Kosher Vegetarian Bean Cholent (Parve)

Vegetarian bean cholent
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
149 Calories
3g Fat
27g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 149
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 240mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 13mg 64%
Calcium 44mg 3%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 603mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cholent, the traditional Jewish Sabbath stew, is a meat or chicken dish with potatoes, beans, and barley as basic ingredients, or, in Sephardic versions, with wheat berries and chickpeas. Cholent is hearty lunch fare, and it can be on the heavier side, that’s why some people never warmed up to it. But this might change with one taste of this vegetarian version of cholent. 

This recipe is adapted from the cholent in the Lubavitch Women's Cookbook entitled “Spice and Spirit: The Complete Kosher Jewish Cookbook”, first published in 1977 and a classic that’s also known as the “Purple Cookbook”. Some of the ingredients have been changed from the original recipe, and this version is cooked in a crockpot. The recipe combines signature cholent ingredients of Ashkenazi cholent (beans) with Sephardic cholent ingredients (chickpeas).

This meat-free cholent is made with red and white beans, chickpeas, barley, potatoes, and tomatoes. A generous amount of onions and dry onion soup mix give it a lot of flavor. 

Red beans are oval-shaped and smaller than kidney beans. They have a smoother texture than kidney beans and they don’t need to cook as long. But since the cholent is cooking for several hours in the slow cooker, either bean type is fine. All the beans and the chickpeas need prior overnight soaking so take this into consideration for your timing. The barley does not need to be soaked beforehand.

This is a delicious and much lighter than the typical meat or chicken cholent. Don't be surprised if people ask for seconds and thirds. 

Like all stews, the cholent also tastes very good reheated. Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for two to three days.


  • 1/2 cup dried red beans

  • 1/2 cup dried white beans

  • 1/2 cup dried garbanzo beans

  • 2 tablespoons oil

  • 2 large onions, diced

  • 1/2 cup barley

  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced

  • 2 tablespoons onion soup powder

  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes

Steps to Make It

  1. Soak the beans in water overnight.

  2. When ready to cook, drain the beans.

  3. Heat oil in a skillet. Sauté onions for 5 to 7 minutes until translucent.

  4. In a crock pot, mix onions with beans and barley. Add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook, covered, for 30 minutes.

  5. Add potatoes. Cook, covered, on low heat for 30 more minutes.

  6. Stir in onion soup mix and tomatoes. Cook, tightly covered, on low heat for several hours or (if you plan to serve it for Sabbath lunch) overnight.

Note: Check the cholent's water level occasionally as it cooks. If too much water evaporates, add some water to the cholent.

Serving Suggestion

Add a parve cholent kugel—a vegetarian kishke—to the cholent. Serve with rice.

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