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Smokey Mexican Beans

For us, Mexican food is a great way of bringing people together and allowing each individual creative ownership over their meal – a truly playful feast. However, making it from scratch can sometimes feel a little time consuming… Say hello vegan life hack - Old El paso’s spice mix to save a foodie’s day!

This bean-based recipe is packed with a whole lot of smoky flavour, veggies and tummy satisfying fibre and protein. Both perfect on its own but extra naughty topped with smooth avocado, fresh salsa and cashew cream.

And if by some miracle there’s any leftovers, serve it up in tacos, on a sweet potato, as a burrito or even in a vegan cheesy baked nacho tray.

Have we got your stomach rumbling yet? OK on to the recipe…


Serves: 2

Cost: Approx £5.24

Time: 30 mins


1 x can of black beans

1 x sachet of Old El Paso Fajita Spice Mix (original smoky BBQ)

1 cup of sliced vegetables (our faves are mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, carrot, sweet potato and kale– but the beauty is you can use whatever veg you have)

2 tsp caramelised onion chutney

Juice of 1 lime (Don’t have a lime? Go wild and use an orange - because cooking is about experimentation)



1. Begin by prepping your chosen vegetables. For root veg you’ll need to cut them into smaller chunks/ slices as they can take longer to cook.

2. Add the veg into a saucepan with a little water and saute for a few minutes. Cover the pan with a lid so it uses it’s own water content to cook and there’s no need for oil. You may need more water depending on how hot you have your hob and the type of saucepan you have, so the veg doesn’t stick!

2. Add the spice mix and stir through to coat all the veggies. Leave for another couple of minutes.

3. Add the black beans and their water, the onion chutney and let simmer for 15-20 mins – it should thicken but still be nice and saucy. If it becomes too thick add in 1/2 a mug of water.

4. Remove from the heat and squeeze in the lime juice.

vegan mexican bowl

And now to serve…..

We like to keep this open as it’s all about your own preferences. But here’s a couple of tasty suggestions:

Our favourite way to have this dish is with brown rice, sliced avocado, lots of fresh coriander, tomato salsa (recipe below) and the most simple, delicious cashew cream for Mexican dishes (also below). You can have it as a bowl or even make it up into a burrito for your lunch the next day!

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Finely chop and mix the following per person: 1 tomato, 1 spring onion, a few stalks of coriander.

Quick and easy cashew cream – it’s addictive!

In a Nutribullet or similar blitz together 2 Dsp of softened cashews (either soaked overnight or boiled for 15 mins and then cooled) with the juice of half a lemon, 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Dsp tamari, a good dose of salt & pepper and 3 Tbsp water