This easy, budget-friendly taco recipe is ready in minutes and is so healthy and satisfying. Smoky Black Bean Tacos are a healthy Mexican inspired meal. Top with your favorite jarred sauce or make it even better with homemade mango salsa. These simple vegetarian tacos are flavorful, satisfying and affordable — even for a college student’s budget. Try these best bean tacos tonight.
Table of Contents
Ingredients for smoky black bean tacos:
- Canned Black Beans
- Sweet Bell Pepper
- Salt & Pepper
- Homemade Vegetable Broth
- Flour Tortillas
These are the basic ingredients for my black bean tacos, but they can easily be augmented with other veggies or pantry staples you may have on hand. Diced sweet potatoes would be good here and if you’re not vegetarian, a little bit of leftover rotisserie chicken shredded in the mix will stretch these tacos even further. A few slices of avocado or a scoop of guacamole are always welcome too.
“How Do I Make…”
Emily is home for the summer, working several jobs and taking an online class. When she goes back to school in the fall she’ll be living in her first apartment. No meal plan. No safety net. She’s going to have to cook for herself. So she’s been paying careful attention to my cooking this summer. She’s taken down some notes and hints and I’m anticipating calls home asking me, “how do I make…”
One thing Em has been vocal about is the cost of food. It’s expensive. I know. So she’s asked me to come up with a few recipes that she can make herself, for cheap. I’m also adding the caveat that they should be moderately nutritious as well. I’m partial to these Pork Tinga Tacos as they’re make a lot and pork shoulders are really cost effective, but let’s stick within her comfort zone…
I think these black bean tacos qualify. They’re simply flavored with onion and bell pepper plus a little cumin and chili pepper.
Now before you chirp, “your kid isn’t going to make a mango salsa when she’s at college,” let me say, I know. As I was making these vegetarian tacos, she begged me to make a salsa.
You can skip that step too and either used a jarred salsa or — if you do have mangoes available, tuck in a wedge or two into your taco next to some avocado.
Budget-friendly black bean tacos are wholesome too!
Either way, I think this qualifies as cheap and wholesome eats for a college student — and she’ll probably get several meals out of it. These easy tacos are perfect for Meatless Mondays too and two of her roommates are vegetarian… so… I also mentioned that she could swap out the beans for a fried or scrambled egg for a tasty, nutritious breakfast. She nodded, but I doubt she’ll make more than a piece of toast. Ah, well.
More tasty tacos you might like:
- Leftover Braised Pork Tacos
- Easy Chicken Soft Tacos with Poblanos
- Crispy Baked Fish Tacos
- Amazing Pork Tinga Tacos
- Tangy Shrimp Tacos with Lime
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Smoky Black Bean Tacos
FOR BLACK BEAN TACOS:
- 15 ounces canned black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper halved
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup homemade vegetable broth
FOR MANGO SALSA (OPTIONAL):
- 2 mangoes peeled, pitted and diced
- 1 lime zested and juiced
- ¼ red onion minced
- 1 serrano pepper seeded and minced
- pinch of salt
- 4 flour tortillas
- 1 avocado thinly sliced
- ½ cup each grated or crumbled cheese for sprinkling such as cheddar, monterey jack or queso fresco
- ½ cup cilantro
- lime wedges for serving
MAKE TACO FILLING:
- Chop half of the red bell pepper into 1/2″ pieces and set aside.. Mince (fine dice 1/4″) the other half of the bell pepper and set aside.
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion, larger, chopped bell pepper, and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened and slightly translucent. Add the black beans, cumin, chipotle powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the broth and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until most of the liquid is evaporated. Cover and set aside.
FOR OPTIONAL MANGO SALSA:
- In a small bowl combine the mango, the minced bell pepper, red onion, serrano pepper, lime zest and juice and pinch of salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
HEAT THE TORTILLAS:
- If you have a gas stove, turn the flame on medium and place the tortilla directly on the grate. Heat the tortilla until it starts to puff and char slightly. Use tongs to flip the tortilla. Repeat with the rest of the rest of the tortillas.
- If you have an electric stove, place a nonstick skillet over medium. high heat. Place a tortilla in the skillet and warm it for 30-45 seconds or until it starts to puff and brown. Flip with a pair of tongs and warm the tortilla on the other side. Transfer to a basket lined with a dish towel and continue to warm and stack the tortillas.
ASSEMBLE THE TACOS:
- Spoon the black beans into the tortilla shell. Tuck in a few slices of avocado. Sprinkle with cheeses, top with mango salsa, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy.
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