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Fasolia Bean and Lamb Stew

Fasolia is a stew popular across the Middle East & Eastern Mediterranean, my version has Lebanese influences & features white beans and lamb.

This is a slow-cooked recipe but it is very easy and you only spend around 15 minutes cooking or preparing, the rest of the time you can drink in the glorious aroma!

Fasolia, Middle Eastern lamb and butter bean stew.

Tomato, Lamb and Butter Bean Stew

My love of lamb is hardly hidden under a bushel here, and it is particularly good in a soup or a stew.

This is because it has loads of flavour and plenty of fat and as a result, it holds up to slow cooking and also big flavours.

I use it in dishes as varied as a Hungarian Lamb goulash to my very British lamb neck stew and a Moroccan-influenced lamb tagine to the Greek Youvetsi.

Lebanese influences are front and centre of this fasolia recipe that rocks diced lamb and butter beans in a garlic and coriander heavy tomato sauce.

It is a style of dish that is popular across the Middle East, all the way into Greece and Cyprus.

Butter beans are my favourite, but it is made with all sorts of beans across the region. There is even a Greek variant that uses green beans.

It is super simple to cook and tastes fantastic, it’s also really generous leaving plenty of leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.

Overhead fasolia, Middle Eastern lamb and butter bean stew.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use dried beans?

Yes, you could throw it all together after soaking the beans overnight. I tested this version and it works, but I prefer the cleaner flavours of the method that I have detailed in my recipe.

If you are doing a “dump and run approach” you can cook it in a slow cooker for 6 hours on low or in a pressure cooker for 50 minutes.

Can I use different types of beans?

Yes, fasolia works with any old beans that you have at home and as I mentioned above, a similar dish is made in Greece with green beans.

What is passata?

Passata is nothing more than sieved tomatoes and it is wonderfully flavoured and really silky.

In the US it is known as tomato puree according to my research.

Can I use tinned tomatoes?

Yes if you wish!

What is Baharat spice mix?

It is a blend of spices that typically contains black pepper, coriander, cumin, cloves, paprika, cinnamon and cardamom. As with most spice blends ratios and contents vary from recipe to recipe.

It is readily available in many of the large 4 supermarkets in the UK. You can also make homemade baharat mix.

Fasolia, Lebanese-influenced lamb and butter bean stew one a spoon.

Serving Suggestions

This simple fasolia stew is a one-pot meal and a generous one at that leaving plenty for leftovers.

I like to serve it with nothing more than a nice lump of crusty bread, although my wife always hankers after garlic bread. This dish already features garlic heavily, it’s guaranteed to ward off vampires!

I personally prefer to toast off strips of pita bread and dip that in as I go.

But it is equally good with some focaccia too!

Close-up fasolia, Middle Eastern lamb and butter bean stew.

Equipment Used

I only name-check specific brands of equipment if I think they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to as them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 20cm or 8″ saucepan with a lid.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
  • Stirring, straining and serving spoons.
  • Ladle.
Lebanese-influenced fasolia lamb and butter bean stew with fresh coriander.
Yield: 2 Servings

Middle Eastern Fasolia Lamb and Bean Stew Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

This easy fasolia recipe is based on a Lebanese version of a dish popular across swathes of the Middle East and into Greece, I like to use diced lamb and and butter beans cooked in a tomato sauce.


  • 300g (11oz) Diced Lamb Leg or Shoulder
  • 500ml (2 cups) Lamb Stock
  • 150g (1 Cup) Onion
  • 6 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Large Bunch (75g) Fresh Coriander
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tsp Baharat Spice Blend
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 400g (14oz) Tin White Beans, I prefer butter beans.
  • 500g (2 Cups) Tomato Passata


  1. Pour the lamb stock into a 20cm or 8" saucepan with a lid.
  2. Cut the lamb into a 1-1.5cm (½") dice and add it to the stock, then bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to very low, add a lid and simmer 45 minutes.
  3. Cut the onion into a 5-6mm (¼") dice.
  4. Peel and chop the garlic cloves as finely as you can.
  5. Chop the stems from the coriander as finely as you can and then roughly chop the leaves, keeping the two separate.
  6. Once the lamb has been cooking in the stock for 45 minutes strain it all into a bowl, wipe out the pan and return it to a medium heat.
  7. Add the olive oil, diced onions, chopped coriander stems and garlic to the olive oil and cook for 5 minutes to soften the onions. If they start to colour reduce the heat a little.
  8. Add the baharat spice mix and tomato puree and cook for a further minute.
  9. Remove the lamb from the stock add it to the pan and stir to combine everything.
  10. Pour in the tomato passata, and the drained beans, stir then ladle in as much lamb stock as needed to produce a nice stew or soup of the desired thickness. This is absolutely up to you!
  11. Have a taste and as much salt as necessary, this will depend on both your stock and how much of it you added.
  12. Add a lid reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for another 45 minutes.
  13. Finish with the chopped coriander leaves and serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 800Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 193mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 16gSugar: 20gProtein: 55g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

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