Black bean chilli with avocado salsa is the perfect veggie comfort food

Comfort food doesn’t have to be junk food. This vegetarian black bean chilli – taken from Foolproof One-Pot by Alan Rosenthal – is a healthy, hearty hug in a bowl.

Keen for a night in front of Netflix, curled up on the sofa eating a piping hot bowl of yummy goodness? We’ve got just the dish for you. This vegetarian black bean chilli with avocado salsa is Mexican-inspired, packed full of nutrients and downright delicious.

The best part: it’s made in one pot. Minimal washing up? We’re here for it. The dish cooks in the oven over the course of a few hours, so it’s perfect for cosy weekend evenings or when you’ve been working from home.

Black beans are high in protein, fibre and carbohydrates, making them a powerful little legume – they’re a great plant-based protein source for veggies and vegans. They also contain iron, magnesium and a number of B vitamins, which help keep your body’s cells healthy.

The humble avocado is a nutrient-dense fruit, full of heart-healthy fats and hefty doses of immune-boosting vitamins including C, E, K and B5.  You’ve also got a load of tomatoes in here, which are bursting with a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, that’s been linked to improved heart, brain and skin health.

All in all, a hearty, healthy and hella tasty dinner – what more could you ask for?

(To make this dish vegan, simply omit the cheese – or use a plant-based alternative. Enjoy!)

Hearty, healthy and hella tasty – this slow-cooked black bean chilli is a weekend treat


Serves: 4-6

For the chilli

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp ground allspice

1 tsp sweet smoked paprika

1⁄2–1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)

3 garlic cloves, finely grated

2 tbsp maple syrup or honey

1 tbsp tomato purée 

2 onions, peeled and finely chopped

1 celery stick, roughly chopped

1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped

1 green (bell) pepper, cut into 2cm (3⁄4in) chunks

1 red (bell) pepper cut into 2cm (3⁄4in) chunks

350g (2 cups) dried black beans, soaked overnight in cold water, covered with at least 8cm (3in) water

3 small dried chipotle chillies (optional)

1 cinnamon stick

1 x 400g (14oz) can chopped tomatoes

1 litre (35fl oz/41⁄2 cups) vegetable stock

50g (13⁄4oz) unsalted butter

25g (1oz) dark chocolate

Sea salt and freshly ground black


100g (31⁄2oz) grated Cheddar, to serve

For the salsa

100g (31⁄2oz) frozen or canned sweetcorn

2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped

100g (31⁄2oz) cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters

1 avocado, roughly chopped

Zest and juice of 1 lime

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp chopped coriander, plus extra to serve

Tortillas, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F/gas mark 3. 

2. In a small bowl, mix the cumin, oregano, allspice, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, 1 tsp black pepper and 2 tsp salt with 3 tbsp cold water and leave to one side for a couple of minutes.  Then mix in the garlic, maple syrup (or honey) and tomato purée.

3. Add the onions, celery, carrot and (bell) peppers to your deep pot. 

4. Drain the soaked black beans and add them to the pot along with the chipotle chillies (if using) and the cinnamon stick. 

5. Now add your spice mixture and give everything a good stir. Finally add the chopped tomatoes, stock and butter.

6. Place over a medium heat, bring the pot to a gentle simmer and then cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 31⁄2–4 hours, giving it the occasional stir, until the sauce has thickened and the beans are soft.

7. Half an hour before you’re ready to serve, make the salsa. Plunge the corn into a bowl of boiling water (miss this out if you are using canned). After a couple of minutes, drain well and mix with all the other salsa ingredients. Season.

8. Once the beans are ready, stir in the dark chocolate, allowing it to melt naturally into the sauce. 

9. Serve in bowls with the salsa alongside, topped with grated Cheddar and more coriander, or with tortillas on the side.

Recipe taken from Foolproof One-Pot by Alan Rosenthal (£12.99, Quadrille), out now. 

Image: Rita Platts

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