Kuru fasulye, Turkish bean stew, is a classic dish in Turkish cuisine that is loved by everyone. It has white beans in a delicious tomato mix and is good for meat lovers or vegetarians. A super satisfying dinner for chilly days.
Kuru Fasülye In Turkish Culture
Turkish white bean stew called kuru fasulye is a loved and classic dish in Turkey. Everyone including kids enjoy it heartily. This bean stew is popular because it is cheap, easy to change, and simple to make.
Families share their special kuru fasulye recipes, so there are many different versions across Turkey. You can prepare it with diced beef, diced lamb, lamb chops, pastrami (a seasoned, air-dried cured meat), sujuk (a dry, spicy sausage), or even create a vegetarian version for a meat-free option.
The flavor-packed bean stew is a staple at any lokanta (local eateries serving only traditional soups, stews and desserts) in Turkey. If you happen to visit Istanbul one day, you should definitely have lunch at one of these Turkish style restaurants. You will feel in heaven!
Turkish beans stew is often enjoyed with Turkish rice or bulgur pilav, making it a complete and satisfying meal. In many cases, they are served together in the same bowl, allowing the flavors to meld and complement each other.
To complete the dining experience, beef stew with white beans (etli kuru) and pilav are frequently accompanied by cacık, a refreshing yogurt-based side dish made with cucumber, garlic, and mint. Cacık offers a cooling contrast to the warmth of the bean stew, balancing the overall flavors of the meal.
Additionally, pickles are commonly served on the side too, providing a tangy and crunchy element that further enhances the taste of the dish. This combination of flavors and textures makes an iconic and much-loved meal in Turkish cuisine.
Why don't you try our quick pickled red cabbage recipe and enjoy it with this unique stew?
Why You Will Like This Recipe
- Flavorful and comforting: The combination of tender white beans, rich tomato sauce, and aromatic spices creates a flavorful and comforting meal that pleases a variety of palates.
- Nutritious: Beans are packed with protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, so kuru fasülye is a healthy and satisfying dish that can be part of a balanced diet.
- Versatile: This dish can be made meaty or vegetarian. Both versions are super tasty!
- Easy to prepare:It is a simple recipe with straightforward steps, making it an excellent option for both experienced cooks and beginners alike.
- Crowd-pleaser: The hearty and flavorful nature of the dish makes it a popular choice for family gatherings, potlucks, or just a cozy dinner at home.
- Freezer-friendly: It can be prepared in advance and stored in the freezer, making it a convenient option for busy schedules.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Let's explore the key ingredients and handy substitutions for this Turkish white bean recipe.
- Dried white beans: Use cannellini beans or navy beans. These beans are the main ingredient and provide protein and a satisfying texture.
- Onion: Diced onion adds sweetness and flavor to the dish. You can replace it with shallots.
- Spices: Cumin, black pepper, and paprika (or red pepper flakes) give kuru fasulye its warm, deep flavor.
- Green bell pepper: We use it as a substitute for Turkish green peppers. You can use a mixture of red and green peppers if you want.
- Beef or lamb: These meats make the dish more filling and add a rich flavor. You can leave them out for a vegetarian version.
- Tomato: Diced tomato adds freshness and a bit of acidity to balance the flavors. You can use canned tomatoes if fresh ones aren't available.
- Tomato paste and red pepper paste: These pastes thicken the sauce and give it a deep color. If you can't find red pepper paste, use an extra tablespoon of tomato paste.
- Water: You can use beef broth for a richer flavor.
How To Make It
Making this kuru fasulye recipe is easier than you might think! With just a few simple steps and ingredients, you'll be able to create this delicious and comforting Turkish dish in no time.
Soak the beans
- Rinse the white beans well.
- Place them in a large pot or bowl.
- Fill it with plenty of water and let the beans soak overnight or at least for 7 hours. This helps them cook easier.
Prepare the stew base
- Drain the beans and set them aside. Discard the soaking water.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. A Dutch oven or an earthen cookware works great, but you can use a normal pot too.
- Cook the diced onion until translucent. Season with cumin, black pepper, and paprika (or red pepper flakes).
- Add in green peppers and beef (or lamb) cubes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes or until brown.
- Add in diced tomato, tomato paste (and red pepper paste if using), and salt. Stir well.
Cook the stew
- Pour water into the pot and bring it to a boil. Skim off any foam.
- Reduce the heat to low, place the lid on the pan, and let it simmer for about an hour or until the meat is almost tender.
- Add in the soaked white beans and continue cooking, covered, for 40 minutes or until the beans are soft. It might take longer depending on the type of bean you are using. The consistency should be like a thick soup. Add extra water if needed and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
Can I Cook The Beans In A Pressure Cooker?
Yes, you can cook the beans in a pressure cooker, which will significantly reduce the cooking time. To do so, follow these steps:
- After soaking the beans overnight or for at least 7 hours, drain and rinse them.
- Place the beans in the pressure cooker and add enough water to cover them by about 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm).
- Close the pressure cooker, making sure the lid is locked in place and the pressure valve is closed.
- Cook the beans on high pressure for 10-15 minutes (depending on the type of bean and desired tenderness). For a softer texture, cook closer to 15 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally for about 10 minutes before carefully opening the pressure valve to release any remaining pressure. Once the pressure is fully released, open the lid.
- Drain the beans and set them aside. Discard the cooking water.
After cooking the beans in the pressure cooker, follow the recipe from the step where you sauté the onions and spices, adding the pre-cooked beans when instructed. This method saves time and delivers tender beans for your stew.
Turkish beans and beef stew is a versatile dish that can be adapted to suit different preferences. Here are some popular variations:
- Lamb chops: Similar to diced meat, add the lamb chops after cooking the onions and spices. Brown them with the onions before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.
- Pastrami: It should be added after cooking the onions, spices, and green peppers. Sauté the pastrami for a few minutes to release its flavors before adding the tomatoes, tomato paste, and water.
- Sujuk: Slice the sujuk into thin rounds and add them after cooking the onions, spices, and green peppers. Sauté the sujuk briefly to release its flavors and then continue with the recipe.
- Vegetarian: For a vegetarian version, simply omit the meat and follow the rest of the recipe. If you want to add more vegetables, such as carrots or celery, chop them and add them after the onions have cooked and before the tomatoes, tomato paste, and water.
Here are some serving suggestions to enhance your kuru fasulye experience:
- Pilav: It is often served with Turkish rice pilaf or bulgur pilaf. If you want even a more aromatic pilaf, try our rice with raisins. They all complement the hearty bean stew, creating a satisfying and complete meal.
- Cacik: This cool, creamy dish balances the warmth and richness of the stew, making for a delightful contrast of flavors.
- Pickles: Serve it with a side of tangy pickles, which provide a crunchy and flavorful contrast to the soft beans and tender meat in the stew. Check out our quick beet pickles recipe and make your own pickles.
- Bread: Serve it with breads like bazlama and Ramazan pidesi to scoop up the delicious stew or soak up any remaining sauce in your bowl.
- Salad: Pair it with a simple, fresh Turkish shepherd salad or tangy red onion salad with sumac.
- Garnish: Sprinkle fresh parsley or dill over the stew just before serving to add a touch of freshness and color to the dish.
Imagine all these on the table. If this dinner doesn’t make you feel in heaven, we don’t know what will!
Storing & Reheating
Storing in the fridge
- Allow the stew to cool to room temperature after cooking.
- Transfer the cooled stew to an airtight container or cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap.
- Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- For longer storage, you can freeze this stew. Once cooled, transfer it to a freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag, leaving some space at the top for expansion.
- Label the container with the date and contents before sealing.
- Store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- If you've stored kuru fasulye in the refrigerator, reheat it in a saucepan over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through. You can add a little water or broth if needed to thin out the stew.
- If you've frozen it, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight or use the defrost setting on your microwave. Once thawed, reheat it following the same method as above.
As always: If you make this recipe, let us know what you think by rating it and leaving a comment below. And post a pic on Instagram too—tag @give_recipe so we can see!
Kuru Fasulye Recipe (Turkish Beans)
Kuru fasulye is a comforting and flavorful Turkish bean stew made with white beans, tender meat, and aromatic spices. This versatile dish can be enjoyed with various meats or as a vegetarian option. Traditionally served with Turkish rice or bulgur pilav, kuru fasulye makes for a satisfying and wholesome meal that can be easily prepared and customized to suit your taste preferences.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: Turkish
- 300 g (10.5 oz) dried white beans (cannelini beans or navy beans)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika (or red pepper flakes)
- ½ cup diced green bell pepper (or 2 Turkish green peppers)
- 400 g / 14 oz beef or lamb, diced
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ tablespoon red pepper paste (Use extra 1 tablespoon tomato paste if you can't find it.)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 750 ml (3 and ¾ cups) water
- Rinse the white beans well. Put them in a large pot or bowl. Fill it with enough water to cover the beans and let the them soak overnight or at least for 7 hours. This will help them cook easier.
- Drain the beans and put them aside. Discard the soaking water.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium height. Dutch oven works great. Cook the diced onion until translucent. Season with cumin, black pepper and pepper.
- Add in green peppers and beef (or lamb) cubes. Cook uncovered stirring occasionally. It will release some juice. If it is too dry and doesn't have any juice (yet), add in a little water (1-2 tablespoons) and keep cooking. Then the meat should release its juice. Let it cook for 10 minutes.
- Add in diced tomato, tomato paste (and red pepper paste if using) and salt, give it a good stir. Let it cook for 5 minutes uncovered.
- Pour water into the pot and bring it to a boil. Skim the foam. Reduce the heat to low, place the lid on the pan and let it simmer for about an hour or until the meat is almost tender.
- Add in the soaked white beans and continue cooking covered for 40 minutes or until the beans are soft. It might take longer depending on the type of bean you are using. The consistency will be like a thick soup. Add a little more water if needed and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Serve it with Turkish rice or bulgur pilav.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 202
- Sugar: 2.4 g
- Sodium: 465.8 mg
- Fat: 6.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 16.6 g
- Protein: 18.7 g
- Cholesterol: 43.3 mg
Keywords: kuru fasulye, Turkish beans