Sweet and Smoky Red Bean Stew

Give your beans a swift kick in the overalls with this real-deal, down-home stew. Ranch-style beans, or smoky beans, are a dish made with flavors of Texas. The tempeh bacon, brown sugar, tomato paste, and spices bring those flavors in. Whether you’re a Boston Brahmin or a West Coast surfer, you’ll want to fill your bowl to the brim with this taste of Southern hospitality.


  • 1 tablespoon neutral-tasting oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 orange or red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 4 strips tempeh bacon, diced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped, for garnish
  • Dollop of Follow Your Heart Vegan Sour Cream, for garnish
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced, for garnish


1.     Heat a 6-quart saucepan and add oil. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, and carrot. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft. Add tempeh bacon, oregano, thyme, sea salt, and pepper. Stir to incorporate.

2.     Add beans, hot sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, tomato paste, and broth. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until most liquid is absorbed, or desired thickness is reached. Serve warm, garnished with chives, Vegan Gourmet Sour Cream, and radish slices.



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