Spicy Black Bean Tacos

Spicy Black Bean Tacos
Staff Writer
Spicy Black Bean Tacos

Viviane Bauquet Farre

Spicy Black Bean Tacos

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.

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

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?


For the beans

Cook the beans according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1 ½ cups of the cooking liquid. Set aside.*

Heat a small, heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and cook until they turn a dark color and are fragrant, shaking the pan constantly and taking care not to burn the spices, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and grind until coarsely powdered.

Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and onion and sauté until the onion has softened, 2 minutes. Add the jalapeños and continue to sauté until the onions and peppers are golden-brown, stirring occasionally, about 5-6 minutes.

Add the roasted seeds, chili powder, and garlic, and sauté until the garlic has released its flavor, but doesn’t brown, about 1-2 minutes. Add the beans and the reserved cooking liquid.

Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 8-10 minutes until the beans have absorbed most of the liquid. Season with salt, to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the tacos

Place the tortillas on plates. Top each tortilla with ½ cup of the spicy black beans. Crumble about 1 ounce of the cheese over the black beans. Top with some cabbage slices, 2 tablespoons of the salsa, 2 slices of the avocado, and a couple of cilantro sprigs. Repeat for the remaining tacos. Serve immediately.


*Note: The beans can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Reserve some of the cooking liquid. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until ready to use. To reheat, place in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add ½ cup of the reserved cooking liquid, cover and cook until the beans are hot, stirring occasionally.


Calories per serving:

1,203 calories

Dietary restrictions:

High Fiber Vegetarian, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Pork Free, Alcohol Free, No Sugar Added, Kosher

Daily value:



  • Fat 37g 56%
  • Carbs 168g 56%
  • Saturated 11g 53%
  • Fiber 42g 167%
  • Trans 1g
  • Sugars 17g
  • Monounsaturated 16g
  • Polyunsaturated 7g
  • Protein 61g 122%
  • Cholesterol 40mg 13%
  • Sodium 1,351mg 56%
  • Calcium 769mg 77%
  • Magnesium 438mg 109%
  • Potassium 3,882mg 111%
  • Iron 13mg 71%
  • Zinc 10mg 69%
  • Phosphorus 1,216mg 174%
  • Vitamin A 149µg 17%
  • Vitamin C 45mg 75%
  • Thiamin (B1) 2mg 132%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 1mg 41%
  • Niacin (B3) 7mg 36%
  • Vitamin B6 1mg 66%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 956µg 239%
  • Vitamin B12 1µg 17%
  • Vitamin D 0µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 6mg 30%
  • Vitamin K 81µg 102%
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