N is for Navy Beans

Navy beans are small white beans that are a variety of the common bean. They originated in the Americas and are also called Boston beans, pea beans, or pearl haricot beans. The beans are called “navy beans” in the U.S. because they were a staple food item for the U.S. Navy beginning in the mid-1800s. These beans are very high in fiber and are a nice source of plant protein. These beans appear in a variety of dishes including baked beans, soups, stews, and bean pie. They are also a delicious addition to the stew recipe below!

Navy Bean Stew


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz. mushrooms sliced
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 cup celery chopped
  • 1 cup carrots chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup red wine I used a cabernet sauvignon
  • 2 russet potatoes cubed
  • 1-14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1-32 oz beef broth
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups navy beans cooked
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  • Sauté mushrooms and onion in olive oil over medium-high heat in a dutch oven (or regular pot) until some of the water from the mushrooms evaporates (about 5 minutes).
  • Add celery and carrots and cook another 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic and red wine and cook until the smell of alcohol is gone (about 5 minutes or so).
  • Add the potatoes, tomatoes, broth, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, parsley, and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil.
  • Cover and reduce heat to simmer for about an hour, or until potatoes are tender.
  • Mix the water and flour in a separate small bowl to make a paste.
  • Add peas, navy beans, and flour mixture to the pot. Increase heat to medium or medium-high to bring back up to a slow boil and cook uncovered for another 20 minutes.
  • Add Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to serve.


You can use either can or dried beans in this recipe. If using dried beans, cook them first (recipe below)
Another quick note: this stew recipe can be made vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of beef broth.

Navy Beans (dried)


  • 1 pound dried beans
  • 8 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ onion
  • 2 bay leaves


  • Add all ingredients to Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker)
  • Cook for about 10 minutes
  • If they are too hard after 10 minutes, cook them for an additional 5 minutes


You can finish cooking them in the stew by adding them to the pot earlier than mentioned in the recipe. I cooked a whole pound of dried beans so I could use them for other recipes throughout the week.
Woman with shoulder length brown hair smiling

Blog and recipe courtesy of Seena Curry. Seena is a dietetics student at University of Alabama and expects to graduate in December. She hopes to find a career as a Registered Dietitian that combines her passions for food, nutrition education, and serving her community. Seena is a hobbyist food photographer and has an Instagram dedicated to her favorite recipes (sc_balancedeats).

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