Zucchini stew is an Italian inspired vegan stew that's both comforting and hearty. It's easy to whip up as a quick weeknight meal and made with simple ingredients like canned tomatoes, zucchini, and cannellini beans.
Zucchini stew is made on the stovetop in 30 minutes or less, making it ideal for a comforting weeknight meal or Sunday dinner. Plus, this recipe happens to be vegan, like my potato zucchini soup.
Best of all, it's filled with simple, nutritious ingredients like tomatoes, zucchini, onion, and cannellini beans, so you can feel good about what you're eating for dinner. Not only that, but it's a great way to use an overabundance of zucchini!
Serve zucchini stew as a weeknight meal with a loaf of crusty bread. Leftovers reheat well and are great for meal prepping for the entire week.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil - Any neutral cooking oil works.
- Onion - Adds flavor to your stew.
- Garlic - I recommend using fresh cloves of garlic rather than jarred, pre-minced garlic. Jarred garlic often has a harsh flavor when compared to fresh garlic or garlic powder. Two cloves of garlic can be substituted with ½ teaspoon of garlic powder if needed.
- Zucchini - You'll need two medium zucchini for your stew. Zucchini can be substituted with yellow summer squash.
- Tomatoes - Canned diced tomatoes can be substituted with petite diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes for a smoother, thicker tomato base.
- Cannellini beans - We're using canned beans in this recipe to save time. However, canned beans can be substituted with your favorite cooked beans.
- Seasoning - Italian seasoning, salt, and red pepper flakes add depth of flavor to your stew. Italian seasoning can be substituted with your favorite Italian herbs, like oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary.
- Fresh basil - I highly recommend adding fresh chopped basil leaves to your stew. Fresh basil adds impeccable flavor that really can't be substituted.
What to serve with zucchini stew
Zucchini stew can be served on its own, or with a side dish to stretch this recipe even further.
- Crusty bread
- Side salad
- Cornbread zucchini casserole
- Cheese sprinkled on top
Leftovers and freezing
Zucchini stew will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days in a tightly sealed container and reheats well in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Freeze leftover stew for up to 3 months in a tightly sealed, freezer safe container. Zucchini may get a little softer after freezing and thawing, but the stew as a whole freezes well.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- 14 ounces canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 medium zucchini, cubed
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 10 fresh basil leaves, julienned
- In a stock pot over medium heat, add olive oil. when hot, add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until they begin to lightly brown around the edges. Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.
- Add tomatoes, beans, zucchini, Italian seasoning, salt, and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, cover, and reduce heat to low.
- Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until zucchini is cooked through to your liking. Add fresh basil and stir to incorporate.
- Remove from heat and serve.
- Leftovers keep well in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Stew can also be frozen for up to 3 months in a tightly sealed, freezer safe container. Zucchini will soften slightly from freezing and thawing.
- Serve stew with crusty bread, a side salad, or with cheese sprinkled on top.