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Moroccan Stewed White Beans Recipe – Loubia

Moroccan Stewed White Beans Recipe – Loubia

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Once you try zesty, saucy Moroccan Stewed White Beans (loubia), you’ll see why this humble dish is a comfort food favorite for so many Moroccans. White beans are soaked overnight then stewed with fresh tomatoes, ginger, paprika, and cumin. Throw in lots of garlic and chopped herbs (and perhaps an optional chili pepper or two), and you have the makings of an easy yet memorable dish.

Although the stewed white beans shown in the photo were prepared as a vegetarian dish, it’s just as common to include beef, lamb, dried meat (gueddid) or preserved meat confit (khlii) for extra protein and hearty, traditional flavor.

Moroccan loubia may be served as a side or main dish. Eat with a spoon or enjoy the beans in typical Moroccan fashion—by dipping in with crusty bread such as traditional Moroccan khobz.

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A shallow clay dish with handles holds Moroccan loubia, a dish of white beans stewed in zesty tomato sauce. A small red chili pepper is centered in the dish.

Moroccan Loubia Recipe - Stewed White Beans

Christine Benlafquih | Taste of Maroc
Easy, zesty and delicious! This authentic Moroccan recipe for loubia (stewed white beans) is generously seasoned with Moroccan spices and herbs. Serve as a side or main dish with Moroccan bread on the side for dipping into all that goodness.
Note that the beans should be quite saucy at serving time. The beans will continue to absorb liquid as they sit, so allow for this if preparing the beans in advance for later serving.
Remember to soak the beans overnight, or use a quick soak method before proceeding. Allow double the cooking time if using a conventional pot rather than a pressure cooker.
4.71 from 44 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Moroccan
Yield 6 servings
Calories 438 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 lb. beef or lamb, on the bone; or 1 cup dried meat - (optional)
  • 1 lb. dry white haricot (navy) or Cannellini beans, - soaked overnight then drained
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, - grated
  • 1 medium onion, - grated
  • 5 cloves of garlic, - finely chopped or pressed
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric - (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper - or fresh chili peppers, to taste (optional)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Instructions
 

Optional Step If Using Fresh Meat

  • If preparing the white beans with lamb or beef, start by browning the meat in the olive oil over medium heat. (Dried or preserved meat needs no browning.) Then proceed with one of the cooking methods below.

Pressure Cooker Method

  • Place all ingredients in a pressure cooker and stir to combine.
  • Add 2 quarts (about 2 liters) of water and bring the liquids to a boil over high heat.
  • Cover, bring to pressure, then reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking with pressure for 40 minutes, or until the beans are tender.
  • If the beans are still fully submerged in sauce, reduce the liquids by simmering uncovered until the sauce is thick and not watery, but still quite ample.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Serve warm.

Conventional Pot Method

  • Mix all ingredients in a large (6 qt.), heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Add 2 quarts of water (about 2 liters) and bring to a rapid simmer.
  • Cover and continue simmering the beans over medium heat for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are cooked to desired tenderness and the sauce is thick and no longer watery.
  • During cooking, stir occasionally and add a little water if the liquids reduce before the beans have fully cooked. 
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve warm. 

Notes

  • Turmeric is not a traditional ingredient in Moroccan stewed white beans, but I like to add it for color as well as for the health benefits.
  • Serve with a spoon or eat by hand by scooping up beans and sauce with crusty bread.
  • Refrigerate leftovers once the beans have cooled completely.
  • Reheat leftover beans gently over medium-low to medium heat, adding a little water if necessary.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 438kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 28gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 1197mgPotassium: 732mgFiber: 9gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1915IUVitamin C: 13.9mgCalcium: 110mgIron: 5.3mg

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate obtained from online calculators. Optional ingredients may not be included in the nutritional information.

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About the Author

Christine Benlafquih is Founding Editor at Taste of Maroc and owner of Taste of Casablanca, a food tour and culinary activity business in Casablanca. A long time resident of Morocco, she's written extensively about Moroccan cuisine and culture. She was the Moroccan Food Expert for The Spruce Eats (formerly About.com) from 2008 to 2016.

Recipe Rating




Elizabeth

Tuesday 10th of October 2023

This is excellent!! Except the pressure cooker water quantity: I only need HALF the amount (1 L or 4 cups) instead of 2 L. The first time I tried it with only 5 cups of water and it had to evaporate overnight (I can't even imagine what 3 more cups of water would have been like -- a deluge). With 4 cups it was perfect. Also I only use 2 tsp of salt and cumin.... and it is perfect. I think 1 tbsp of each is too much. I also recommend doubling the herbs!

Christine Benlafquih

Tuesday 10th of October 2023

Thanks for letting me know your results. Pressure cookers can vary quite a bit so an adjustment to water is to be expected. But half the amount is a big difference. I have a new pressure cooker arriving soon so I'll test the quantity of water needed in the new one as compared to my old Moroccan one.

Allison

Monday 7th of August 2023

This recipe looks delicious, but I have one question: Is it 2 teaspoons dried ground ginger or 2 teaspoons fresh minced ginger?

Christine Benlafquih

Friday 11th of August 2023

Dried ground ginger is what to use when making the white beans and other Moroccan recipes.

Kc

Wednesday 2nd of November 2022

I love your vegetable couscous and loubiya recipes and have made them for years! I was just wondering do you ever add preserved lemon to loubiya when you make it?

Christine Benlafquih

Thursday 3rd of November 2022

So glad you enjoy the recipes! No, I've never added preserved lemon to loubia or other stewed beans and I can't recall seeing them in other cooks' versions. Have you had them that way?

Jez

Sunday 3rd of April 2022

Brilliant recipe - and I’ve tried many different ones online. Turned out perfectly. Thank you!

Christine Benlafquih

Sunday 3rd of April 2022

Thanks so much! I'm so glad you liked the recipe.

Marie

Friday 18th of February 2022

Just wondering if it's necessary to soak the beans before pressure cooking? Like would the recipe still work without that step? Thanks!

Christine Benlafquih

Friday 18th of February 2022

Hi Marie. I have cooked loubia without soaking, but it takes quite a long time, even in a pressure cooker. If you're hoping to make loubia on short notice, I suggest trying a quick soak instead: Bring the beans to a boil in a large pot of water and simmer uncovered for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to soak in the hot water for one hour. Drain the beans, rinse, and proceed with cooking. You still might need a little longer to cook the beans, but I use this method frequently. If you have a few hours, you can drain the beans after the quick soak and soak for another hour in cold water before cooking.