Recipe: Kale and butterbean stew

This is an outrageously quick and simple weeknight supper – from pan to plate in 15 minutes. I’m almost embarrassed to post it here, because it is so basic – but it’s a useful, adaptable recipe which I hope will prove useful. The kale can be substituted with whatever leafy greens you have in the fridge. You might want to at least double the quantity of the greens if you’re using something water-heavy like spinach, as it will wilt down.

At less than 200 calories per generous portion, this stew is perfect anyone who eats the 5:2 way. I calculated the whole lot to be 395.5 calories (643g), so 197.75 calories (321.5g) for half that (pictured below), which provides a good-sized amount for a fast day supper. Calories will vary according to your ingredients, so you may want to double check!

Kale and butterbean stew

If you’re not fasting, enjoy this warming stew with some rice or crusty bread, and why not fry up some chorizo with the onion…?

Kale and butterbean stew


  • Half tsp olive oil
  • Half a red onion (approx 60g), chopped
  • 50g sliced kale
  • 1 400g can of butterbeans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • Half tsp chilli flakes
  • Sea salt and pepper to season


  • Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat.
  • Add the onion and soften for a minute or two.
  • Add the kale and butterbeans and stir together.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and chilli flakes, and allow the stew to bubble gently for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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