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Don’t miss this smoky, savory, veggie-packed white bean stew with potatoes, corn, peas, and spinach. It’s vegan, gluten-free comfort food.

white bean stew with potatoes and corn in a white bowl with a spoon
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Why we love this recipe

White bean stew with potatoes, corn, peas, and spinach is a quick and comforting family dinner or week of lunches that relies heavily on pantry and freezer ingredients. It’s:

  • Light but satisfying
  • Smoky and savory
  • Absolutely packed with veggies
  • Vegan and gluten-free
  • Make-ahead friendly — the flavors only improve with time

I first published this recipe here in 2016 and have since updated the post for clarity. The recipe remains the same.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this easy recipe. It looks like a lot, but it’s nothing fancy — and most of it comes from the pantry and freezer.

ingredients in bowls
  • Canned white beans are easy to keep on hand and easy to work with. I’ve pictured cannellini here, but you can use any variety.
  • Yukon gold or other gold-fleshed potatoes cook up beautifully, retaining their shape when creamy and tender.
  • Frozen corn works just as well as fresh, so I reach for it here. I’ve pictured fire roasted corn because that’s what we had on hand when I made the video. It definitely added some extra smokiness to the stew, but I usually make this recipe with regular frozen corn.
  • A good vegetable broth adds a lot of mellow flavor and ties the dish together. This is my favorite kind.
  • Chili powder refers to the spice blend, not pure ground chili.
  • I like to use sweet smoked paprika, but you can use hot smoked paprika instead if you want to add some heat to the stew.
  • Diced green chiles in a can are always in our pantry. You can use either mild or hot in this recipe. I use mild.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a great batch of white bean stew with potatoes and corn. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. First you’ll sauté the onion, bell pepper, and garlic in the olive oil. Then you’ll stir in the spices.
  2. Add the broth and chilis and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, cover, and cook until tender.
  3. Then you’ll add the corn, beans, and peas and simmer until warmed through.
  4. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Off the heat, stir in the lime juice and cilantro or scallions. That’s it!

How to serve it

This stew is a complete one-pot meal. If you want to jazz it up a bit, a little sour cream and shredded cheese (vegan if you like) add creaminess and umami. Cornbread muffins make a great accompaniment.

Expert tips and FAQs

Can I substitute…

Honestly? Sure. I’d leave the spice blend alone and keep the overall proportion of vegetables to broth intact. Otherwise, you can play with this dish to your heart’s content. Try swapping in a different variety of beans, sweet potatoes for the Yukons, or another leafy cooking green like kale or collards for the spinach.

Just be sure to add the ingredients at the appropriate time so they’ll cook through without getting overcooked. (For example, kale takes longer than baby spinach to get tender.)

If you’re not vegan, I’ve also been known to toss in some leftover diced sausage or shredded chicken. It’s a really flexible dish that takes well to additional proteins.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

Yes! As with most stews, the flavors of this dish only meld and improve over time. White bean stew keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week and can be reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave.

It also freezes well for up to a year.

More favorite vegan stews

white bean stew with potatoes and corn in a white bowl with a spoon

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white bean stew with potatoes and corn in a white bowl with a spoon
4.79 from 19 votes

White Bean Stew with Potatoes and Corn

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
Don't miss this smoky, savory, veggie-packed white bean stew with potatoes, corn, peas, and spinach. It's vegan, gluten-free comfort food.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 6
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Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 cups (950 ml) vegetable broth
  • 1 4- ounce 113-gram can diced green chiles
  • 1 pound (454 grams) Yukon gold potatoes, diced small
  • 16 ounces (454 grams) frozen corn kernels
  • 10 ounces (283 grams) frozen peas
  • 1 15.5 ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 ounces (142 grams) baby spinach leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro or scallions

Instructions 

  • In a large pot, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion, bell pepper, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are starting to soften and there’s a touch of browning on the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  • Add the cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and oregano and cook, stirring constantly, one minute more.
  • Stir in the vegetable broth and green chiles. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and add potatoes. Cook, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes depending on size.
  • Uncover the pot. Add the corn, peas, and beans and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the baby spinach and cook until wilted, a few minutes more.
  • Off the heat, stir in the lime juice and cilantro or scallions.
  • Ladle into bowls and serve garnished with sour cream and shredded cheese if you like.

Notes

  1. Canned white beans are easy to keep on hand and easy to work with. I’ve pictured cannellini here, but you can use any variety.
  2. Yukon gold or other gold-fleshed potatoes cook up beautifully, retaining their shape when creamy and tender.
  3. Frozen corn works just as well as fresh, so I reach for it here. I’ve pictured fire roasted corn because that’s what we had on hand when I made the video. It definitely added some extra smokiness to the stew, but I usually make this recipe with regular frozen corn.
  4. A good vegetable broth adds a lot of mellow flavor and ties the dish together. This is my favorite kind.
  5. Chili powder refers to the spice blend, not pure ground chili.
  6. I like to use sweet smoked paprika, but you can use hot smoked paprika instead if you want to add some heat to the stew.
  7. Diced green chiles in a can are always in our pantry. You can use either mild or hot in this recipe. I use mild.
  8. As with most stews, the flavors of this dish only meld and improve over time. White bean stew keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week and can be reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  9. This dish freezes well for up to a year.
  10. This recipe is amenable to substitutions. I’d leave the spice blend alone and keep the overall proportion of vegetables to broth intact. Otherwise, you can play to your heart’s content. Try swapping in a different variety of beans, sweet potatoes for the Yukons, or another leafy cooking green like kale or collards for the spinach. Just be sure to add the ingredients at the appropriate time so they’ll cook through without getting overcooked. (For example, kale takes longer than baby spinach to get tender.) If you’re not vegan, I’ve also been known to toss in some leftover diced sausage or shredded chicken.

Nutrition

Calories: 293kcal, Carbohydrates: 54.1g, Protein: 10.6g, Fat: 4.5g, Fiber: 9.7g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Stews
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

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Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.79 from 19 votes (19 ratings without comment)

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4 Comments

  1. White Bean Stew with Potatoes and Corn has to be the best stew ever. It’s delicious! It makes a big batch and the flavors do meld and improve over time. We ate it 4 times this week without getting tired of it, but I’ll try to save some out to freeze next time I make it. It’s good to know it freezes well. Thank you for sharing your awesome recipe!