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 Vegan Instant Pot White Bean Stew is also 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!
Why you’ll like this recipe
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).
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 before adding the remaining ingredients. That’s because there’s no hands-on cooking involved 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 up a little bit, I add in one large Yukon Gold Potato. I grate it with a box grater (the side with the large holes) so that 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.
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!
Substitutes and Modifications for this Recipe
With 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) If using unsoaked beans, 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 as high as 55 minutes.
With 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.
How to make this recipe with pantry-only ingredients
I am going to count garlic, shallots, potatoes, and lemons as pantry ingredients since they have a long shelf-life.
But if you don’t have shallots? Try leeks! Don’t have leeks? Try a sweet onion.
Other than that, to make this pantry-friendly, do the following:
Omit the celery
Replace the fresh parsley and thyme in the bouquet garni with dried thyme (1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons). I think dried parsley has no flavor so I would use dried oregano instead (about 1 teaspoon)
Omit the gremolata topping, as it contains parsley. But I think it’s worth grating lemon zest and garlic on top of the stew. Definitely squeeze some fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil on top before serving (omit the latter if you’re oil-free, obvi).
And if you’re looking for more pantry-friendly recipes, be sure to check out these!
- Caramelized Onion Pasta
- Easy Chana Masala (Instant or stovetop)
- Mediterranean Lentil and Grain Bowls
- Instant Pot Thai Red Curry Sweet Potato Soup
- Instant Pot Fennel, Chickpea, and Brown Rice Stew
- 10-Ingredient Vegan Pantry Pasta
- 10-Ingredient Red Lentil Bolognese
- Vegan Italian White Bean Stew
Recipe Video! Vegan Instant Pot White Bean Stew
Finally, this recipe couldn’t be simpler, but if you want a visual (always helpful IMO), check out this video on my dump-and-go Instant Pot recipes! This Vegan Instant Pot White Bean Stew recipe is the second one and begins at the 02:44 mark.
More Recipes You’ll Love
In the mood for even more vegan instant pot recipes? Here are some more I think you’ll love:
- Instant Pot Vegan White Bean Quinoa Chili
- Instant Pot Thai Red Curry Sweet Potato Soup
- Instant Pot Pearl Couscous and Lentil Salad
And if just white bean focused recipes you’re after, I can’t recommend this Creamy White Bean and Kale Soup strongly enough. It’s a fan favorite!
If you give this recipe a try, be sure to tag me on Instagram with your recreations and please comment with your feedback below!
- 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
- 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
- Pour the vegetable broth into the Instant Pot. Add the soaked and drained white beans, shallots, garlic, celery, grated potatoes, cumin, paprika, the bouquet garni, salt, and pepper. 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.