This Moroccan White Bean Stew (also known as Loubia) is the perfect weeknight meal that is bursting with flavour. A classic in Middle Eastern cuisine, this vegan white bean and tomato stew consists of simple ingredients, is ready in just 35 minutes and is truly delicious!
Moroccan Loubia is the perfect comfort food that has the sweet and warming aromas of cumin, paprika, ginger, cayenne, and turmeric that balance the flavors of tomato and fresh herbs (parsley and cilantro). It can easily be made with canned beans, meaning no overnight soaking or by prepping the beans ahead. This satisfying bean stew can be enjoyed as a main meal or as a side dish served with your favourite crusty bread for dipping. Truly delicious!
What is Loubia?
Loubia (which translates to “beans”) is a traditional north African dish, hailing from Morocco, that is made with stewed white beans in a warmly spiced tomato sauce. Like many dishes specific to a culture, there are many versions to be found. Traditionally, it’s made with fresh tomatoes, dried beans, is deeply infused with the flavors of garlic, tomato, and cumin, and varying other spices. You can also find vegan and vegetarian versions, as well as versions made with meat.
A quick and easy white bean and tomato stew recipe
My version of classic Moroccan Loubia is made with canned, chopped tomatoes to give the sauce a rich tomato flavor (in the peak of summer I would likely use 3 large heirloom tomatoes and grate them to make the sauce). And to speed up the process, I also use canned cannellini beans, since no planning ahead is required. I also like to keep my white bean stew recipe suitable for both vegetarians and vegans — 100% plant-based!
Moroccan White Bean Stew ingredients
White Beans: the main ingredient for Moroccan Loubia. Depending on whether you are cooking on the fly or planning ahead, you can either use canned white beans or white dry beans. I find white beans such as cannellini beans perfect for this bean and tomato stew. However, you could also use butter beans (Riesenbohnen).
Tomatoes: as a wintertime stew, I like to used organic, chopped canned tomatoes (e.g. Mutti). However you could also use ripe summer tomatoes. And depending on the sweetness of the tomatoes, the sauce may be a little less acidic than with the canned version. The flavor can be balanced out with a squeeze of lemon.
Tomato Paste: enriches and enhances the tomato flavors.
Aromatics and Spices: onions, garlic, and warming spices are essential for creating the flavor of this comforting stew. Feel free to add a little smokiness with the addition of smoked paprika (1/4 teaspoon or more).
Vegetable Broth: although not much broth is used, I prefer it over water as it adds some additional flavor. Chicken broth would also be fine if this dish does not need to be vegetarian or vegan.
Fresh herbs: add freshness and flavour to the warming aromas of the tomato sauce.They are added at the very end, in order to let their flavours shine.
How to prepare this White Bean Stew recipe
This simple to make white bean and tomato stew recipe is pretty much complete in two easy steps!
Step 1: Prepare the tomato sauce
Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet. Add onion and sauté, stirring often, until the onion is softened. Then add the garlic and sauté for one minute, followed by the tomato paste. Stir until fully incorporated with the onions. Then add the spices, stirring to release their flavors. Finally add the tomatoes and broth, bring to a light simmer, then cover and let gently simmer for 10 minutes so that the flavours can infuse.
Step 2: Add the beans
Once the tomato sauce is deeply aromatic, add the rinsed and drained canned beans. Let the mix simmer for another 10 minutes until the stew starts to thicken. Finally stir in the fresh herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning. Voila! Serve it up with some crusty bread and dig in!
Reasons to love this Loubia recipe:
- Rich in flavor and deeply satisfying, this easy-to-make white bean stew is ready to serve in just 35 minutes!
- Moroccan Loubia can be served with some bread for dipping as a stand alone meal, or served over orzo rice noodles (risoni) for a hearty main, or on it’s own as a tasty side dish or mezze dish.
- It is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and is packed with plant-based nutrition, fibre and flavor!
Looking for other white bean recipes?
Try one of these favourites:
- Turkish White Bean Salad (Piyaz)
- Easy White Beans in Tomato Sauce
- Minestrone Soup with Rice and White Beans
- Braised Mushrooms and White Beans
- Roasted Carrots with Harissa, Butter Beans and Yoghurt Sauce
Moroccan White Beans in Tomato Sauce (Loubia)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (60 ml)
- 2 small yellow onions, finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika (sweet)
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 x 400g can organic chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth (125 ml)
- 2 x 400 g cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or 200 g dry cannellini beans, soaked overnight and drained and cooked)
- 1 small bunch chopped flat-leaf parsley (ca. 4 tablespoons)
- 1 small bunch chopped cilantro (ca. 4 tablespoons)
- lemon wedges, to serve (optional)
In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium to medium-high heat.
Add the onion and sauté for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and fragrant. Add the garlic, and sauté for 1 minute.
Add the tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently until incorporated with the onion. Add the spices, salt, and pepper; stir for another 30 seconds.
Add the diced tomatoes and broth and bring to a light simmer. Reduce heat slightly, cover and cook at a light simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the cannellini beans and stir to combine. Simmer, uncovered, for another 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped parsley and cilantro, reserving some for garnish. Taste and adjust seasoning, as desired.
Enjoy warm or at room temperature, preferably with a crusty bread to dip into the stew. Alternatively, serve over cooked orzo noodles (risoni) for a hearty main. Enjoy!
- Sourdough ciabatta goes well with this recipe. Otherwise, try a crusty baguette, pita bread or other flat bread.
For a relaxing atmosphere in the kitchen I recommend my personal Elle Republic: Chilled Out Kitchen Tunes Playlist on Spotify.
Did you try this recipe?
How did you like it?
Please let me know how this Moroccan White Beans in Tomato Sauce (Loubia) recipe turned out for you! I would love to hear how you liked it. Simply rate it with the stars above ⭐ or leave me a comment and rate it below.
Did you make any changes to this recipe?
If you have tips for other readers, let me know! It helps me and other readers so much. Sharing is Caring :-).
This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through my link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional and the price remains the same. More about advertisements on Elle Republic.