The Washington Post

Frankie’s Feijoada

Frankie’s Feijoada 6.000

Scott Suchman for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Sep 21, 2021

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.

Active time: 25 mins; Total time: 45 mins

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


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings; makes 8 cups

  • 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


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.

Transfer 1 cup of the bean mixture 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.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Diet For a Small Planet, 50th anniversary edition" (Ballantine Books, 2021).

Tested by Olga Massov and Kari Sonde.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (1 1/3 cups): 232

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 5g 8%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 708mg 30%

Total Carbohydrates: 38g 13%

Dietary Fiber: 11g 44%

Sugar: 7g

Protein: 10g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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