Turkish White Bean Stew is a classic dish in Turkish cuisine that is loved by everyone. White beans are cooked with tomato or red pepper paste, meat and spices. A super satisfying dinner for chilly days.
This bean stew is a traditional Turkish dish that is loved in the country as much as Lamb Kabobs. Unlike kabobs, the ingredients are simple and cheap and it is way easier to make at home. We always serve it with Orzo Rice Pilaf.
Ingredients For Turkish Beans
- White beans: Traditionally the beans we use for this stew in Turkey are called dermason, but you can use any white bean. For example, navy beans, cannellini beans or great northern beans are probably the best counterparts. The cooking duration of each might be different though, so just check them while cooking.
- No white beans on hand? Use black beans, red beans or even mung beans. Okay, it would become a completely different dish, but I think it would still taste amazing.
- Meat: We use either beef or lamb when making this stew. It is totally up to you, use whichever you like most. Although not something traditional, it can be made with diced chicken too. What’s more, you can take it to the next level when you use sujuk or pastirma as the substitute for meat. If you can’t find these, try it with spicy sausages or chorizo.
- Are you vegetarian? This is a versatile recipe, so you can just leave the meat out and follow the rest of the recipe as it is. You will end up with one of the tastiest vegetarian dishes ever.
- Onion and olive oil: These are staple in almost all the Turkish dishes and this stew is not an exception. Just make sure you chop the onion finely.
- Peppers: This is totally optional but we love both the color and the flavor they add in the dish, so we highly recommend it. Use green or red peppers. Doesn’t really matter. Add diced peppers into the pot at the same time with onions.
- Tomato/Pepper Paste: Use whichever you can find or a combination of both would be even better. Their concentrated flavors give a wonderful taste to the stew.
- Spices: In the traditional Turkish kuru fasulye recipe, cumin and black pepper are staple. You can use these as much as you like. Also, we love to add paprika or red pepper flakes for an even spicier kick.
Especially when making the bean stew vegetarian, you might want to add some more vegetables in it. For example, carrots, potatoes, spinach and kale definitely make the stew even tastier.
How To Make Turkish Style Bean Stew
- First, soak the white beans overnight. Rinse them well and cook in a deep pot with water until tender. Remove the foams coming out on the top while simmering. Drain and put aside.
- Second, cook the diced meat in a pot with a little water covered over medium low heat until tender.
- Third, add in olive oil, finely chopped onions and diced peppers when there is almost no water left in the pot. Cook these stirring occasionally until tender.
- Fourth, in a small bowl, thin the tomato paste or pepper paste with a little water and pour it into the pot. Stir well and cook for one or two minutes.
- Fifth, add in the cooked beans, salt and spices. Give it a good stir.
- Finally, pour hot water into the pot and let it simmer covered for about 15 minutes so that all the flavors blend well together.
What To Serve With This Spicy Bean Stew
Kuru Fasulye and Rice Pilaf are like the best couple in Turkish cuisine. They are always served together at restaurants. However, we sometimes make a change and serve it with Bulgur Pilaf, which complements the stew as perfectly as rice.
Besides a type of pilaf, there are two more foods to serve with the traditional Turkish bean stew:
We also love eating onions with this flavorsome stew, which is another tradition of Turks. We just slice an onion into four and we shred it while eating. You will find it funny, but there is also a traditional way of eating onion as a side to pair with this stew. Put the onion on the table and hit just on top of it with your fist, you’ll see how it’s shredded without using a knife. That is called “breaking onion”. In fact, it used to be a habit of Turkish ancestors as a way of showing how strong they were. And today, of course we don’t do the same, but we remember this interesting act of serving onions whenever we eat white beans.
Imagine all these on the table. If this dinner doesn’t make you feel in heaven, I don’t know what will!
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Other Bean RecipesPrint
Turkish White Bean Stew
A wonderful comforting bean stew made with white beans, lamb, pepper paste and spices.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: Turkish
- 2 cups white beans, uncooked or 4 cups cooked beans
- 300 g/10.5 oz lamb, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 cup diced green or red bell pepper
- 1 ½ tablespoons pepper paste
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika or red pepper flakes
- 3 cups hot water
- Rinse the white beanswell and soak them overnight. This will help them cook easier.
- Put them in a pot the following day, fill it with water. Bring it to boil and simmer until the beans are tender, about 40 minutes. Drain and put it aside.
- Meanwhile put the diced lamb in the pot with 1/4 cup water and cook until tender over medium low heat for about 40 minutes. Check if it gets tender enough when it absorbs almost all the water. If it’s not soft enough, add a little water and cook for another about 1o to 15 minutes.
- Add olive oil, onions and peppers over the meat in the pot. Cook them together until soft, stirring occasionally.
- In a small bowl, thin the red pepper paste with 1/4 cup water and pour it over the meat. Stir well and cook for one or two minutes.
- Add in the cooked beans, salt and spices. Stir well.
- Pour hot water into the pot, let it simmer covered for about 15 minutes.
- Serve hot with rice pilaf on the side.
Keywords: bean stew, white bean recipe, white bean stew, Turkish beans