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 152 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 152 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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237 comments on Vegan Instant Pot White Bean Stew

  1. Simrit Kaur

    5 stars
    HOLY MOLY WOW O WOW – THIS RECIPE RULES!!! FINALLY SOMETHING GOOD FOR INSTANT POT!!!

    I have been cooking with the Instant Pot for about two years and it honestly kind of sucks! But this recipe is delicious! I changed the instructions, this is what I did:

    – There is a SAUTEE function on your IP and that is the best way to start this dish by getting the flavor going
    – I sauteed the shallots until clearer and softer, then added spices, then the celery for a few mins and then garlic for a few mins – goal is softer and clearer, not fully cooked
    – Did a quick – 1 min – sautee of the potatoes
    – Turned off the IP and added the rest of the ingredients – I did stir
    – I did not add water, but I used double the amount of crushed tomatoes
    – I added in a lot more of the ingredients – about two tablespoons or more of cumin, two tablespoons paprika, 2-3 tablespoons dried thyme and I put a 4-5 large parsley stalks at the top of the mixture
    – I added a lot of olive oil
    – 12 mins was the perfect time for beans after sitting overnight (this is hard to achieve!)
    – Lemon on top was DELISH

    I have never had grated potatoes in a dish — OMG THEY WERE SO GOOD! SO CREAMY! BETTER THAN CHEESE!

    Cannot believe it. Thank you! Great job!!!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Simrit. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  2. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us, Sara. Your review is much appreciated!

  3. Linda

    Hi I was wondering if I could use red potato instead of Yukon? My store didn’t have any Yukon today

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Linda, yes you definitely can. Enjoy the stew!

  4. Eve

    5 stars
    We loved the recipe, just finished eating it. I didn’t have celery, used more potatoes. Just squeezed lemon juice on the finished soup. The only thing I wondered about is, it took about 40 minutes for it to natural release. Is that normal? and what if after 30 minutes I did quick release would that cause the beans to be not cooked enough?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Eve, I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe so much! There are a large amount of ingredients in this recipe, and the more you fill your pot, the longer the natural release is. If you allow it to naturally release for 30 minutes and then finish with a quick release, it should be absolutely fine. The beans should be done cooking after the pressure cooking part is complete and there won’t be too much steam that releases in those last 10 minutes.

  5. Janelle White

    Hi Nissa, wonder if this would freeze without gremolata topping? Looking for easy and freezable insta pot recipes.
    Thanks
    Janelle 🌻

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Janelle, yes you can! Just defrost in the fridge before reheating. Enjoy!

  6. Diane

    5 stars
    Can I substitute instant potatoes? If so quantity and directions. Thank you

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Diane, we wouldn’t recommend that substitution. The texture and flavor would be affected negatively, not to mention the fact that fresh potatoes contain starch that helps thicken the soup.

  7. Kathy Westermeyer

    5 stars
    Very tasty! I added carrots, zucchini, and yellow squash!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Kathy! Sounds great!

  8. Lizzabeth

    1 star
    Mine turned out like soup, the grated potatoes did not dissolve :( I have tried your other recipes that were good but not sure I’d make this one again.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Sorry to hear the recipe didn’t turn out as expected, Lizzabeth. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us, your feedback is appreciated.

    2. Aidan

      Isn’t this a soup?

  9. Shirley

    5 stars
    Great recipe. Nice & easy in the Instant Pot. Had some Rancho Gordo beans from the bean club so used 1/2 northern beans and 1/2 cranberry beans that I soaked overnight. Cooked a little longer than 12 minutes to get the desired bean texture I wanted. Shared 1/2 of the stew with a family member who also loved it. Thanks for the great recipe.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

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

  10. Lourdes

    Hi there! Your recipe sounds so yummy! I’m wondering how I might adapt it for use in a crockpot. If you have any suggestions I’d sure appreciate it!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Lourdes, we’re glad you think so! We haven’t tried it so we aren’t certain how this recipe will turn out when adapted to the crockpot, but here’s our best guess from what we’ve read on similar recipes online: Make sure to soak the dried beans in advance to ensure they’re really soft, then add all ingredients to the crock pot and stir, and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours, or until the beans are tender.

  11. Robyn

    3 stars
    There was way too much liquid and it was not a stew unfortunately.

  12. Kelsey

    5 stars
    I really liked this soup. I modified it just a bit. I used a sweet onion because I didn’t have shallots. I used 2 cans of cannellini beans because I didn’t have dried beans and pressure cooked for 5 minutes with natural release. In the future I might try 3 minutes with natural release. Soup was delicious and fresh tasting with fresh lemon juice and parsley. My little one added some fresh parm too

  13. MJ

    I substituted borlotti beans because it was the closest thing I could find. It was nice!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi MJ, we’re thrilled to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  14. Aivlis

    5 stars
    Made it with canned beans and it came out perfect! So quick and easy for a a weekday dinner.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Aivlis, So glad to hear you loved this recipe!

  15. Joanne

    4 stars
    I enjoyed making this and found the flavors to be really tasty- loved learning about a gremolata and the additional lemon at the end was very good. While I did soak beans overnight, I found the 12 min on my insta pot left the beans a bit underdone & crunchy and not as creamy as I would like.
    Even my non vegi husband enjoyed it and I cooked up some tofurkey sausages on the side for my “ meat lover”, which went well with the stew!
    I’ll add additional cooking time to when I make it again.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re glad you enjoyed the stew, Joanne! Sorry to hear the beans were underdone. Were you able to soak them overnight? Also, could they have potentially been old? This causes beans to cook more slowly.

  16. andrea

    i can’t find dry white beans anywhere. can i used canned?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Andrea, since the beans would already be cooked, you could just pressure cook this for 5 minutes instead. You’d also need less broth, maybe about 1 1/2 to 2 cups, depending on your preferred consistency.

  17. Nicole

    5 stars
    Hello Nesha,

    thank you for your YouTube videos, which I discovered while searching for appetizing vegan recipes. Thanks to your talents, these recipes are inspiring and appetizing!

    I have a question about your use of celery: at my weekly market here in Central Europe, I can easily find celery ROOT, but I’ll have to look further into celery stalks / ribs. Where I am living, celery root is a very common winter vegetable.
    >> Is celery root commonly used in the US? Unfortunately, among your recipes, I did not find a recipe using celery root.
    (I know one has to be careful, as some people are, unfortunately, very allergic to this vegetable).

    I am also looking forward to trying celery seeds.

    Finally, a HUGE thank you, because you also indicate the quantities in g / kg, liters, etc., it’s SOOO much faster than having to do lots of boring calculations!

    Thank you again, sorry for my bad English, and best regards from the French-speaking part of Switzerland.

    Nicole

    P.s. Unlike the frying pan, the instant pot is not the kitchen utensil that inspires me the most (so I adapt the recipe to a traditional pot, but maybe I’m wrong … 🙄 ).
    Do you plan to publish a book with more recipes using the frying pan?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi there Nicole, thanks for the comment!

      We don’t have any recipes that require celery root but you can add it to this creamy lentil and vegetable bake if you’d like!

      Also, it’s not a huge deal if you omit the celery stalks in this recipe! You can really add any vegetables you’d like.

      We’re happy you love the recipes :)

      & A regular cookbook will be here in 2024!

  18. Judy

    5 stars
    This was excellent! I didn’t have shallots so I used a medium yellow onion and had to sub out crushed tomatoes for diced but it was still delicious! My husband said, ” this is a keeper!”. Thank you for a quick, easy and delicious recipe!

    1. Hannah @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Judy, I’m so glad you and your husband have added this recipe to your “keeper” folder. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

  19. Paula

    5 stars
    This sounds really good and love the convenience of it all in one pot. I don’t have an Insta Pot but just got a pressure cooker/canner. Do you know if the amount of time would be the same in a pressure cooker? Thank you.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Paula, yes an Instant Pot and pressure cooker are the same! Enjoy :)

  20. Karen the nice one

    Made my shopping list. Can’t wait to try ( need to soak those beans)!

    FYI bought my first container of coconut yogurt yesterday-
    Beginner vegan :)

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Enjoy! And congrats on the yogurt! :)

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