cheesy black bean tacos

Here’s one for #MeatlessMonday or #TacoTuesday. Or both!

We recently had a leak in our mudroom and we are very fortunate that our friend moved in next door and also happens to be a contractor. So he and another very handy friend gave us several hours of free labor this weekend and I am eternally grateful. So is Louise- she’s picking up so many skills.


I made a bunch of za’atar chicken skewers for Saturday night dinner with a whole spread (rice, tzatziki, roasted reds, pickled onions, feta, etc.) and then yesterday for lunch I whipped up these tacos!

Food is my preferred way to say “thank you,” so I’m doing it now on our back patio and again in the future when restaurants open and we can sit side by side.

Cheesy Black Bean Tacos

for the beans (adapted from NYT Cooking)

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

3 cloves garlic, sliced

2 tbs olive oil

2 tbs tomato paste

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup boiling water

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 475. Heat the olive oil in an 8″ cast iron skillet. Add the garlic and let it cook until barely golden brown. Add the tomato paste, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper. Stir it around until the tomato paste gets rust-colored, but keep the heat medium/low so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the beans and the water and stir to spread the tomato paste mixture throughout the beans.


Top with the shredded cheese and bake for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted and bubbly.

I had chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, pickled onions, and sriracha sour cream for toppings. I also ALWAYS toast the tortillas over the flame on our stove. Once you start doing this you can’t stop.


Scoop some of the beans onto your toasty tortilla, then add whatever toppings you want!


You could also skip the taco part and just make this as a delicious appetizer. I almost did that, but the half bag of tortilla chips in our pantry was looking sad and possibly stale. So tacos it was!

This is also a great quarantine meal because you can definitely get your hands on these ingredients and beans are trendy right now. If you don’t have smoked paprika, sub it for another spice you do have. I’m not a cumin fan but that would work, and so would any kind of pre-mixed taco or fajita seasoning!

And yes this is yet another meal that is made better by pickled onions OMG DO IT.




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