Southwest Stew

This chunky, satisfying stew is full of beans, greens, corn, mushrooms, bell pepper, and plenty of herbs and spices to please your taste buds and fill your belly. This recipe makes 12 cups of stew, perfect for leftovers throughout the week!


1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
6 medium white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
4½ cups water
½ to 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1½ cups)
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed (or 1½ cups)
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes (including juice)
1 can (15 ounces) corn, drained and rinsed (or 1½ cups)
5 cups chopped (into bite-size pieces) collard greens
2 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves (or parsley), coarsely chopped

1. Heat a large soup pot on high heat with 2 tablespoons water in the bottom. When the water begins to sputter, add the onion, bell pepper and mushrooms and cook stirring for 3 minutes, adding a little water as needed. Add the chili powder, oregano, cumin, and garlic, and cook for an additional 2 minutes, still adding a little water as needed.

2. Add the 4½ cups of water to the pot along with the tomato paste, and stir or whisk to blend in. Add the black beans, pinto beans, diced tomatoes, corn, and collard greens. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook covered for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once or twice. Stir in the cilantro and serve as is or with ground pumpkin seeds and chopped cilantro (as shown above).

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
Serves: 8 (makes 12 cups)


Tomato paste: I try to avoid using partial cans of ingredients, but for this recipe I like to use about half the can of tomato paste since it delivers a milder tomato flavor. But feel free to use the whole can if you like a richer, zingier tomato base.

Garlic: Fresh garlic may be used in place of granulated; substitute with 1½ tablespoons freshly minced (about 6 medium cloves).

Greens: If you can’t find collard greens, you may also use kale. If you use chard, add it in closer to the end of cooking since it cooks quickly.


Dig in!

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  1. says

    I used to hate using tomato paste because I never knew what to do with the rest of the can. Now I plop tablespoon sized blobs from the larger can (less expensive) on a wax paper covered cookie sheet and put them in the freezer. Once frozen, I put them all in a freezer safe zip-lock bag and store in my freezer.

  2. Doreen Karp says

    We made this tonight and added a mixture of collard greens and kale. It was delicious.
    Thanks, Cathy for posting your recipes!

  3. April says

    This is absolutely delicious! I used a mixture of greens that I had on hand and made everything else exactly as directed. My husband and I gobbled this up in two days. Extremely nutricious!

  4. Jennifer says

    Just made this and it is VERY tasty!! Thanks for the delicious recipe. I added sliced avocados too, not that it needed them.

  5. Kathi says

    Made this for dinner last night and leftovers for lunch. Really super tasty! I like it served over warm corn tortillas. Yum!

  6. says

    I made this last night, and it was delicious.

    To give it some kick I added a dried cayenne pepper from our garden, chopped up, while the onions were cooking and could have added a second one without making it too spicy. I also used shiitaki mushrooms, which worked out fine.

    I substituted dinosaur kale for the collard greens, and probably should have either chopped it finer or cooked it longer – it was a bit coarse. That was the only thing about the stew that was even slightly less than spectacular, though, and not a big issue.

  7. no3rdseat says

    I made this for my family and they absolutely loved it! My wife said it was the best soup I ever made so it’s a keeper. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Erin says

    This was delicious. I was a little bit iffy about it at first because collard greens have such a strong bitter smell, but they taste delicious cooked. Thanks for the recipe!

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