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Bean Tacos: Creative Fillings And Toppings

Bean Tacos: Creative Fillings And Toppings

I absolutely love tacos, and I’m always on the lookout for new ways to enjoy them. One of my favorite variations is bean tacos – they’re not only delicious and filling, but they’re also a great way to incorporate more plant-based protein into your diet.

When it comes to bean tacos, the possibilities are endless. From classic refried beans to black beans, chickpeas, and even lentils, there are so many different types of beans you can use as a base for your taco filling. And the best part? You can get creative with your seasonings and spices to make each batch unique and flavorful.

In this article, I’ll share some tips for choosing the perfect bean filling for your tacos and how to add flavor and texture with toppings. So grab some tortillas and let’s get cooking!

Choosing Your Bean Filling

You’ll want to consider your personal taste preferences when deciding which protein option to use as the base for your delicious tacos. As we all know, tacos are incredibly versatile and can be filled with a variety of ingredients. However, if you’re looking for vegetarian options, beans are an excellent source of protein and offer a hearty texture that’ll keep you satisfied.

When it comes to choosing your bean filling, there are several protein sources to consider. Black beans are a popular choice due to their mild flavor and ability to absorb other flavors easily. Pinto beans have a creamier texture and pair well with Mexican spices like cumin and chili powder. Kidney beans offer a slightly sweet taste that complements tangy toppings like salsa or lime juice.

Ultimately, the choice is up to you and what suits your palate best!

Adding Flavor to Your Tacos

I absolutely love experimenting with different flavors when it comes to my tacos! One of my go-to spice options is the spicy chipotle, which adds a nice kick to any bean filling.

For those who prefer tangy over spicy, I highly recommend using lime and cilantro for a fresh and zesty twist.

And if you’re looking for a smokier taste, try adding some paprika to your taco seasoning – it’s the perfect complement to hearty bean tacos!

Spicy Chipotle

If you’re in the mood for a little heat, the Spicy Chipotle option will definitely satisfy your craving. This filling is perfect for those who love spicy food and want to add some extra kick to their tacos.

What I love about this recipe is that it’s easy to make and can be customized to fit any dietary restrictions, including vegetarian options.

To make the Spicy Chipotle filling, you’ll need:

  • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce: These give the filling its signature smoky and spicy flavor.
  • Black beans: They add protein and texture to the dish.
  • Corn kernels: They provide a sweet contrast to the spiciness of the chipotle peppers.
  • Cumin powder: It adds warmth and depth of flavor to the mix.

Once you have all your ingredients ready, sauté them together until they are heated through and well combined.

Serve this filling with your favorite taco toppings like shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, avocado slices, and a squeeze of lime juice on top!

Tangy Lime and Cilantro

Get ready for a burst of fresh and zesty flavors with the Tangy Lime and Cilantro filling. This variation on traditional tacos is perfect for those who love a light and refreshing meal option.

The vibrant green cilantro leaves provide an earthy flavor that pairs perfectly with the tangy lime juice, creating a mouthwatering taste that will transport you to a sunny Mexican beach. This creative filling also offers vegan options, making it an excellent choice for plant-based eaters.

You can top your bean tacos with some sliced avocado or add some grilled veggies to make it even heartier. This recipe is simple yet flavorful, providing you with endless possibilities to customize your taco according to your preferences.

Whether you’re throwing a party or just looking for something quick and easy to make at home, this Tangy Lime and Cilantro filling is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

Smoky Paprika

You’re in for a treat with the Smoky Paprika filling – this bold and flavorful option is sure to satisfy your cravings. The combination of paprika, cumin, and smoked salt gives the beans a smoky, savory taste that pairs perfectly with the soft tortillas. Whether you’re grilling or cooking on the stovetop, this filling is easy to prepare and will impress even the pickiest eaters.

Here are five toppings and additions that can take your Smoky Paprika bean tacos to the next level:

  • Grilled corn: Adding some charred corn kernels brings a sweet crunchiness that complements the smokiness of the paprika.

  • Avocado slices: Creamy avocado provides a cooling contrast to the spicy beans.

  • Chopped cilantro: Fresh herbs add brightness and texture to any taco dish.

  • Vegan sour cream: A dollop of vegan sour cream adds tanginess without adding dairy.

  • Pickled onions: Quick-pickling red onion in vinegar and sugar creates a zingy topping that cuts through rich flavors.

Whether you’re looking for vegan options or just want to mix up your usual taco routine, try out these toppings with your Smoky Paprika bean tacos for an unforgettable meal.

Creating Texture with Toppings

To add dimension and excitement to your taco experience, why not experiment with different textures in your toppings? Mixing textures can elevate the overall taste and feel of a simple bean taco.

For example, try adding some crunch with thinly sliced radishes or jicama. The contrast between the soft beans and crispy vegetables creates a satisfying texture that will make your taste buds dance.

Another way to create texture is through creative presentation. Instead of just piling on the toppings, think about how you can layer them for maximum effect.

For instance, start with a base of refried beans, then add some diced avocado for creaminess, followed by finely chopped cilantro for freshness, and finish it off with a sprinkle of toasted pepitas for crunch. Not only does this look visually appealing but each bite will be bursting with different textures that complement each other perfectly.

So go ahead and get creative with your bean tacos – the possibilities are endless!

Experimenting with Different Wraps

I love experimenting with different wraps when it comes to making bean tacos. Soft corn tortillas are my go-to choice because they have a delicate texture that complements the filling perfectly.

However, I also enjoy using crunchy taco shells for a satisfying crunch, and flour tortillas for a heartier bite.

Soft Corn Tortillas

For a truly authentic and delicious experience, nothing beats the softness and flavor of freshly made corn tortillas. Compared to their hard counterparts, soft corn tortillas are more pliable and easier to fold, making them ideal for bean tacos.

To achieve the perfect texture, it’s important to heat your tortillas properly – either by using a dry skillet or griddle on medium-high heat for about 30 seconds per side or by wrapping them in a damp paper towel and microwaving them for 20-30 seconds.

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when working with soft corn tortillas:

  • Look for brands that use quality ingredients like masa harina (corn flour) and water.
  • If you’re gluten-free, make sure to check the packaging as some brands add wheat flour as a binder.
  • Keep your tortillas warm by stacking them on a plate covered with foil while you prepare your fillings.
  • Don’t overfill your tacos – this can cause them to tear or fall apart.
  • Experiment with different toppings like diced avocado, fresh cilantro, crumbled queso fresco, or pickled onions to elevate the flavors in your bean tacos.

Crunchy Taco Shells

You’ll love the satisfying crunch of a perfectly baked taco shell, adding a new dimension of texture to your meal. While soft corn tortillas are delicious and versatile, crunchy taco shells offer a different experience that is equally enjoyable. Plus, they hold up better to heavier fillings and toppings without falling apart.

When it comes to crunchy taco shells, there are two main options: store-bought or homemade. If you’re looking for gluten-free options, be sure to check the label before purchasing as some brands may contain wheat flour. Alternatively, you can make your own shells at home using corn tortillas and an oven. Simply preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C), lightly brush each side of the tortilla with oil or cooking spray, shape them into a taco shell by folding in half and placing over the rungs of an oven rack, then bake for 8-10 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Homemade shells not only offer more control over ingredients but also allow for customization with spices or herbs added before baking.

Flour Tortillas

If you’re in the mood for a more flexible and versatile option, flour tortillas are a great choice for your next meal. They’re perfect for making homemade tacos and burritos with your favorite fillings.

Flour tortillas can be found in most grocery stores, but if you want to make them from scratch, it’s easier than you might think. You can even make them gluten-free by using almond or coconut flour instead of wheat flour.

To enjoy your homemade or store-bought flour tortillas, here are three tips:

  • Warm up the tortilla before filling it up: This will prevent it from cracking when you fold it. You can either microwave it for 10-15 seconds or heat it up on a pan over medium-high heat.

  • Choose the right cooking oil for your flour tortillas: A neutral-flavored oil like vegetable or canola oil works best because they won’t alter the taste of the tortilla.

  • Get creative with your toppings: Unlike crunchy taco shells, flour tortillas allow for a variety of toppings such as fresh veggies, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.

Overall, using flour tortillas is an easy way to switch things up from traditional crunchy taco shells while still enjoying delicious Mexican-inspired meals at home.

Serving Suggestions

When it comes to serving bean tacos, I always like to offer a variety of side dishes to complement the flavors and textures. Some of my favorite options include guacamole, salsa, roasted vegetables, and a simple salad with lime dressing. As for beverage pairings, I find that beer or margaritas work well with the spicy kick of the tacos.

If you have any leftover taco filling, don’t let it go to waste! One idea is to use it as a topping for nachos or baked potatoes. Another option is to mix it into scrambled eggs for a protein-packed breakfast. The possibilities are endless with this versatile dish!

Side Dishes

No meal is complete without some delicious sides to go with your flavorful main dish. When it comes to bean tacos, there are plenty of great side dishes that can complement the dish and take it to the next level. Here are a few suggestions for healthy options and vegetarian alternatives:

  • Grilled vegetables: A colorful mix of grilled veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and eggplant can add a smoky flavor and texture that pairs perfectly with the soft beans in your taco.

  • Avocado salad: A simple avocado salad dressed with lime juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil can provide a creamy contrast to the spicy flavors in your taco. Plus, avocados are loaded with healthy fats and nutrients.

  • Cilantro rice: A fragrant cilantro rice made by cooking rice with fresh cilantro leaves can add a burst of flavor that complements the earthy taste of beans.

  • Corn salsa: A sweet corn salsa made by mixing roasted corn kernels with diced tomatoes, red onions, jalapenos, lime juice, salt, and pepper can be a refreshing complement to the savory flavors in your taco.

With these great side dishes on hand, you’ll have everything you need for a delicious bean taco feast that’s both satisfying and nutritious. Whether you’re looking for healthy options or vegetarian alternatives to traditional sides like sour cream or cheese dips, these recipes will help you create an unforgettable dining experience that everyone at your table will love. So don’t be afraid to get creative – try out different combinations until you find the perfect match for your palate!

Beverage Pairings

Now that we’ve talked about some delicious side dishes to accompany your bean tacos, let’s focus on what beverages would pair well with this meal.

As someone who enjoys hosting dinner parties, I always make sure to have a variety of options available for my guests. While alcoholic beverages are usually the go-to for most adults, it’s important to also provide non-alcoholic options such as mocktails and refreshing drinks.

When it comes to pairing beverages with bean tacos, there are several options you can consider. For those who prefer something light and refreshing, a citrusy mocktail like a virgin margarita or mojito would be perfect. These drinks complement the flavors in the tacos without overpowering them.

If you’re looking for something more substantial, a fruit smoothie or iced tea could do the trick. The key is to find something that balances out the heat and spice of the taco filling while also being enjoyable to drink on its own.

At the end of the day, it’s all about making sure everyone has a great time and feels comfortable at your gathering – which includes providing tasty beverage options for all guests!

Leftover Ideas

If you find yourself with leftover ingredients from your taco night, don’t let them go to waste – get creative in the kitchen and transform them into a new dish, just like how a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly.

Leftover bean ideas are endless, so here are some bean taco twists to inspire you.

One idea is to use the leftover beans as a base for a hearty soup. Simply sauté some onions and garlic in a pot, add in your preferred broth and spices (such as cumin and paprika), then toss in the beans along with any other leftover veggies or protein you have on hand. Let it all simmer together until heated through, then serve with some crusty bread or tortilla chips.

Another option is to turn those leftover beans into delicious bean patties for an easy vegetarian meal. Mash up the beans with some breadcrumbs, egg, diced onion and seasonings of your choice (such as chili powder or oregano), then form into patties and cook on each side in a bit of oil until crispy. Serve these patties atop salad greens or between two buns for an alternative twist on classic burgers.

The possibilities for leftover bean ideas are endless – so don’t be afraid to experiment!


I hope this article has inspired you to get creative with your bean tacos and try out some new fillings and toppings! Whether you’re a vegetarian looking for a hearty meal or just trying to cut down on meat consumption, bean tacos are a delicious and healthy option.

Did you know that in the United States alone, over 7 billion pounds of beans are consumed each year? That’s right – beans are one of the most commonly eaten foods in the world! So why not join in on the fun by experimenting with different types of beans, spices, and toppings to create your own unique taco creations?

From black bean and sweet potato tacos to spicy pinto bean tacos with avocado salsa, there are endless possibilities when it comes to filling options. And don’t forget about toppings – adding crispy veggies like cabbage or radish can give your tacos an extra crunch, while a dollop of sour cream or guacamole can add creaminess and richness.

So next time you’re looking for a tasty and satisfying meal idea, consider making some delicious bean tacos. With so many ways to customize them to your liking, they’re sure to become a staple in your recipe repertoire.

Happy cooking!