Black Bean Tacos

Black bean tacos! They are a healthy and delicious alternative to meat tacos or indeed any other sort of taco. In my opinion, black beans taste better than meat in this recipe, quite apart from being healthier and better for the environment.

In this page, I will explain a few black bean taco recipes, split into recipes for different black bean taco fillings and a few notes immediately below on how to prepare the outer bit of the taco.

Taco Shells

You won’t find a recipe for the taco shells themselves on this page, so you’ll want to buy them from a shop. Many supermarkets have them, and if not you’ll have to look for a specialist Latino food shop. They shouldn’t be hard to find. And buying them is way easier than making them, seriously.

You can also use tortillas for this recipe. You can buy them in much the same places as taco shells. Simply place them on a dry pan with some filling on one side, and fold the other side of the tortilla over the top. Then toast for one minute, turn over, and toast for another minute. This is perhaps the more authentic way of making tacos.

Finally, if you want to really go out of your way, you can make tortillas yourself. You just need to buy a pack of precooked maize flour from a Latino shop (look for the words: “harina de maiz precocida“. Pour 2 cups of this into a mixing bowl. Add 1/2 tsp salt, and stir it in well.

Now, add enough water to make the flour into a firm dough.

Create tortilla shapes with it – either moulding in your hands, or using the bottom of a plate covered with clingfilm (saran wrap) as a press. In this case, cover a chopping board with clingfilm too, so that the tortillas stick to neither object.

Cook the tortillas for 1 minute on either side in a dry pan. Then you can add your filling, fold over, and cook for another minute on either side as mentioned above. If you want crunchier (and hotter) tacos, you can cook even longer – but beware of making ingredients such as lettuce wilt.

Now for some black bean taco filling recipes.

Black Bean Taco Filling Recipes

Really, you can go wild with black bean taco fillings. All you need for about 4 servings is one and a half cups (one standard size can) of black beans as a base (see How To Cook Black Beans for info on how to get a hold of them). Then you can add other things: avocado, corn, lettuce, tomato, etc.

If you like the minced meat version of tacos, you’ll find that black beans will provide much the same texture and even a somewhat similar flavour. So you can use them in exactly the same way.

Here are some tried and tested combinations:

Basic Black Bean Taco Filling

1 small onion

1 1/2 cups black beans, or 1 can of black beans

1 fat clove of garlic, or 2 smaller ones

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Chili pepper, fresh or as powder, according to taste (optional)

Salt to taste

Chop the onion and finely chop the garlic (or crush it). Put all the ingredients into the pan and fry it up, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender – about ten minutes.

Served with chopped tomato, avocado, and lettuce.

Crunchy Black Bean Taco Filling

Mix together:

1 1/2 cups black beans, or 1 can of black beans

1/2 tsp cumin

A fistful of chopped leaf coriander (cilantro)

A generous squeeze of lime

2 two spring onions, chopped (green onions)

2 cups of shredded cabbage of different colours (you can buy from the shops as “coleslaw mix”

Black Bean, Quinoa, And Corn Taco Filling

1 1/2 cups of black beans (1 can)

3/4 cups cooked quinoa

3/4 cups corn (frozen or 1/2 standard size can)

1 medium onion, chopped

2 medium tomatoes, diced

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp ground coriander (freshly ground is best)

Chili pepper, optional, according to taste

Salt to taste

Juice from half a lime

A generous fistful of leaf coriander (cilantro), chopped


Throw everything into a pan, except the lime and leaf coriander. Fry for 5 minutes or so on high heat, stirring constantly. Add the lime and cilantro at the end.