A well-stocked pantry will always come to the rescue when your fridge contents aren’t working in your favour. Case in point are these ridiculously simple black beans, which bypass the need for fresh ingredients (onions don’t count because they last forever) but still result in a tasty and healthy meal.

We usually serve them with corn tacos and whatever is in the fridge – salad leaves, avocado, grated cheese, yoghurt or all of the above. If you’re really pressed for anything fresh though, they also work well over rice, quinoa or any grain of your choice.

Add some fresh or dried chilli in if you like it hot and make sure you cook extra to freeze for nights when a haphazardly thrown together dinner is the only choice. Black beans are loaded with fibre, vegetarian protein and micronutrients making them an excellent alternative to meat.

This recipe serves 4.


  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Chipotle sauce, to taste


Saute the onion in the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat until golden. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes until the sauce is a thicker consistency.

Tell us, dear readers… what do you whip up when the fridge is bare? 

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15 minute meals, 30 minute meals, Dinner, Lunch, One Pot, Rice, Grains & Pulses, Vegetarian


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