Butter bean and chorizo stew

Allegra McEvedys classic Spanish tapas dish of smoky sausage slowly-cooked with butter beans and tomatoes is perfect for sharing
By Allegra McEvedy
Butter bean and chorizo stew
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6 as a tapas dish
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus soaking overnight
  • Effort: easy


For the butter beans

  • 170 g dried butter beans
  • 1 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 whole dried red chillies, or to taste
  • 1 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves

For the stew

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 250 g raw chorizo, cut into 2cm-thick slices (see Cooks note)
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 150 g white onions, diced
  • 150 g carrots, diced
  • 80 g celery, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 150 ml chopped, tinned tomatoes
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 large orange, zest only
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • small bunch of thyme, tied with string

Tips and Suggestions

make sure you buy raw chorizo sausages for this dish, not the cured type. Raw chorizo is available at some butchers, supermarkets, specialist shops and online suppliers.


1. For the butter beans: tip the beans into a large bowl with the onion, chilli, garlic and bay leaves, cover generously with cold water and leave to soak overnight.

2. The following day, drain the beans and other ingredients and tip them into a large saucepan. Cover with twice the volume of water to beans and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.

3. Simmer for about 45 minutes until softened but not completely cooked through. Drain off any excess water and set aside.

4. Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 2.

5. For the stew: heat the olive oil in a large deep saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chorizo and fry until the oil takes on the colour of the chorizo and the chorizo turns golden-brown.

6. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chorizo from the pan, leaving the oil behind, and set aside on a warm plate.

7. Tip the garlic, onions, carrot and celery into the chorizo-flavoured oil and stir. Cover the pan and cook gently for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables have softened.

8. Sprinkle in the paprika and fry for 1 minute, then stir in the tomatoes. Simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have reduced.

9. Stir in the bay leaves, orange zest, sherry vinegar, chicken stock, butter beans and chorizo. Tuck the bunch of thyme in amongst the other ingredients.

10. Cut a circle of greaseproof paper the same size as the pan and lay it directly on top of the ingredients (this will prevent the stew from drying out). Transfer to the oven and cook for about 1 hour 45 minutes or until the beans are cooked and the stew is rich and flavoursome.

11. Taste the stew and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside to rest for at least 15 minutes, or for maximum flavour leave overnight and reheat the following day.

12. Serve with crusty bread as a tapas dish or light meal.

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