This easy Black Bean Tacos recipe is simple and fuss-free to prepare, yet packed with bold flavor! Made with convenient canned black beans, fresh vegetables, savory seasonings and a sweet corn salsa, these tacos are filled with hearty, yet wholesome ingredients! These healthy tacos may be vegetarian, but you won’t miss the meat at all! Ready in 25 minutes or less, they make the perfect fast and flavorful meal for hectic weeknight dinners!
Easy Black Bean Tacos Recipe
Savory canned black beans cooked to tender perfection and transformed into a thick, flavorful, Mexican-inspired taco filling! Studded with pungent onions, mild jalapenos, sweet bell peppers, fragrant garlic and flavorful dried seasonings, this black bean filling is hearty, yet healthy! Finished with a generous squeeze of fresh, tart lime juice and herbaceous cilantro these beans are so dang delicious you won’t miss the meat at all!!
Paired with a fresh and flavorful sweet corn salsa, these tacos are bold, flavorful and made with good-for-you ingredients!
Given how flavorful and delicious these beans are, you would think they require a plethora of specialty ingredients and hours of slaving away over the stove. However, these Mexican beans are prepared with convenient canned black beans, fresh vegetables and pantry staples. Plus, they can be ready to serve in 25 minutes or less!
Bonus, the beans taste even better the next day, once the flavors have a chance to meld and marry! You can transform leftover Mexican beans into a dip, use them on nachos and salads, or stir them into soups and eggs! And, they can be used as an easy burrito or enchilada filling!
These delicious beans are so incredibly versatile you’ll want to double the recipe and stash some in the freezer to always have on hand for frantic weeknight dinners!
What are bean tacos?
Bean tacos are a traditional vegetarian Mexican dish made of corn tortillas topped with a mixture of cooked beans and various vegetables. Traditionally, the corn tortillas are folded up and around the bean filling and can be served charred, toasted or fried. Alternatively, tortillas can be topped and served flat, open-faced, which is known as a tostada.
What are black bean tacos made of?
Bean tacos are made with corn tortillas and stuffed with beans, vegetables, fragrant seasonings and various toppings.
This easy bean taco recipe consists of:
- Black Beans
- Fresh Vegetables – onion, bell peppers and jalapenos
- Aromatics – garlic and tomato paste
- Seasonings – cumin, paprika, chili powder and dried oregano
- Liquid – broth or water
What to put in vegetarian bean tacos?
Tacos are very forgiving and incredibly customizable! You can easily adapt the recipe and add whatever ingredients you have on hand or love!
What you can put in vegetarian tacos:
- Vegetarian “meats”: meat substitutes or tofu
- Fresh or sautéed vegetables: zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and onions, spinach, kale and sweet potatoes
- Nuts and seeds: walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seed or sunflower seeds
- Grains: quinoa, wild rice, brown rice or yellow rice
What toppings for tacos?
The options for toppings are only limited by your imagination! Your toppings can be super simple and economical or over-the-top and unconventional depending on your mood!
Toppings add flavor, color, crunch and texture to tacos, so whatever you do, don’t skip adding at least a few!
Popular taco toppings:
- Shredded greens: lettuce, cabbage, coleslaw mix, kale
- Crumbled or shredded cheese: cotija, crumbled queso, pepper jack, Monterey jack, cheddar
- Fresh herbs: cilantro, parsley, scallions, chives
- Fresh fruits: avocado, mango, pineapple
- Pickled vegetables: onions, carrots, chiles, pepperoncini
- Vegetable salsa: corn salsa (pictured), tomato salsa, salsa verde
- Condiments: hot sauce, guacamole, sour cream or Greek yogurt
How to make delicious vegetarian tacos?
These tacos are incredibly fast and simple to prepare! Made with pantry staples and fresh vegetables, you can have a delicious, healthy Mexican meal in under 30 minutes!
(Scroll down for the detailed measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.)
- Cook vegetables: Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add the remaining onion, bell pepper and jalapeno. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and the onions are almost translucent, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add seasonings: Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika and oregano. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in liquid and beans: Add the broth (or water). Stir, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook 1 minute. Add the beans and season to taste with a couple generous pinches of flakey sea salt and ground black pepper. Stir to incorporate.
- Simmer: Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 13-15 minutes, or until the beans have slightly broken down and the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce.
- Finish the beans: Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Taste and add more salt, lime juice or dry seasonings to taste. (Optional) Use a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon or fork to smash some of the beans. Stir well.
- Serve: Spoon some of the beans down the middle of each tortilla. Top with corn salsa and desired garnishes. Enjoy!
How to make black beans for tacos step by step photos:
How to make corn salsa for tacos step by step photos:
This flavorful sweet corn salsa can be made with fresh, frozen or canned corn depending on what you have on hand!
- Combine the vegetables: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the corn, 1/3 cup red onion, half of the red bell pepper, half the jalapeno, lime juice and zest, cilantro, paprika, cumin, chili powder and sea salt. Mix well to combine.
- Add the cheese: Add in the cheese. Toss gently to combine.
- Adjust for seasoning: Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt, lime juice and spices.
- Allow flavors to develop (optional): Set aside while you prepare the black beans to allow the flavors to meld. Alternatively, salsa can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Serve spooned over tacos. Enjoy!
What to serve with vegetarian bean tacos?
While tacos are normally the star of the meal, it’s nice to serve a few side dishes to round out the meal.
Below are a few easy and delicious Mexican-inspired appetizers, salads and sides that pair perfectly with tacos!
- Chili con queso
- Tropical fruit salad
- Avocado salad
- Mexican Bean Salad
- Sweet and Spicy Slaw
- Mexican street corn
- Chicken posole soup
- Black bean soup
- Healthy Mexican rice
How long with beans for tacos last?
Store leftover cooked black beans in a shallow airtight container or zip-closure bag. Properly stored beans will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Alternatively, beans can be frozen (see below).
Can you freeze beans?
Cooked Mexican black beans freeze beautifully! While the beans are incredibly quick and easy to prepare, I recommend doubling the recipe. You can freeze the leftovers to have on hand for hectic weeknight dinners when you need to get dinner on the table in a flash!
To freeze: Allow the cooked beans to cool completely. Transfer beans to an airtight container or freezer-safe resealable bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Pro-tip: Freeze the beans in cup-sized portions for easy reheating and serving!
To reheat: Place the beans in a saucepan on the stove over medium-low to low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are heated throughout.
Pro-tip: Beans can easily turn mushy when you reheat them. Make sure you use the lowest temperature possible while still maintaining a very gentle simmer. Add a few splashed of broth or water if your beans are dry.
What to do with leftover Mexican beans?
These easy Mexican black beans are incredibly versatile! You can make so much more than just tacos with this flavorful bean filling!!
- Dip: Use a potato masher to mash up the beans. Alternatively, you can place the beans in a food processor and pulse until the beans reach desired consistency. Warm up the beans or serve them cold as a dip topped with sour cream, guacamole and salsa.
- Nachos: Add the beans to the top of cheesy nachos.
- Easy refried beans: Mash the black beans using a potato masher or food processor and transform them into refried beans.
- Salads: Add them to salads for a quick boost of protein and flavor. Extra points if you serve your salad in a taco shell bowl!
- Soups: Add flavor to soups and chilis by stirring in some leftover beans.
- Grain Bowls: Use the beans as a topping for Mexican grain bowl or burrito rice bowls.
- Eggs: Sir beans into egg scrambled for extra flavor and protein.
- Burritos and Enchiladas: Use beans as a quick and easy filling for burritos and enchiladas.
Are tacos healthy?
Vegetarian bean tacos are a wonderful healthy meal option, as long as you choose your toppings carefully! To keep tacos healthy, opt for fresh vegetables and good-for-you toppings.
What makes tacos healthy?
- Beans: beans are packed with protein and nutrient dense! They are also loaded with soluble and insoluble fiber which helps you stay fuller for longer.
- Fresh Vegetables: Onions, bell peppers and jalapenos are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals.
- Corn Salsa: Corn is rich in fiber. Plus, it contains plant compounds that aid in digestive healthy. Please note, corn is high in starch so it should not be consumed in excess!
How many calories?
The exact number of calories and carbohydrates in tacos will depend upon the precise measurement of ingredients and brands used. This easy bean taco recipe yields roughly 10 tacos and has approximately 60 calories and 4 grams of carbs per serving.
Easy and economical to prepare, versatile and loaded with flavor, these vegetarian black beans are perfect when you are craving a healthier Mexican meal! Delicious stuffed in tacos, burritos, enchiladas and so much more, even the meat eaters in your family will go crazy over these beans!
Until next week, friends, cheers – to budget friendly bites that don’t sacrifice flavor!
More healthy Mexican meals:
The best Vegetarian Corn and Black Bean Tacos Recipe👇
This easy Black Bean Tacos recipe is simple and fuss-free to prepare, yet packed with bold flavor! Made with fragrant canned black beans and a fresh corn salsa, these tacos are filled with hearty, yet wholesome ingredients! These healthy tacos may be vegetarian, but you won't miss the meat at all! Ready in 25 minutes or less, they make the perfect for fast and flavorful meal for hectic weeknight dinners!
Recipe can be scaled up or down by using the slider if you hover your mouse over the number of Servings.
- 2 TBS Olive Oil
- 1 medium Red Onion – finely diced & DIVIDED (about heaping 2 cups)
- 1 large Red Bell Pepper – finely diced & DIVIDED (about 1 ½ cups)
- 2 large Jalapenos – seededribbed, finely diced & DIVIDED (about ¾ cup)
- 2-3 cloves Garlic – peeled & minced
- 1 ¼ tsp EACH: Ground Cumin & Paprika (sweet or smoked)
- 1 tsp EACH: Chili Powder & Dried Oregano
- 1 TBS Tomato Paste
- ½ cup Vegetable Broth, Chicken Broth or Water
- 2 (15-ounce) cans Black Beans – drained & rinsed (or 3 cups cooked black beans)
- Flakey Sea Salt & Ground Black Pepper – to taste
- 1-3 TBS Fresh Lime Juice – to taste
- 2 ears Corn – shucked & kernels removed from cob (or 2 cups corn kernel) (SEE NOTES)
- 1 large Lime – juice & zest (about 2 TBS juice + 1 tsp zest)
- 3-4 TBS Chopped Cilantro
- ¼ tsp EACH: Smoked Paprika, Cumin Chili Powder & Flakey Sea Salt
- ½ Cup Crumbled Cotija Cheese – or more to taste (SEE NOTES)
Prepare the corn salsa: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the corn, 1/3 cup red onion, half of the red bell pepper, half the jalapeno, lime juice and zest, cilantro, paprika, cumin, chili powder and sea salt. Mix well to combine. Add in cheese. Toss gently to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt, lime juice and spices. Set aside and allow the flavors to meld.
Prepare the beans – cook vegetables: Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add the remaining onion, bell pepper and jalapeno. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and the onions are almost translucent, about 5-6 minutes.
Prepare the beans – add seasonings: Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika and oregano. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 1-2 minutes.
Prepare the beans – add liquid and beans: Add the broth (or water). Stir, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook 1 minute. Add the beans and season to taste with a couple generous pinches of flakey sea salt and ground black pepper. Stir to incorporate.
Prepare the beans – simmer: Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 13-15 minutes, or until the beans have slightly broken down and the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce.
Finish the beans: Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Taste and add more salt, lime juice or dry seasonings to taste.
Optional – smash the beans: Use a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon or fork to smash some of the beans. Stir well.
To serve: Spoon some of the beans down the middle of each tortilla. Top with corn salsa and desired garnishes. Enjoy!
- You can use fresh, frozen or canned corn for the salsa. If using canned corn, drain corn well prior to making salsa. If using frozen corn, rinse corn with room temperature water to thaw.
- Cotija cheese is a hard, crumbly Mexican cheese made of cow’s milk. If you can’t find, or don’t like cotija, you can substitute either queso fresco or feta cheese.
- To warm tortillas: Warm tortillas directly over a low flame on a gas range. Alternatively, warm tortillas one at a time in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat.
Recipe Serves: Approximately 4-6 people
Recipe Yield: Roughly 10 tacos
Nutritional information is an approximation based upon 10 tacos.
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