Portuguese bean stew

Portuguese bean stew

Sit down to a richly flavored and comforting fall dish of Portuguese Bean Stew that includes chunks of Linguica sausage, potato and kale. This stew is typical of what might be served, not only in Portugal, but in the Azores, Brazil, and Portuguese-American kitchens and restaurants.

Stews and soups don’t have to be boring and if you want a cool weather dish that is a little different, serve a rustic Portuguese bean stew. Portuguese soups and stews, in many variations, are found not only in Portugal but also in the former Portuguese colonies of Macau, Angola, Mozambique, Goa, Brazil, in the North Atlantic Azores and any country where Portuguese immigrants have settled.

Portuguese Caldo Verde
Portuguese Caldo Verde, A Sausage, Kale And Potato Soup


There is an enormous variety of soups and hearty stews in Portugal…there are even Festa das Sopas Tradicionais, soup festivals held throughout the country. Caldo Verde, a sausage, kale and potato soup is likely the most famous. Sopa de Feijao is another traditional soup of red beans with pork and sausage. There are many versions of bean soups that are made with a variety of pork parts as well as different kinds of beans.

Portuguese bean stew
Portuguese Bean Stew

My Portuguese bean stew is one that you might find being served in a Portuguese-American kitchen. For this recipe, I used small dried pink beans that I had soaked over night. I used smoky Linguica sausage which adds a rich flavor to the homemade chicken stock in the recipe. I also used tender baby kale and Yukon Gold potatoes but you can use other types of greens and potatoes. You can also make this stew using canned beans and chicken broth as well as other flavorful sausages such as Portuguese Chourico, Spanish Chorizo or Andouille, of course the flavor will be a little different but still delicious.

Portuguese Bean Stew

  • 3 slices smoked bacon, chopped (optional but adds flavor)
  • 1/2 lb. Portuguese sausage such as Linguica, a smoke cured sausage with garlic and paprika or Chourico
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 c. chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper or to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 2 c. water
  • 12 oz. bag dried pink (rosado), red or pinto beans, soaked overnight, then drained
  • 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 5 oz. baby kale, collard greens or Swiss chard
  • salt to taste

Add the bacon to a large pot over medium heat and cook until brown, remove and set aside. Slice the sausage in half lengthwise and then into 1/4 inch half moons. Add the sausage to the pot and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and water, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of pot and cook about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, the reserved bacon and seasonings except the salt, stir well then add the soaked and drained beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover and simmer until beans are tender, about 2 – 3 hours, depending on the type of beans you are using. Add water as needed to keep beans submerged. When the beans are tender, add the potatoes, season with salt to taste and cook until tender. Remove the bay leaf and add the kale and cook until the greens are just tender. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if nesecary, then divide among bowls and serve.

Tips:

  • If using large, mature greens, strip the leaves off the stems and ribs. Stack a few leaves at a time and roll them into a cylinder then cut them crosswise into thin strips. Cut those strips into 1 inch lengths. 
  • If you can’t find Linguica, you can use Andouille sausage or Chorizo.
  • If you have plenty of time to make and serve this bean stew, I would suggest using dried beans that have been soaked overnight but canned beans are great when you want a quick and easy meal.
  • If possible, I would suggest using homemade chicken stock as it imparts a rich flavor to the stew.
  • Do not add salt to the beans until they are cooked as salt can sometimes interfere with the bean skins getting soft.

****

Although Portuguese stews are enjoyed anytime of the year, this richly flavored and a little spicy, comforting meal is especially nice for the cold months that lie ahead. Pour yourself a glass of red wine from the Douro Valley of Portugal to accompany a steaming bowl of this flavorful and hearty stew of smoky sausage, beans, potatoes and kale. Add some crusty bread and you will have the perfect fall meal. Enjoy!

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94 thoughts on “Portuguese bean stew

  1. This just hit our e-mail box and we can’t wait to make this for dinner. A little bacon makes everything delicious and according to boys it is one of the major food groups. Comforting and delicious easy dinner!

    1. Your comment gave me a chuckle Bobbi, your boys and my husband think alike when it comes to bacon. I’m glad you like the Portuguese bean stew, thank you.

  2. Where do you find these amazing recipes? Love all the ingredients in this stew…..and it’ss perfect for our chilly nights!

    1. Hi Anna and Liz, We don’t have many ethnic restaurants where we live so I’m always experimenting with dishes from other countries. I’m glad you like the Portuguese bean stew, thank you.

    1. While Florida doesn’t really have cool weather yet, I’m all in to seasonal comfort food Dorothy. Thank you for your nice compliment about the bean stew.

  3. This reminds me of a delicious soup I had at the annual Portuguese Holy Ghost Feast on Martha’s Vineyard about 35 years ago. Unforgettable in its silky richness and flavors. Thanks for stirring the pleasant recollections!

    1. Hi Mark, I’m happy that you know how delicious Portuguese bean soup can be and that this recipe brought back nice memories of your having a similar dish at the feast you attended in Martha’s Vineyard. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  4. This looks fantastic! Totally my kind of dish — loads and loads of flavor. and I really like making stews and soups at this time of the year. Really nice recipe — thanks.

  5. YUM! I am second generation Portuguese-American, my family came to Hawaii from the Azores to work in the Sugar Plantations. Hawaii has it’s own version of Portuguese Bean Soup that I crave when ever it’s chilly out. Having moved to the continental, it was difficult finding Linguica. Recently though, I have found it in one of the local supermarkets, YAY! This stew while be at the top of the list once we get cold here In The Middle Of The Desert πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Auntie Doni, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your lovely compliment. I appreciate you telling your story concerning your background and that you and your family have had and enjoy Portuguese bean stew. I hope you will enjoy my version.

    1. Hi Shy, this is indeed a very flavorful stew and I hope you will enjoy it if you get the opportunity to make it. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  6. Soups are perfect for the colder days. Your soup looks great , my husband wouldn’t eat the kale but he likes a good bean soup with sausages . Thanks Karen.

    1. Hi Gerlinde, My husband would just as soon forget about veggies but he really did like this dish and yes, he does like his sausages too. 😊 Of course you can leave out the kale or substitute another leafy green. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Carolyn, so many people have been disappointed this year because of having to cancel dream vacations. I do hope you get a chance in the coming years to visit Portugal…it is a country I would enjoy returning to.

  7. Even if I do sound childish – this sounds yummy, and yes, we are well into our spring . . . ! You sort’of promised on another post you might teach us ‘how’ ! No problem with ingredients hereabouts except for what ‘Portuguese sausage’ constitutes . . . am certain Mr Google Au will tell πŸ™‚ ! Chorizo is certainly available in all stores . . . lovely !!!!

    1. Hi Cheryl, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I’m happy that you like the recipe for the Portuguese bean stew…I do think it might be something your son may have tried since he lives in Portugal. Enjoy!

  8. Yum! This sounds like a really tasty soup, Karen. When the weather gets a big cooler, I’ll definitely give it a try. The bacon would really make it even more tasty for me. Thanks for your great recipes. πŸ€—

    1. Thank you as always Sylvia, for your lovely compliment. I’m looking forward to cooler and especially drier weather here in Florida. That is when a bowl of this bean stew is really nice but I couldn’t wait. 😊

    1. Hi Mimi, I agree with you about beans being a nice addition to soups and stews. I always have them in my pantry. Thank you for your compliment.

    1. Hi Sherry, the bean stew is a hearty dish. However, living in Florida where the weather is still in the mid 80’s, it was still an enjoyable meal but I can understand how you will more than likely be having lighter meals as you go into your summer.

    1. Thank you Amira for your nice compliment about the bean stew. If you get a chance to prepare it, I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did.

  9. Hi Karen! This stew look sooo enticing right about now… I’m in the middle of a rainy day while being confined at home because our daughter was positive for Covid19… (she’s fine thank God). So please, send a few bowls our way!! Hehehehe. Take care!

    1. Hi Giovanna, I’m sorry to learn that your daughter had tested for Covid…that had to be so frightening for your whole family. I hope that all is well now. How I wish I could have sent you a whole pot of the bean stew. Take care!

      1. Hi Karen! We are now on our second lockdown because my son Javier tested positive too. To be honest we weren’t that afraid, because neither of them had many symptoms, so we were only careful with my in-laws and keep them away from home, and the kids stayed each one in her/his own room for 14 days… thankfully we are now all fine. Your bean stew would have been wonderful then!! Thanks for caring. Hope your family is all doing well and keeping save. 😘

      2. You and your family have had a lot to deal with, I’m glad all is well now. Thankfully our family are all good but we miss seeing them.

  10. It certainly is stew and soup season. I just love the use of kale here, it stands up to cooking and provides wonderful texture. I will have to find some pink beans, they sound lovely in this dish.

    1. Hi Eva, If you can’t find pink beans, a red bean would work just fine in the Portuguese stew. I hope you will enjoy the dish as much as we did, thank you.

    1. Hi Tandy, The beans used in this dish varies from country to country. Your black beans will work just fine in the Portuguese bean stew. In Brazil, that is the common bean used in this dish.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment Larry. The brand of Linguica I used was Gaspar, if that helps. If you can’t find Portuguese sausage you can definitely substitute chorizo.

  11. A nice hearty stew for the frosty night we’re having just now. Linguica is a favorite sausage for me and luckily it’s available here most of the time. I’ve enjoyed it cooked more than one way, but feijoada Γ  brasileira is likely my first choice. In my working days, I traveled to Brasil a few times a year and enjoyed the dish there often. So, your Portuguese Bean Stew is right up my ally. Thanks for a great post…

    1. Hi Ron, It is nice knowing that you are familiar with the Portuguese bean stew. Were the versions of feijoada Γ  brasileira made with black beans…they seem to be the most popular in the Brazilian recipes.

  12. This soup looks amazing Karen. And you are right about needing “different” soups–I got so tired of my old standbys I ate almost no soup last winter. Totally need to remedy that!

    1. Hi Inger, we do sometimes get in ruts when it comes to the meals we prepare…especially if they are a favorite. I do think you would enjoy the Portuguese bean stew, it is something different and delicious. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  13. This does indeed sound like the perfect fall meal, Karen! I was just telling Laura that I want to find some unique soups and stews to make…and then I open up this post. Perfect! I’m thinking it might be a little hard to find Linguica sausage around here – but I’ll look around. Some of our ‘fancier’ grocery stores might carry it.

    1. Hi David, I hope you can find the Portuguese sausage, the brand I used was Gaspar, and I have been able to find it in New Hampshire as well as here in Florida. If not, chorizo would make a good substitute for the bean stew. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did…thank you.

  14. Portuguese cuisine is just different enough form other European cuisines, isn’t it? When I worked in Gloucester, most of the families I knew were Italian or Portuguese – or intermarried. What food! Pork and clams! The best bacala and potatoes! I miss that…

    1. You made me hungry just thinking about all the other good Portuguese dishes there are David. I’m glad you like the bean stew, thank you.

  15. This is exactly the type of meal I crave this time of year. And this one has such an incredibly delicious combination of flavors! I had some of my favorite food ever when I was in Portugal, which was way too many years ago. Hopefully we’ll all be traveling again soon. Thanks for this delicious post! πŸ™‚ ~Valentina

    1. I’m happy to know that the Portuguese bean stew recipe reminded you of all the good food you enjoyed on your visit to Portugal, Valentina. Thank you for your nice compliment. Hopefully we will all be able to start to making plans to travel in the not too distant future.

  16. We love any kind of bean soup and this one looks a little different from the type I make. Love the flavors and ingredients. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing Karen!

  17. I lived in an area with a large Portuguese community. The Portuguese dishes I have had were always hearty and flavorful. My family loves chourico and linguica, which we use all the time.This stew looks fantastic, Karen!

    1. Thank you Thao, how nice that you have experienced so many Portuguese dishes…they are indeed very flavorful. Thank you for your nice compliment, it is much appreciated.

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