A Homestyle Italian Meal: Italian Tomato, Kale, and White Bean Stew

Italian Tomato, Kale, and White Bean Stew - AvivaGoldfarb.com

This homestyle Italian meal will fill your family up with fiber and vitamins. 

Prep + Cook Time: 30 minutes

Makes 6 servings, about 1 cup each

Italian Tomato, Kale, and White Bean Stew - Aviva Goldfarb
Italian Tomato, Kale, and White Bean Stew – Aviva Goldfarb


The ingredients are Italian, but our daughter Celia preferred to spin the flavor toward Asian by adding soy sauce. My husband Andrew, on the other hand, stirred spicy sriracha sauce into his.

This would also be delicious with 10 – 12 oz. of Italian sausage added with the onions.

Scramble recipe tester Anne O’Neill said both of her kids gave this “a big thumbs up!” Scramble recipe tester Jennifer Grosman recommends serving this over cheese tortellini.

Serve it with garlic cheese toast.

Ingredients for Main Dish:

  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic, (about 2 cloves)
  • 2 – 3 tomatoes, diced, with their juices (2 1/2 cups), or use 28 oz. diced tomatoes with their liquid
  • 1 head kale, chopped (omit the thick ends of the stems) (4 – 6 cups), or other greens
  • 30 oz. canned cannellini or great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning blend
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (optional)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Ingredients for Side Dish: Garlic Cheese Toast:

  • 3 whole wheat pita pockets or 1 large sub roll
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Instructions for Main Dish:

Heat a Dutch oven or large heavy skillet over medium heat, and when it is hot add the oil.

Add the onions and sauté them for about 5 minutes until they are tender and lightly browned.

Stir in the garlic for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes, and sauté them for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the kale, cover and steam it for 5 minutes, then remove the lid, and stir in the beans, bay leaf, Italian seasoning and salt, and simmer for 15 minutes, or up to 30 if time allows, stirring occasionally.

(Meanwhile, prepare the toast, if you are serving it.)

If the mixture is getting dry, stir in the broth.  Serve the stew topped with the cheese, if desired.

Slow Cooker Directions:

Omit the oil.  Combine all ingredients except the cheese in the slow cooker.  (Omit the broth if you prefer a thicker stew).

Cook it on low for 6 – 8 hours or on high for 3 – 4 hours.  Serve the stew topped with the cheese, if desired.

(Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)

Do Ahead or Delegate:

Dice the onion, peel the garlic, dice the tomatoes if using fresh (keep the juice), chop the kale, grate the Parmesan cheese if necessary and refrigerate, or fully prepare and refrigerate the dish for up to 3 days.

Scramble Flavor Booster:

Add 1/4 tsp. fresh or dried rosemary and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes with the Italian seasoning, add a dollop of pesto towards the end of the cooking, and serve it with soy sauce and/or hot pepper sauce.


I use Organic Better than Bouillon so I can make as little or as much broth as I need at a time without wasting any.

Instructions for Garlic Cheese Bread:

Preheat the broiler or toaster oven.

Split the pita pockets in half, separating the tops from the bottom.

Top each half with the butter or margarine, sprinkle them with garlic powder, and top them with the mozzarella cheese.

Put the bread under the broiler or in the toaster oven until the cheese melts and the edges of the bread turn golden, 2 – 3 minutes.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values)

Calories 200, Total Fat: 6g, 9.5%; Saturated Fat: 1g, 3.5%; Cholesterol: 0mg, 0%; Sodium: 266mg, 11%; Total Carbohydrate: 30g, 10%; Dietary Fiber: 8g, 30.5%; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 9g

Nutrition with side dish(es): Calories 349, Total Fat: 12g, 19.5%; Saturated Fat: 3g, 12.5%; Cholesterol: 8mg, 3%; Sodium: 507mg, 21%; Total Carbohydrate: 47g, 16%; Dietary Fiber: 9g, 33.5%; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 15g

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Aviva Goldfarb
Aviva Goldfarb is a Washington Post contributor, author of 4 cookbooks, and founder of The Six O'Clock Scramble, an online healthy meal planner. She writes about food, cocktails, travel and parenting, is an entrepreneur, and a marketing consultant for food related ventures.


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