Smoky Chicken & Black Bean Stew with Crispy Bacon & Guacamole

The era of winter warmers truly is upon us. Big bowls of porridge, soups and stews are on the menu three times a day and thank goodness too as, without them, I think I might freeze. I don’t love the chilly weather so much but I do love any excuse to wrap up warm and tuck into all the comfort food. My new favourite is without a doubt this smoky chicken and black bean stew with delicious crispy bacon and guacamole on top. Doesn’t that sound perfect? Oh boy, it is!

smoky chicken and black bean stew

Smoky chicken and black bean stew

The chicken and black beans are simmered up with tomatoes, peppers, red onions and spices to create a¬†wonderfully sweet and smoky flavour, then topped off with rashers of bacon made crisp and delicious under the grill, plus some creamy zesty guacamole to set off all the flavour together, it’s soul food at it’s finest! The ingredients are all hearty and nourishing and make you feel like you’re being hugged from the inside out. What better way to round up this last few days of fall! Tuck in!

Smoky chicken and black bean stew with crispy bacon and guacamole


Serves 6

  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 3 mixed-colour bell peppers
  • 2 400g cans of black beans
  • 1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 4 bay leafs
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of hot chilli powder
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Boiling water

To Serve

  • 12 rashers of bacon
  • 1 large avocado
  • Juice of 1 lime


Slice your onion into long, thin strips and chop your chicken and peppers into chunks.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pot at medium heat and fry off your onions for around 6-8 minutes until soft, stirring regularly. Then, add a dash of boiling water to the pan along with the garlic cloves, bay leaves and all the dry spices except the cinnamon and mix well. Cook for around 2 minutes, topping up the water to ensure the onions don’t dry out and burn.

Add the chopped chicken to the pot and stir well to coat in the onions and spices. Cover the pot and heat until the chicken is cooked through (you may need to stir a few times to cook evenly). Then, add your black beans, bell peppers, chopped tomatoes and cinnamon. Fill the chopped tomato can with boiling water and add this to the pot. Stir everything through. Bring the stew to a bubble, then cover and reduce to a simmer for 40 minutes.

After 40 minutes, remove the lid and turn the temperature up high to boil off the stew until it reaches your desired consistency. Taste and add salt as desired. Then, turn off the heat and cover to keep warm.

To serve

Place your bacon rashers under a medium grill until cooked and crispy on both sides. Mash your avocado with the juice from the lime. Serve the stew topped with the bacon and a hearty spoonful of guacamole . Enjoy!

Love comfort food? You may also like my vegan sweet potato and lentil shepherd’s pie!

Maxine Ali