Overhead view of a bowl of butter beans in tomato sauce with fresh thyme on a beautiful wooden serving board.

Stewed Butter Beans

Butter beans are one of the most versatile and hearty legumes in the pantry. When cooked right, they have a melt-in-your-mouth quality and really do have a creamy and buttery texture. If you’ve never tried them before, this easy stewed butter bean recipe is a good place to start!

In just 6 steps you can enjoy stewed butter beans for a stick-to-your-ribs meal or side. Fresh sprigs of thyme and the robust flavors of oxtail seasoning lend a rich flavor to the stew, while creamy butter beans give a substantial and filling bite.

Ready In Twenty

If you’re familiar with my other recipes you’ll know that I use my Easy Marinara Sauce as the base for many recipes. These butter beans are no exception! I’ll be using 2 cups of marinara sauce for this dish (another reason to make my marinara sauce: Hearty Vegan Meatloaf).

We’ll be simmering the butter beans in a sauce for around 20 minutes. Giving it time to absorb the tasty herbs and spices as it stews.

Treating butter beans with care during cooking will ensure that they are packed with flavor, all while keeping their delicate nature intact. When the beans are simmering, try to not over-stir the beans as it might make the bean shell burst. The aim is to let the stew infuse the butter beans with flavor as it softens.

stewed butter beans served in white bowl
Stewed butter beans in a hearty tomato sauce.

Cooking the stew on too high of a heat will break the beans apart and turn it to more of a paste. Simmering the stew on a lower heat will keep the beans tender.

These stewed butter beans are a great substitute in meals that call for meat or vegan meats. Need other ideas of how to eat these stewed butter beans? Try them stuffed in tacos shells, smushed between bread in a sandwich or tossed into a salad.

Braised butter beans in a white bowl garnished with a sprig of thyme
Yield: 8 Servings

Stewed Butter Beans

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This hearty butter bean stew is packed with layers of flavor and tastes like it was simmering for hours. It's the perfect side dish to any main course and is ready in just 20 minutes.


  • 2 Cups Marinara Sauce
  • 32 oz. / 2 Cans Butter Beans
  • 15 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon Oxtail Seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper (To Taste)



  1. Prepare marinara sauce as shown in my Easy Marinara Sauce recipe.
  2. Set aside 2 cups of sauce to use as a base in this recipe.
  3. Wash 15 sprigs of fresh thyme. Add more if you want to develop a very herbaceous flavor.
  4. Open the cans of butter beans, drain and rinse. Set aside.


  1. Put the marinara sauce in a pot on medium-high heat. Add the oxtail seasoning and mix well.
  2. Add the beans to the pot and stir gently. Taking the time to not mash the beans in the process.
  3. Once the stew begins to simmer, add the fresh sprigs thyme and gently stir. Reduce the burner to medium heat.
  4. Allow the beans to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Pay attention to the form of the beans - if the stew cooks for too long the beans will fall apart.
  5. Taste the stew. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Once the stew is done, serve immediately with a sprig of fresh thyme to garnish.


Cooking the stew on too high of a heat will break the beans apart and turn it to more of a paste. Simmering the stew on a lower heat will keep the beans tender and soft.

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Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1/2 Cup

Amount Per Serving Calories 123Total Fat 1.25gSodium 247mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 6gSugar 3gProtein 7g

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