Stifado is a Greek stew (one of my favorite comfort foods) that is made with a rich tomato sauce scented with cinnamon and warm spices and whole shallots or pearl onions. This stew is traditionally made with beef. However, we’re in quarantine and I’m trying to use pantry ingredients to limit grocery store trips. Hence, this Bean stew stifado was created. I made it with my favorite beans, giant lima beans, but feel free to use whatever you love or have in your pantry. It’s hearty, delicious, and so aromatic.
Watch the video tutorial
Which onions should I use to make this stew?
I love stifado! Especially the onions because they add the perfect amount of sweetness, they’re soft and tender, and oh so good. I usually make this stew using small shallots or pearl onions. Presently with this quarantine/stay-at-home order, both types of onions were missing from grocery store shelves. I had some small red onions and decided to use those instead. The result was very good. Actually, it was pretty darn delicious!
If you’re reading this at a time when all types of onions are plentiful you may choose from the following:
- pear onions
What to do with leftovers?
Stifado is one of those meals that taste even better as it sits. Store leftovers in the refrigerator and warm it slowly on the stovetop the next day. Serve with toasted bread and savor each bite. Add some water if the beans have absorbed all of the sauce. Approximately 1/4 cup should do.
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Which beans should I use?
My best answer: Use your favorite beans or the ones that you already have in your pantry! My favorite beans are the dry giant lima beans. Since I love them I usually keep 2-3 bags in the pantry. But, if I didn’t have those I would use any of the following:
- northern beans
- black beans
- cannellini beans
- black-eyed peas
- any combination of beans
I wrote a very informative post about beans. Read it here.
- 1-pound giant lima beans, soaked in water overnight
- 10-12 shallots, peeled
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomatoes, pureed
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon sugar or honey
- 4 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- • Spinach, roughly chopped (fresh or frozen)
- • Your favorite greens (fresh or frozen)
- • Sautéed mushrooms
- • Feta cheese
- • Bell peppers
- Drain the water that the beans were soaking in overnight. Place the beans in a large pot and cover them with plenty of water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until tender. About 40 minutes. They will continue to cook in the sauce so do not boil them too long. They should be slightly firm but tender. Not mushy. Drain and set aside. Season with salt.
- Place the shallots in a pot with the olive oil and cook for about 15 minutes over medium heat or until golden all around.
- Add the garlic and warm through.
- Add the tomato paste along with the pureed tomatoes and mix well.
- Add the seasonings and the beans along with a cup of water.
- Cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens. 15-20 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Garnish with parsley and serve with toasted bread and feta cheese.
Note: If you cannot find shallots, substitute pearl onions or regular onions. I used small red onions. If all that you have are large onions, quarter them and roast them in the oven until soft and golden. Set them aside and add them to the stew at the end.