Lebanese White Beans in Tomato Sauce (Fasuleh Hamra)

by Victoria
Published: Last Updated on 530 views

I have discovered these Lebanese white beans in tomato sauce when I visited this Lebanese restaurant in Konstanz (Germany). They are rich, flavorful, and absolutely delicious! These white beans are very different from the white beans on tomato sauce British style! They have more of that Arabic spice flavor, which is hard to find in Europe. I fell in love with these beans since then, and every time we visited that restaurant, I already knew what I was going to order! I searched for this Fasuleh Hamra recipe, but I was not sure if those recipes were truly original and not some kind of guessing from food bloggers. To find out the true recipe I happened to have a Lebanese neighbor, who was very kind and shared not only the original recipe, but also the spice (Ras el Hanout) which I could not find in a local supermarket. I am very grateful to have such nice people as neighbors and finally, the puzzle pieces came together. I finally could cook these Lebanese white beans at home and share the recipe with my readers!  These Lebanese white beans in tomato sauce are vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, and soy-free.


As the original recipe suggests, it is best to use the largest variety of white beans. The large Cannolini beans are very meaty, soft, and mushy inside, protein-rich. I highly suggest using those, but if you don’t have them on hand, you might try with the smaller white beans and reduce the cooking time accordingly.


Original spice flavor play a crucial role here. Without the right spice mix, the white beans would have a completely different flavor. I have used a ready spice mix called Ras al Hanout, which you can find a spice shop or a Turkish or Arabic store. I have not found this spice in a local grocery store in Germany neither in Switzerland. The good news is, that you can mix the spices together if you don’t have Ras el Hanout and get a similar mix. It consists of dried ground ginger, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon, coriander, cayenne pepper, cloves, and ground allspice. Find the exact measurements here.


Apart from the Arabic spices, what makes these Lebanese white beans in tomato sauce distinctly flavorful is garlic, bell peppers, onions, fresh tomatoes, and tomato paste. I have used an organic concentrated tomato paste from a glass jar to get the best results in this recipe. The recipe that my neighbor described contains pimento sauce, which I could also not find anywhere, as it mostly contains paprika I have used bell peppers and dried sweet paprika spice to achieve the same flavor and also make the recipe easier to cook.

How to serve Lebanese white beans in tomato sauce?

I prefer eating them with freshly cooked rice or baked potatoes. The beans are so flavourful that you don’t need any other strong taste to compliment it. Fresh cilantro and lemon juice at the end of the cooking time really makes the difference, do not skip it! In the restaurant where I first tried this beautiful dish, they serve it with freshly pressed garlic on top. If you love garlic, feel free to add it as well.

Lebanese White Beans in Tomato Sauce (Fasuleh Hamra) Recipe

Serves: 4
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 250 g. Dried White Cannellini Beans 
  • 1 bunch Fresh Cilantro 
  • 300 g. Tomatoes
  • 3-4 Garlic cloves
  • 100 g. (2 medium) Onions
  • 3 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 lemon Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp. Ras El Hanout Spice
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground All Spice (Piment)
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper



  • 1. Soak the beans at least overnight or up to 24 hours. The longer they are soaked, the faster the cooking time will be;
    2. Wash and rinse the beans under cold water and add to a pot covered with water;
    3. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and cover the lid;
    4. Cook the beans for approximately 1 hour until half cooked. They should be still a little bit hard on the outside so that you can cook them further in the sauce.
    5. Save the water from the cooked beans to use in the sauce.


  • 1. Finely mince garlic and onions and chop fresh tomatoes and red bell pepper.


    1. Preheat the frying pan and add olive oil and minced garlic first, fry for 30 seconds until it releases the aroma;

    2. Add chopped onions and saute for 2-3 minutes until it becomes transparent;

    3. Add bell peppers, saute for 1-2 minutes and then add chopped tomatoes, spices and tomato paste, and white beans;

    4. Let the flavors mingle, stir and add the water in which the beans have been cooking just enough to slightly cover the beans and bring to a quick boil;

    5. Reduce the heat and cook for approximately 45 minutes or until the beans become very soft and tender;

    6. When the beans are ready, turn off the heat and add fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) and lemon juice.

    7. Serve hot and enjoy!

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