This vegetarian version of feijoada, a black bean stew, was a popular recipe in the original 1971 edition of “Diet for a Small Planet.” Later updated by a Brazilian friend of author Frances Moore Lappé with the addition of more vegetables and fresh herbs, it’s a hearty meal when served with rice and sautéed greens.

Want to save this recipe? Click the bookmark icon below the serving size at the top of this page, then go to My Reading List in your user profile.

Storage Notes: Leftover feijoada can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or another neutral oil
  • 1 large yellow onion (about 12 ounces), chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts, chopped
  • 3 cups cooked black beans or 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 small sweet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and diced (optional)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt or fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
  • 1 orange, sliced, for serving

Step 1

In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion, bell pepper, tomato, garlic and scallions, and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, stock, sweet potato, celery, bay leaf, salt, pepper, vinegar and paprika, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Step 2

Transfer 1 cup of the beans to a bowl and mash. Return the mashed beans to the pot and continue cooking, until the mixture thickens further, another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaf and top with the chopped cilantro and orange slices. Divide among bowls and serve right away.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (1 1/3 cups), based on 6.

Calories: 232; Total Fat: 5 g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 708 mg; Carbohydrates: 38 g; Dietary Fiber: 11 g; Sugar: 7 g; Protein: 10 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

Adapted from “Diet for a Small Planet: 50th Anniversary Edition” (Ballantine Books, 2021).

Tested by Olga Massov and Kari Sonde; email questions to

Did you make this recipe? Take a photo and tag us on Instagram with #eatvoraciously.

More from Voraciously: