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Sober Beans

by jenny sansouci on January 10, 2010

The other day, I tried an amazingly delicious Mexican dish called “Drunk Beans” (also known as “Borracho Beans“). The dish is named this way because one of the main ingredients is beer.  Drunk Beans are also often made with chicken broth, bacon, and topped with sour cream or cheese. I thought – there must be a way to make this dish healthier!

Thus, I was inspired to create this recipe for “Sober Beans” – without beer, and with all vegan ingredients. It came out amazing, so I just had to share it with you!

Here are the ingredients I used for my sober beans. This made enough for 2 people (as a main dish) + ample leftovers.

  • 2 cups black beans (soaked overnight) OR 2 cans of black beans (rinsed)
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 3-4 strips of vegetarian bacon (I used Smart Bacon, but tempeh bacon would also be great)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (use less if you don’t like spicy)
  • 1 tsp creole seasoning (I use Tony’s)
  • 1/2 cup diced green chiles
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • fresh cilantro
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 big spoonful of vegan sour cream (I used Tofutti brand)

Start by cooking your brown rice.

While the rice is cooking, pour the black beans into a large saucepan. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.

Dice the onion, garlic, tomatoes and green chiles and add them to the simmering broth.

Chop uncooked vegetarian bacon into small pieces. Brown your vegetarian bacon in a skillet with a touch of olive oil until it is slightly crispy. Add bacon to the simmering bean mixture.

Add cayenne pepper and creole seasoning to the pot.

Simmer for 20-40 minutes or until the bean mixture reaches your desired consistency. The longer you cook it, the thicker the mixture will be. I kept mine in there for about 40 minutes and the consistency was that of refried beans. If you want your beans to be more liquidy, simmer for less time.  This is up to you.

While the beans are simmering, get your toppings ready and set aside.  Here’s a picture of my toppings – avocado, cilantro and vegan sour cream – with the brown rice foundation waiting in the background!


When your beans look ready to eat, have a taste and add salt and black pepper as necessary. Pour the bean mixture over the brown rice. Add toppings and enjoy!! Once you taste sober beans, you won’t even miss the beer/meat ingredients! Xoxo


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