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Lebanese Bean Stew

This one pot Lebanese bean stew is so easy to make and loaded with flavor. This weeknight meal is perfect for freezer dinners and is made with fresh and tasty ingredients.

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes | 6 servings
By: Yumna Jawad |  Feel Good Foodie

This Lebanese bean stew is a great one pot meal that is rich and full of flavor. Made with simple ingredients, this chicken and tomato stew requires minimal prep and is perfect for a family weeknight meal. I make a variation of a stew like this once a week!

Stew is always a great family comfort meal, but this stew really is the ultimate! This Lebanese chicken and bean stew is so loaded with flavor and it’s perfect for make ahead and freezer meals.

How do you make Lebanese bean stew?

  • Heat the oil in a skillet on a medium heat and cook the cilantro, garlic and red pepper until fragrant. This is how I start all my stews and the fragrant is unreal!

  • Add the tomato paste followed by the tomatoes and water and stir til blended.
  • Add the white beans, chicken breast and seasonings. Cook in low until the chicken is cooked and the stew thickens.

  • Remove the chicken breast, shred it with two forks and return it to the pot. Stir and serve.
Tips for making Arabic stews

  1. Make the stew in a heavy bottomed pan or skillet. Heavy bottomed pans distribute heat more evenly and hot spots are less likely to form, which can burn the bottom of the stew.
  2. Use good quality chicken breast. I prefer to use breasts over thighs as they shred more easily and it cooks in less than as compared to bone-in chicken.
  3. Don’t overcook the stew. If you cook it for too long the beans can become mushy. If you’re using beef instead of chicken that needs more cooking, you can wait for the last 20 minutes to add the beans.
Frequently asked questions

What do you serve stew with?
While traditional American stew is usually served on its own because most stews will have a type of starch, a type of vegetable and beef, which creates a full meal in a bowl. The Lebanese style stews though are generally served with Lebanese Rice, very similar to how curries are enjoyed with rice. You can also serve it with brown rice or quinoa.

Can you make it ahead of time?
This Lebanese bean stew is perfect for make ahead and freezer meals. Once it has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container. It will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days and reheated on the stovetop or microwave.

Can you freeze it?
Yes! This stew makes for perfect freezer meals! Transfer the cooled stew to either a freezer safe container or freezer bags and it will keep for up to 3 months. Thaw the stew in the fridge overnight before reheating on the stove top. Because the stew contains chicken, be sure to only re heat it once.

This hearty Lebanese bean stew is a firm family favorite! It’s so easy to make and really is the most perfect comfort food!


2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped (plus more for serving)
3 garlic cloves minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 ounces tomato paste
2 15-ounce canned diced tomato
2 15-ounce canned white kidney beans
1 pound chicken breasts
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon 7 Spice
2 bay leaves
Arabic rice pilaf for serving


1. In a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil, then add the cilantro, garlic and crushed red pepper; cook until the mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute.

2. Add the tomato paste and cook together with the cilantro mixture until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes and 4 cups of water and stir until well blended to create a tomato broth.

3. Reduce the heat to low, add the white beans raw the chicken breast. Season with salt, pepper and 7 Spice and cook covered until the chicken is fully cooked, about 20 minutes.

4. Remove the chicken breast from the tomato broth, shred it and return it to the pot.

5. Serve over traditional Arabic rice pilaf and sprinkle fresh cilantro for garnish.


Storage: Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and they will keep for around 4 days. You can also freeze the stew and it will keep for up to 3 months.

Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.

  • Instead of tomato paste and, you can use an extra can of diced tomatoes a 15 ounce can of tomato sauce.
  • Instead of 7 Spice, you can substitute any mix of paprika, cumin, coriander, ground cloves, nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon
  • To make it vegan, just leave the chicken out. You can add other vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, eggplant or zucchini.

Nutritional Data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use. This does not include the rice.

Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 595mg | Potassium: 429mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 383IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg

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