Bean and Mushroom Stew

This slightly spicy recipe comes from the Forks Over Knives cookbook. For the most part I followed the original recipe. The chili comes out tasting a tad spicy (which I liked!), but the texture of the squishy beans and tomatoes together is a little off-putting. There is so much water left in the bowl it feels like more of a stew than a chili. If more water was allowed to cook out, it might resemble more of a chili. Adding black beans mixed with the pinto beans might also “firm up” the mix a little more.


Servings: About 6 bowls

Notes: To make this more of a chili than a stew add less water. It’s a little light on the mushrooms so add more if you really want the mushrooms flavor and texture to stand out. This might make it less of a chili, but I think adding a grain would go a long way. I could see adding brown rice or serving this over whole wheat mcaraoni noodles to make it a filling, thick chili.

  • 1 really large onion, peeled and chopped, or 2 medium-ish onions
  • 1 lb. button mushrooms, chopped (or whatever mushrooms you have in the fridge)
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced, or 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ancho chile powder
  • 4 tsp. ground fennel (I did not use this but it might have helped thicken it a little)
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder (use cacao powder if you have it!)
  • 1 28-oz. can fire-roasted or diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups cooked pinto beans or 2 15-oz cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed (I also recommend using a tri-bean blend if you want to make it pretty)
  • Sea salt to taste, or omit


The directions for this dish are fairly simple. First, place the onion and mushroom in a large-ish saucepan and sauté over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add water a tablespoon or two at a time to keep the veggies from sticking to the pan. 


Then add all of the spices (garlic through cocoa powder), mix it up, and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes.


Add the tomatoes, beans, and 2 cups of water. Simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. Season with salt (optional).

I recommend using less water if you want it to be more like a chili than a stew. The picture below uses 2 cups of water to give you an idea of how much liquid you’d be adding. The next time I make this recipe I’m only going to use 1 cup of water to keep it chili-like. 


After 25 minutes of simmering (using 2 cups of water), this is what you end up with! It looks very good and the consistency isn’t bad. It’s a simple recipe, and a decent one, but not one of my super-duper favorites.image

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