These Spanish beans with tomatoes and smokey sweet spices are so easy to make in one pot in less than 20 minutes with just 7 ingredients. Only 125 calories per serving, this Spanish bean stew recipe is perfect as tapas, main meals or a side dish. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free.
This easy gluten free vegan recipe for Spanish beans is rich, flavourful and smoky.
The white beans stew in the thick tomato sauce, spiced with paprika.
This version of Gigantes Beans is smokey and delicious, perfect mopped up with a hunk of fresh bread.
You can serve it as tapas, on its own or as a side dish.
Plus, it's ready in just 20 minutes!
This recipe was originally published in June 2016. Updated November 2018.
Why you'll love this recipe
Only takes 20 minutes.
Hearty and filling.
Makes a great tapas, side dish or main meal with bread or rice.
Uses just a few pantry ingredients and a few fresh.
Only 125 calories per serving
You only need a few simple pantry and fresh ingredients to make tasty Spanish beans:
Canned (or cooked) Lima beans (aka butter beans)
Large sautee pan, pot or frying pan
Loads of you have been making this recipe! Here are some reader reviews:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐'These Spanish beans were so simple and easy to make, and not to mention delicious. I made the naan bread suggested in the post and that was quick simple and went perfect with the beans. I surly will be making this again and again for my family. ' - Karen
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'Amazing, really quick, easy and full of flavour. Served the gigantes beans over rice." - Ali
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'This Spanish bean stew was very easy to make and it was delicious!' - Catherine
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'Very simple and tasty. Smoked paprika really adds a layer of flavour. I served over rice for a complete meal.' - Mitchel
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'This has become a regular meal in our house.' - Katie
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'Absolutely delicious! I was pleasantly surprised that little seasoning was needed. I was tempted to add a little 'All Seasoning' but it was not necessary. I normally take a photo but the family and I devoured it and there is none left. I would definitely make this again.' - Debbie
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'I used both sweet and hot Spanish pimenton, also some cinnamon, and cooked it slow and long. Good flavour' - Julia
Have you made these Spanish Beans? Let me know in the comments!
What are Spanish Beans?
In Spain, you can often find versions of this bean stew on tapas menus. Large white beans (lima beans / butter beans) are cooked in a rich and smoky tomato stew that's seasoned with smoked paprika.
At the end, a large handful of fresh spinach leaves is added and wilted into the stew.
Spanish Beans are delicious hot as a stew, side dish or tapas.
They're also delicious cold as a hearty salad.
I used canned white beans (butter/lima beans) for these gigantes beans but you can also used dried beans. Just soak them for 4 hours or overnight in a bowl with plenty of cold water. Then drain and rinse them before boiling for 45 minutes. Then carry on with the recipe.
You can substitute any other white beans in this bean stew that you have to hand such as Great Northern beans, though I like the large butterbeans, lima beans. They have a great potato-like texture that really makes this a hearty dish.
Be sure to get the onions nice and soft before moving on to the next step so they're soft and flavorful.
For a quick side dish, my yeast free naan bread recipe is a tasty flatbread that's perfect for mopping up the Spanish Beans' juices and only takes minutes to make.
My husband recently returned from a trip to Almeria in Andalusia, southeastern Spain.
He was raving about the beans in tomato sauce that he had and said that they were an amazing vegan option.
I've tried to recreate them here, but this is definitely an adaptable Spanish stew dish.
If you like things spicy, then go for a hotter paprika, if you like them sweeter then use a sweet/smoky paprika.
You could even add a tiny pinch of cinnamon for another flavour dimension.
I tend to have it simply served with fresh crusty bread to mop up those fragrant juices.
You can also serve it as Spanish Beans and Rice, by serving it on a bed of... rice.
Step by step tutorial
This recipe is soooo quick and easy. Follow these simple photo steps for success every time!
1: cook the onion and garlic in a pan until soft.
2:add the bay leaves and paprika.
3: stir well and cook for one minute.
4: add the canned tomatoes and white beans (butter beans, lima beans etc).
5: simmer the Spanish bean stew for 15 minutes until thick.
6: add the spinach and stir into the Spanish beans to wilt, then serve.
Get the recipe
Did you make this Spanish beans recipe? Please let me know how it turned out for you!
Leave a comment and star rating below and share a picture with the hashtag #veggiedesserts. I love seeing your recreations of my vegetarian and vegan recipes and cakes.
Spanish Beans with Tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika pimenton dulce - or hot paprika if you like it spicy
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cans butter beans 400ml/14oz (lima beans), drained and rinsed
- 2 cans plum tomatoes 400ml/14oz
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 2 large handfuls spinach roughly chopped
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry, stirring continuously, for 3-5 minutes until translucent but not browned.
- Add the garlic, paprika and bay leaves and fry for a further minute.
- Add the beans and tomatoes. Stir and break up the tomatoes a bit, then season with salt and pepper. Stir well and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, checking regularly so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- As it finishes, stir the spinach through to wilt.
- Serve hot or cold, as tapas or a side dish, sprinkled with the fresh parsley.