Vegan sweet potato stew is full of flavor and health benefits. Sweet potato stew is perfect with black beans, lentils or chickpeas and more!
Vegan sweet potato stew with beans is the perfect way to serve up a hearty, healthy meal that warms up everyone in the family. Packed with beans and sweet potatoes this vegan stew is delicious and healthy. Even picky eaters tend to enjoy the flavor and texture of this recipe. It’s the perfect crowd-pleaser.
There’s something special about stews and soups on cold, winter days. When the air outside is frigid, the wind is biting, and the entire world seems dull and gray, a big bowl of hearty stew can be the perfect pick me up. This is the perfect dish for that oh, so cozy feeling. Packed with nutritious and delicious ingredients, it’s a great way to satisfy both the taste and health needs of your family.
That’s really good news for you if you have picky eaters in your family. Most of my family members would eat literally anything, but I have one person in the family who is annoyingly picky. About everything. Even they love this recipe, so I know it will be a winner with everyone in your home. So without further ado, let’s talk about this vegan sweet potato stew with beans.
What Makes This Vegan Sweet Potato Stew so Great
There are quite a few ingredients in this recipe but don’t worry, it’s an easy one to make. In fact, it only takes about 15 minutes of prep work to be off to the races with this. It’s a one-pot dish, so even cleanup is a breeze, too. In addition to being vegan, it’s super healthy and free of allergens, so it’s safe for everyone to eat.
Those are the nuts and bolts of it, but there’s also some magic to this dish. The flavors meld together beautifully to create a dish that’s just plain good. Another massive plus for this vegan sweet potato stew is all the protein and fiber it packs into a bowl, keeping you fuller longer. That’s always nice for those of us – myself included – who tend to get munchy between meals.
Why You Should Try This Sweet Potato Bean Stew
There are four reasons, five if you count taste, that everyone should give this tasty vegan stew a try. It’s easy. It’s healthy. It’s allergy-friendly. Finally, it’s nutrition coach approved by an actual nutritionist.
Quick and Easy
This is an incredibly easy recipe to make. It only takes 15 minutes of prep work and 45 minutes to an hour to simmer on the stove. Easy peasy, er, beansy, I suppose.
Healthy and Nutritious
This vegan sweet potato stew with beans is chock full of everything in its name. It’s filled to capacity with sweet potatoes, garbanzo and pinto beans, and even kale. It’s literally a superfood stew that adds a ton of plant-based protein along with fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals to your day with just one bowlful. You can even choose which beans you prefer to add! Lentils and black beans are fantastic swaps for the chickpeas and pinto beans. Lentils and beans of all kinds are super healthy, tasty and add just as much protein as beef. Another bonus? They are also extremely economical compared to meat-based protein sources.
Allery and Dietary Restriction Friendly
This delicious sweet potato bean stew is full of flavor, but it’s not full of allergens or foods that people with dietary restrictions can’t eat. It’s free of dairy, gluten, refined sugar, and nuts, although if you don’t have allergies and won’t be serving to those who do, you can add peanuts.
Nutrition Coach Approved
This isn’t hyperbole. My nutrition coach, Jill, took a look at this vegan sweet potato stew recipe and gave it a huge thumbs up. According to her, sweet potatoes are a superfood filled with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and tons of fiber. They also have their fair share of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
Working together, the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in this dish have incredible health benefits like protecting your eye health and age-related decline, lowering your risk of certain cancers, and supporting a healthy immune system. It also supports bone health, promotes healthy reproductive function, and even fights acne. If you have teens, that last one is a big plus!
In addition to all of that, it’s tasty and filling, which is so important. It has all the health benefits I just talked about, and it leaves everyone in the family satisfied and full. That sounds like a winner, doesn’t it?
Ingredients in Vegan Sweet Potato Stew with Beans
This recipe is filled with veggies like sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, kale, and canned diced tomatoes. You’ll also find fresh basil, ginger, garlic powder, paprika, cinnamon, and turmeric, which all work together to add a wonderful depth of flavor. The prep work for the dish is minimal. It only takes a few minutes to get your veggies ready for a long simmer on the stovetop.
How to Make This Sweet Potato Bean Stew
To begin making your vegan stew, simply rinse and peel the potatoes and chop them into 1/2 inch square. Chop your onion. Then place the potatoes, onions, and remaining ingredients into your pot and stir. You can add 2 cups of water if you want your stew to be more of a soup consistency.
When all ingredients are combined, cook on medium-high heat, stirring often, for 15 minutes, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until the sweet potato is cooked through. That’s all there is to it!
Pro Tips and Tricks for Vegan Sweet Potato Stew
There are a few things to remember about this stew that will allow you really make it your own. From using different beans to adding different veggies and adjusting the thickness, this vegan sweet potato stew is an incredibly versatile dish, lending itself to lots of creative variations.
Using Dry Beans
This recipe calls for canned beans, but you can use dry beans instead if you like. Just remember that you’ll need to soak your beans the night before and either add more cooking time to the recipe or pre-cook the beans before adding them to this stew.
Get Creative with Your Beans
Although this recipe calls for garbanzo and pinto beans, you can use any beans you like. Feel free to add more bean varieties, substitute the beans I used for something else, or even just use one kind of bean.
Lentils, black beans, kidney beans – any kind of bean, really – work well in this dish. Just remember to rinse them first before adding them to your vegan sweet potato stew.
Legumes are excellent sources of dietary fiber, protein, B vitamins, along with a host of other vitamins and minerals, so getting creative will not only enhance the flavor, but it will also enhance your health.
In fact, studies are showing that legumes help reduce blood sugar, improve cholesterol, and help maintain a healthy gut.
Sweet Potato Lentil Stew
What are lentils? Lentils are small dried lens-shaped seeds. They’re full of plant-based protein and are a staple of diets around the globe, from India to France to Ethiopia. There are many different varieties of lentils ~ brown, red, green, yellow, black, and French lentils.
This unassuming ingredient lives right next to dried beans at the supermarket. But lentils have a lot to offer! Healthy and versatile, rich in protein and fiber, this economical ingredient lends a meaty texture to soups, stews, salads and tacos. They’re a secret superfood.
Ounce for ounce, lentils have as much protein as steak (and have less than 10 percent of the fat!!). They also cost a fraction of what you have to pay for meat. Not only will eating lentils keep you full longer, (helping with weight management), they also are low on the glycemic index, meaning that they won’t spike your blood sugar. Very important if you are diabetic, pre-diabetic or just want to ensure that you don’t become diabetic.
Think lentils. Pick your favorite variety and either canned or dried, your Sweet Potato Lentil stew will taste wonderful.
Sweet Potato Chickpea Stew
Did you know that chick peas are a member of the bean family? All beans are members of the legume family, the seed of a flowering plant. There are over 40,000 bean varieties in the world, though only a fraction are mass produced. The more common types of beans you have likely heard of are: black, kidney, pinto, white beans, soybeans / edamame (including tofu), chickpeas, and peas (including split peas). Any of these beans would be tasty additions to our Vegan Sweet Potato Stew.
Chickpeas don’t usually get a lot of love beyond their starring role in hummus. The truth is that chickpeas are possibly the perfect food: Healthy, delicious, full of protein & fiber, and environmentally friendly.
Chickpeas are a highly versatile bean that go well in salad, as a side or added to a main dish like our belly-warming Vegan Sweet Potato Stew. They pair beautifully with many Mediterranean spices with vegetables, grains, salads and pastas. Like black beans and lentils, chickpeas are so easy to use! Just open the can, rinse, then sauté, roast, mix in with your main or even eat them just as is!
Black Bean Sweet Potato Stew
Sometimes called “turtle beans” in English and known as ‘frijoles negros’ in Spanish, black beans have been a staple of North American diets for at least 7,000 years.
Black beans have a satisfying texture and mildly sweet flavor. They’re also incredibly healthy, providing multiple vital nutrients with minimal fat and sugar. A fantastic choice to add in to our Sweet Potato Vegan Stew!
Bottom line: Lentils and beans are both part of a healthy diet! They are very similar nutritionally and nutrient-dense: low in fat, but high in protein, fiber, and vitamins & minerals.
Now all you have to do is pick which one (or ones!) you want to add into your Vegan Sweet Potato Stew! Have fun, experiment, and see which one becomes your new favorites!
Thin It Out
This sweet potato stew is thick. If you prefer a thinner stew or even a soup, just add more water to get the consistency you want.
Experiment with Different Vegetables
Feel free to get as creative as you like with this vegan sweet potato stew recipe. I used kale and beans in this version, but this stew is the perfect base for any vegetable you can think of. It’s the perfect vehicle for ultimate creativity, allowing you to individualize it with your favorite veggies or even ones in the fridge that you need to use up.
Some examples of vegetables that would be perfect in this stew include:
- Bell Peppers
When I say the possibilities are endless when it comes to vegetables that you can add to this stew, I mean it in the most literal way possible.
How to Store Vegan Sweet Potato Stew
You can store this vegan sweet potato stew in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an airtight container. You can freeze it in a freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag for up to 3 months. Always remember to cool your stew before storing it.
Sweet Potato Bean Stew Substitutions and Variations
There are a variety of substitutions and variations that you can do with this vegan sweet potato stew that will give a final product that’s a little bit different but just as full of delicious flavor. These find themselves in their own category because they aren’t so much tips as they are ways to put different twists on the recipe or make it even when you don’t have all the ingredients the recipe calls for.
Sweet Potato Substitutions
If you’re out of sweet potatoes, or you simply don’t like them, you can use butternut squash. Both butternut squash and sweet potato are excellent sources of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Additionally, almost all winter squash varieties will have a texture that is similar to the sweet potato in this stew.
Try Different Spices
if you like a little heat in your soups and stews, try adding some red pepper flakes, a little chili powder, or some sliced or diced jalapeno to this sweet potato bean stew. If you use jalapeno, sauté it with the sweet potato and onion. A little cayenne is also a winner when it comes to heat and flavor.
For some Mediterranean flare, add 1/2 tsp cumin along with the turmeric. Coriander and garam masala also work wonderfully in this recipe, as well. Garam masala goes amazingly well with chickpeas, but really, any of the spices blend well with the lentils, pinto beans or black beans.
For a sweeter slant to this recipe, try adding nutmeg, cloves, or both along with the cinnamon.
Kick Up the Garlic
If you’re in love with garlic as much as I am, I highly recommend substituting the garlic powder for fresh, crushed garlic cloves instead. Mince 2 to 3 large cloves of garlic and sauté them along with the onion and sweet potato.
In addition to giving this vegan sweet potato stew a big garlic kick, garlic cloves also kick up the health benefits of this stew. Garlic is packed with vitamins B and C, manganese, selenium, iron, copper, and potassium, in addition to an oily compound called allicin. Allicin promotes heart health, helps fight cancer, acts as a natural antibiotic, is shown to help fight the common cold, and can even help keep skin acne-free.
If you don’t like rice in stews or you’re out of Arborio rice, try the food so nice they named it twice – couscous. Serve your stew over a bed of couscous to add a little Mediterranean feel to the dish, especially if you opted to add the Mediterranean spices I talked about earlier.
Get a Little Nutty
If you like things with a nutty flavor – and no one in your home has allergies – try adding a little peanut butter to this stew. Almond butter works well, too. Start with 1/4 cup of peanut or almond butter and go from there. For a nut-free version, sunflower seed butter or even Wowbutter both work incredibly well in this vegan sweet potato stew. While they aren’t nuts, 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast flakes adds a great cheesy/nutty flavor to this stew.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I substitute for sweet potato?
You can use butternut squash or almost any other winter squash in place of sweet potato for this vegan sweet potato stew.
What can I substitute for rice?
You can use couscous in place of rice if you prefer. Both have a nice texture that works well in this dish.
Can I use other vegetables in this sweet potato bean stew?
Absolutely! Almost any vegetable will work well in this stew. Some great options include butternut squash, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, bell peppers, and spinach.
Can I use dry beans instead of canned?
Yes, you can. Remember that if you use dry beans, you’ll have to soak them overnight and then either lengthen the cooking time of the stew or cook the beans beforehand. Remember that pinto, black, kidney beans, garbanzo (chickpeas) and lentils are usually all available canned or dry.
Can I use garlic cloves instead of garlic powder?
You absolutely can! I love to use crushed, diced garlic cloves in place of garlic powder for this recipe. Be aware that it will kick up the garlic flavor quite a bit.
What can I top this stew with?
You can squeeze fresh lemon or lime juice over the top of this stew, add crushed peanuts or cashews, and even some cilantro.
How long can I store this vegan stew?
This sweet potato stew will be good for around 5 days in the refrigerator if kept in an airtight container. You can freeze it for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container or a heavy-duty freezer bag.
My vegan sweet potato stew has been in the freezer longer than 3 months. Is it still good?
If by good, you mean is it safe, the answer is yes. If by good, you mean will it still taste good, the answer is maybe. The longer it’s in the freezer, the less fresh and zesty it tastes when you heat it back up.
Give this Vegan Sweet Potato Stew with Beans a Try
This vegan sweet potato stew is packed with delicious, healthy ingredients that nourish your body, your palette, and your soul. It’s the perfect dish for a cold winter day, and it’s so easy to make, there’s really no reason not to try it. I’ve found that even the pickiest, most veggie-hating people often like this stew, so give it a try.
Sweet Potato Black Bean Stew
- Large pot
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet potato, peeled, diced into chunks
- 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans or chickpeas
- 1 can (15 oz) pinto beans
- 1 cup kale, chopped
- 4 cups (32 oz) vegetable broth or stock
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 cup Arborio rice or risotto
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, loosely packed, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 14 Teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups water, more or less to taste, depending on how thick you enjoy your stew
- Get out and measure all of your ingredients.
- Rinse and peel the sweet potatoes and chop into ½ inch squares, place sweet potatoes and chopped onion into a large pot. Add all of the other ingredients (diced tomatoes, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, kale, vegetable stock, arborio rice, basil, spices)
- Stir until blended.
- Add up to two cups of water if you wish to have a slightly less thick soup.
- Cook on medium/high heat stirring often for 15 minutes, and then lower the heat to a simmer for an additional 30-45 minutes until sweet potatoes are cooked through.
- Serve and enjoy every sip.
- This recipe calls for canned beans but you can substitute them for dried beans but you must adjust and increase the cooking time (more time) accordingly.
- This is a thick stew and can be thinned out by adding water to get the consistency you desire.
- You can substitute the beans for any bean of choice.
- Other options can be added like broccoli, mushrooms, etc.