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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.
4.74 from 30 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
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




Dawn Bourhaba

Sunday 3rd of October 2021

Hi Christine I made this for the first time today. Husband managed to find the Albubia beans here in London, which his mum uses back home in Morocco. I know my mum (in law) and sister in laws cook this during winter. Do you have any recipe books, if so where can i get hold of them?

Christine Benlafquih

Sunday 3rd of October 2021

Hi Dawn. I get frequent requests for a cookbook. It's in the works and I'll be able to give it proper time now that my kids are grown. Make sure you're signed up for Taste of Maroc News so you'll know when it's available.

emi

Friday 6th of August 2021

Hi Christine: I have been making this recipe for years. My moroccan sister-in law gave me a visual recipe ( watched her putting a little of this, a little of that into a pot) years ago, but having your recipe has heightened the dish so much. Question, do you think it can the leftovers can be frozen for future enjoyment? Thanks for all of your recipes, I always seek your name on a recipe to get the authentic version!!

Christine Benlafquih

Friday 6th of August 2021

Hi Emi, I haven't tried freezing stewed white beans myself, but an internet search shows that cooked beans can be frozen up to a few months. It's good for me to learn this because my household size is shrinking and I sometimes prepare too much of a dish!

Elizzette

Monday 12th of July 2021

Loved it ! It was amazing , I used Harrissa instead of cayenne pepper, and I only had small white beans. I will be making this again.

Christine Benlafquih

Monday 12th of July 2021

Thanks Elizzette! Moroccan loubia is a favorite in my home!

Michaela

Tuesday 6th of July 2021

Hi, can I please ask what cut of beef or lamb would you use for this recipe? And would you not first fry the onion and spices before adding water and simmering? Thank you.

Christine Benlafquih

Wednesday 7th of July 2021

Inexpensive stew meat on or off the bone would work fine. In Morocco, we sometimes used dried meat called gueddid or preserved dry meat called khlii.

And no, there's no need to saute the onions and spices first, but you can do so if you use meat and want to brown it first.