Southwestern black bean spaghetti with skinny avocado crema


Southwestern Black Bean Spaghetti Platter

Are you way too busy to cook and just need a quick and healthy meal for your weekly rotation? Us too. With Lucas’s Kickstarter launching in 3 weeks and my obsession with optimizing my upcoming blog makeover, our weekly meal planning has been a life saver. Without it, we’d both forget to think about dinner until our growling stomachs reminded us around 7:30 or 8pm when it’s much too late to figure something out, go to the market, and cook. Which means we either end up going out to dinner or shredding cheese between whatever gluten-free bread or tortillas we have in the fridge. When in doubt, melt cheese. With meal planning, though, we get to eat things like this Southwestern black bean spaghetti in barely no time.

Southwestern Black Bean Spaghetti with Avocado Crema

Pause for husband brag. Lucas has been up until 2 or 3am the past few weeks, toiling over all the details that go into kicking off a three-person start-up. And – drum roll please – the OmieLife website is live today! Their first product, OmieBox, is a kid’s lunchbox that allows parents to pack hot or cold food in the same box.

If you’ve got a kid in school, or even just know and love a kid, please check it out and pass it along to all your friends. And their friends. And everyone in your contacts list. Even the random Tom, Dick or Harry you have no idea who they are or how they got in your contacts list. Make it a chain letter – “Forward to 20 people in the next 20 minutes or [insert something horrible] will happen.” Too extreme? Just think, you could send a steaming bowl of this Southwestern black bean spaghetti to school and it’d still be warm at lunch time!

Southwestern Black Bean Spaghetti with Avocado

Resume talking about this spicy spaghetti. This is the dish that guarantees to get you out of your rut of the same old 30-minute weeknight meals. Even when you need something quick, why not spice things up a bit? Literally. Grab the cayenne, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and toss it in. Along with their mung bean pasta, Explore Asian sent me a bag of their organic gluten-free black bean noodles a few weeks ago, and I instantly knew I wanted to turn it into a Southwestern spaghetti. Since the black bean noodle flavor is so mild, you can easily sub in your favorite pasta or rice, adding some black beans to the party.

Gluten-free Southwestern Black Bean Spaghetti

I packed Southwestern platter with fresh corn, bell peppers, onion, mushrooms, and roasted tomatoes – heavy on the spices and drizzled with a skinny greek yogurt avocado crema that mimics sour cream. Except you don’t need to feel one ounce of regret when you dip your spoon into the giant dollop of avocado crema you load on top (Thanks to Chris @ Shared Appetite for the healthy avocado crema idea!). We pulled on our black bean chili stuffed peppers recipe to create a perfectly seasoned sauce for this Southwestern spaghetti. Simultaneously spicy, fresh, and cool, this is a dish that everyone can love.

Avocado Southwestern Black Bean Spaghetti

Southwestern black bean spaghetti & avocado crema
Yields: 4 servings
  • ½ pound of black bean noodles (Substitution option: regular spaghetti or rice)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ small red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ jalapeño pepper, ribs & seeds removed and minced (for spicy, add the whole jalapeño)
  • 3 cups cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ears fresh sweet corn, boiled and cut off the cob
  • 1 red bell pepper, ribs & seeds removed and chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • Avocado crema (recipe below)
  • Optional: ½ cup of shredded monterey jack and a lime, for serving.
  • Optional: 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed (If you're opting for rice or regular pasta, I'd recommend throwing in some black beans!)
Avocado crema (recipe slightly adapted from Shared Appetite)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ½ cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste.
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil to cook the noodles.
  2. Prepare the avocado crema (recipe below).
  3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until it softens.
  4. Add mushrooms, jalapeño, and garlic and cook a few minutes until the mushrooms begin to sweat.
  5. Add the corn, bell pepper, fire-roasted tomatoes, black beans (optional), paprika, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and salt, and cook for about 4-5 minutes, until the water from the tomatoes begins to cook off and the sauce thickens a bit. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the package directions.
  7. Divide the noodles between 4 plates, top with sauce, and drizzle with avocado crema. Sprinkle fresh green onions and monterey jack (optional) on top. Serve with lime wedges.
Avocado Crema
  1. Toss all the ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth. (Yup, that's all!). You'll likely have leftover crema that you can dip chips in too!

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  1. Noodles with Southwest flavor? Who would have thought! Congrats on the big website launch – the Omiebox looks amazing!

  2. Veronica says:

    Love the idea of a Southwest pasta and I shared it with my co-worker who was drooling over your recipe! We love the Omiebox! What a great idea! I wish this had been around when my children were little! I’m thinking a back to school must have!

  3. What a great looking pasta! I still haven’t tried this black bean pasta… totally need to!! And so glad you love the avocado creme… don’t you just love that it’s guilt free (aka stuff way more of it in your face and not feel bad after haha).

    And congrats to your husband on this great looking lunchbox! I watched the video… saw your little cameo at the end haha! Quick question… it doesn’t say on the website how to go about ordering one or how to go about supporting the kickstarter? Or at least I couldn’t find it. Let me know :)

    • Thanks Chris! I agree – we’ve been putting the avocado creme on EVERYTHING this week. It’s especially good on Mexican pizza. Yummm.

      I’m basically the star of the video, right? :) Thanks for the feedback! I’m so glad you’re thinking about ordering one! Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with that question. They’re updating the website today to make that much more clear. The Kickstarter will launch July 7th and there will be a link on the website to it (and I’ll probably go crazy posting it on social media too- ha). You’ll be able to pre-order a lunchbox through the Kickstarter starting July 7th! (Hint: there’ll be an early bird special if you get there in the beginning:)

  4. Veronica says:

    We ordered the black bean noodles to share with my friend who wants to try your recipe! We are so having this on the weekend. My co-worker’s loved the Omiebox and the OmieLife website! My boss suggested I place the website on our company bulletin so other’s can view it! Yea!

  5. Lori says:


    This dish is absolutely gorgeous, so I made it. Everything tasted great except the black bean noodles. Any suggestions? Maybe I should have soaked the noodles in the sauce instead of placing on top?

    Love your site.


    • Hi Lori! Thanks for reading. Can you tell me a little more about what specifically didn’t taste great about the noodles? (That might help me deduce what might have gone different for you!)

      These noodles don’t have tons of flavor on their own, so we toss it all together with the sauce when we eat it. These gluten-free noodles will definitely taste different than traditional wheat-based spaghetti noodles because they’re made with vegetables, so they don’t soak in as much of the sauce. When tossed them with a flavorful sauce like this and some green onions and avocado crema, they should more serve as a vehicle for eating yummy sauce. Hope this helps!

  6. lyubomira says:

    Just got a pack of black bean noodles at Costco and this recipe is perfect for me! I love all the veggies you used and the avocado crema

  7. Patty says:

    gonna try this with zucchini or broccoli noodles, or some of each!

  8. Jackie says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!! I just bought the black bean spaghetti from Costco and was trying to figure out how I could use it. I have all the ingredients and will definitely make this dish this week!! :)

    • I hope you enjoy it, Jackie! The noodles themselves don’t add a ton of flavor, so I you could also use them in most spaghetti dishes you find! Next time I make this dish, I might even add half a can of black beans to the sauce to make that flavor pop a bit:)

  9. Maggie says:

    Awesome site! Very professional pictures. I am hungry looking at all this beautiful food. Are products from China safe and really organic?

    • Thanks Maggie! They’ve had to pass federal regulations to get the USDA Organic designation on their packaging. I’d encourage you to reach out to the company if you have other questions about their organic processes!

  10. Olivia says:

    When does the red bell pepper get added to the bowl? Does it go into the tomato sauce or is it added raw before serving?

  11. Olivia says:

    Thank you so much! Looking forward to making this soon for dinner!

  12. Amber Losavio says:

    Just tried this without the mushrooms. It was phenomenal! Can’t believe that black bean noodles were so good. I’m definitely making this again! Thank you for a healthy and delicious recipe!

  13. KB says:

    this is so good! what would you serve with it?

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