This black bean tacos recipe is the quintessential easy weeknight dinner. The warmed corn shells are stuffed with chopped romaine or spinach, tomatoes, onions, and avocado. Ready in just 20 minutes. Vegan & gluten free.
This easy black bean tacos recipe has been a family favorite for many years now. Winter, summer, spring, or fall, tacos just always sound good.
(And when it’s too hot to turn on the stove, I turn to raw tacos for a lighter touch!)
Tacos are an inexpensive meal. They’re made with cost effective pantry & refrigerator staples like beans and vegetables.
Plus, they are ready in about 20 minutes. That’s good news on hectic weeknights or when I’ve waited a little too long to start dinner.
It’s for these reasons that when people are confused about how to start making vegan meals, I often recommend dishes like tacos. (Here are 10 vegan meals you already know how to make!)
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.
It’s simply a matter of swapping one or two ingredients.
Goodbye, meat. Hello, beans.
Goodbye, dairy-based cheese. Hello, avocado.
(If you’re not an avocado fan, there are also loads of plant-based cheeses out there that you could try instead. I especially like grating a block of Daiya farmhouse cheddar by hand. Get more info in this post about the best vegan cheese for your every need.)
Easy, weeknight-friendly dinner
Flavorful black bean tacos are teeming with warming spices like cumin, coriander, and ancho chili powder.
They come together in just minutes. And the beans inside give them staying power that will keep you full.
Stuff them with your choice of toppings like:
The mixture of spicy, crunchy, and cool ticks all of the pleasure sensors. It’s a dinner the whole family will love.
Should I use canned or homemade beans?
Either homemade or canned beans will work for this recipe.
I tend to use canned beans, because they are convenient. That makes this a simple, pantry-friendly meal that’s perfect for a weeknight.
But if you’d prefer to use homemade beans made from scratch, that works too. You’ll either need one 15 ounce can of beans that’s been drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 cups of cooked black beans.
How to make this recipe
Sauté onions and garlic in a skillet.
Once they are fragrant, add black beans, spices, a squeeze of lime, and a little water to incorporate everything.
Once any excess liquid has cooked off, add salt to taste.
Put the black bean mixture into corn shells that have been warmed in the oven or air fryer. Then add your choice of toppings.
How to re-purpose leftovers
I usually double this recipe, so that I’m sure to have leftovers. The beans keep well in the refrigerator in a covered container. And they’re great in any of the following recipes:
- Double decker tacos
- Vegan taco pizza
- Vegan black bean burritos with plantains
- Vegan taco salad in baked tortilla bowl
Spicy black bean tacos
For spicy black beans
- 1 teaspoon organic canola oil or your preferred neutral-flavored oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Start by making the spicy black beans. Heat skillet to a medium heat and add oil to the heated pan. Rotate pan to spread the oil and add minced garlic.
- Set aside 2 Tablespoons of the raw red onions to use as a topping. Sauté remaining onions with garlic in pan until fragrant and translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add black beans, cumin, ancho chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, lime juice, and water to the pan. Use a spatula to fully combine the beans and spices.
- Once the black bean mixture has warmed and any excess liquid has cooked off, add salt to taste.
- Put the corn taco shells in the oven and warm them for 5 minutes. Or warm them in the air fryer. Tuck the corn shells inside of each other, then put them into the air fryer basket. Heat at 370 degrees for 3 to 4 minutes. Be careful removing them from the air fryer basket. They will be hot.
- Stuff the corn shells with a spoonful of spicy black bean mixture, chopped tomato, romaine lettuce, red onion, and guacamole.
Content, recipe, and photos updated March 2020. Originally posted March 2012.