Loubia holds a special place in Moroccan cuisine, where culinary traditions have been nurtured and celebrated for centuries. Just like the intricate patterns adorning the tiles of a Moroccan riad, Loubia weaves together a harmonious blend of flavors, spices, and textures.
White beans, the star of this delectable rustic stew, have been cherished in Moroccan cooking since ancient times. They were brought to North Africa by the Romans and have since become an integral part of Moroccan cooking.
In Moroccan households, Loubia, msemen, and hot bowls of harira are dishes prepared with love and shared among family and friends, embodying the essence of hospitality and togetherness. Picture a bustling Moroccan medina, where aromatic spices mingle in the air, and the sizzle of simmering pots invites you to partake in a feast of flavors.
As the fragrant olive oil dances in the pot, infusing the onions with its golden hues, the kitchen becomes a stage for the symphony of tastes that Loubia offers. The flavors harmonize with each sautéed ingredient, from the pungent garlic to the vibrant parsley and juicy tomatoes, transforming into a melody that sings of Moroccan culinary artistry.
Loubia is more than just a dish; it encapsulates the essence of Moroccan culture. It brings people together, creating moments of connection and shared experiences. And as you serve this piping-hot stew, you embrace the spirit of Moroccan hospitality, inviting loved ones to gather around the table and embark on a gastronomic adventure.
It's time to create unforgettable moments, indulge in the beauty of flavors that transcend borders, and unite us in our love for exceptional food. Let’s get cooking!
🥰Why you are going to adore the ever-loving heck outta this recipe
You are going to want to walk down the aisle and get full-on married to a bowl of this Moroccan bean stew! Let me enumerate the reasons:
- Meal Prep-Friendly: Loubia is a dish that gets better with time. As it sits, the flavors meld together, allowing the spices to infuse the beans, creating an even more satisfying and flavorful outcome. This makes it an excellent option for meal prepping, as you can enjoy it over the course of a few days and experience its enhanced taste as the stew develops.
- Bean, beans the musical fruit: Whether you are using canned beans, or prefer using dried beans, this recipe accommodates both options, allowing you to tailor it to your pantry and schedule. Like my Barbunya Pilaki, these are great to make with freshly podded beans too!
- And just like that, now you are vegan: Loubia showcases the incredible flavors and textures that can be achieved without any animal products. Additionally, it is gluten-free, making it suitable for folks with gluten sensitivities.
- Nutritious and Filling: Beans are a fantastic source of plant-based protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. Loubia, packed with cannellini beans and veggies, provides a satisfying and nourishing meal that will keep you energized throughout the day and ready to run straight through a brick wall without flinching.
- Comforting and Cozy: Loubia's heartwarming nature makes it a perfect dish for cozy nights at home or gatherings with loved ones. It brings warmth and comfort to the table, fostering a sense of togetherness and creating lasting memories. Whip up some Irmik Helvası or Rosewater Pistachio Baklava for dessert!
- It’s ok to be a cheap, penny-pinching bum: With inexpensive, simple, and readily available ingredients, Loubia offers a budget-friendly option for a satisfying and flavorful meal. It showcases that delicious vegan food doesn't have to be complicated or expensive.
🍅Notable ingredients and suggested substitutions
Cannellini beans are the star of the show in Loubia, providing a creamy and velvety texture to the stew. If you don't have cannellini beans, you can easily substitute them with other white beans like Great Northern beans or navy beans for a similar taste and consistency. You "can" use canned beans, or follow my directions below for preparing dry beans. You know what makes a complete protein with beans? RICE- which is why you should serve loubia with some of these rice stuffed cabbage rolls.
Juicy and vibrant fresh tomatoes bring a burst of freshness to the dish, enhancing the overall flavor profile of Loubia. If you don't have fresh tomatoes, you can substitute them with canned diced tomatoes or tomato puree. Just make sure to adjust the quantity based on your preferred level of tomato flavor.
Olive oil is a key ingredient in this Loubia recipe. I prefer first cold-pressed olive oils with fruity flavor and light green color. If olive oil is not your preferred choice, you can substitute it with avocado, vegetable, or sunflower. However, remember that olive oil's distinct flavor adds an extra layer of depth to the stew.
Smoked paprika adds a subtle hint of smokiness that perfectly complements the beans and spices. If you don't have smoked paprika, you can use regular paprika or even chipotle powder if you like a spicier dish. Adjust the quantity based on your spice preference.
Using dried beans instead of canned beans
Dried beans are cheaper to purchase, and have a great shelf life if stored in a sealed jar from direct sunlight. Use ½ cup of dried cannellini beans to replace the can of beans that this recipe calls for. Here is how you can prepare dried beans:
- Begin by rinsing the dried cannellini beans under cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Place the beans in a large bowl and cover them with water. Allow them to soak overnight or for at least eight hours in the refrigerator. This step helps soften the beans, reduces the cooking time, and starts the initial sprouting stage, making the beans more nutritious.
- After soaking, drain and thoroughly rinse the beans again. Getting rid of that soaking water is a great way to make the beans more digestible, as the soaking liquid contains amino acids, which can make the beans give people gas.
- Transfer the drained beans to a large pot, instant pot, or pressure cooker and cover with fresh water. The water level should be at least 4 inches (7.5 cm) above the beans.
- Place the pot over medium heat and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, place a lid on the pot, reduce the heat to low, and let the beans simmer gently. Skim off any foam that may rise to the surface.
- Cook the beans for about 1 to 1 ½ hours until they become tender but not mushy. The cooking time may vary depending on the age and size of the beans. To test for doneness, cool and taste a bean to ensure it's cooked to your liking.
- Drain the cooked beans and use them instead of the drained canned beans in this recipe.
You wanna see how Moroccan stewed beans are born? I will walk you into the bean-birthing center where you can check out the whole process. Or you can follow along with the easy-to-print recipe card towards the bottom of this page.
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat for 90 seconds until it's hot. Preheating the oil allows the onions to cook more rapidly.
Add the diced yellow onion to the pot and sauté for approximately four minutes until translucent and fragrant. Stir occasionally to prevent the onion from sticking to the pot or burning.
Stir in minced garlic and fresh parsley, and cook for another two minutes, stirring continuously to avoid burning the garlic.
Add the diced tomatoes and continue sautéing, stirring occasionally, for four to five minutes until the tomatoes start to break down and release their juices.
Stir in smoked paprika, ground cumin, turmeric powder, and crushed red pepper flakes to infuse the stew with the distinct Moroccan flavors. Adjust the amount of spices according to your taste preferences for a milder or spicier dish.
If desired, add dried chilies to add heat to the stew. Adjust the quantity based on how spicy you prefer your Loubia. You can remove the seeds from the dried chilies to reduce their spiciness. Or you can in crease the heat by adding a spoonful of shatta paste.
Pour unsalted vegetable stock into the pot, increase the heat to high, and bring the mixture to a boil.
Season the stew with salt to taste, ensuring it enhances the flavors without overwhelming them.
Gently stir in drained and rinsed cannellini beans, ensuring they are well-coated with the flavorful sauce. Be gentle to avoid mashing the beans and maintain their texture.
Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding more salt or spices according to your preference. It's always a good idea to taste and fine-tune the flavors before serving.
Serve the Loubia hot, and garnish it with fresh parsley. Loubia pairs wonderfully with crusty bread, cig kofte, or grilled pita, allowing you to drown yourself in the hearty ocean of flavor in every bit of this rustic vegetarian stew.
Loubia, with its rich flavors and hearty texture, has become the cornerstone of Moroccan, middle eastern, and Mediterranean themed feasts. Here are some absolutely BOMB flavorful vegan dishes that complement the flavors of Loubia:
While the traditional fast breaker in Morocco is Harira, Loubia is a suitable, and completely halal option to break your fast during Ramadan. It is a nourishing and satisfying dish that provides a good balance of protein, fiber, and flavors. The combination of beans, vegetables, and spices in Loubia can help replenish your energy levels after a day of fasting.
Additionally, the soft texture of the beans and the rich flavors of the stew can provide a comforting and fulfilling experience when breaking your fast. As always, listening to your body and consuming foods and fluids in moderation is important to ensure a healthy and balanced iftar meal.
Yes, Loubia is typically gluten-free. The main ingredients in Loubia are white beans, vegetables, spices, and vegetable stock, which do not naturally contain gluten. However, it is essential to double-check the ingredients of any packaged or pre-made stocks, spice blends, or canned beans you use to ensure they are certified gluten-free.
❄️Refrigerating or freezing:
Allow the Loubia to cool completely before storing. Transfer the stew to an airtight container or individual meal prep containers.
Place the container(s) in the refrigerator and ensure they are properly sealed to maintain freshness.
Loubia can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. If you intend to store it for longer than that, froze it instead, making sure the container is labeled and has the date you made it.
If you freeze the loubia, allow it to thaw for 12 hours in the refrigerator when you are ready to use it again. This will make reheating it easier, and will not beat up the beans as badly.
🔥Reheating on the Stovetop:
Take out the desired amount of Loubia from the refrigerator and transfer it to a saucepan or pot.
Heat the stew over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until it reaches the desired temperature. If the stew appears too thick, you can add a splash of vegetable stock or water to thin it out.
☢️Reheating in the Microwave:
Transfer the desired amount of Loubia from the refrigerator to a microwave-safe container. Make sure to cover the container with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap.
Heat the stew in the microwave using short bursts of 1-2 minutes on medium power, stirring in between each interval. This helps ensure even heating and prevents any hot spots.
✌️My favey dishes to serve with Loubia:
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Loubia (Moroccan stewed white beans)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 2 medium size beefsteak tomatoes diced
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 dried chilies opțional
- 2 cups unsalted vegetable stock
- ¾ teaspoon salt or to taste
- 15 oz. canned cannellini beans drained and rinsed.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- After 90 seconds, when the oil is hot, add the diced yellow onion to the pot. Sauté for about four minutes until translucent and fragrant.
- Stir in minced garlic and fresh parsley. Cook for two minutes, stirring to prevent the garlic from burning.
- Add the diced tomatoes and continue to sauté for four or five minutes until the tomatoes start to break down.
- Stir in the smoked paprika, ground cumin, turmeric powder, and crushed red pepper flakes. These spices will give the Loubia its distinctive Moroccan flavors.
- Optionally, add dried chilies to add heat. Adjust the amount according to your preference.
- Pour unsalted vegetable stock into the pot, raise the heat to high, and bring the pot to a boil.
- Season with salt, to taste.
- Gently stir in drained and rinsed cannellini beans, ensuring they are well-coated with the sauce.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley if desired. Enjoy with crusty bread or grilled pita.
- For a thicker stew, mash some cooked beans with a spoon to create a creamier texture. Or you can thicken it by adding a spoonful of tomato paste.
- Loubia improves in flavor the next day. Consider making it ahead of time and reheating for a delicious meal. For that reason, this is a great dish for weekly meal prep.
- The reason I specify unsalted vegetable stock, and then salt the dish itself is that store-bought stocks vary in saltiness a lot. If you can’t find unsalted stock, use a salted one, and do not add the full amount of salt I call for in the recipe.