomatoes to sit on top (this prevents the tomatoes from blocking the Instant Pot’s heat sensory and burning).
  • Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting at high pressure and set the cook time to 12 minutes.
  • While the stew is cooking, prepare the Gremolata Topping. Roughly chop the parsley. Using a Microplane, grate the garlic directly over the parsley and zest the lemon on top of this mixture, taking care to not zest the white pith underneath the skin. Mix the garlic and lemon zest into the parsley and chop until everything is finely minced. Sprinkle with a bit of the coarse or flaky sea salt.
  • Once the 12-minute timer has completed and beeps, allow a natural pressure release.
  • Open the pot and taste for seasonings, adding more salt as needed. Transfer the stew to individual bowls, and top each with some gremolata. If desired, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice and drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, and serve with whole grain bread. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.

Notes

* Cover the beans with 6 cups (about 1.4 L) water and 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Soak for 8 hours or overnight, then drain and rinse them under cold water.
** I use the large side of a box grater. if you don’t have a grater, just dice the potatoes.
*** This recipe originally had 3 cups of water but some users reported getting the burn warning, so I recommend adding a bit more water, as all Instant Pot models are a bit different. 

Calories: 399kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 729mg | Potassium: 2263mg | Fiber: 19g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 763IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 277mg | Iron: 12mg

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245 comments on Vegan Instant Pot White Bean Stew

  1. Dan

    5 stars
    Came out good, but mines more of a soup 😂

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Dan, we’re glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe! The stew should thicken as it rests. You could also blend part of the stew to make it thicker!

  2. Katie

    5 stars
    This is so good. All of your recipes are fantastic and full of flavorful. I have never once been disappointed by a single recipe I have tried from your blog and Instant Pot cookbook. I can’t wait for your new book Big Vegan Flavor. <3 Keep creating amazing food we love you!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Aw, thanks for the lovely comment, Katie! I’m sure Nisha will be delighted to read this one, thanks for being a loyal RPL reader! :)

  3. Rachael

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious 😋
    Extremely tasty and so easy to make. This one is a favourite of ours.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Your positive feedback is the best reward for our hard work. Thank you, Rachael! :)

  4. Jen

    5 stars
    I have made this twice now. I love it! This will probably be my new staple meal that I will make every week. It’s so easy and tastes really good 🙂

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Jen! It makes us happy to know that you enjoyed the recipe.

  5. ZonieMalonie Arizona

    3 stars
    The ingredients looked intriguing , except the cumin but I tried it anyway. I usually pair cumin with red not white beans. Overall , it’s a nope for me, since the finished flavor was overwhelming of cumin and the lovely beaniness was no where to be found. Oh well, live and learn.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi there, so sorry to hear the recipe didn’t turn out as you’d hoped. We appreciate the feedback nonetheless.

  6. Karo

    5 stars
    Great recipe! We made this for meal prep tonight and already ate our first bowl. The flavour profile is absolutely delicious while the prep is easy and quickly done. We paired it with brown rice which made for a wonderfully earthy side. Our only issue was trying to double the recipe in a 6qrt instant pot. We’re beginners so we’re pretty new to it. In case anybody else is tempted: the 6qrt IP holds 1.5 times the ingredients listed at most. We ended up scooping out some of the beans to make it fit.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Karo, we’re so happy you love the recipe! Thanks for your feedback!

  7. Ann

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe!! I had already soaked far to many dried beans so added a load of veg and all the spices. I also added a good squeeze of bbq sauce, it just lit it up! Superb soup!!! Thank you!!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Ann, it’s great to hear you had success with the recipe. Thanks for the review!

  8. Eric

    recommendations on making this recipe in a slow cooker?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi, we don’t own a crockpot so I’ve never tried it ourselves, but based on similar types of recipes online, we’d guess cook on low for 7-9 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Just be sure to soak your beans in advance.

  9. SK

    Do you have a measurement for about how many cups of shredded potato should be made? My small potatoes are really small.

  10. Dana

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner for friends who are vegan and it was a huge hit! Delicious.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Dana, Thank you so much for such a fantastic review! Appreciate you taking the time!

  11. ci

    Was searching for bean stew/soup recipes and this looks terrific .. but I don’t have an instant pot. Oh well ..

    1. Nisha

      I would recommend my Tuscan Stewed Beans recipe! It’s an incredibly flavorful white bean stew and it’s made on the stovetop. https://rainbowplantlife.com/livornese-stewed-beans/

  12. Anh N

    5 stars
    I came across this recipe because I needed to use up Celery, so I searched Celery in the blog and this was one of the first few recipes. I used 1 can of Northern beans and set it to pressure cook for 6 min. I used a can of fire roasted tomatoes because that was the only can of crushed tomatoes I had. I prob added more Celery than recipe called for to use up my Celery and even threw in a green bell pepper just to use it up. I didn’t have parsley for the bouquet garni – just bay leaves and thyme sprigs. I didn’t have the ingredients for the gremolata so I just added the juice of 1/2 of lime at the end. I saw one review saying the cumin was over powering. I used the full amount and did not think it was over powering. I saw another review about it being too salty. The recipe calls for kosher salt. I don’t have kosher salt, so I used 1/2 the amount for regular salt because I read that somewhere before. I’m not sure if that person who left the review used kosher salt or regular salt. Based on the reviews, I think my white bean stew probably came out more liquidy than it should be because I was lazy and diced the potatoes instead of grating them, plus because I wouldn’t have been able to grate them as well since I had only smaller creamer potatoes and not the yukon gold potatoes.
    But I still enjoyed this stew! Even if I didn’t have everything exactly as in the recipe. Ate a bowl full with a buttered Ciabatta roll.

    1. Anh N

      Also the recipe is pretty easy and loved that I could just put everything in, set time and not have to watch it. It does take a little longer for the natural release.

    2. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lengthy comment, Anh! It’s great to hear the recipe worked out well for you.

  13. Tarzan

    5 stars
    This stew was amazing! I never leave reviews on recipes, this is my first time doing so because this one was so tasty and easy to make. Highest of recommendations that everyone tries and rates this recipe.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Tarzan, Thank you so much for such a fantastic review! Appreciate you taking the time!

  14. vicky

    Excited to try out this recipe, and I’m wondering if I can use canned beans? Should I adjust the cooking time then?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Vicky, we haven’t tried this ourselves, but you can probably use canned beans (three 15-ounce cans) if you reduce the vegetable broth quantity. I’d say use 1 ½ cups and then evaluate the texture after it’s done pressure cooking. If too thick, add more broth and briefly simmer using the Saute setting to warm through. If too thin, simmer rapidly using the Saute setting until the liquid cooks down a bit more. And reduce the pressure cook time to 7 minutes since the beans are already cooked. Hope that works!

  15. Ju

    The 340g is dried weight or already soaked weight of the beans? I assumed it was dry weight but that looks like a lot of beans! More than 1.5 cups?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Ju, 340g is the dried weight. They will expand when soaked!

  16. El

    5 stars
    Turned out WAY more delicious than I expected. Very forgiving recipe
    I added more of everything and was generous with most ingredients (e.g. double of most of the spices, two bouquets garnis, 5 stalks of cucumber). I added a generous glug of olive oil to everything in the Instant Pot at the beginning. I did not have any tomato paste, so just added a big can of whole tomatoes (crushed with my hands while adding them). I also did not have any lemons to zest for the gremolada, so added lime juice. Served the stew with a generous amount of gremolada, and some nice bread with olive oil and balsamic for dipping. Turned out great! Very flavourful. Thank you!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We appreciate your feedback and support, El. Thank you for leaving a review!

      1. El

        5 stars
        oops, that should say celery, not cucumber! :)

  17. Theresa

    4 stars
    Ingredients make for an amazing stew. I unfortunately have gotten burn notices twice when trying to make it, and had to transfer to stove top to finish. I’ve tried both dried and canned beans. I follow the directions exactly. Any suggestions would be great

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Sorry to hear about your troubles! The instant pot can be finicky when cooking thicker tomato-based dishes, and unfortunately I’ve noticed that some models are more finicky than others (annoying, I know!). When using canned tomato products, which are quite thick, I recommend (1) really scraping up any browned bits after sauteing, as stuck bits of food can trigger the IP’s burn sensor; (2) adding all the ingredients to the pot, then slowly and gradually pouring the canned tomato product on top of everything so that it rests on top and doesn’t sink to the bottom (it helps to pour from a very low height and to not stir afterwards).

      If you’re still getting the IP burn notice using those techniques, my best suggestion would be to increase the broth used to 4 cups instead of 3.5 cups. Additional liquid will make the stew slightly thinner and less likely to trigger the burn warning.

      Hope those ideas help!

  18. Chelsea

    5 stars
    Delicious stew, and I love that it’s vegan but oh-so creamy. It’s a lovely warm recipe so I have enjoyed making it as the weather just starts to turn here. My only note is, if you aren’t thrilled with it on day one, don’t discount day two. I have found that the stew is much more flavorful after having been chilled in the fridge a day to be prepared as leftovers the next.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Chelsea, Thank you for your thoughtful review! We’re so happy to hear that you enjoyed the stew.

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