Italian Bean Stew {Vegan Ragu Sauce}

This Italian Bean Stew is healthy, hearty and makes an easy and delicious vegan meal. It's great alongside a mountain of Olive Oil Mash, piled onto brown rice or served with a wedge of crusty bread.

It's a great budget dish at around 70p per serving and it's also a handy way of using up vegetables in the fridge - green beans, peppers or mushrooms are a good swap for courgettes. Use a mixture of whatever beans you have. 

Like all stews, this tastes better the day after it's made. It freezes well without the courgettes - they tend to go a bit mushy. I tend to freeze batches of this with just the beans in and add the chopped vegetables when I re-heat it. Thank you to my friend Catherine for the recipe.

Italian Bean Stew

  • Serves:  4-6

  • Time:  15 mins hands on time + 45 mins cooking time
  • Cost:  71p per serving
  • Calories:  273 per serving


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Italian dried herbs
  • 2 x tins of beans e.g. borlotti or cannellini
  • 2 x courgettes, roughly diced (see notes)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Good pinch of smoked paprika
  • Parsley or basil to garnish (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan and fry the onion until soft. Add the carrot and celery and cook for a further 5 minutes until soft.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tinned tomatoes, herbs and beans. Season to taste. Stir well, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the diced courgettes and simmer for a further 10 minutes until the courgettes are tender. Garnish with parsley to serve if you like.