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Loubia (Moroccan White Bean Stew)

Enjoy loubia, a Moroccan white bean stew composed of creamy white beans and tomatoes simmered with warm aromatics and spices. The delicious comfort meal is ready in an hour, making it a perfect lunch or quick weeknight dinner.

Loubia on a plate with crusty bread.

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Moroccan white bean stew is a tasty one-pot meal that comes together in one hour using simple ingredients.
  • The stewed beans are versatile, and you can eat the meal as is with toasted bread or serve it as a side dish.

What is Loubia?

Loubia is a traditional North African dish popular in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. It is a hearty stew made with beans (or loubia in Arabic) and often includes fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, and warm spices.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Olive Oil: Saute the onions and aromatics in high-quality extra virgin olive oil.
  • Onion: Yellow onions give the stew the best flavor. You can also use white onions or shallots.
  • Garlic: I include four fresh garlic cloves, but measure with your heart.
  • Ginger: Many authentic recipes call for ginger powder, but I enjoy the taste of fresh ginger.
  • Tomato Paste: Adding a spoonful of bright tomato paste intensifies the flavor.
  • Tomatoes: Dice three fresh tomatoes or use a few cans of petite diced tomatoes for a bit of acidity.
  • Spices: Finish the Moroccan bean stew with salt, paprika, ground cumin, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  • Dried White Beans: Dried white beans like Cannellini beans are the main ingredient for loubia. Navy beans, butter beans, and great northern beans work as a replacement, but you can also include chickpeas or black-eyed peas. If using canned white beans, stew the other ingredients to let the flavors combine, then stir in the canned beans at the end.
  • Chicken Broth: Simmer the stew in chicken broth for additional flavor, or you can use vegetable broth to make it a vegetarian side dish. 

Additions and Substitutions

Moroccan stewed white beans are delicious, but you can include bone-in beef or lamb like you would make my Moroccan beef and chickpea stew. Another popular addition is dried meat called queddid. If you decide to include meat in the creamy bean dish, add it to the Dutch oven at the same time as the onions.

Tools Used to Make This Recipe

You will need a large pot to cook the Moroccan beans and let them expand as they simmer. I cook them in a Dutch oven, but you can also use a deep skillet, stockpot, or large saucepan.

How to Make Loubia

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Add dry beans to a mixing bowl and cover them with water. Set them aside to soak overnight (or at least 8 hours.)

Beans soaking in a mixing bowl.

Step 2: Warm the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they soften, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and tomato paste and saute for another minute.

Onions, garlic, and tomato cooking in dutch oven.

Step 3: Deglaze with fresh tomatoes and stir in the salt, paprika, ground cumin, black pepper, and cayenne.

Step 4: Deglaze with fresh tomatoes and stir in the salt, paprika, ground cumin, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

The remaining ingredients for loubia added to a Dutch oven.

Step 5: Transfer the bean to a serving dish, drizzle olive oil, and garnish with chopped parsley.

Loubia on a plate with crusty bread.

Expert Tips

  • Soaking the white beans overnight (at least 8 hours) helps them cook evenly and reduces the overall cooking time for the stew.
  • Rinse the soaked beans thoroughly to remove the excess starch before using them to make the recipe.

If you enjoy this meal, try one of these Moroccan recipes!  

Loubia on a plate with crusty bread.

Serving Suggestions

Loubia is hearty enough to serve as a main dish. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the beans and garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy the beans with warm Moroccan bread like khobz or msemen. Or you can scoop the flavorful bean stew with a piece of crusty bread like sourdough.

Complete the meal by serving the beans with marinated olives, haydari, or bright salad recipes like Shirazi salad, sumac cucumbers, malfouf salad, or çoban salatasi.

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Store the leftover beans in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze: Let the dish cool and transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Loubia freezes for 2-3 months.
  • Thaw: Defrost the beans in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat: Warm the leftovers on the stovetop over low to medium heat. If the mixture becomes too thick, add a splash of water or chicken broth before warming it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you soak Cannellini beans?

Place the dried beans in a large bowl and cover them with enough cold water to cover the beans. I use about 3-4 cups of water for every cup of dry beans. Cover the beans and let them soak overnight ( or at least 8 hours). Drain and rinse the beans before using them to remove any impurities.

How to Make Loubia in the Instant Pot:

Prepare the Moroccan bean recipe in the Instant Pot following a few easy steps: 

1. Add the dry beans to a mixing bowl. Cover them with water and set them aside to soak overnight (at least 8 hours).
2. Warm the olive oil in an Instant Pot on saute mode. Add the onions and saute until they soften, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and tomato paste and saute for another minute.
3. Deglaze with fresh tomatoes and stir in the salt, paprika, ground cumin, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
4. Add the soaked Cannellini beans and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil on saute mode. Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 15 minutes with a 10-minute natural release. 

More Bean Recipes:

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Loubia on a plate with crusty bread.

Loubia

Tressa Jamil
Enjoy Moroccan loubia, the one-pot white bean soup crafted from white beans, tomatoes, garlic, and spices that tastes perfect with fresh bread.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Soaking Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine African, Moroccan
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 122 kcal
Equipment
Ingredients
  
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ – inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups Cannellini beans, dry, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Instructions
 
  • Add dry beans to a mixing bowl and cover them with water. Set them aside to soak overnight (or at least 8 hours.)
  • Warm the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they soften, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and tomato paste and saute for another minute.
  • Deglaze with fresh tomatoes and stir in the salt, paprika, ground cumin, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  • Add the Cannellini beans and broth to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the temperature, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Transfer the bean to a serving dish, drizzle olive oil, and garnish with chopped parsley.
Notes
Expert Tips:
  • Soaking the white beans overnight (at least 8 hours) helps them cook evenly and reduces the overall cooking time for the stew.
  • Rinse the soaked beans thoroughly to remove the excess starch before using them to make the recipe.
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 122 kcal | Carbohydrates: 23 g | Protein: 8 g | Fat: 1 g | Sodium: 583 mg | Potassium: 518 mg | Fiber: 5 g | Sugar: 3 g | Vitamin A: 13 IU | Vitamin C: 12 mg | Calcium: 8 mg | Iron: 16 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




Melissa Wagner

Wednesday 8th of November 2023

This white bean stew totally hit the spot! The beans were perfectly tender and took on so much flavor from the aromatic spices. It was super hearty and satisfying served over couscous. I can't wait to make this for my family!

Jenna

Thursday 2nd of November 2023

I had so many leftovers, but it was delicious with crusty bread and olive oil.

Tressa Jamil

Thursday 2nd of November 2023

I am happy you enjoyed the loubia recipe; I eat it the same way!