Spicy Black Beans + Veggie Sprinkles

Just don’t call it bowl food

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Less a recipe and more a suggestion, this is my go to lunch when I’m working from home. A few minutes prep and then the beans can be left to simmer on the stove until thickened and creamy. It’s the perfect meal for getting a big hit of veggies, and since there’s no ‘right’ way to top your bowl of beans, you can go as big or as simple as you like. As it is, it’s a great vegetarian dish, or you can leave out or sub the sour cream and cheese, and make it vegan.

My sister serves hers on top of brown rice, and tends to leave the beans a little thinner than I do. I just go for beans and veg. Either way, it’s as delicious as it is simple. And it makes the perfect office lunch as you can heat up the beans in the microwave and then pop on your ready-chopped toppings.

Serves 1 or 2


  • Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, diced
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped, (optional)
  • 1 small carrot, grated (optional)
  • 1/2 red pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 can/carton black beans in water
  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon paste (optional)

To serve

  • Red cabbage, finely shredded
  • Radishes
  • Tomatoes or salsa/pico de gallo
  • Avocado
  • Red onion, thinly sliced or quick pickled (soaked in lime juice with a pinch of salt and sugar)
  • Fresh corriander
  • Sour cream or plain yoghurt
  • Feta cheese or cheddar cheese
  • Hot Sauce
  • Fresh chopped chilli
  • Squeeze of lime juice
  • Tortilla chips



Heat some olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, celery, chilli, grated carrot and red pepper and sweat for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the cumin and oregano and cook for a further minute.

Tip the beans and their water into the pan, then half fill the bean can/carton with cold water and add to the pan along with the bouillon paste if you’re using it. Bring to low a boil and then leave to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally. After about 30 minutes, the beans will start to thicken, it’s up to you how thick you let them get, I like mine thick enough to eat with a fork, my sister likes them soupy enough to eat with a spoon. To each their own.

Spoon into a bowl and top with your choice of veggies, cheese, sour cream and hot sauce. A squeeze of lime finishes things off nicely. Enjoy!

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