Navajo Stew

Posted · 13 Comments

Inspired by a Southwestern Native American dish, this is a sunny, colorful stew of roasted vegetables in a hot and smoky mole-type sauce.

Recipe Type: Main Dish, Stew

Total time: 55 mins

Serves: 4
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 red or green bell peppers
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can of tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon canned chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 15-ounce can of butter beans or black beans, drained
  • flatbread (tortillas, lavash, or pita)
  • plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes.
  3. Stem and seed the peppers and cut
  4. into 1-inch pieces.
  5. Peel the onion and cut it stem end to root end into thin wedges. In a
  6. bowl, toss the vegetables with the garlic, oil, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  7. Spread on the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes.
  8. Stir and continue to roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender but not mushy.
  9. While the vegetables roast, puree the tomatoes, chipotles, and cilantro in a blender until
  10. smooth. Set aside.
  11. When the vegetables are tender, put them into a 2- to 3-quart baking
  12. dish, stir in the tomato-cilantro sauce and the beans, and return to the oven until hot,
  13. about 10 minutes.
  14. A few minutes before serving, warm the bread in the oven.
  15. Serve the stew in bowls topped with yogurt or sour cream ( if desired), with warm flatbread on the side.
13 Responses to "Navajo Stew"
  1. dan cummins says:

    had dinner at the restaurant last week. great food!

  2. Julie Smith says:

    I made this last night and it turned out great! One of my new favorite meals:)

  3. Alyshia says:

    We’ve made this recipe twice, and both times our large family loved it! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  4. Erin says:

    I made this last night. Was very easy, and was absolutely DELICIOUS. Served it over brown rice. This was probably the best thing I have ever cooked. Will definitely be making again. Thanks!!

  5. Hal Hagan says:

    I had this wonderful dish at the Moosewood in early June, 2013… absolutely loved it. It has wonderful depth, an interesting combination of flavours and textures, and one bowl of this (and the wonderful Moosewood house salad) made for a meal that felt light, yet completely satisfying.
    I can’t say enough great things about both the Moosewood (where we ate 8 times in a 9-day stay in Ithaca) and their wonderful recipe books.

    • laura says:

      Thanks Hal! Wow, 8 times in 9 days is kind of remarkable. Glad you enjoyed the restaurant, and yes, this is a beautiful, simple and healthful dish.

  6. Rachael says:

    I love this recipe! I make it fairly often and serve it over couscous. Thanks so much for Simple Suppers, that book is fantastic!

    • laura says:

      Hi Rachael,
      Navajo Stew is a big favorite at Moosewood, but we make it at home a lot. Serving over couscous is a fine idea; quinoa is nice too. But a piece of hot cornbread is my favorite.

  7. Steve says:

    Got the Simple Suppers Cookbook for Christmas and this was the first recipe I tried from there. Loved it. This one is definitely going into my goto pile. Can’t wait to try other recipes from this book.

  8. Broderick S. says:

    Something to consider, back home on the reservations they gather corn from the fields, bury and bake/steam the corn, left to dry until corn hardens, then peeled and stored usually for winter months. Some is prepared that evening to celebrate another good harvest. Also mixing this fresh batch of steam corn with fresh butchered lamb mutton meat, simply put speaks for its self, yum. Don’t forget the piping hot frybread, a scoop of vanilla ice cream to sweeten up the gaps in the tummy :)Food for thought:)

    • laura says:

      Thanks for this glimpse of an authentic feast, and the important place of corn throughout the seasons. My wish is that we be able to grow, buy and eat corn that is pure, unadulterated, GMO-free and truly healthful as well as delicious.

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