Black Bean Tacos come together in 15 minutes to make an incredibly easy, healthy, and delicious quick meal. Made with simple pantry staples, these bean tacos are a perfect dinner to pull together for busy nights.
Healthy Black Bean Tacos
Black bean tacos are one of the simplest dinner recipes and often a meal I fall back on when I am low on time or energy.
They are made in just 15 minutes with staples you probably already have in in your pantry.
While the thought of bean tacos may seem a bit boring or bland, these tacos are surprisingly full of flavor. The beans are perfectly spiced, the taco shells are toasted and cheesy and the toppings add freshness.
Nothing complicated, nothing exotic. Just a simple meal made in minutes perfect for busy nights or a quick lunch.
This recipe is made with the most basic ingredients and they can be changed up to suit your desires and dietary needs.
- Black Beans: This recipe calls for 3 cups of black beans, which is the equivalent of 2 (15 ounce) cans of black beans that have been rinsed and drained. You could use Instant Pot Black Beans if desired. And if you don't like black beans, pinto beans work well in this recipe.
- Onions and Peppers: I love adding sauteed peppers and onions to the beans for additional flavor. Feel free to skip this step if you are short on time or have picky eaters that don't care for peppers and onions in their tacos.
- Taco Seasoning: I use my homemade blend of taco seasoning I always keep on hand. It is a must for tacos.
- Cheese: The cheese not only adds flavor, but also works as a barrier between the taco shell and the beans to keep these tacos from being soggy. Use any type of shredded cheese you like--Colby, Cheddar, or a Mexican blend.
- Lime Zest: The addition of like zest to the bean mixture wakes up the flavor. Use a microplane to grate the zest directly into the bean mixture--just be sure to wash and dry your lime first!
- Taco Shells: I use hard tortilla shells for this recipe because they provide a great crunch factor in contrast to the soft beans. I also look for ones that stand up for easier filling. If you don’t want to use hard taco shells, just warm up flour or corn tortillas and serve with warmed seasoned beans instead of baking all together.
How to Make the BEST Black Bean Tacos
There are few tips to making a really good, yet simple taco. It is all about building flavor and layering your taco shell the right way.
Tip #1: Saute Onions and Peppers.
You can simply open up canned black beans and flavor for a REALLY easy black bean taco recipe. But if you take a few extra minutes and start by sauteing onions and peppers and then add in your beans, you will add incredible flavor to your tacos.
Tip #2: Add the Right Seasonings.
My homemade taco seasoning packs a huge punch of flavor to the beans, but the real trick is the fresh lime zest. Adding the zest of one lime to the beans really wakes up the flavor in these tacos.
Tip #3 Prepare Taco Shells.
I love crispy hard corn shells for the base of these black bean tacos. It adds textural contrast and flavor to the tacos. You can certainly use flour or corn tortillas, just be sure to toast slightly over a gas flame or in a dry skillet.
One tip I have to prevent soggy taco shells, is to melt cheese on the bottom layer of the taco shell or tortilla. The melted cheese forms a barrier between the beans and shells. I then add another layer of cheese on top of the beans. This is not necessary, but adds a layer of cheesy goodness.
Tip #4 Top with fresh ingredients.
Tacos are all about the toppings! The freshness that shredded lettuce, onions, and tomatoes add are a MUST for any good taco in my book.
In my humble opinion, you can make take these tacos over the top by quickly preparing an avocado sauce. It is as simple as blending up ripe avocados with fresh lemon juice, salt and cilantro. It is a creamy, flavorful topping that finishes these tacos perfectly. Of course, homemade guacamole always is a great addition to these tacos as well.
More Meatless Mexican Recipes
- Easy Lentil Tacos
- Sweet Potato Burritos
- Meatless Taco Bake
- Easy Bean Burritos
- Homemade Veggie Tostadas
- Cauliflower Tacos
So the next time you find yourself short on time and looking for an easy, healthy meal--choose these Black Bean Tacos! Not only are the flavorful and easy to make, they are also inexpensive!
Black Bean Tacos
Black Bean Tacos
Optional Avocado Mash
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 lime
- ¼ cup cilantro
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Arrange Taco Shells upright in baking dish (use crumbled up foil if needed to help shells stay upright.) and bake for 3 minutes.
- Remove taco shells form oven and sprinkle thin layer of shredded cheese over bottom of shells. Return to oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- While the tacos shells are baking, heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the peppers and onions and saute for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add in drained beans, taco seasoning, and ¼ cup of water. Saute for another 4-5 minutes or until sauce is thickened and beans are warm. Turn off the heat and mix in the zest of 1 lime. Taste and add in more salt if desired.
- Scoop about ¼ cup beans onto each taco. Sprinkle with additional cheese and return to the oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
- Serve with desired toppings and avocado cream.
- In a small food processor or blender, mix together avocados, salt, lime juice, and cilantro together until smooth. Or simply mash together with the a fork for a chunkier avocado mash.
- In place of hard taco shells, feel free to use flour or corn tortillas. Simply heat your tortillas in a dry skillet for 20-30 seconds per side and fill with the bean mixture and top with cheese and desired toppings.
- Skip the addition of sauteed peppers and onions if you have picky eaters.
- Use the zest of one lime BEFORE slicing open to make the avocado mash. And be sure to only use the green skin of the lime, not the bitter white pith.
- These tacos are best served immediately once assembled. The black bean mixture will keep in the fridge for up 3 days.
- In place of homemade taco seasoning, use ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon paprika, ¼ teaspoon cumin, ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder, ⅛ teaspoon onion powder.
- Omit the cheese to keep these vegan.
This post was originally published in 2017, but has been updated in March 2020 with new pictures and tips.