Spicy black bean tacos Meatless tacos made with jalapeños, avocado, cheese, and cabbage. Dig in!

Spicy black bean tacos

Homemade tacos: the ultimate comfort food

Tacos! Who doesn’t love tacos? This traditional Mexican dish has certainly become a beloved American food, and it’s easy to see why. Tacos are incredibly versatile (they can be stuffed with just about anything), they’re easy to make, they’re nutritious and, most of all of course, they’re incredibly delicious.

Today’s recipe highlights what’s most compelling about tacos: the way humble ingredients can be assembled into something utterly satisfying.

A perfect blend of fresh, spicy, crunchy and creamy. The perfect vegetarian taco filling

Here the pan-roasted jalapeños and spices add a lovely kick to the mellow black beans. The cabbage brightens each bite with delicate crunchiness. The avocado and cheese lend their marvelous creaminess to the whole dish. And the cilantro exudes those potent fresh-herb aromas.

This is the kind of comfort food I love to sink my teeth into! How about you?

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Black beans

Food & wine pairing: Spain, Garnacha with spicy black bean tacos

Red wine icon
Pour a Garnacha (Grenache) from Spain or a Syrah from northern Rhône. These aromatic, deep and vibrant wines are ideal with these tacos.


Spicy black bean tacos

makes 8 medium tacos or 4 servings
active time: 45 min

For the beans

  1. 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  2. 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  3. 3 tablespoons avocado oil or vegetable oil
  4. 1 medium Vidalia onion – peeled and diced in 1/4″ cubes (2 1/4 cups)
  5. 3 jalapeños – seeded and diced in 1/8″ cubes (1 cup)
  6. 2 teaspoons chili powder
  7. 2 garlic cloves – skinned and finely chopped
  8. 4 cups cooked black beans
  9. 1 1/2 cups reserved cooking liquid from the beans
  10. 1 teaspoon sea salt

For the tacos

  1. 8 corn tortillas
  2. 8 oz (225 g) queso blanco or feta
  3. 1/4 medium cabbage – cut crosswise in 1/8″ slices
  4. 1 jar roasted tomato salsa or salsa of your choice
  5. 1 medium ripe avocado – halved, pit removed, peeled and cut in 1/4” slices
  6. cilantro sprigs

  1. Step 1: Heat a small heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and cook until they turn a dark color and are fragrant — about 2 minutes — shaking the pan constantly and taking care not to burn the spices. Transfer to a mortar and grind until coarsely ground.
  2. Step 2: Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and onions and sauté for 2 minutes, until the onions have softened. Add the jalapeños and continue to sauté for 5 to 6 minutes until the peppers and onions are golden-brown, stirring from time to time. Add the roasted seeds, chili powder and garlic, and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until the garlic has released its flavor, but doesn’t brown.
  3. Step 3: Add the beans, reserved cooking liquid and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes until the beans have absorbed most of the liquid. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Cook’s note: The beans can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until ready to use. Save some of the beans’ cooking liquid also. To reheat, place in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid, cover and cook until the beans are hot, stirring from time to time.
  5. Step 4: Place tortillas on plates. Top each tortilla with 1/2 cup of the spicy black beans. Crumble about 1 ounce of cheese over the black beans. Top with some cabbage slices, 2 tablespoons of salsa, 2 slices of avocado and a couple of cilantro sprigs. Serve immediately.

Spicy black bean tacos

main course, tacos, black bean

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  • Reply Niko January 10, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Can’t wait to try your black beans! We LOVE the crunch of cabbage in our tacos!

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre January 12, 2015 at 6:50 pm

      Oh, I am so glad to hear! Have fun making your tacos, Niko!

  • Reply Angie@Angie's Recipes February 21, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    This looks simply mouthwatering! Love black beans.

  • Reply El February 19, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    I was thinking about making tacos tomorrow night. Your recipe came along just in time!

  • Reply RisaG February 18, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Boy does that look good. I just bought a huge bag of dried black beans. I know what I am doing with some of them now! I also love jalapenos and avocados and have both in the house.

  • Reply Kiri W. February 18, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Mmmm, these look amazing! Love the simplicity and elegance of these!

  • Reply Pat Sibley February 18, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I think you have a great newsletter!

  • Reply Pat Sibley February 18, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Love your black beans!

  • Reply Laura February 18, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    For those in Canada, RCSS has Avocado oil.

  • Reply mjskit February 17, 2012 at 12:30 am

    I’m a huge fan of black beans and love these tacos. Nice use of cabbage in place of traditional lettuce!

  • Reply Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen February 16, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Gorgeous! These look packed with flavor and so good for you!

  • Reply Ann February 16, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Oh, my! That looks amazing! I just love the photos and everything about it! Thanks so much!

  • Reply Laurel @ Lolly's Sweet & Savory Treats February 16, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    These tacos look like a delicious vegetarian meal. Going to make this for sure!

  • Reply Lacy @ NYCityEats February 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    This taco looks delicious!! I love the pan-roasted jalapenos, can’t get enough heat! The pictures are gorgeous. I absolutely have to try this. Yum!!

    • Reply Viviane February 17, 2012 at 9:43 am

      I’m with you Lacy! I adore the mellow-spiciness of the jalapenos when they’re pan roasted.

  • Reply RavieNomNoms February 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    This looks so great! I love black beans, so this makes me very happy to see 🙂

  • Reply Soni February 16, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Oh your tacos look absolutely delicious!The Avocado oil sounds interesting.Should try it 🙂

  • Reply Liz February 16, 2012 at 9:12 am

    So gorgeous and yummy! I’m keeping my eyes open for great meatless meals for Lent…and these tacos look perfect!

  • Reply Suzi February 16, 2012 at 9:09 am

    One of my favorites, tacos. You can never fo wrong with them. BTW where did find the avocado oil, I have not seen that and it does sound really cool, I would like to try it.

    • Reply Viviane February 16, 2012 at 9:20 am

      Suzi, You can find the Avocado oil at Whole Foods, in gourmet food store or online (Amazon). Hope you find some near you.

  • Reply Steve @ the black peppercorn February 15, 2012 at 11:48 am

    we LOVE Mexican in our house and often have tostadas, tacos, fajitas! This looks and sounds awesome. I love to cook with black beans: in chili, refried beans, in salads and soup. YUM!

    • Reply Viviane February 15, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      Steve! I’m with you all the way!

  • Reply Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi) February 15, 2012 at 9:33 am

    This looks as good as it sounds! I can’t wait to get my hands on some street tacos in Austin, TX this weekend.

  • Reply EA-The Spicy RD February 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    We are big time taco lovers at our house, and these look delicious! I need to find some avocado oil to try with these-sounds fabulous!

    • Reply Viviane February 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      Thank you so much for stopping by EA! I have no doubt you will love avocado oil… Right up your alley!

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