This BBQ beans and rice bowl features spicy BBQ black beans with peppers and onions with a rice, creamy cabbage slaw, tomato and charred corn.

A colourful vegetable bean and rice bowl with corn, tomato and red and green cabbage slaw with BBQ sauce drizzled on top.

About the Recipe

Are you looking for a fun, delicious plant-based meal that won’t break the bank or require hours of cooking? Look no further than BBQ beans and rice bowls!

The black beans are cooked with peppers and onions, then served over fluffy white rice. Topped with a creamy cabbage slaw, juicy tomatoes, and charred corn, this dish is sure to be a hit.

The recipe is vegan, gluten-free, high in protein and fibre and easily customizable and it makes a great meal prep recipe too.

You’ll love all the flavours and nutrition packed into these bowls. Give them a try for dinner this week for a delicious meal that’s sure to impress the whole family.

Ingredients & Substitutions

All of the ingredients gathered up in bowls and measuring cups for making a vegan BBQ black beans and rice bowl with cabbage slaw and corn.

For the BBQ Beans

  • Black Beans: You’ll need 1 19oz can of black beans.
  • Onion: You can use white or yellow onion.
  • Bell Pepper: Use green bell pepper. Poblano pepper would be a good variation.
  • Garlic: Use fresh/raw garlic or substitute 1 tsp garlic powder.
  • Tomato Paste: Canned tomato paste. Extra? Freeze it in an ice cube tray then transfer to a freezer bag or container so you always have some on hand.
  • Spices: You’ll need chili powder, smoked paprika and ground cumin.
  • Maple Syrup: I like maple syrup best for sweetening the bean mixture but you could also use honey, agave or brown sugar.
  • Liquid: You can use water or broth for the cooking liquid but broth will help add more depth of flavour.

For the Bowls

  • Rice: You can use brown rice, jasmine rice, basmati rice or substitute another grain like quinoa or farro.
  • Corn: You can use fresh or frozen corn.
  • Tomato: The recipe calls for cherry tomatoes but grape or plum tomatoes are ok too.

For the Cabbage Slaw

  • Cabbage: If you don’t have both red and green cabbage available, it’s ok to use just one variety. For convenience, prepared coleslaw mix works great here!
  • Mayo: Use your choice of store-bought or homemade vegan mayonnaise.
  • Dijon Mustard: I used a grainy Dijon mustard but any Dijon is ok to use.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: If you don’t have apple cider vinegar available, white wine vinegar or regular vinegar works.
  • Sweetener: You can use any granulated sugar, honey, agave or maple syrup.

How to Make (with Photos)

Step 1: Cook Aromatics

Heat 1 tsp oil over medium heat then add the onion, garlic and bell pepper with a pinch of salt. Cook them for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they soften.

Onions, bell pepper and garlic cooking in a saucepan.

Step 2: Add Tomato Paste & Spices

Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often until the spices are fragrant and toasted.

Spices and tomato paste added to a pan of diced onion, garlic and bell pepper.

Step 3: Cook the Black Beans

Add the beans, maple syrup and water or broth to the pan and season with another pinch of salt.

Tip: If you want the beans a little saucier or sweeter, you could add 1-2 tbsp ketchup into the mix when the maple syrup is added.

Black beans added to a pan of cooked bell pepper, onion, garlic and spices.

Bring the bean mixture to a simmer and then reduce the heat and cook for 12-14 minutes until the mixture thickens but is still saucy.

Once you get the beans cooking, start cooking the rice in step 4.

A BBQ black bean mixture cooked in a saucepan with a wooden spoon resting in it.

Step 4: Cook the Rice

Add the rice to a medium pot with 1.5 cups of water and some salt. Bring it to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low.

Cook the rice for 13-15 minutes until the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and let it rest of 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Tip: You can use any other method of cooking rice you prefer and note that different rices will require different cooking times.

Step 5: Make the Slaw

Mix up the mayo, mustard, vinegar and sugar in a medium bowl until smooth.

A creamy mayo-based mixture in a glass mixing bowl with a whisk in it.

Add the cabbage and green onions, season with salt and pepper and mix well to coat the cabbage.

Creamy red and green cabbage slaw in a glass mixing bowl.

Step 6: Char the Corn

Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pan over medium-high heat then add the corn and cook it for 4-5 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally until the corn is golden-brown or slightly blackened.

Step 7: Assemble the Bowls

Divide the rice between serving bowls and top with the BBQ black beans, corn and cabbage slaw. Add more green onions on top if you like.

A bowl of rice with a spoon in it beside a bowl of cabbage slaw and a bowl with corn, tomato, bbq black beans and cabbage arranged in it.


Two colourful plant-based bowls with rice, corn, tomato, cabbage slaw and BBQ black beans arranged nicely in the bowls.

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A colourful vegetable bean and rice bowl with corn, tomato and red and green cabbage slaw with BBQ sauce drizzled on top.

BBQ Beans and Rice Bowl

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
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This crowd-pleasing BBQ beans and rice bowl is packed with plant-based protein and fibre for a filling and nutritious meal.


For the BBQ Black Beans

  • 1 (19 fl oz/540 ml) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small onion, diced (1 cup/112 g)
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced (1 cup/130 g)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (40 g)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 12 tbsp ketchup, optional, for sweeter sauce
  • 1 cup water or vegetable stock
  • salt

For the Bowls

  • 1 cup jasmine rice, rinsed  (or rice of choice) (195 g)
  • 1 ½ cups frozen corn (190g)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved, optional

For the Slaw

  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage or coleslaw mix (135 g) 
  • 2 cups red cabbage, shredded
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayo (55 g)
  • 1 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp sugar or maple syrup
  • salt and pepper


  1. Cook Aromatics: In a large pan, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add onion, peppers and garlic. Season with salt. Cook for 6-8 min, stirring occasionally, until softened.
  2. Add Tomato Paste & Spices: Add tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika. Cook for 2 min, stirring often, until fragrant and toasted.
  3. Add beans, maple syrup (and ketchup if using) and water or vegetable stock. Season with salt. Bring to a simmer over high. Once simmering, reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 12-14 min, stirring occasionally, until reduced, but still saucey. 
  4. Cook Rice: Meanwhile, in a medium pot, add rice and 1 ½ cups water. Season with salt.  Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 13-15 min, until water is absorbed. Let rest off heat for 5 min, then remove the lid and fluff rice with a fork.
  5. Make Slaw: In a large bowl, add the mayo, mustard, vinegar and sugar, whisk to combine. Add green cabbage, red cabbage and green onions. Season with salt and pepper, then toss to combine. 
  6. Char Corn: In a large nonstick pan, heat 2 tsp oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add corn. Cook for 4-6 min, swirling the pan occasionally, until corn is charred and golden-brown.
  7. Assemble Bowls: Divide cooked rice between 4 serving bowls. Top each with the BBQ black beans, charred corn and cabbage slaw. Sprinkle with more green onions and drizzle with BBQ sauce and hot sauce, if desired. 


  • Serving Size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 512
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 92 g
  • Fiber: 13 g
  • Protein: 23 g