Why does it seem that the least photogenic ‘sloppy’ food that I make always tastes the best!?! Today I am sharing a super feel good, ‘Spicy Black Beans’ comfort food recipe.

This recipe excites me. It’s one of those delightful, medleys of deliciousness. Where the flavours dance and entwine to become so much more than all the individual parts. The spices are warming, rather than hot so that you can really appreciate the ‘dance’ without being overpowered.

It’s actually pretty simple if you have the dried spices to hand. If you don’t have them all, then you can also try swapping out for ones that you have available instead.

Spicy Black Beans by Anastasia - gluten-free, vegan comfort food

What else is in this spicy black beans pot?

I am using some of my favourite spices in this recipe. We have ground coriander and its earthy sweetness; cinnamon and its punchy zing; cardamom with its sensual citron favour; stoked paprika and rich smokiness; black pepper and a pinch of chilli for a gentle kick.

Add in tomato (in the form of passata, which is sieved or strained tomatoes, usually found in a jar or bottle etc.), onion, garlic and coconut and you have a unique blend of flavours that are all very thrilled to be in the pot together.

This is a versatile recipe that can be eaten as a stew with bread or with rice, potato wedges, baked potato, millet or quinoa.

Spicy Black Beans by Anastasia - gluten-free, vegan comfort food

A note about the black beans (also known as black turtle beans)…

I cook my beans from scratch. Black beans (also known as black turtle beans) are one of the fastest dried beans to cook. Even without soaking they are soft in less than an hour. I make a big panful and then freeze whatever I don’t need at the time in batches.

You can of course use pre-cooked black beans straight from a can. This recipe calls for what would probably be (in the UK) a little less than 2 cans of beans (drained weight).

I don’t know what it is about black beans, but I seem able to digest them better than most other beans. So they’ve actually ended up being my favourite option when it comes to wanting a super high protein food. They are an important staple food in Central and South American cuisine, offering excellent nutritional value, high in protein and good for anti-oxidants.

Spicy Black Beans by Anastasia - gluten-free, vegan comfort food

Ok, let’s make this!

I’ve written a printable version of this recipe here…

Spicy Black Beans by Anastasia - gluten-free, vegan comfort food

Spicy Black Beans - Vegan Comfort Food with warming spices

Yield: 4 portions
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

A delicious spicy black bean recipe that serves well with potatoes, rice, millet, quinoa or with rice in a burrito wrap. Vegan and gluten-free as always.


  • 1 large red onion (any colour will work)
  • Dash of oil (to sauté)
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 100ml water
  • 400g cooked black beans
  • 300ml passata (seived/strained tomatoes in a jar/bottle)
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Twist of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Pinch ground chilli
  • 50g ( 1/4 block) creamed coconut


  1. Finely chop onion.
  2. Heat a dash of oil (I use coconut or olive oil) in a big pan and toss in the onion, stirring regularly for a couple of minutes.
  3. Crush garlic and toss in with the onion to sauté.
  4. Add the water, black beans and passata and bring to the boil. Once it's boiling turn down the heat to simmer the contents.
  5. Grind the cardamom seeds (after discarding the pods), with a pestle & mortar (or a sharp heavy knife) and add to the pan.
  6. Add the salt, pepper, coconut sugar, coriander, cinnamon, smoked paprika and chilli and mix in.
  7. Allow to cook for at least 15 minutes. Longer cooking is also great, if you have the time, to allow the flavours to dance and infuse together.
  8. Chop the creamed coconut (which comes in block form) and add near the end of the cooking period. Allow to melt in and infuse. If you don't have creamed coconut then use at least 100ml of coconut cream instead.
  9. This serves right away or keeps for up to a week in the fridge (the flavours will also continue to develop as the days go by too).

Did you make this recipe?

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Spicy Black Beans by Anastasia - gluten-free, vegan comfort food