Mediterranean Chorizo and Bean Stew

White plate with napkin and cutlery with a butterbean stew in a red tomato sauce.

Mediterranean Chorizo and Bean Stew: Winter warmer, comforting, and nourishing. I thought I’d get all the cliches out of the way, but it’s true!

January is the time for big bowls of comfort. Years ago, I ran a Gite in the French Alps, clients came to randonnee, scale the mountain on rackets (snowshoes) and practice ski-de-fond, all of which were exhausting, and they would return in need of a very hearty and filling meal. Authentic Cassoulet was often on the menu, with confit de canard, Toulouse sausage, lamb, and white beans. Fabulous but huge.

Despite being quite cold on our Pelion peninsular, I can’t quite justify the feast that is Cassoulet. Even the Spanish bean stew Fabada is possibly too much. Its heartiest form has chorizo, garlic sausage or blood sausage and pancetta (or ham hock), plus the delicious ‘faves’ (white beans).

So, this Chorizo and Bean Stew is still comforting and nourishing with echos of these wonderful dishes, but adding fennel, celery, and a little sausage for flavour doesn’t stick to your ribs; even though the sauce is richly flavoured, it is also herby and digestible. Meals like this get a giant tick on the sustainable eating front, cooked in one pot, using seasonal vegetables and OK meat but choose a local sausage; you only need a little to flavour the sauce. Plan ahead, and it’s a wonderfully easy supper. Serve with a lemony mixed salad and crusty bread.

Check out our Soups and Stews page for more warm dishes for cold days.

Mediterranean Chorizo and Bean Stew

Celery, fennel, peppers, white beans and chorizo in a rich herby and garlicy tomato sauce.
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Course: main course, supper
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: nourishing, spicy, winter stew
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Servings: 4
Author: The Wild Epicurean


  • 200 g chorizo or local sausage of your choice, sliced into 3-4 cm pieces
  • 500 g weight of soaked cannnelli (large white kidney) beans Ideally, soak overnight in a pinch of baking soda. Rinse thourally
  • 2 sticks celery including leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large fennel, halved and sliced
  • 1 large red pepper (approx 100g), deseeded and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 130 ml tomato passata or chopped plum tomatos
  • 120-150 ml stock of your choice (heated), I used chicken or use a stock cube dissolved in 150 ml hot water
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 whole cloves
  • small bunch parsely
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • pinch saffron
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  • In a large heavy-based casserole or cast iron frying pan (with a lid), saute the onions, celery, fennel and red pepper in a little olive oil for 3-4 minutes, add the sausage and when browned, add the white beans. Coat the beans in the oil in the pan and add the remaining herbs (thyme, garlic, bay, cloves and a good grinding of black pepper).
  • Keep stirring, so it does not stick. Add tomato paste plus the saffron dissolved in a couple of tablespoons of the warm stock; bubble it up and add the rest of the tomato sauce. Bring back to the boil and then add enough stock to cover beans and sausage. Don't worry if you don't use all the stock as you may need to add more later. Reduce to a simmer and put in a low oven at 140 for 1½ – 2 hours.
  • Check on your stew regularly to make sure it is not sticking – add more stock if necessary. I left this stew in for 2 hours, and it was perfect. Don' try and cook it at a higher temperature; it needs to cook slowly to absorb all the flavour. Check the seasoning for salt and adjust accordingly.
  • Serve with a lemony green salad and thick crusty bread.

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