These Crispy Black Bean Tacos are spicy, saucy, cheesy, and so flavorful! They’re packed with healthy plant based protein from black beans and crumbled tofu. They’re easy to eat and great for pleasing a crowd! Taco Tuesday or not, dinner is served.
These tacos are basically little handheld quesadillas, which means they’re easy to eat and perfect for dunking. The filling is a mixture of crumbled tofu and smashed black beans that simmer together in a chipotle seasoned sauce. Softened tortillas are stuffed with the spicy black bean mixture and shredded cheddar cheese before they meld together in the oven.
We love Mexican food. One of our favorite NYC restaurants is Jajaja. However, we must say that these tacos are some of the best plant-based Mexican food we’ve had. They’re honestly fun to make and if you channel your inner Rachel Ray and have the ingredients prepped and ready to go, everything comes together pretty quickly!
Why We Love Them
- Packed with protein: between the black beans, crumbled tofu, and blended tofu in the crema, these unassuming little tacos are a great source of plant-based protein.
- Seasoned and saucy: the combination of spices like chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin with the tomato paste, soy sauce, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce creates a robust, spicy, and saucy mixture that is cooled down by the zesty crema.
- Dippable: speaking of crema, the crispy tacos are meant to be smothered or dunked in a cool, creamy sauce. Guacamole or verde salsa would also be delicious here, but we’re partial to the avocado jalapeño crema.
How To Make Crispy Black Bean Tacos
Start by making the crema! Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Store in the fridge until serving!
For the tacos, start by sautéing onion, garlic, and the dried spices. Once they soften and become aromatic, you crumble in half a block of tofu (no pressing required)!
Next, add a can of black beans with their liquid, which helps the mixture to thicken. Gently mash them with the back of a spoon or spatula.
Add tomato paste, soy sauce, adobo sauce, and a chopped chipotle pepper. Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes and then finish with lime juice.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and spray (or brush) a baking sheet with oil. Lay 8 to 10 tortillas on the baking sheet and spray again with oil. Bake for 3 minutes or until they are soft and malleable. This step is simple yet crucial!
Now, assemble the tacos by scooping the black bean and tofu mixture onto half of the open tortilla. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and then fold the tortilla over, in half.
Bake for 10 minutes, gently flip, and bake for another 10 minutes. The cheese should be melted and the edges should be browned and crispy.
Tips and Tricks
- Prepare all the ingredients upfront: this recipe is 100 times easier if you chop the onion and garlic, measure out your dried spices, tomato paste, soy sauce, and chipotle peppers. Things start moving quickly when you’re sautéing and having everything ready to go saves so much time.
- Adjust the spice: If you prefer less spice, skip the chopped chipotle pepper or remove the seeds from it beforehand. If you like more spice, choose a large pepper or add two.
- Choose the right tortillas: This recipe works with either flour or corn tortillas. We prefer the taste of corn, however, they can be less flexible to work with. If you’re using a corn tortilla, look for an “extra thin” variety or choose a brand that feels soft and malleable.
- Don’t skip warming them up: This step is crucial and makes it so much easier to assemble the tacos. Just 3 minutes in the oven makes the tortillas much easier to work with.
We served these tacos with the crema, of course, along with quick pickled red onions and fresh cilantro. If you have any leftover tofu black bean mixture, you can serve it alongside rice on the side. We also like adding hot sauce and salsa because there’s no much thing as too many condiments~