This Spanish stew recipe has such intense flavours whilst still being super comforting and warming. This chorizo and bean stew offers a low-effort solution to a weeknight dinner.
A chorizo stew is always a winner as the intense flavours from the spicy, salty, fatty meat offer the best foundation to a bean stew. You can pop all the ingredients into your slow-cooker to get to know each other whilst you get on with your day. The recipe is perfect for meal prep as the flavours only intensify with time. Cook up a batch of this recipe in your slow cooker, divide into meal prep containers and serve whenever you fancy a bowl of stew.
Spanish Chorizo Sausage
The spanish inspired flavours within this recipe come from the spanish chorizo sausage and the paprika. Chorizo has such an intense flavour that lends itself perfectly to flavouring the whole stew. It’s the perfect meat to accompany the creamy butter beans.
Onion & Garlic
Gently sauteed in the chorizo oil & paprika = the best foundation to dive into this chorizo and bean stew.
As mentioned earlier, the dried butter beans offer the best texture and creaminess against the fiery chorizo broth.
Chopped and Cherry Tomatoes
It wouldn’t be a tomato stew recipe without both fresh and canned tomatoes. Tomato stew recipes offer a brightness against the warming/comforting vibe that stews offer.
I chose spinach as the green to add to this recipe but you could use kale/cavolo-nero or any green that you love. Just increase the cook time depending on what you use as spinach doesn’t need to be cooked for longer than a minute.
I love a dollop of sour cream to balance against the spicy spanish chorizo, the cayenne pepper and paprika.
Just like adding the dollop of sour cream, a sharp cheddar adds a creamy contrast to the rest of the ingredients within the tomato stew.
See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.
The first stage of this recipe includes frying the chorizo on low in a non-stick frying pan. This allows the delicious oils/fats from the Spanish chorizo to render out of the sausage. After the rendering stage, the chorizo starts to crisp up which adds to the flavour intensity, also allowing the chorizo to withstand being cooked in a liquid for hours.
By sauteing the combination of chorizo, onion, paprika and garlic in a pan before adding to the slow-cooker, we get the best possible foundation to flavour this chorizo and butter bean stew. Without this step, we’d be putting all the raw ingredients into the pot at once, which would still offer an ok end result, but not the home-run that you achieve with this little extra step.
For this recipe, I heavily suggest using dried/uncooked butter beans. I’m never usually an advocate of using these as they are a pretty fussy ingredient in comparison to the perfectly tasty tinned butter beans. As we are already allowing a long time for this recipe to develop it’s intense flavours in the slow-cooker, we may as well benefit from the creamier texture of cooking the butter beans from scratch.
The beans also thicken the stew more than their canned alternative. For this butter bean recipe, they’re definitely worth it! If you only have canned beans though, just use 200ml less stock.
3. To the same pan, add the chopped onion to sweat in the chorizo oil (Image 3).
4. Once the onions have softened, add the tomato puree, minced garlic, paprika and cayenne pepper to fry for a minute (Image 4).
5. Now add the fried onions, chopped tomatoes, butter beans, sliced cherry tomatoes and fried chorizo (reserving some for garnish) to the slow cooker (Image 5).
6. Add the stock and stir. Set the slow cooker to high and cook for a minimum of 3 hours (Image 6).
7. Try the stew and check the butter beans are soft and creamy (depending on how powerful your slow-cooker is, it might take a bit longer than 3 hours) (Image 7).
8. Then add the spinach into the pot to wilt (this will happen immediately) before serving in a bowl with a dollop of sour cream and enjoy (Image 8).
When you are ready to serve, add with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of chopped chives and an optional sprinkle of cheddar.
Sear the Chorizo
Before adding the chorizo to the slow cooker, sear it in a hot skillet for a few minutes. This step caramelises the sugars in the sausage, enhancing its flavour and adding depth to the stew. Remove excess oil after searing if necessary.
Balance the Liquid
Be mindful of the amount of liquid you add to the slow cooker although the butter beans will absorb the liquid. Start with less broth, as you can always add more later if the stew becomes too thick.
Spanish chorizo can be quite flavourful and salty, so taste your stew before adding any additional salt. You can also add fresh herbs, such as parsley or coriander toward the end of the cooking time for a burst of freshness.
Spanish chorizo is made from coarsely chopped pork and pork fat, which is seasoned and cured. The red colour comes from the large amount of paprika within the sausage.
Yes you can! I’d reduce the stock to around 1.4 litres and use regular canned butter beans. To cook, use a large saucepan and follow the first 4 steps as stated in the recipe. Bring the chorizo and butter bean stew up to a low (loooow) simmer and cook for 40 minutes, covered with a lid.
Absolutely, this recipe freezes really well. I’d store it in individual containers so you can whip a portion out of the freezer whenever you feel like it.
Store toppings separately (chives, sour cream & cheddar) and reheat in a small saucepan over a medium heat for 5 minutes or in the microwave for 2 minutes. Allow the stew to cool slightly before adding sour cream because if you add the sour cream when it’s too hot, it’ll split and curdle.