Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Recipe for Mushroom, White Bean, and Tomato Stew with Parmesan

This Mushroom, White Bean, and Tomato Stew makes a great meatless meal.

Lately I've noticed a lot of food blogs talking about Meatless Mondays.  When I researched it a little, I was surprised to find out that this slogan encouraging Americans to eat less meat was actually created in 2003, as part of a marketing campaign designed to get people to start out the week with healthy habits.  For several years now I've noticed I'm eating less meat myself, and although I'll never be a vegetarian, when I find a meatless recipe like this with lots of flavor I'm always happy.  I was never good at following rules, so of course today is not Monday, but no matter what day of the week you made this, it would make a great lunch or dinner.  

This delightful stew with mushrooms, white beans, and tomatoes was delicious, easy to make, and if you left off the Parmesan and used vegetable stock it could easily be made vegan.  You can eat it over brown rice like I did,  serve it over whole wheat pasta, or just eat it alone, but please try this recipe.  And don't skip the ground fennel, which was one of the flavors that I thought really made this interesting. 

Heat olive oil in heavy pan, then saute onions, garlic, and herbs until the onions are soft and starting to brown.

While onions cook, wash and trim crimini mushrooms, then cut into quarters (or sixths if the mushrooms are large.)

Add mushrooms to the pan with onions, add stock, cover and simmer 5-6 minutes.

While mushrooms simmer, drain the beans into a colander placed in the sink, rinse with cold water until no more foam appears, and let drain.

When mushrooms have cooked add beans, tomatoes, and fresh chopped parsley, cover pan, and simmer on low for 10 minutes more.

After 10 minutes you should have a thickened stew with the flavors well blended.   Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Serve hot, over brown rice or whole wheat pasta or just plain in a bowl.  This is great topped with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

Mushroom, White Bean, and Tomato Stew with Parmesan
(Makes about 4 servings, recipe adapted slightly from Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers.)

1 1/2 T olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. ground fennel seed
pinch dried sage
12 oz. Cremini mushrooms, washed, trimmed, and cut in quarters (or sixths if the mushrooms are large.  Cremini mushrooms are sometimes called Baby Bellas.)
1/4 cup homemade chicken stock (or use canned chicken or vegetable broth.  If using canned broth I would start with 1/2 cup and reduce it by simmering before adding to the recipe for more concentrated flavor.)
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, rinsed
1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (I used flat Italian parsley, but either kind will work)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional, but good)

Heat olive oil in a large heavy frying pan large enough to hold all ingredients.  Add onion, garlic, thyme, fennel, and sage and saute, stirring a few times, until the onions are softened and starting to brown.  This will take about 8 minutes.

While onions cook wash mushrooms, trim off woody stems, and cut mushrooms into quarters or sixths.  When onions are slightly browned, add mushrooms and 1/4 cup stock, and let simmer covered for 5-6 minutes, until mushrooms have shrunk somewhat and released their juice.  While mushrooms cook drain the beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse with cold water until no more foam appears.

After mushrooms have cooked 5-6 minutes, add drained beans, tomatoes and juice, and 1/2 cup chopped parsley to the pan.  Cover again and simmer 10  minutes more.

After 10 minutes the stew should be slightly thickened and flavors should be well-blended.  Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Serve hot, over brown rice or whole wheat pasta, or just in a bowl as a meatless stew.  This is great topped with freshly-grated parmesan cheese.

I didn't have any left to freeze, but I'm sure this freezes well if you can manage to have leftovers.

South Beach Suggestions: 
Served in a bowl (without rice or noodles) this low-glycemic stew would make a great meatless main dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet.  With brown rice or whole wheat noodles it would be approved for phase 2 or 3 of the diet.

More Meatless Main Dishes for Any Day of the Week:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Mexican Red Lentil Stew with Lime and Cilantro from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spicy Red Lentil and Chickpea Stew / Paula's Moroccan Lentil Stew from Kalyn's Kitchen
Baked Falafel Patties with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen
Stir-Fried Tofu with Scallions, Garlic, Ginger, and Soy Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spaghetti with Courgettes, Tomatoes, and Chevre from Tigers and Strawberries
Curry Spiced Noodles from Ezra Pound Cake
Meatless Shepherd's Pie from Cheap Healthy Good
Mushroom Stroganof from Chez Us
Homemade Meatless Meatballs from Enlightened Cooking
Curried Rice and Lentils from Simply Sugar and Gluten Free
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  1. Oh, yes, this is my kind of dish. I'd probably skip the rice and just serve it in a bowl with lots and lots of cheese.

  2. I love the idea of meatless mondays (although for me lately it's meatless most every day!) and I love this stew. White beans are one of my great loves and the other ingredients in this are rock stars also!

  3. Kalyn, what a wonderful vegetarian dish - full of flavor and hearty enough for a main course. Love the fennel - I don't use it much because it's a strong flavor, but it sounds perfect in this recipe!

  4. Looks terrific! I can get away with meatless meals as long as I don't point out that they are meatless, they include lots of mushrooms, and they taste great. So this one will definitely work, Kalyn! :-) Hubby would like it over rice, too. I'll skip the rice, but I'll enjoy the stew. And LOL on not following the rules ... I hear you on that. My schedule doesn't coincide with the rest of the world's very often. ;-)


  5. I am also eating alot less meat these days,These pictures are great and this looks delicious

  6. What a beautiful dish! I've been eating less and less meat over the last two years or so too, and I am happy for it. Though I don't think I will ever become a FT vegetarian again.

  7. If I'm not mistaken, Meatless Mondays is actually from rationing during WWI. It went along with Wheatless Wednesday. It was picked up again recently to encourage healthy eating and green-habits and such. It's also economical :)
    This recipe looks SO tasty! I can't wait to try it! ~ L

  8. So glad people are liking this combination. And glad to hear I'm not the only one who has trouble following a schedule too.

    Lauren, according to Wikipedia, there was a campaign during World War I called "Food Will Win the War" that included "Meatless Tuesday" and "Meatless Wednesday" but the term Meatless Monday was coined by an ad man named Sid Lerner in 2003.

  9. Mushrooms are the perfect meat replacement for Meatless Monday's. They still offer a meaty texture, and you don't compromise on the taste! This stew would be great in a crusty bread bowl ;)
    - Brittany

  10. I love the creamy texture of cannelini beans cooked with tomato. One of my favorite "quick" dinners served with pasta or rice.

    Adding mushrooms and fennel seed to the recipe is a fantastic idea. It gives it a meaty-sausage-like flavor.

    I can't wait to make this.

  11. Thanks Brittany and CJ. I think the cannellini beans and mushrooms are a great combo in this dish.

  12. Awesome recipe! I'm always on the look-out for tasty vegetarian dishes and this one looks great! I'm gonna try this, maybe over some egg noodles! Yum.

  13. Yummy! I will have to try this some time. I would eat less meat than I do if it weren't for two things - bacon and my husband's preferences :O) Here is one of my favorite meatless recipes (although it is only South Beach phase 3 friendly):

  14. Thanks Maria.

    Tamsin, love the sound of that recipe. I am crazy about lentils.

  15. I've never much liked mushrooms, but I've been forcing myself to eat them more often lately in an effort to learn to enjoy them more. This sounds like a perfect recipe to try. I love Moosewood recipes and actually visited the restaurant last summer in Ithaca, NY because A good friend (who I'm now dating) was working there. Had some great lasagna!

  16. Nicole, now I am officially jealous! I would LOVE to go to Moosewood; someday!

  17. Oh, boy - that looks fantastic! All my special favorites - and I'd skip the rice and pasta, too. (but never the cheese:)

  18. I was so happy to find this recipe! I had a lot of mushrooms in the refrigerator that needed cooking and I checked your blog and found the perfect recipe! The only differences were that I had button mushrooms and pinto beans - it turned out great! It will be our meatless Lenten dinner tonight!

  19. Katrina, I would never skip the cheese either!

    Sammawow, so glad you liked it. I think pinto beans sound great in this.

  20. For some reason I can't shake the idea of rewarming some leftovers and use them as a base, like hash, to be topped with a poached egg for brunch, lunch or a light dinner. I guess I have eggs on the mind.

  21. I love the flavor of fennel and beans together... This is my kind of dish. Unfortunately, the hubs needs his meat, although I'm getting better at doing 2 meals on occasion. This one will be mine!

  22. This looks so delicious, Kalyn! What a wonderful, warm meal for spring. I love the flavors that you used, too! Thanks for sharing. I hope you have a great weekend!

  23. This was delicious! I reduced it a bit longer to a thick stew and sprinkled it lavishly with freshly grated Parmesan. Thanks again, Kalyn! As a non-veg, I might add turkey sausage next time.

  24. Jen, glad you liked it. And I do think turkey sausage would be a nice addition.

  25. Kalyn! What a hearty looking meal!

  26. looks delicious - I am all for meatless mondays - as I am vegetarian it surprises me the people need encouragement to eat meatless at least once a week but if it works to get people eating less meat then great! And there are so many great meatless recipes that it just adds so much more variety and flavours to the diet rather than narrowing it

  27. Just printed this one. I'm for sure making it soon. It's still cold and rainy in N. Cal. My version will be vegan. Thanks, Kayln!

  28. Looking at this is making me hungry! I'm always looking for healthy but flavorful and hearty vegetarian meals. I want to give this one a try! Thanks :)

  29. Sorry I'm a little behind on replying to comments here! Hope anyone who tries it will enjoy the recipe.

  30. with the cover on its way too soupy

  31. It worked for me, but you could certain take the lid off for part of the time. Maybe my stove is a bit hotter.

  32. I don't have ground fennel, only whole fennel seed. Suggestions for how much to use??

  33. I would try to grind it up with something hard and use the same amount. Otherwise you will have hard seeds to bite into.

  34. Thanks for your quick reply! I improvised and pulverized the seeds in my mini food processor. Didn't have parsley or fresh Parmesan, but the grated parm in a can did the trick in a pinch. Served over brown rice. Delicious! Even my husband scraped his plate ... that's a rave review. :)


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