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 Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
4.9 from 32 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.

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 this, 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 32 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 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mediterranean, New American
Diet Vegan
Keyword: gluten-free, instant pot, no added oil, nut-free, soy-free, white beans
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 cups (720 mL) vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 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.

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42 comments on Vegan Instant Pot White Bean Stew

  1. Shweta

    I’m an InstantPot newbie and have been a lover of your YouTube channel for a while! I tried to make this stew this weekend but kept getting the dreaded “food burn” message. I transferred the stew to another pot and scraped the first one clean, transferred it back, added more liquid, and tried to keep cooking but I kept getting the Food Burn message. I’m not sure what happened, as I put the tomatoes and tomato paste at the top as stated. Would I need to add more broth?

  2. SABRINA S

    12 minutes was NOT enough for soaked white northern beans. Mine were still mostly hard and had wrinkled skin…. had to turn the instant pot on again for another round.

  3. Sarah OBrien

    Way too salty and I only used half teaspoon of salt in the main recipe and didn’t add any in the Gremolata… Also, had to finish off cooking on the stove top as I kept getting ‘food burn’ message (I did add tomatoes and paste last, as advised, without stirring), although this, of course, is a criticism of the instant pot, not the chef…. I’ll try another of your recipes hopefully with better success….

  4. Overseas

    Just made this much lower in carbs by switching the white potatoes for shredded kohlrabi. Was delicious, and next time will try parsnip. I used canned beans , pressure for 5 min, next time will add shredded carrots and do it for 6 min. I wanted the celery a drop softer.

  5. Amanda

    I’ve had this recipe saved to make for awhile now, and finally decided to make it today. I soaked the beans for 8 hrs, did the pressure cook for the 12 minutes, and left it to naturally release pressure which took almost 40 minutes, and the texture of the beans were amazing! I didn’t have any fresh lemon, so I actually used orange zest to make the gremolata, and it was delicious, added a nice freshness to the dish. Looking forward to the leftovers for later this week as well.

  6. Holly

    I cannot wait to try this! My new fav of yours is the red lentil dal from your book. My daughter, who does not like lentils, ate practically the entire potful. Thanks so much for your recipes. I am a fan for life.

    Holly in Nyack, NY

  7. Nancy

    I made this tonight and it was delicious. My husband loved it too. I didn’t make the gremolata but I will give it a try for the leftovers.

  8. Inna E Belt

    Excellent! Easy to make and sooooo delicious! Husband loves it too ☺️

  9. Mia

    Making this for the second time and its definately a meal I want in the freezer at all times for those days I just want a hearty wholesome meal. I did add orange and green lentils to the mix instead of the potato, just for the extra protein hit. I look forward to trying more of your recipes :)

  10. Jennifer

    I made this stew for supper tonight and served it with garlic toast and it was so yummy! The grocery store in my area was out of fresh thyme so I had to use dried, but it was still good. I agree that you should definitely not skimp on the gremolata. It adds such a fresh flavour to the stew.

  11. Mary

    There is so much that I loved about this recipe. The ease of throwing everything into one pot. However, there are things that I would do differently. The beans were soaked overnight but they still turning out pretty crunchy. Some of the other vegetables remaining crunchy. That’s not a deal breaker. The crushed tomatoes and tomato paste were put on the top as per the recipe. However, when the slow release was ended, they were still in a blob on top of the stew, therefore not melding their flavors with the rest of the stew. Next time I would stir them in and if the burn signal came I, I would add more vegetable broth. The deal breaker for me was the cumin. It overpowers the rest of the flavors, with no benefit. I cut the flavor of the cumin by adding balsamic vinegar. I would not use smoked paprika as that is too overpowering as well. The gremolata is a nice feature but I did not have those ingredients so I just drizzled extra virgin olive oil on top of the soup bowl when serving. All of these negatives can be resolved. Cooking longer, stirring all of the ingredients, and leaving out the cumin.

  12. Melissa R

    I’d love to try this sometime this week but no instant pot. What changes would you make for just basic stove pot cooking method?

  13. Amanda Fry

    This recipe is absolutely amazing! My boyfriend and I love this. Super easy and quick to make. Shredding the potato gives it the perfect texture. I love all your recipes that I’ve tried. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and heart, I appreciate you.

  14. Carolyn

    This recipe is a MUST MAKE! The stew tasted like the bean and barley stew I used to make with stew meat. It had this hardy flavor. My kids, who are not vegetarians, loved the stew and didn’t miss the meat. My husband, who is a pescatarian, enjoyed it so much he had seconds. I could make one meal for the whole family!

    1. Nisha

      Woohoo, that’s awesome to hear, Carolyn! So glad this white bean stew reminded you of something you used to love. And always a success when the whole family enjoys the meal!

  15. Kellen

    Wow! So flavorful and delicious! My husband is always cautious when I tell him something is vegan but I’m always positive he’ll love it when it is one of your recipes. This dish is incredible, complex flavors without an overly complex recipe!

  16. Srav

    Made this again and had to leave a comment! It’s so tasty and comforting. One of my favorite dishes! Thank, Nisha!

  17. Elaine Vullemier

    How do you make this without an instant pot?

    1. Caralyn R

      I just did, it’s on the stove, looks good! Fingers crossed. I also used 2 cans of cannelini beans instead of the dryed beans. Hoping that was the right amount!

    2. Lili

      I made this with the use of a cast iron pot: I adjusted the amont of the vegetable broth to 1000mL (keep in mind to adjust the salt as well if the broth is also salty) and reduced the amount of the beans to 250g. First I’ve sautéd the onions in the pot using olive oil until a couple of them stared to brown to make the taste richer.
      I used dried and soaked beans and it took them 2,5-3 hours to cook in the oven at 180°C. I checked first after 90 minutes and stirred it, then every 30 minutes (I was prepared to add extra broth but it wasn’t neccessary) until the sauce was creamy and the beans were tender.

  18. Eti

    Soup came out yummy! My hubby asked me to make him one and glad he enjoyed your recipe. I used navy beans and had to re-cook it as it wasn’t soft enough. I’m thinking beans may have not been the best quality or maybe too old. After the 2nd round it was perfect. I enjoy your recipes and tried a few in the past. Thank you very much!

  19. Sravya

    This is such a delicious recipe! its so comforting. i love drizzling it with some good olive oil and lemon juice!

  20. Puja

    This is such a hearty recipe, love it for the fall or anytime really!

  21. Judy

    Oh, and about 2 c chopped kale!

  22. Judy

    Followed the recipe and added a chopped carrot and 1 c diced eggplant. It was delicious!!

  23. Janie

    Would love to have nutrition information.

  24. Nina

    I’ve tried many dump and go instant pot recipes because they’re so easy but they’re usually a little lacking in flavor. Not so with this recipe! Thank you!

  25. Amanda Fry

    3 stalks of celery is way too much. I hope you mean 3 ribs of celery. I used 3 ribs and it was perfect. Otherwise, recipe was delicious. I will definitely make again. Thank you.

    1. Nisha Vora

      Haha yes, you’re right. I have a habit of calling the whole stalk a "head of celery" and the individual pieces stalks instead of ribs, but I’m glad you were able to figure it out and enjoyed it!

  26. nina from southern california

    How do you print out the recipes ? Also, how many cans of cannelini beans would I use—don’t have a IPot and don’t cook beans.

    1. Barbara gray

      Use one can rinsed. I tend. to hand write some of her recipes out if I can’t print them.

    2. Pomy

      Nisha, you magician you! I ended up using canned beans for those who are asking. I used 3 cans of cannelloni, 2 cups of water instead of three, and set my instant pot to 5 min.

      Perfection. Such a depth of flavor. I appreciate you!

  27. L

    Hiya I love your recipes so much!! I have 500g dried beans so this would make 1.5x the recipe here- should I increase the broth too ? Thanks

  28. Nina B

    Greetings from ‘lockdown’ UK. I’ve just found your fabulous blog and having fun exploring your recipes… where is the print button for the instant pot white bean stew? I’m sure it’s probably me not looking properly🙄 thanks. I’m going to look at your cookbook next on Amazon UK. Stay safe….

  29. Angie

    This is delicious! I had to keep it under pressure for a full 25 minutes to get the soaked beans the right consistancy but otherwise the recipe is terrific.

  30. Akshie

    Hi, I’d like to try this recipe, but I don’t have an instant pot. How long should I cook it the traditional way?

  31. Amanda

    I made this in the hopes that it would taste like a similar Greek bean stew my boyfriend’s mom makes on the stove; sadly it did not taste quite as good (I think hers was more oily?) but it was still very filling and delicious! I didn’t have parsley so I omitted that, and I also was way too impatient to natural release so I released it manually after about 15 mins, but it was still great!

  32. Melanie

    This was amazing! The lemon and parsley totally complete it!

  33. Marcie Mix

    Wow, great flavorful recipe, thanks!! I do have a question though. My dried beans did not cook all of the way and they were still semi hard. I followed all of the directions like soaking etc… any suggestions? Thanks and keep the great recipes coming!!

  34. Iain Henderson

    If you use tinned beans how many tins would you use for this recipe.

  35. Lori Famularo

    Can you use a Slow Cooker for this recipe? If you can, would you cook it on high or low and for how many hours.

  36. Maneesha

    Hi Nisha! What a great recipe! So easy to make! I love the addition of the gremolata! Absolutely delish! You nailed it with this one, Nisha!

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