Spicy Black Bean Tacos

Spicy Black Bean TacosIn celebration of Meatout today, which is the world’s largest annual grassroots diet education campaign, this series of posts is aimed at people who are ready to explore a wholesome and nonviolent diet of fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.  According to the people at FARM, the purpose of this yearly event is to “expose the public to the joys and benefits of a plant-based diet…”  (To read more about Meatout, visit their website!)

When it comes to first forays into meatless meals, I suggest starting with something familiar, easy, and that can easily translate into leftovers.  That means less planning and preparing down the road since the bulk of the work is done.   It’s all well and good to decide to make a positive change, but it’s certainly easier when hunger hits to be able to grab a few essentials and make something that feels like your normal, everyday meal, just without the animal products.  No one wants to be left staring into the refrigerator with a stomach that is screaming “Feed me!” and wondering, “Now what do I do?”

For this series, I’ve given my recipe for Spicy Black Beans.  Over the next few posts, I’ll show you how those same black beans can play a leading part in several different and tasty meals.  In a way it’s like leftovers, but it doesn’t feel tired because it brings new flavors and textures with it in the form of different entrees.  (If you want to make all four recipes, you’ll likely need to double the batch.)

I’m starting with Spicy Black Bean Tacos!  These Spicy Black Beans can slip effortlessly into warmed whole wheat tortillas or corn shells.  Add all of the usual suspects – chopped romaine or kale, tomatoes, salsa, red onions, and avocado.

Spicy Black Bean Tacos - an easy & delicious vegan weeknight meal!

Spicy Black Beans

Serving Size: Serves 2-4

Spicy Black Beans


  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup red onion, chopped small
  • 1 ½ cups black beans (1 15 oz can), drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Heat skillet to a medium heat and add extra virgin olive oil to the heated pan. Rotate pan to spread the oil and add minced garlic.
  2. Set aside 2 Tbsp of the raw red onions to use as a topping. Sauté remaining onions with garlic in pan until fragrant and translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add black beans, cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, lime juice, and water to the pan. Use a spatula to fully combine the beans and spices.
  4. Once it has warmed and any excess liquid has cooked off, add salt to taste and serve.


    • says

      Thanks, Gigi! Beans are a great gateway food because they’re pretty familiar to people and can be used in such a variety of recipes. They don’t seem to scare people off the way that tofu or seitan can.

  1. says

    Can we first talk about that avocado dome? Uh…it is the most beautiful thing ever, Cadry! Can one be in love with an avocado dome? I am :) And spicy beans? Girl, this is my post!

  2. says

    I second the idea that this recipe would be a great intro to plant-based eating. It sounds delicious. I love avocado on black bean tacos — it adds the perfect touch of creamy richness. A couple of kalamata olives would also be nice. :)

  3. says

    This post made me hate body a little for not knowing how to properly digest beans. Any idea how black beans are sprouted? I digest sprouted beans muuuuuch easier.

    PS – tacos are my favorite. Ever.

    • says

      Have you tried putting a strip of kombu into your bean cooking liquid when you make them? I’ve heard that helps with easier digestion. (Eden canned beans also makes their beans with kombu.) I’ve never sprouted anything; although, I’ve been more interested in trying that lately. I looked it up, and the process of sprouting black beans doesn’t sound too difficult. This is from Dr. McDougall’s newsletter. Let me know if you try it! I’m curious.

      “Sprouting beans: One reliable way to “de-gas” legumes is to sprout them first. Cover beans with water for 12 hours, drain off water, lay damp paper towels on the bottom of a baking dish, spread out beans on the moist towels, then let them sprout for the next 12 hours. When you notice tiny white shoots (1/16″) beginning to appear they are ready to cook. (There will not be green shoots and leaves.) The tiny plant is utilizing the indigestible sugars for growth. Needless to say, beans will take less time to cook after sprouting.”

  4. Diane S says

    I made this tonight with a mango salsa (just mixed one mango, one tomato, some dried chili and cilantro). It was delicious. Great contrast between the mango salsa and the spicy beans. Will definitely make again.


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