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Cowboy Beans Recipe (Vegetarian/Vegan, High Protein)

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This cowboy beans recipe is a great vegan/vegetarian high protein lunch or dinner. Made with pinto, navy, and kidney beans and loaded with fresh vegetables & spices! A hearty high protein recipe with canned beans and fresh or frozen veggies that is ready in about 30 minutes.
 
Serve a big bowl of this stew up with homemade cornbread and a hearty side salad. These vegetarian cowboy beans make a great side dish for your next BBQ, gathering, or get-together.
 
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I love a good hearty bean recipe, and this cowboy bean stew is one of our absolute favorites. It’s a hearty and plant-based dinner that comes together quickly, and will keep you full all day.
 
This recipe is delicious and has a great texture from using 3 different kinds of beans. This stew is like meatless chili, but has a fun southwest flavor from the sweet & tangy barbecue sauce.

This Vegan & Vegetarian Cowboy Beans Recipe Is

  • Smoky
  • Sweet
  • Hearty
  • Satisfying
  • Loaded with Vegetables
  • Flavorful
  • A great recipe to use up canned beans
  • Plant-based and high protein
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Vegetarian Meal Prep Bean Recipes For the Win!

This cowboy bean stew is the perfect recipe for hearty homemade meal prep.  I am a huge fan of meal prepping, batch cooking, and making recipes ahead.  I love the convenience of cooking once and being able to enjoy homemade meals during the week when I don’t have time.

Browse our tried & true meal prep recipes.  With just a little planning and prep, you can have a week’s worth of recipes ready in the time it would take to make one portion.  Just batch cook, divide into individual containers, and place in the fridge or freezer for later!

What’s In This Vegetarian & Vegan Cowboy Beans Recipe?

Be sure to visit the recipe card below for full ingredient amounts and recipe instructions!

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Pinto Beans
  • No Salt Added Kidney Beans
  • No Salt Added White Beans
  • Chili powder
  • Onion powder
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Bell Pepper
  • Corn
  • Reduced Sodium Vegetable Stock or Bouillon
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Jalapeno
 
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Easy Recipes with Frozen Vegetables

I used a few frozen vegetables (bell pepper and corn) for this recipe instead of  fresh produce. Frozen produce is a great option for finding fresh and flavorful vegetables in the off season. By using freezer ingredients, I can stock up when they are on sale, and use them in all kinds of great dishes. It saves me a trip to the store, and I can add amazing veggies right into the recipe.
 
Frozen vegetables are often picked at peak ripeness, so they are a much better option than canned.  Check out all my recipes that use Freezer Ingredients on The Herbeevore – great for those nights when you want dinner ready fast! And check out my Top 125 Plant-Based Pantry Staples for long-lasting staples that I always keep on hand.
 

How Do I Make Vegan Cowboy Beans Stew?

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven (or heavy lidded pot) over low heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté over low heat for 5 to 6 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.  Add the beans, chili powder, onion powder, diced tomatoes, bell pepper, corn, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes over low heat.
  2. After the stew has cooked for 30 minutes and the veggies have softened, stir in the barbecue sauce. Test stew and adjust seasoning to taste.
  3. When ready to serve, top with fresh herbs and jalapenos (if desired) and enjoy!

Canned Beans Versus Homemade

While I love the convenience of canned beans, I usually cook dry beans from scratch in my pressure cooker – the texture is better and it’s more affordable.  I use a larger 7.5-Quart Instant Pot which is larger than the standard model so I can batch cook more at a time. 

If you don’t already have one, the Instant Pot works wonders for cooking dried beans fast, no soaking required! While canned beans are super convenient, they are often loaded with sodium.  If you buy canned beans, I always recommend using a no salt added variety so you can control the amount of salt in your dish. 

Next time you reach for the canned beans, think about investing in a pressure cooker instead! Homemade beans are incredibly cost efficient, and you can add seasonings and spices to the beans while they cook for extra flavor.

More Vegetarian High Protein Bean Recipes You’ll Love

Everything Bagel Hummus Recipe (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Spinach Lentil Salad with Vinaigrette Recipe (Vegetarian)

Turmeric Hummus Recipe with Black Pepper

Creamy Kidney Bean Salad Recipe

Chopped Salad with Chickpeas Recipe (Gluten Free, Vegetarian)

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Cowboy Beans (Vegan/Vegetarian)

This vegetarian & vegan cowboy beans recipe is a high protein lunch or dinner, made with pinto, navy, and kidney beans and loaded with fresh vegetables & spices!
5 from 8 votes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine American, Southwest
Servings 8 servings
Calories 260 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 14-ounce can pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 14-ounce can navy beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 14-ounce can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 14 ounce Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1 cup sweet corn
  • 3 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 2/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 jalapeno sliced, optional for heat

Instructions
 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven (or heavy lidded pot) over low heat. Add the olive oil, onions, and garlic and sauté over low heat for 5 to 6 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. 
  • Add the beans, chili powder, onion powder, diced tomatoes, bell pepper, corn, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes over low heat.
  • After the stew has cooked for 30 minutes and the veggies have softened, stir in the barbecue sauce. Test stew and adjust seasoning to taste.
  • When ready to serve, top with fresh herbs and jalapenos (if desired) and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 260kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 11gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 858mgPotassium: 700mgFiber: 10gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 706IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 108mgIron: 3mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a rating and comment below, let us know what you loved about it!

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5 from 8 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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