I should probably be sharing a Thanksgiving-y recipe, but at this point in my life I can only show you what we’ve been eating, and we haven’t eaten Thanksgiving dinner yet. So, black bean tacos it is!
Really, though, these lightly spicy, crispy, crunchy black bean tacos are the perfect thing to cook and eat in the wake of turkey and gravy and mashed potatoes. It’s so not those flavors, and it comes together with barely any prep or mess! One cutting board, one bowl, one pan. And you can totally make the bean mixture (which doesn’t even have to be cooked!) ahead of time, which is one of my favorite features in a meal!
I found this recipe on Pretty Plain Janes…who adapted it from Endless Simmer…who got it from the book Love Your Leftovers by Nick Evans of Macheesmo! I’m definitely putting this book on my Christmas list (grown-ups can have those, right?) – I love, love, love the concept, which is that you don’t have to start from scratch every night when it comes to putting dinner on the table. It’s so practical…and economical…and efficient…to put your “leftovers” to good use (without just having a repeat meal). This is something I love to do and try to think about when I’m meal planning, and I really can’t wait to dive into this book.
So: black bean tacos! The beans get mixed with onion, garlic, jalapeño, and cilantro, along with cumin and paprika and some salt and pepper. I had actually never purchased corn tortillas before – is that weird?? Mine were from Trader Joe’s and are made from just corn, water, and lime. They start warming up in the pan and get a little sprinkle of cheese:
Then a scoop (about 1/4 cup) of the spicy beans:
Then you fold the tortilla over and let it cook for a couple of minutes:
Then flip it carefully over (toward the fold, so it stays together – thank you, Nick, for that helpful wisdom!) for another few minutes so it gets really crunchy and brown on both sides. The little bits that spill out are actually the best part – we may have fought a little over the ones with the most cheesy crispiness on the edges.
You can do a few tacos at a time; when we had these for dinner, we had three going at once. We put them on a paper-towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil, but these are really barely greasy – you don’t need much oil, especially if you use a nonstick pan. And so that justifies the fact that we just kept eating them. A simple salad and a nice scoop of guacamole (or even just chunks of avocado) make this a quick, easy, and delicious meatless meal!
This version of the recipe makes a pretty large quantity of the bean filling, so I got to have crunchy black bean tacos for lunch the next day – which was awesome, since it felt like a very upscale lunch (I mean…I eat peanut butter and honey sandwiches pretttty often) but only took as much time to make as a grilled cheese sandwich!Print
- 2 cans black beans, drained (I don’t rinse mine, since I get a kind that only has beans, water, and salt)
- 1/4-1/2 cup onion, minced (red is suggested, but I only had a yellow onion)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- juice from 1/2 lime
- 2-4 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 6 oz pepperjack cheese, grated (or cheddar, or Monterey jack – whatever you like!)
- 10-12 corn tortillas (mine were 6″)
- olive oil, for cooking
- optional for serving: avocado (or guacamole), salsa, and sour cream
- Mix beans with onion, garlic, jalapeño, cumin, paprika, lime juice, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper and lightly mash the beans with a fork as you mix it together. (I don’t usually love raw onion but this mixture tastes surprisingly delicious on its own!)
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with a splash of olive oil. Add 1-3 corn tortillas and let them start to warm up. Sprinkle cheese on half of each tortilla and top with a scoop (about 1/4 cup) of beans. Fold each tortilla in half and press it gently. Let them brown for about 3 minutes before flipping them (toward the fold to minimize spillage!) to brown for about 3 minutes on the other side.