Lana Shabazz Bean Pie Recipe

Explore Lana Shabazz's Bean Pie recipe! A flavorful fusion of history and taste. Dive into this unique dessert adventure. Your recipe, your legacy!

Lana Shabazz Bean Pie

    Lana Shabazz Bean Pie

  • Cuisine: American
  • Category: Dessert
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 8
  • Calories: 350 calories

About Ingredients Instructions Video Servings Tips Substitutes

Lana Shabazz's Bean Pie holds a special place in culinary history, recognized for its unique blend of wholesome ingredients and cultural significance.

Originating from the pages of "Cooking for the Champ: Muhammad Ali’s Favorite Recipes," penned by Lana Shabazz in 1979, this dessert gained fame not only for its delicious taste but also for its association with the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali.

It was a fixture on Ali's training camp table, showcasing its nourishing qualities.

What sets this pie apart is the unexpected use of navy beans in the filling, providing a protein-packed twist to the classic pie. The whole-wheat crust adds a rustic touch, offering a choice between a chunky or smooth texture, depending on whether the beans are mashed or pureed. The recipe's roots trace back to the 1970s when followers of the Nation of Islam sold individual bean pies on the streets in U.S. African American communities.

Beyond its historical context, Lana Shabazz's Bean Pie has become a symbol of cultural identity and culinary creativity.

Our adaptation provided here maintains the essence of the original while introducing subtle enhancements, such as coconut oil and milk for a tropical twist.

It's a delightful dessert that not only satisfies the taste buds but also pays homage to a rich culinary heritage.


Dive into the rich history of Lana Shabazz's Bean Pie! Discover a wholesome twist, cultural legacy, and enhanced flavors in this delectable dessert journey. Unveil the secrets now!


For the crusts:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour, plus extra for the work surface
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons coconut oil, plus more for greasing
  • 2 tablespoons ice-cold water, or more if needed
  • 1/2 large egg, beaten

For the filling:

  • 1.5 cups organic cane sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (preferably grass-fed)
  • 1.5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1.5 cups cooked navy beans (organic, no-salt-added, drained and rinsed if using canned)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (full-fat for richness)
  • 3 drops turmeric-infused coconut oil for a natural yellow hue (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or 1.5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice for a citrus twist)

Method Instructions

  1. For the crusts: In a food processor, combine 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add 1.5 tablespoons coconut oil and pulse until evenly distributed. Gradually add ice-cold water and half-beaten egg while the processor is running, until a ball of dough forms.
  2. Grease two pie plates with a little coconut oil. Lightly flour a work surface. Divide the dough into two portions. Roll out each portion to an 11-inch round and transfer to a pie plate, allowing excess dough to hang over the edges. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.
  3. As for the filling: In a mixing bowl, beat 1.5 cups organic cane sugar and 8 tablespoons softened butter for 5 minutes. Add ground cinnamon and cornstarch, beating on low speed until incorporated. Gradually add beaten eggs, stopping to scrape down the bowl.
  4. Mash or puree navy beans with 1 cup of coconut milk in a separate bowl. Add to the mixing bowl, beat on low speed until well incorporated. Add the remaining 1 cup of coconut milk, turmeric-infused coconut oil (if using), and vanilla extract, beating until well blended. The filling may look slightly curdled; that's okay.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Divide the filling evenly between the dough-lined pie plates, smoothing each surface. Tuck under and crimp the dough around the edges. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees and bake for about 1 hour, until the filling is set and the crust is browned.
  7. Allow the pies to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Cool completely before storing.

Enjoy your upgraded Lana Shabazz Bean Pie with these subtle enhancements!

Recipe Video

Lana Shabazz Bean Pie

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Recipe Tags: Lana Shabazz Bean Pie, Lana Shabazz Bean Pie Recipe, Recipe


Serving Lana Shabazz's Bean Pie is a delightful experience that adds to the enjoyment of this unique dessert. Here's a simple guide on how to present and serve it:

  • Cooling: Allow the baked bean pies to cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes after removing them from the oven. This helps set the filling and makes for easier slicing.
  • Slice with Care: Once cooled, use a sharp knife to slice the pie. The whole-wheat crust and bean filling may be a bit delicate, so a gentle hand ensures neat slices.
  • Plate Presentation: Place each slice on a dessert plate. If you want to elevate the presentation, dust the top with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or a light dusting of powdered sugar.
  • Accompaniments (Optional): Consider serving each slice with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The contrast of the creamy topping complements the unique flavors of the bean pie.
  • Garnish: For a final touch, garnish the plate with a few fresh mint leaves or a twist of lemon peel. This adds a pop of color and a hint of freshness.
  • Serve with Warmth: Bean pie is often enjoyed at room temperature, but if you prefer a warm touch, you can briefly reheat individual slices in the microwave before serving.


  1. Prepare Ingredients in Advance: Measure and prepare all the ingredients before starting. This makes the cooking process smoother and more enjoyable.
  2. Quality Ingredients: Opt for high-quality, fresh ingredients for the best flavor. This includes using organic sugar, grass-fed butter, and fresh eggs.
  3. Whole-Wheat Flour: Embrace the whole-wheat crust for a nutty and wholesome flavor. It adds a distinctive touch to the pie. Ensure the flour is fresh for optimal taste.
  4. Bean Preparation: If using canned navy beans, make sure to drain and rinse them thoroughly to remove excess sodium. If cooking beans from scratch, cook them until they're soft but not mushy.
  5. Texture Preference: Adjust the texture of the filling to your liking. Mashing the beans results in a chunkier consistency, while pureeing in a food processor creates a smoother filling.
  6. Enhance Flavor: Consider adding a dash of pure vanilla extract or a splash of fresh lemon juice to enhance the flavor profile of the filling. These subtle additions can elevate the taste.
  7. Coconut Variation: If you enjoy a tropical twist, try using coconut oil in the crust and coconut milk in the filling. These additions can impart a delightful flavor.
  8. Yellow Food Coloring: The yellow food coloring is optional. If you prefer a natural alternative, a few drops of turmeric-infused coconut oil can provide a golden hue.
  9. Careful Crust Handling: When rolling out the crust, handle it gently to avoid tearing. If any cracks appear, patch them up with extra dough.
  10. Cooling Time: Allow the pies to cool adequately before slicing. This helps the filling set and ensures cleaner slices.
  11. Serving Suggestions: Serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for added indulgence.
  12. Storage: Store any leftover pie in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze it wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 3 months.

Ingredient Substitutes

  1. Whole-Wheat Flour: Substitute with all-purpose flour if you prefer a lighter crust. For a gluten-free option, use a gluten-free flour blend suitable for baking.
  2. Coconut Oil: Replace with vegetable oil, canola oil, or melted butter for a different flavor profile. If you're not a fan of coconut, use a neutral-flavored oil like grapeseed oil.
  3. Coconut Milk: Regular whole milk or evaporated milk can be used as a substitute. For a dairy-free option, almond milk or soy milk can be suitable alternatives.
  4. Turmeric-Infused Coconut Oil: Skip the yellow food coloring or turmeric-infused oil for a natural look. If you want a slight yellow tint, a pinch of ground turmeric can be added to the filling.
  5. Organic Cane Sugar: Regular granulated sugar is a suitable substitute for organic cane sugar. Brown sugar can add a subtle molasses flavor if desired.
  6. Grass-Fed Butter: Use regular unsalted butter or a dairy-free margarine for a plant-based option. Ghee can be a flavorful alternative.
  7. Lemon Extract: Substitute with pure vanilla extract for a different flavor note. Fresh orange zest or a splash of orange extract can provide a citrus twist.
  8. Navy Beans: Great Northern beans or cannellini beans can be used as alternatives to navy beans. Ensure they are cooked and well-drained.


Savor the cultural tapestry woven into Lana Shabazz's Bean Pie. Let this delectable journey become your culinary legacy. Indulge, enjoy, and share the sweet history!

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