Black Bean Tacos with Red Pepper and Corn Salsa

Discovering this recipe was a little like a Hallejuhah!  I had been craving tacos recently, but I didn’t want to buy the “fake” ground beef for it. And I didn’t want to do a simple bean taco, either.  When I initially saw this recipe, I was actually quite intrigued because the idea behind it is pretty awesome.  Take some canned black beans (ok, healthy enough).  Add some rolled oats (um, ok.  Extra fiber).  Add a little cornmeal for consistency (got it.)  And then add a whole bunch of spices, mash it all together, and then BAKE it.  Bake it so that it is crumbly, filling, and devoid of icky grease.  And believe me, it has enough flavor to it so that if you didn’t want to add your own concoction of spices, it would still taste great (unlike some of those soy ground beef substitutes I have tried).

I tried the suggested red pepper and corn salsa to go with the tacos, but I added in some fresh tomatoes and extra flavors.  And, to keep it low-fat, don’t feel like you have to fry the corn tortillas, either.  I sprayed a little cooking spray on mine, lightly toasted them in a frying pan, and then sprinkled a little flaky sea salt on top before assembling the tacos.  And, for leftovers, I made nachos with the bean mixture. Fantastic!  I also topped my tacos with Monterey Jack cheese, but you don’t need the cheese if you are looking to make this a vegan recipe.

Is it Cinco de Mayo yet?

Black Bean Tacos with Red Pepper and Corn Salsa


Servings: 4

For the tacos:

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup cornmeal

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided

8 corn tortillas (I used 6-inch)

For the salsa:

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 jalepeno, seeded and chopped

1 medium tomato, chopped

3 scallions, chopped

Lime juice from two limes

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

For the tacos:  cheese, sour cream, etc.



1. For the tacos:  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Generously spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside.

3. Using your food processor, combine the garlic, beans, oats, cornmeal, chili powder, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and process for about 1 minute, or until well-mixed.

4.  Crumble the bean mixture evenly over the baking sheet and lightly spray with cooking spray.

5. Bake for about 10-15 minutes.

6. After 10-15 minutes, lightly toss the beans to break up the crumbles more with a spatula.

7. Lightly spray the beans again with cooking spray and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

8. For the salsa:  Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well.  Cover until ready to use.

9.  For the tacos: Warm or lightly toast the tortillas as desired.  Fill each taco with a generous serving of the bean crumbles, followed by cheese (if using), and top with salsa.  Serve immediately.


Source:  Adapted from SELF magazine via Epicurious.













March 30, 2012 - 8:28 am

Jillian {Her Split Ends} - this sounds so YUMMY! Question…is the texture of the bean “crumbles” at all similar to a ground meat? I have a meat eater husband…but I think i could get these in the regular circulation 🙂

~ Jillian

March 30, 2012 - 8:40 am

srlacy - Hi Jillian-

It’s similar, but it’s definitely not the same. Softer and a little more mushy, in my opinion. Some people may not like the texture, but I also think it depends on how much you break up the crumbles when you bake it. If you like chunky, keep larger pieces together. I broke mine up into pretty small bits for the most part.

March 30, 2012 - 11:20 am

Michelle - This looks delicious! Do you think the bean crumble would freeze and reheat well? A friend of mine is about to have a baby, and I’ve been looking for meals to cook up and freeze for her to eat the weeks following the baby’s birth.

March 30, 2012 - 11:45 am

srlacy - Hi Michelle-

That sounds so nice of you to do that for your friend!

All I can say is that you can only try it-I’m starting to get the sense that most things freeze well, so it can’t hurt to try it.

March 30, 2012 - 1:48 pm

Julie @ Sugarfoot Eats - I definitely see these in my future!

April 2, 2012 - 8:01 am

Brenda - I’ve been craving food without meat “replacements” lately. I am going to try this. It sounds yummy.

April 2, 2012 - 2:24 pm

Emily (New York, NY) - Ohh these look yum and the “beef” replacement sounds interesting + yummy! I want to give it a try, thanks for sharing this idea!!

April 3, 2012 - 7:45 pm

Kalysta - Made these tonight – massive success! Substituted Panko for the cornmeal, but they were still delicious! Thanks for sharing!!

May 4, 2012 - 5:01 am
May 4, 2012 - 5:36 am

Amanda - This sounds delicious! I’ve been trying to find ways to get more black beans in (only recently tried them! I know…SHAME on me lol) and this is a definite try! Thanks so much!

May 11, 2012 - 1:24 am

Rather Be Baking « corn and pepper salsa - […] Corn and Pepper Salsa Barely adapted from The Curvy Carrot […]

October 1, 2012 - 10:45 pm

Sara - I found this recipe on Pinterest and saved it immediately. I have diet changes to make because of a health issue so I needed to find vegan/vegetarian based food. It also needs to be wheat free and gluten free as much as possible. We made these tonight and I loved them!! I have a huband who is a meat eater as well and he loved them, not to mention my almost 4 year old had two of them! Minus the cilantro and red peppers of course but none the less she liked them which I think is a huge thing for a toddler! Thanks for the recipe, I’ll be making it often!!