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Turkish Beans with Pickled Tomatoes

6 Servings

3 hours 15 minutes active

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This hearty white bean stew was inspired by the Turkish dish kuru fasulye, basically beans stewed in a spicy tomato sauce. We also borrowed a bit of flavor from the Middle Eastern pantry, using pomegranate molasses, a syrup of boiled pomegranate juice, to add a unique and fruity sweetness. You’ll find it in the grocer’s international section or near the honey, maple syrup and molasses. This dish calls for dried beans, which means an overnight soak for evenly cooked beans. The creamy texture of dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight, were best, but Great Northern beans worked well, too. The beans can be served as is or with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a spoonful of whole-milk yogurt. We also loved the bright contrast provided by pickled tomatoes. The beans can be made up to two days ahead. Reheat over low, adding water for your desired consistency.




Don’t forget to salt the beans’ soaking water. The salt tenderizes and seasons the beans. We liked a ratio of 2 teaspoons kosher salt to 3 quarts water.

3 hours

15 minutes active


  • 1

    pound dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight and drained

  • 1

    12- to 16-ounce lamb shank


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Carol K.
April 25, 2023
Turkish beans are splendid!
My favorite recipe! Great flavor and the pickled tomatoes are a great addition.
Ayesha L.
May 19, 2024
One of my favorite weekday meals!
The pickled tomatoes take it to another level! It doesn't last long at my house.
Carol K.
December 1, 2023
These beans!
My favorite dish of all!!!
Michele R.

We have enjoyed making this three times since the recipe was published. We cook a lot of dried beans in our home and this is among the favs of all time. We have made it with the dill and without. (Fresh dill is the one thing in this that is not a staple at our house.) In either choice, equally delicious. Be sure to make and add the pickled tomatoes at the end...they are "it" in finishing this dish along with the yogurt. This dish is "family meal" or "company's coming" worthy.

Carol K.

This dish is beyond delicious. I might start making it every week. Amazing!! The reviewer before me is right; don’t leave off the pickled tomatoes.

Meg Y.

I really loved this recipe and as with many things it got better with time. I think next time I will just use diced tomatoes with good salt. Also, the
yogurt adds creaminess and incredible taste. I can't wait to make it again!

Betsy C.

One of your best, and now one of mine! You truly live up to your brand -‘ changing the way you cook‘. I would never have combined these ingredients on my own - it was fresh, substantial, interesting down to the last bite! Thank you!

Maria A.

Terrific dish. Do not omit the pickled tomatoes.

Chad M.

This did not work. Beans cooked very fast - almost half the cooking time and the liquid was very liquid and less stew than we saw in the video...

Charles D.

Has anyone tried to make this ahead of time and freeze it?

Andrew P.

Followed this recipe to the T... it was a huge success. I will be adding this to the regular rotation!

Emily C.

Has anyone tried cooking this in a crockpot vs in the oven? Just wondering. I live in Fl and its too hot to have my oven on several hours. Thanks

Leigh B.

Anyone think this would be worthwhile cooking without the meat (for us non-meat eaters)?

Suzanne C.

Could you make this dish with ground lamb?

Lynn C.

Hi Suzanne -

Unlike the lamb shank, which benefits from long, slow cooking, ground lamb will be very overcooked after 3 1/2 hours in the oven. We wouldn't recommend substituting here.

The Milk Street Team

Marisa B.

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Karen M.

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Scott P.

An outstanding dish! I used the bare minimum of beef shank, and the flavor was still very rich. The pickled tomatoes are almost a must, as is the dollop of Greek yogurt.

Anat B.

To answer Leigh B’s question: yes! I have made this recipe countless times, always without the meat. It is terrific as a vegetarian main dish. I also make it with pinto beans (I grow my own here in the Southwest) and they are so creamy and perfect in this recipe. I’ve made it in the Instant Pot several times and while it’s still good it lacks the absolute magic that comes from cooking it in the oven. When it is cooked in the oven following the recipe directions the insides of the beans become creamy and heavenly while the skin maintains an integrity and almost has a snap. The flavors also build and absorb better. In the summer, however, I make it in the Instant Pot so as to not heat up the house and it’s perfectly serviceable as a fast and easy dinner. So skip the meat any time you desire and you can be assured it will still be a fantastic dish.