You will devour these crispy smashed black bean tacos! Stuffed with an easy no cook filling, and crisped up on a sheet pan, they’re filling, nutrient-dense and kid friendly.

black bean tacos on plate with lime wedges
These smashed black bean tacos are so delicious, no one will no how easy they are to make!

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I’m pretty sure at this point, it is my life’s purpose to figure out as many delivery vehicles for beans as humanly possible. And yes, part of that is my dietitian brain wanting you to eat more of these affordable, nutrient-dense foods so you can feel really dang good. 

But beans are WAY more than just health food. They’re super versatile little sponges that do such a good job of soaking up flavour that they make every meal more delicious. Just one bite of my brothy white beans and you’ll KNOW.

As far as living my best life goes, it doesn’t take much to make me happy. Sunshine on my skin. 30 minutes (let’s be honest, 60 minutes) of quiet with a really good book. Oh, and a really delicious meal that will also nourish my body without a lot of fuss in the kitchen. 

Beans are elite ingredients: I grew up eating a ton of beans and I have always been drawn to food cultures that use a lot of them, like Mexican cuisine. Mexico City is one of my very favourite food cities in the world and nothing makes me happier than eating tacos there, from the street taco staples to the fancy, chef ones. 

But I’m also someone who isn’t going to simmer beans for 24 hours or recreate restaurant dishes on a Tuesday night, you know? So I love figuring out how to take plant-based recipes down to their most essential ingredients without losing that “holy heck this is delicious” moment. 

And these smashed black bean tacos do just that. I’m talking sheet pan black bean tacos with a no cook filling made from just 6 ingredients. You just pop everything into the food processor (or smash by hand to get the after work angries out), layer the chunky mixture onto tortillas and then bake until they’re crispy and golden. Preferably while also pouring yourself a cute little mocktail. 

I’ve tried these tacos with just seasoned black beans but I found that I was really craving more texture and a sneaky hit of green so for my recipe, I’ve added crunchy pumpkin seeds and some fresh cilantro to the black bean mix. I love serving these tacos with a quick vegan slaw or some roasted veggies. They’re not totally authentic but they’re super delicious. I hope you think so too!

How to make these vegan black bean tacos, step by step

If you’ve got 30 minutes and some black beans and tortillas in the pantry, you’re in for a treat! Here’s how to make these incredibly easy (and totally delicious) crispy smashed black bean tacos.

black beans, tortillas, cilantro in bowls
Just a few basic ingredients, like black beans, taco seasoning and tomato paste, to make these yummy tacos!

First up: grab those ingredients! You’ll need just a few pantry staples for the no cook filling: canned black beans, taco seasoning, tomato paste, pumpkin seeds plus a lime and some cilantro. 

  • I really like a flour tortilla here because they tend to be more flexible but if you’ve got a great local brand of corn tortillas (maybe heat them up first so they’re less breakable) go for it! 
  • Also, about that taco seasoning: you can buy your favourite brand OR take 5 minutes to whip up my homemade taco seasoning that I keep topped up in the spice drawer for moments like these!

Step One: you can smash the black beans by hand or you can pulse everything in the food processor. Choose your own adventure! I pop all the ingredients into a food processor and just pulse until the mixture looks about 50% smashed. You want a nice chunky mixture that sticks together so you don’t have black beans rolling out of your taco.

Step Two: spread 2-3 tbsp (30-45mL) of taco filling into each taco (for 4 inch tacos) or ¼ cup (60 mL) for 6 inch tacos.  Add some vegan cheese shreds or pickled jalapenos if you like, and fold over the tortilla. You’ll have enough filling to fill at least 8 – 6 inch tortillas or 12 – 4 inch tortillas. 

Step Three: brush a nonstick baking sheet with 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of avocado oil. Then place the tacos on the baking sheet, filling side up, and bake in a preheated 450F (230C) oven for 5 minutes a side until they are golden brown and crisp.

Step Four: I really like these tacos all on our their own but if you want to serve with a dipping sauce, I highly recommend seasoning either vegan mayo or sour cream with hot sauce until you get that perfect blend of creamy and spicy. I typically do ½ cup of vegan mayo and 2-3 tablespoons of Valentina’s extra hot. 

Why black beans are so, so good for you

Time to put my dietitian hat on for a second because I really, really want you to understand just how incredibly nutritious black beans are! 

Like all legumes, black beans are high in fibre and protein…just ½ cup of cooked black beans contains 8 grams of plant-based protein and 6 grams of filling fibre. Fibre helps feed the gut microbiome, regulate digestion and also helps support healthy cholesterol levels.

Black beans are also rich in minerals like iron, zinc, potassium, copper and manganese, all critical for cellular metabolism, immune function and keeping your energy levels up.

Other easy Mexican- and Tex Mex-inspired vegan recipes:

black bean tacos on plate with lime wedges

30 Minute Smashed Black Bean Tacos with Pumpkin Seeds

You will devour these crispy smashed black bean tacos! Stuffed with an easy no cook filling, and crisped up on a sheet pan, they’re filling, nutrient-dense and kid friendly.
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Ingredients

Smashed Black Bean Filling

  • 2 14 oz cans black beans, rinsed well and drained
  • ½ cup cilantro, leaves and tender stems
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning, store-bought or homemade
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, or neutral, high heat oil

For Serving (choose your faves!)

  • 8 6 inch flour tortillas, or your fave gluten free corn tortillas
  • vegan cheese shreds
  • pickled jalapeños , chopped
  • vegan mayo or sour cream
  • hot sauce, I like Valentina's extra hot

Equipment

  • Food Processor or smash the black beans by hand!

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 450℉ (230℃).
  • Add the black beans, cilantro, pumpkin seeds, taco seasoning, tomato paste, lime juice and salt to a food processor and pulse until a thick, chunky mixture forms. It should stick together when pressed. You can also do this by hand! Just chop the pumpkin seeds and cilantro first.
  • Add ¼ cup (60 mL) of filling to one side of each tortilla. If using, add a bit of jalapeño and vegan cheese. Fold the tortilla over the filling.
  • Spread the avocado oil evenly on a nonstick baking sheet. Place them, filling side up, on the baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes and then carefully flip and cook for another 5 minutes until crispy and golden on both sides.
  • Want to serve with a dip? Start with ½ cup (125 mL) vegan mayo or sour cream and add enough hot sauce until it's the perfect blend of spicy and creamy. I use about 2-3 tablespoons of Valentina's extra hot.

Notes

I like flour tortillas because they break less. But you can absolutely use corn tortillas if you prefer, or if you’re gluten free.
A couple of tips: heat them up in a moist dish towel in the microwave for about 15 seconds to help make them more pliable. And don’t over fill! Try just 2 tablespoons of filling for 4 inch tortillas and 3 tablespoons for 6 inch tortillas.