Black Bean Tacos are easy to make, delicious, and have big flavor. All you need are a handful of easy ingredients that you already have in your pantry, a few seasonings, and 7 minutes to cook this recipe! It’s a great weeknight dinner that will satisfy all your taco cravings.
This easy Black Bean Tacos recipe is destined to be your new favorite no-hassle meal! We’re turning simple ingredients into big flavor thanks to the right seasonings, garlic, and jalapeño. As a bonus, this is a naturally vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free recipe that is loaded with protein.
Black beans make for a great base in tacos. They’re so versatile and go perfectly with a number of toppings and sauces. I like mine in a fresh, homemade tortilla topped with Mexican rice, avocado, cheese, shredded lettuce, and a drizzle of cilantro lime crema for the best flavor.
Make this recipe for a fun and simple taco night or when you’re just not sure what to do with the cans of black beans in your cupboard!
Ingredients you’ll need
- Black Beans – You can use canned beans to make this recipe really easy, or use dry beans instead. I’ve included instructions for both methods below.
- Onion and Garlic – Fresh garlic will give you the best flavor, but you can use garlic powder instead if that’s all you have.
- Jalapeño – Adding a jalapeño is completely optional. If you don’t want the tacos to be spicy but still want to add the jalapeño, remove and discard its seeds and veins beforehand.
- Seasonings – Ground cumin, Kosher salt, dried oregano, and smoked paprika will soak into the onions and garlic, giving each bite deep and authentic flavors.
- Tomato Paste – This helps lift any spices from the bottom of the pan and creates balance among the variety of flavors.
- Corn Tortillas – Make sure to warm the tortillas before serving so they’re pliable and easy to handle. I like to wrap them in a damp paper towel and heat them in the microwave for 1 minute, flipping halfway through.
- Lots of Toppings – Top your tacos with all of your favorites, like lettuce, cheese, and salsa. I’ve included a ton of options for you below!
Canned or dried black beans?
I love to cook with canned black beans because they’re inexpensive, easy, and so widely available. However, if all you have are dried beans at home, use them instead! I highly recommend cooking dried black beans in an Instant Pot because there’s no soaking required and they’re done in just 1 hour.
If you don’t own an Instant Pot, soak 1 pound of dried beans in water overnight. Add them to a pot with 4” of water the next day and bring to a boil on the stovetop. Continue boiling for 10 minutes before reducing the heat to low, covering with a lid, and simmering for 1 to 2 hours (or until tender).
As soon as the beans are ready, you can begin to make your tacos!
How to make black bean tacos
- Saute onions, jalapeño, and garlic: Heat up the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and saute the onions, tomatoes, jalapeño, cumin, salt, oregano, and smoked paprika. When everything is translucent and fragrant, add in the garlic.
- Add the beans: After 30 seconds, add in the black beans, tomato paste, and water. Keep stirring the mixture until the tomato paste dissolves (about 3 minutes). Taste and season as needed.
- Serve: Take the mixture off of the heat and add a scoop into a tortilla with all of the toppings you like!
Substitutions and Variations
- Want some meat? Eat the bean tacos as is or add in shrimp, shredded chicken, or homemade chorizo.
- Don’t have black beans? Pinto beans will work just as well.
- Add a little color and stir some frozen corn kernels in with the beans.
- Want it a little spicier? Substitute the jalapeños with serrano peppers for more of a kick.
- Out of tortillas? Make your own corn tortillas with just 4 ingredients. Feel free to make this recipe with flour tortillas as well.
Storing and reheating
To store leftover seasoned black beans, keep them in an airtight container in the fridge. They should stay fresh for up to 4 days.
To freeze the beans, seal them in a freezer-safe container or wrapped in foil and freeze for 1 or 2 months. Allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge or reheat from frozen.
To reheat, place the chilled or frozen beans in a skillet on the stove with a little oil, broth, or water. The beans would also be good eaten straight from the fridge with tortilla chips!
It’s not a taco without the toppings! Top them with shredded lettuce, jicama slaw, cotija cheese, rajas con crema, guacamole, pico de gallo, or cilantro. Then finish with a dollop of cilantro lime crema, avocado crema, or sour cream.
More black bean recipes
Try out these recipes the next time you have one too many cans of black beans in your cupboard:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, minced (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup water
- 8 corn tortillas, warmed
- optional toppings: shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, cilantro lime crema, lime juice
- Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add onions, jalapeño (if using), cumin, salt, oregano, and smoked paprika. Stir and saute for 3-5 minutes, until onions have softened and become translucent.
- Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add black beans, tomato paste, and water. Stir to combine and cook for 3 more minutes, constantly stirring to make sure the tomato paste completely dissolves.
- Taste and season with more salt if necessary.
- Remove from heat and serve in warm corn tortillas topped with shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, and a drizzle of cilantro lime crema or lime juice.
- Adding a jalapeño is completely optional. If you don’t want it spicy but still want to add the jalapeño, remove and discard the seeds and veins.
- These tacos are also great with flour tortillas and hard taco shells!