This Chipotle Black Bean Stew is a rich, hearty and warming vegan meal with plenty of flavour. A simple and budget friendly meal that is easy to adapt and lots of difference ways to serve it, and you really won't miss the meat. Healthy and protein packed, this stew shows that vegan meals are far from boring.
This might just be one of the cheapest meals that we have on our blog, and maybe one of the tastiest too. What a combination! Made using store cupboard ingredients, you can adapt it to suit your own tastes, or whatever you have to use up. It's perfect for bulk cooking which means you can serve it to a crowd, or have lots of leftovers to freeze.
Why you will love it
- Very little prep - I don't think anyone really loves peeling and chopping, which is why we love this recipe so much because there is very little prep involved. Just chop and onion and crush some garlic and everything else is just dumped in.
- Quick - This black bean stew is cooked in just 20 minutes. With the minimal prep time, it can be on your table in under 30 minutes. Who says comfort food has to take a long time?
- Adaptable - Use this stew as a base recipe and then go crazy with the variations. Vegetables, cheese, added protein - we have lots of ideas for you below.
- Freezes well - We love a batch cook meal and this one is perfect for that. It freezes (and more importantly reheats) really well, so we always make sure to make a double portion to keep in the freezer for those days that we know we won't have time to cook something from scratch.
- Onion and garlic - The base of any good stew. You can save yourself some time by using frozen chopped onions and lazy crushed garlic in a jar. You can swap the onion for shallots if you prefer, and it will make the dish a little sweeter.
- Herbs and spices - A mixture of cumin, smoked paprika and oregano adds lots of flavour to this stew. If you want to add some extra spice, then you could add some chilli powder too.
- Black beans - The star of this stew. We have used canned black beans to make this a really quick and easy stew, however you could make this an even more budget friendly meal by using dried black beans, but this will take much longer as they need soaking overnight. More details on that in the FAQs.
- Chipotle - This is what gives the black bean stew a lot of the flavour. We used a jar of chipotle paste, however you could leave it out if you aren't a fan of spicy food, or you could just swap it for a pinch of chilli powder.
- Tinned tomatoes - Try to use the best quality tomatoes that you can get, as you will honestly taste the difference. Inexpensive tinned tomatoes are really watery, and you want a nice thick stew.
- Tomato puree - This helps to thicken up the stew and give it more of an intense tomato flavour.
- Stock - This loosens up the sauce a little. We used a vegetable stock to keep it vegan, but you could use chicken stock instead.
- Lime - We squeeze lime juice in right at the end to freshen up the whole dish. You could leave it out if you wanted to.
- Coriander (cilantro) - Fresh coriander also lightens up the whole finished dish. If you aren't a fan, you could add parsley instead, or even leave it out.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make black bean stew - Step by step
One: Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion and garlic. Cook on low for 3-4 minutes, until softened.
Two: Add the salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, oregano, chipotle paste and tomato puree and stir in to the onions.
Three: Add the tomatoes, black beans and stock and stir well. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Four: Stir in the lime juice and fresh coriander and serve.
Health benefits of black beans
Whilst they might not be the first things you think of when you think of nutrient dense ingredients, black beans have lots of great health benefits.
They are a great source of protein, and much cheaper than other protein sources like chicken, beef or fish, which makes this a budget friendly protein packed meal.
They are also loaded with with fibre, folate and potassium (which can help lower blood pressure), as well as helping to lower "bad" cholesterol. The magnesium in black beans also plays an important role in protecting your bones.
How to adapt it
This stew is pretty simple, with black beans being the star of the show, however there are lots of different ways to adapt it to make it more filling and bulk it out. Use this recipe as a base and then change it up. Here are some of our favourites:
Vegetables - This stew is a good opportunity to add lots of extra vegetables. You could fry up some peppers, mushrooms or aubergines and then you could stir in some spinach just before serving for a boost of iron. Make this a more filling meal by roasting up some sweet potato and butternut squash and adding it to the stew.
Protein - You could swap half the black beans for lentils, which make this a much more budget friendly meal. We use a can of cooked green lentils. If you wanted to add some meat (not that we think it needs it), then you can add some shredded leftover chicken, which would soak up all the sauce.
Cheese - If you want to make this black bean stew a bit more indulgent, then you could add some crumbled feta on top. It adds a nice creaminess to it.
What to serve it with
We could happily just eat a big bowl of this with a spoon, or we use it to make our Chipotle Black Bean Nachos. However, if you are looking for some side dishes to serve this with, then we have you covered.
We love adding toppings to our meals and a chunky avocado salsa or even a spoonful of sour cream/creme fraiche works well on this.
Store: This is a great meal to batch cook and then enjoy on a cold evening when you can't be bothered to actually cook anything. This will keep in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freeze: Once it is completely cooled, you can divide it between ziplock freezer bags and then they will lay flat in the freezer. They will keep there for up to 3 months.
Defrost: Defrost in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: Make sure that it is fully defrosted first and then you can either reheat it in the microwave for a couple of minutes or heat it through in a frying pan. Make sure it is hot all the way through before serving.
Frequently asked questions
Whilst we just added some chipotle, paprika and cumin, you could use a simple Fajita seasoning, or even go with cajun or Indian. Feel free to adjust the seasonings to suit your own tastes.
Yes, as long as you make sure the stock you use is gluten free, then this is a delicious gluten free meal. Just make sure that there is no cross contamination with the other ingredients.
Yes, you can use dried black beans instead of canned. We use canned because it makes this a really quick and easy meal, whereas dried beans take a long time to prepare and cook. However, they are lower in sodium than canned, and they are also much cheaper as you can buy them in bulk.
To make this recipe with dried beans, you first need to soak them overnight in plenty of water and then drain and rinse them. Add them to a saucepan with fresh water and bring to the boil and then simmer them for around an hour and a half under the beans are tender. Then you will need to drain them and follow the recipe as it is below.
Yes, this recipe works really well in the slow cooker. Follow steps one and two and then add everything to the slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours.
Yes, and we would recommend making it in advance, because the flavours really intensify. Some dishes just taste better the next day and this is one of them.
• You need a large pan to make all of this. We used a heavy base soup pan.
• Make sure to drain and rinse your canned black beans before using.
• Add some extra creaminess to this black bean stew by crumbling some feta on top before serving.
• If you have made your black bean stew too spicy, you can cool it down before serving with a spoonful of Greek yogurt or creme fraiche, or a vegan alternative. We don't think it is overly spicy though.
• If you want to make this thicker, then you can mash some of the beans in the stew. But we like the chunkiness of the whole beans.
More bean recipes
If you’ve tried this black bean stew recipe, or any other recipe on the blog, then let us know how you got on in the comments below, we love hearing from you!
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Chipotle Black Bean Stew
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion - finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves - crushed
- 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
- 0.5 teaspoon cumin
- 0.5 teaspoon paprika
- 0.5 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoon chipotle paste
- 2 tablespoon tomato puree
- 470 g black beans - canned; drained weight; rinsed
- 800 g plum tomatoes - canned
- 75 ml vegetable stock
- 1 lime - (juice only)
- 5 g coriander (cilantro) - chopped
- Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion and garlic. Cook on low for 3-4 minutes, until softened.
- Add the salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, oregano, chipotle paste and tomato puree and stir in to the onions.
- Add the tomatoes, black beans and stock and stir well. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the lime juice and fresh coriander and serve.
- You need a large pan to make all of this. We used a heavy base soup pan.
- Make sure to drain and rinse your canned black beans before using.
- Add some extra creaminess to this black bean stew by crumbling some feta on top before serving.
- If you have made your black bean stew too spicy, you can cool it down before serving with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche, or a vegan alternative. We don't think it is overly spicy though.
- If you want to make this thicker, then you can mash some of the beans in the stew. But we like the chunkiness of the whole beans.