Today’s vegan taco salad recipe is filled with spicy black beans and stuffed inside a baked tortilla bowl. A filling & flavor packed lunch!
It’s a lot easier to eat salad in the summer. Not only are fruits and vegetables at their juiciest, it’s when the weather’s sticky, hydrating produce beckons like Forever 21 to a 14-year-old.
Once the days get darker and stepping outside without a jacket becomes an impossibility, salad loses some of its luster. It’s hard to get geared up for romaine when you’d rather climb into a Jacuzzi of soup and bread.
Still, raw vegetables are good for the body and the palate. It just takes a bit of finagling to make them more appealing in the cooler months.
To add interest to this vegan taco salad, I added a baked tortilla bowl and spicy black beans. Plus, a healthy dollop of guacamole!
Vegan taco salad
When I was in high school, a taco salad was one of my standard orders at Perkins, the casual chain known for their bread bowls and pies. A bunch of us would slide into a booth after play practice, hang out after a school dance, or grab an appetizer after a movie.
I haven’t been to a Perkins location in at least a decade, but there was a time in my life when that diner was a regular haunt. The only people who were there more often were the police officers ordering breakfast late into the night.
The taco salads came in a crisp bowl that could be cracked into the mixture of lettuce, or even used to scoop up the salad like a jagged, handmade nacho. The shell crackled under my teeth with every bite of iceberg, tomato, and taco filling.
These days, I make vegan taco salads at home.
How to bake a tortilla bowl
Instead of deep-frying the bowls, I use a metal bowl with a curled shape to bake the tortilla into the perfect taco salad vessel.
If you don’t own such a bowl, no worries. A medium-sized glass bowl that’s oven-safe will do the trick just fine. Simply place your tortilla into it and press it against the sides. Bake for 10 minutes.
I fill my taco salads with spicy black beans.
Add any other favorite taco salad fillings like tomatoes, romaine, guacamole, jalapeño slices, and/or cilantro. With a little spicy kick, those raw vegetables are primed for fall and winter until it’s July again and raw tacos beckon.
Vegan Taco Salad with Spicy Black Beans
- 4 large wheat tortillas
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ¾ cup onion chopped small
- 1 ½ cups black beans 1 15 oz can, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- ¼ cup water
- Salt to taste
- 4 cups chopped romaine or green leaf lettuce
- 1 large tomato chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 batch guacamole
- Optional: creamy cashew dressing
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place each tortilla in a metal tortilla shell pan or glass oven safe bowl. Put them into the oven for 10 minutes or until crisp. (If they aren’t brown and crisp, continue baking for a couple minutes longer.)
- While the tortilla is cooking, heat skillet to a medium heat and add extra virgin olive oil to the heated pan. Sauté garlic and onions in pan until fragrant and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add black beans, cumin, ancho chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, lime juice, water, and salt to the pan. Use a spatula to fully combine the beans and spices. Once the bean mixture has warmed and any excess liquid has cooked off, remove from heat.
- Remove the bowls from the oven and fill tortilla bowls with a scoop of spicy black beans, lettuce, tomato, red bell pepper, and guacamole. If you like, drizzle creamy cashew dressing on each salad and serve.