Spicy White Bean Stew With Broccoli Rabe Recipe (2024)



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I never understand the presentation of a binary choice between dried beans and canned. You can also prep dried beans every couple of weeks when you have some time, and freeze 'em for nearly-instant weeknight use without opening a can of overcooked and texture-deficient beans that are sitting in goo. Cheaper, better, arguably faster...what's not to like?

Holly Stuhr

I teaching cooking classes to SNAP recipients and love finding new delicious bean soup/stew ( meaning cheap, easy , flexible and nutritious) recipes for my classes. My students loved AR chickpea stew and I am sure my next group will love this one. One of the most important things you can learn as a cook is to be flexible! Use what you have! Make it your own!


The comments on dried vs canned beans has become insufferable. The point of this recipe is that it's simple and uncomplicated, a dish that can be made quickly and with little fuss. If the dried beans are ready and prepared, use them; if not, canned beans are excellent. Given a good rinse, they're good to go. The food police, or in this case the gaseous bean police, should leave the rest of us to enjoy our supper without their caviling over beans. It's all bupkis.


@ DevinI do prep my own beans when I have the time. A binary option is a great one for me.I work 60+ hours a week at a minimum. I also take care of an elderly parent.Please think about it before you say "What's not to like" as your life is not mine not many others.I wish you all the best for the New Year.


It depends on the type of bean but a general rule of thumb I've seen is: if the recipe calls for cooked beans, then 1/2 of that in dry beans, and if the recipe calls for cans of beans (which have some liquid in their weight), then 1/3 of that in dry beans. So in this case, you'd want just about a pound of dry beans.

Mike M.

I’ve been cooking from the NYT 4-5 nights a week since I retired 3 years ago. In relation to the ease of preparation and execution this is the single best recipe of the hundreds I’ve tried. Pretty fast, quite satisfying and utterly delicious.


Delicious! I followed the recipe pretty closely, though I agree with the other comments that this recipe is very forgiving to substitutions/variations. Definitely crush some of the white beans as directed while cooking - it truly does give the soup a slightly creamy consistency. I added about a teaspoon of “Better than Bouillon No Chicken”, which I use in most of the soups I make (adds a savory flavor). Finally, I drizzled some good EVOO and sprinkled fresh grated parm on top before serving.


A note for the editors: When recipes call for pre-made ingredients like harissa, it would be really helpful to include a note abt the specific brand or type that was used to develop the recipe. I know you probably don’t want folks to get stuck on not being able to find the exact match, but these condiments can vary so much in terms of concentration & heat level that it could make a huge difference. I’m usually one to wing it & taste as I go, but it’s nice to know the original vision for the dish


Black beans or garbanzo beans will work too. Also try adding diced winter squash, which will act as a thickener if cooked thoroughly. I love this as a vehicle for adding more kale to my diet.


Cheese rind in the stew adds a great flavor and balance to the harissa, though grated cheese can work at the finish. Parmesan is best but almost any rind will do. I also sub in a can of diced tomatoes for the tomato paste and use the hottest garlic I can find in addition to a pinch of red pepper flakes.


Excellent recipe! Made it with harissa but also added an extra tbsp of tomato paste. I could not find broccoli rabe so I used broccolini (put in stems first and florets at the end). Highly recommend using preserved lemon because it adds a whole separate layer of flavor. Finally, I used both parsley and cilantro as a topping. The entire pot was licked clean and I will definitely be making this again. Might serve it over quinoa or brown rice to bulk it up if the family is hungrier than usual.


Thanks for this - a decent dish for cold days. Request: Can the recipe writers please use measurements like "Cups," "ounces," etc. in place of vague notions such as "bunch/bunches" - as used in this recipe re: broccoli rabe/kale. As greengrocers bundle produce differently in rather variable quantities, the term "bunch" is meaningless. While this recipe is forgiving and doesn't rely on precision to make something acceptable, providing accurate measures is most helpful.

Rachael Heath

I didn't add eggs when I made it for dinner, but it would have been great with a medium boiled egg just sliced in half and placed right on top. Tomorrow morning I am going to use the leftovers to make something like shakshuka. I don't know if you're familiar with it, but I will be reheating it on the stove and then making little "wells" to crack the eggs into. Then I will cover the pan and let them cook until the whites are just firm and the yolks are still a bit runny. Then dipping bread in!


Unpopular opinion: this is way better than The Stew.


Her method of cooking, as she explains so often, is in being unfussy, or using what you have in a pantry. For her methods, that would be canned beans, but she always tells readers that if you use dry, that is fine. I used to always use dry beans, but now that stores are offering more Organic, sodium-free varieties, it's just easier to stock up and open a can when needed, rather than soaking overnight and so on. It's all a personal judgement call.


So good!!!


I’ve bee making this for years, exactly as the recipe calls for. It’s incredible every time. I just upped the ante: celery salt.


Okay psych again, maybe a leveled 1/2tsp red pepper flakes at beginning and no more

the fox and his food

Loved the taste and texture. I think it may cause gas, though. I’ve had gas for days. Between the broccoli and beans… it’s been a though time in the house. I have a wife and family, so it’s hard. Honestly, this may have been a last straw for her. Last night she left, sobbing, blown once again from our bed from a deep sleep… Be aware, but yeah it’s really good!


Sauteed some hard chorizo I found in the fridge, and wilted spinach in my bowl. So wonderful on a dreary day!

NH Mama

Wanted a quick soup. Roughly followed recipe.-No harissa paste in house: so used garlic chili paste and harissa powder-also used tomato paste and chopped tomatoes-used baby spinach-used fresh lemon juice-threw in some left over fire roasted corn -at end added feta and chopped cold hard-boiled egg. Also added a left over avocado slice.Delicious, fast and filling. Enjoyed so much I shared recipe with friends while I was eating it. Easy peasy and really good. Don't skip feta or egg. Yum!


Harissa heat levels really vary. I added one tbs of my favorite imported harissa and the soup was mildly spicy. Next time, I will add more, but even as much a two tbs would be SPICY.


Ok. Wow. Just made this. A show stopper. Didn’t have broccolini or kale so subbed roasted brocolli. It was divine !!


Fans of broccoli rabe (rapini) and of Alison Roman bean recipes but skeptical about rapini in bean stew. Outcome = delicious keeper. Reduced by half and had 3 good sized servings. Made per recipe with these exceptions:*Used Alubia Blanca beans cooked from dry not canned*Harissa was very hot so used half harissa / half tomato paste*Used NY Shuk Preserved Lemon Paste (small spoonful) instead of slices*Cooked rapini separate from soup (used Viola Buitoni's method) then added at step 6

spicy white bean stew with broccoli rabe

I made this with a mix of spinach and kale, about 4 cups, and added 1/4 cup of roasted poblanos instead of pepper flakes. I used black-eyed peas left over from another dish and vegetable broth from the freezer fortified with some better than bouillon. It was delicious!


Genuinely confused where things went wrong here. One whole preserved lemon thinly sliced in the stew made the finished product inedible.


Easy. Delicious. Make it,


- Okay to get a medium rabe bunch - Use 3 tbsp of harissa - Be generous with the salt - Simmer for close to 20 mins, add in kale leaves in the last ~3-5 mins


There is a better recipe out there somewhere which does not contain tomato paste, which completely overpowered the flavors. Feta did not help and I could find no way to resuscitate this recipe. One meal and out, I'm afraid. Sad waste of broccoli rabe, a fave.


It's fantastic! Make it. I use the Trader Joe's brand of harissa (smaller jar, the right potency for me) and collards instead of broccoli rabe. I put the collards in when I add the water so that they can cook down in the stew. I highly recommend the butter beans as well, the size and the taste really elevate the dish. Preserved lemons may be a hard find, but they're crazy easy to make, so I'd suggest that too!

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Spicy White Bean Stew With Broccoli Rabe Recipe (2024)


How to thicken beans with flour? ›

Flour or Cornstarch Thickening:Mix 1-2 tablespoons of flour or cornstarch with equal parts water to create a smooth paste. Stir the paste into the simmering green beans. Allow the mixture to cook for a few more minutes until it thickens.

How to thicken bean and ham soup? ›

Add Flour Or Cornstarch

You can thicken soup by adding flour, cornstarch, or another starchy substitute. For the best results, never add flour or cornstarch directly to your soup.

How to thicken pinto bean juice? ›

I like my juices thick with my beans, therefore in a separate bowl. I added 1/4 cup of cornstarch or flour and 1/4 cup of water to make a thickening paste. Then, slowly add your thickening paste to the boiling beans and ham. Be sure to stir as you add it in.


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