Southwest Stew

Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 25 minutes


By Cathy Fisher
This chunky, satisfying stew is full of beans, greens, corn, mushrooms, bell pepper, and plenty of herbs and spices to please your taste buds and fill your belly. This recipe makes 12 cups of stew, perfect for leftovers throughout the week!


  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 medium white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 3-6 ounces tomato paste (see Notes below)
  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes (including juice)
  • 15 ounce can corn, drained and rinsed
  • 5 cups chopped (into bite-size pieces) collard greens
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves (or parsley), coarsely chopped


Heat a large soup pot on high heat with 2 tablespoons water in the bottom. When the water begins to sputter, add the onion, bell pepper and mushrooms and cook stirring for 3 minutes, adding water as needed. Add the chili powder, oregano, cumin, and garlic, and cook for an additional 2 minutes, still adding a little water as needed.

Add the 41/2 cups of water to the pot along with the tomato paste, and stir or whisk to blend in. Add the black beans, pinto beans, diced tomatoes, corn, and collard greens. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook covered for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once or twice. Stir in the cilantro and serve as is or with ground pumpkin seeds and chopped cilantro (as shown above).

I try to avoid using partial cans of ingredients, but for this recipe I like to use a half a can of tomato paste since it delivers a milder tomato flavor. But feel free to use the whole can if you like a richer, zingier tomato base.

Fresh garlic may also be used; substitute with 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly minced (about 6 medium cloves).

If you can't find collard greens, you may also use kale. If you use chard, add it in closer to the end of cooking since it cooks quickly.