Crunchy Black Bean Tacos


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Servings:


    , or tacos

Appears in

Love Your Leftovers

Love Your Leftovers

By Nick Evans

Published 2014

  • About

This is a hybrid between a quesadilla and a hard-shell taco, which may sound strange. I can guarantee, though, that once you try this method of making your own hard-shell tacos, you’ll have a hard time going back to the store-bought shells. When you have the method down, you can put almost anything in these for a delicious Tex-Mex dinner.


  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • ½ cup minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4-6 ounces (1 heaping cup) grated Pepper Jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 8 corn tortillas


  • Avocado
  • Hot sauce
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream


  1. In a medium bowl, add beans along with red onion, cilantro, cumin, and paprika. Add a pinch of salt and lightly mash all the ingredients together. Grate the cheese and have it ready as well.
  2. In a large, nonstick or cast-iron skillet, add the 2 tablespoons oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add one corn tortilla at a time and let each get hot in the oil for a few seconds. Then add about ¼ cup of the bean filling to one half of the tortilla. Top with a sprinkle of grated cheese. Try not to overfill the tacos, or you might have issues flipping them without losing filling.
  3. Using a spatula, carefully fold the other half of the tortilla over to form a shell. Press down lightly on the tortilla so it holds its shape. If some cheese spills out, don’t worry–it will get crispy and delicious.
  4. As the first taco cooks, move it to the side and begin a second one. Depending on the size of your pan, you can cook two or three tacos at once. A griddle will hold even more.
  5. Cook each taco until they are nicely browned and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. When flipping the taco to cook on the other side, use a spatula and flip the taco toward the fold so the filling doesn’t fall out. If your pan is very dry between batches, add another drizzle of oil.
  6. Place the cooked tacos in a warm oven while you finish the rest. If the tacos are very greasy, blot them with a paper towel before moving them to the oven.
  7. Serve tacos with toppings like hot sauce, salsa, avocados, and sour cream.