This vegan white bean stew is a classic in Middle Eastern cuisine, and this version is known as Moroccan Loubia. This loubia recipe is made so easy using canned beans, with no overnight soak required, and just a handful of ingredients. It’s packed with flavor, so healthy and truly delicious. You’ll love it!
What is loubia?
Loubia generally refers to as legumes, and in other cuisines (like Lebanese) can refer to green beans, like this recipe. It’s more generally associated with this white bean stew, Moroccan loubia that has a rich tomato sauce.
Moroccan loubia is a traditional North African stew, made with or without meat. You can make this with beef, lamb, or just do a simple vegetarian version like I have for you here. White beans simmer in a spiced tomato base to give you loubia that’s packed with flavor.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Using canned white beans make this stew SO EASY. No pre planning required, just a handful of pantry ingredients and some spices/herbs.
- The total time to make this is 30 minutes start to finish. Perfect for a weeknight meal!
- This is a vegan white bean stew, so it’s great for if you want to take a break from meat. This also means the prep goes even easier.
- It’s packed with flavor with just a few easy to find spices-no exotic spice mixes, no harissa or preserved lemon required. You should have everything for this already in your spice cabinet.
- Moroccan loubia is a hit with kids too! Mine couldn’t stop eating this. It’s good hot, warm and cold. Tastes even better the next day!
What you need to make these stewed beans:
Cannellini Beans (white beans): most recipes will use dried cannellini beans, this one is made SO much simpler by using canned beans. Make sure you drain them and rinse them thoroughly to get rid of any of that can residue.
Canned diced tomatoes: Again, simpler than using fresh tomatoes. Also, adding the tomatoes in with their juice lets us add less water to the saucepan, giving us even more flavor.
Onion: Try to chop this as finely as you can, you don’t want big chunks while eating.
Garlic: Fresh garlic gives the best flavor!
Olive oil: I like using really good quality extra virgin olive oil, because it infuses its flavor into the rest of the stew.
Tomato Paste: This really helps deepen the tomato flavor at the base of the stewed beans. I highly recommend adding it.
Parsley and cilantro: a mix of both fresh herbs is common, and each give it’s own flavor. I recommend sticking to a mix, but if you have only one on hand you can just use one and double the quantity.
Salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin, and paprika: You really don’t need much to get a beautiful spiced Moroccan loubia. Of course, you are free to add more or less of any spice according to your preferences.
Water: Just a 1/2 cup, since the can of diced tomatoes will already offer a good amount of liquid.
How to make the best loubia recipe:
- Saute the onion in the hot olive oil until softened, then add the garlic.
- After another minute or so, add the tomato paste, then the fresh herbs and spices.
- Add the diced tomatoes with their juice and the water and simmer for about 10 minutes before adding the drained white beans.
- Add the beans, and simmer for 10 minutes. Enjoy hot, warm or even room temperature or cold.
What to serve Moroccan loubia with:
We love to eat this by scooping it up with thick pita bread. So comforting!
You can also use naan bread or any bread of choice.
Alternately, this would also be great over vermicelli rice, for more of a main dish.
Leftovers will last tightly covered in the fridge for up to 4 days (and still taste great!) They can be rewarmed over low heat or gently in the microwave.
You can also freeze this vegetarian beef stew for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight then rewarm on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Recipe tips and tricks:
- Since canned beans are already cooked, you don’t need to simmer too long once they are in the tomato stew. Simmer on a low heat for just 5-10 minutes until you get the perfect tenderness, and stir gently otherwise they might start to break apart. Don’t overcook.
- Dice the onions finely and take your time cooking them until they soften, about 5 minutes. This will start to release so much flavor into the stew.
- Rinse the canned beans well before starting to remove any of that sort of sliminess from the canning liquid.
Yes, very healthy! Full of protein and fiber, these will fill you up and give you important vitamins and minerals.
No, absolutely not! If you are using canned beans these are cooked and basically ready to go once you drain and rinse them.
No, it will overcook the beans and lead to mush. An instant pot should only be used with dry beans, not canned beans, which require much longer to cook through.
It’ll require a lot more time, but yes. You need to soak the beans overnight, then add the soaked beans to a pressure cooker the next day along with the rest of the ingredients. They’ll need about 17 minutes on high pressure to cook through.
For related bean recipes:
And for more Vegan Middle Eastern recipes, click here:
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Moroccan Stewed White Beans- Loubia
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4-5 crushed garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (coriander)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 can diced tomatoes with their juice 400 g, 14.5oz
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cans white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 400 g each can, 14.5oz
- Add the olive oil to a medium sized saucepan set over medium high heat.
- Add the finely diced onion, and saute for a few minutes until softened and fragrant. Add the garlic cloves, and saute for another minute.
- Add the tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds, then add the chopped parsley, the chopped cilantro, salt, pepper and all the spices.
- Add the diced tomatoes and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and simmer covered for 10 minutes.
- Add the drained and rinsed white beans, and very gently stir to combine. Simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes, then remove from the heat.
- Enjoy warm or at room temperature, preferably with pita or naan bread to dip into the stew.