Lima Bean Stew With Swiss Chard

I am a lazy cook.

Yeah, I know, that’s not a quality that any self-respecting food blogger should be admitting to, but what can I say? I’m also brutally honest :)

Of course once in a rare moon (read once or twice a year) I love to stand over the stove for a whole day carefully preparing a delicious meal-of-a-lifetime that everyone who eats it will remember forever and ever (or at least I hope!). You know, the kind that, if I don’t have a single tiny ingredient, I’d run to the grocery store to get it — or better, send Desi to get it?

But for the rest of the time, I like meals that I can slap together in under an hour or even half an hour, with anything that’s available (and still recognizable) in the fridge, while ensuring that everything is delicious and nutritious at the same time.

This Lima Bean Stew with Swiss Chard is just my kind of dish, then, and one I would make any night when time is short and the temptation to order out is really strong but completely unnecessary.

The stew is really easy to make, wonderful with some plain boiled rice or some crusty bread, and heaven for the palate and for my health and my family’s. Since the stew has both vegetables and beans, I don’t feel bad at all if I don’t have time to make a separate subzi or vegetable side-dish when I cook this up.

I love swiss chard because of how easily and quickly it cooks up and because it’s easy to find beautiful, fresh bunches of this delicious green in the summer. But if you don’t get it where you live, spinach– another quick-cooking green– would be perfect too. In fact, you might want to even experiment with greens that are tougher, since I pressure cook the greens which makes them nice and tender in a short time.

The small lima beans I used in this recipe are wonderful because they hold their shape even after the cooking has reduced them to a creamily soft texture. But again, feel free to experiment with other beans– black beans or even chickpeas would be great because both have great flavor.

On, then, to the recipe. I need to sit back and revel in the wonderful feeling of doing nothing, at least for the next five minutes.
Enjoy, all.
Lima Bean Stew with Swiss Chard


1 cup small lima beans, soaked for a few hours, then drained

1 bunch swiss chard, washed and chopped into shreds

6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 medium tomatoes, diced

Salt to taste

Put all the ingredients into a pressure cooker or a large pot, add four cups of water, and cook until the lima beans are tender.

In a small skillet, heat:

1 tsp canola or other vegetable oil


1 tsp cayenne pepper or red chili powder

1/2 tsp turmeric (optional)

(You want to make sure you have your vent fan going full-speed since this will bring the tears to your eyes)

Stir for about 10 seconds, then add to the rest of the stew.

Bring the stew to a boil, adding some water if it’s too thick. Check for salt, turn off the heat, and serve hot with boiled rice or crusty bread.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

10 thoughts on “Lima Bean Stew With Swiss Chard

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    May 21, 2009 at 8:54pm

    that’s a warm and comforting bowl of stew… I love such minimal-effort recipes.. :)

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    May 21, 2009 at 9:37pm

    WOw that looking so comforting and full meal…love the combination and its really satisfying meal..will give a try and bookmarked

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    May 22, 2009 at 2:55am

    I ma yet to use beans in soups … this does sound good Vaishali! :-)Guess I can use spinach in place of the chard.

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    May 22, 2009 at 4:37am

    so comforting, the picture itself! love this recipe:-) I am trying one of your recipes today, mushroom spinach with the sambar powder and coconut milk, I hope i get it right:D

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    May 22, 2009 at 4:39am

    Lovely stew..and since we rarely get chards here, spinach sounds just perfect substitute. I would love to dip some Softbuns(Laadi Pav) and relish…i love doing that will all kinds of stews …lol

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    Pavithra Kodical

    May 22, 2009 at 2:22pm

    Lima beans and swiss chard makes a delicious and healthy combo.Love this stew with all those flavors in it :)

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    Curry Leaf

    May 23, 2009 at 11:23am

    Lovely Stew.From the way you are churning out one dish after another,I do not think you r a lazy cook.The stew looks quick but is very wholesome.

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    May 25, 2009 at 9:42pm

    The stew with bean and swiss chard would be a great filling one!

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    May 28, 2009 at 1:59am

    I love these one pot meals – and stews are just so comforting~!

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