Jamaican Black Bean Stew – Easy, Vegan and Very Yummy

Here is my friend Lara’s recipe for Jamaican Black Bean Stew, a vegan dinner winner!

Lara causes a sensation whenever she brings a meal to any social gathering. She’s an excellent vegan cook, and this is a dish she brought to a party at our house. The school mums and dads who were there all demanded the recipe, and Lara posted it on our Facebook group – hooray!

Here’s to a bit of novelty in the kitchen, and to friends who are great cooks and willing recipe sharers

I love to make new things for my very veggie hubby when he is here and this is one of the culinary highlights of his time at home right now.

Veggies in bean stew.jpg
Love all the colours as the veggies go in
Here’s the cooked version – yum
herbs for bean stew
Getting the ingredients together for the Jamaican Black Bean Stew
Jamaican black bean stew
Yield: 4 serves

Jamaican Black Bean Stew

There is a long list of ingredients in this recipes, but do not panic as you will have most of them in your cupboard, I am sure.


  • 225g dried black beans (or use a tin or two)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 tsp English mustard powder (keen’s sell it in a yellow box)
  • 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses or treacle
  • 2 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Half tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
  • 1 red capsicum, chopped
  • 1 yellow capsicum, chopped
  • 5 cups butternut squash or pumpkin, diced fairly small (or zucchini, mushrooms, whatever you fancy.)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Sprigs of thyme to garnish


1. Soak the beans overnight in plenty of water and in the morning drain, rinse well and cover with plenty of cold water again, plus the bay leaf.

2. Bring to the boil, boil rapidly for 10 mins. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 mins or until tender. Drain, reserving the cooking water.

3. Sauté onion and garlic until soft.

4. Add the mustard powder, molasses, sugar, thyme and chilli and cook for a minute.

5. Stir in the black beans. Just cover with stock/reserved cooking water. Add the pumpkin and capsicum ( or whatever veg you are using) and cook  on a low heat for 20 mins or so or until the hardest vegetables are tender.

Alternatively cook in a slow oven in a heavy casserole dish for about 90 minutes at 130°C

6. Add small amounts of water at any stage if it seems to be drying out.

7. Serve with sprigs of thyme and rice.  Serve it with brown rice instead of white and you are queen or king of the world!

prep for jamaican black bean stew
Looking very black indeed before it is cooked!
Jamaican black bean stew
I had a bowl of this with no rice, and hubby and Giant Teen scoffed it with brown rice. Too good.

I might reduce or drop the sugar next time I try this recipe. But then again, maybe not!

You might also like my Vegan Peanut Butter Cupcakes adapted recipe.

Find heaps more family-friendly meals here.

You might want to take the kids out on a Sydney bush walk to help them build an appetite!

What’s cooking in your kitchen today?

 Happy cooking!

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  1. says: Hotly Spiced

    I love the look of this and it’s so good to eat vegetarian every now and then. I will definitely try this recipe as I’m sure everyone in the family will eat it and enjoy it. Great recipe for the Autumn weather too xx

    1. says: Seana

      Thank you! I am eating more and more veggie and it’s very handy when husband is home. I always collect a wee stash of recipes whilst he’s away and then try them out when he’s home.

      The younger three kids are totally still at the sausages and fish fingers stage of culinary delight. Very boring.

    1. says: Seana

      Hi Carolyn, that’s true, but then there’s a heap of carby goodness in this meal too and I find that veggie and especially vegan meals are not as protein dense as I like, and would be really hard to lose weight on for me. I’m an omnivore really… but keen to eat more veggie.

  2. says: Liz

    That looks delicious and such a great way to use up whatever veggies are lying around. I’ll definitely be giving it a go – although maybe when the weather cools down a little!

  3. says: Lisa

    Hi Seana, just found your blog via Veggie Mama’s Meatless Mondays linky and this looks delicious. I have an enormous bag of black beans in the cupboard waiting for me to do something with and I think your recipe will do just the trick. Thanks!

  4. says: Seana

    That’s funny! I must ask my friend why it’s called Jamaican… she’s from Scotland like me and now lives here in Sydney. I bet there’s a story there somewhere!

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