Double decker tacos are an old fast food favorite. Now you can enjoy a vegan version at home with two layers of beans, hard and soft shells, and veggies. It’s a satisfying dinner the whole family will adore.
If I could only eat one food for the rest of time, I’d go with tacos. Rife with possibilities, you can stuff them with anything.
There are so many options with tacos that the only difficult part is choosing which kind you’ll have.
Soft tortilla? Hard corn shell? Do you want refried beans slathered inside, or maybe spicy black beans?
So many tough choices!
With today’s recipe for vegan double decker tacos, you don’t have to choose. You get it all in one cozy bite.
It’s as if the wheat tortilla just had to give that hard corn shell a big hug.
I love how the pillowy softness of the soft tortilla is quickly followed by the hard crunch of the inner shell. It is one of my favorite texture combinations.
I started eating double decker tacos while I was in high school. They were sold at Taco John’s, a fast food chain, where it’s called a Taco Bravo. I’d order them with a side of potato olés, which are similar to tater tots.
In the days when I worked at the mall selling bulk candy and balloons, Taco John’s was in my regular mall food court rotation. But it’s so easy to make a vegan version at home!
How to make double layer tacosFirst, spread vegan refried beans on a soft tortilla. Then stick a hard corn shell inside.
Fill the crunchy shell with spicy black beans. Then add all of the usual suspects like lettuce, tomatoes, shredded non-dairy cheese, and guacamole.
Pro tip: If the soft tortilla is way too big for the crunchy corn shell, use kitchen shears to cut it down to size!
I used a broken corn shell as a guide. Just lay it flat on the soft tortilla, and cut around it.
(Kitchen shears are also great for chopping cilantro. A regular chef’s knife sometimes makes the cilantro wet or brown. But kitchen shears keep it looking fresh. )
Make it your own
Double decker tacos are rife with opportunities for variation!
- Use refried black beans instead of pinto for sealing the two taco shells together.
- Instead of refried beans, sandwich the taco shells with guacamole. Then it’s a double guac tac!
- Instead of spicy black beans, fill the crunchy taco shells with seasoned chickpeas, tofu & black beans, sweet potato & black beans, or browned vegan chorizo.
Vegan double decker tacos with black and refried beans
- Preheat oven to 365 degrees. Put the hard corn shells on a baking sheet and warm in the oven for 3-5 minutes, until crisp.
- In a skillet, warm each wheat tortilla one at a time, flipping once. Move each warmed tortilla to its own plate.
- Slather each wheat tortilla with refried beans.
- Place one hard corn shell inside of each wheat tortilla and wrap the tortilla around it, so that the refried beans are sandwiched between each of them.
- Stuff each corn shell with a couple spoonfuls of spicy black beans, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, avocado or guacamole, cilantro, and any optional toppings. Serve immediately.
Originally posted September 2012. Content & photos updated July 2019.