Vegetarian baked tacos are soft in the center, crispy on the edges and made using pantry staples like canned black beans and refried beans. This weeknight vegetarian meal is ready in under 30 minutes!
I am all about keeping pantry staples on hand for those last minute, don't-feel-chopping meals like quinoa casserole, taco pasta, and now these baked tacos.
This recipe for vegetarian baked tacos makes use of inexpensive canned foods like black beans, vegetarian refried beans, and tomatoes.
You can get as creative as you'd like with the taco fillings or keep it plain and simple. I have a lot of ideas down below for how to make these baked tacos your own!
- Taste & texture: This is a very Americanized taco recipe, with simple taco seasonings (cumin, chili powder, oregano), and a touch of herbiness from cilantro. The tacos are soft in the center with a golden crunch on the edges.
- Quick & easy: Baked tacos are ready in just under 30 minutes using less than 10 ingredients. All you have to do is combine a few cans and seasonings in a bowl, fill up flour tortillas, then bake them.
- Versatile: While black beans and tomatoes with chiles are my go-to, this recipe works with a variety of beans or tomatoes. This filling is also great for quick burritos.
- Nutritious: Beans are a good source of plant-based protein and fiber. These tacos are balanced out with carbs from flour tortillas, vegetables from tomatoes and toppings, and healthy fats from avocado.
- Black beans: I either cook black beans from dry in my Instant Pot or choose a can of reduced sodium black beans. One can of black beans yields ~1.5 cups of beans.
- Refried beans: If you're vegetarian like me, make sure to grab a can labeled as vegetarian. Vegetarian refried beans are readily available at major grocery stores.
- Tomatoes: I use petite diced tomatoes with green chiles for a hint of spice. Fire-roasted tomatoes or regular diced tomatoes without green chiles are also good here.
- Flour tortillas: I use 6-inch tortillas but 9-inch does work, you'll just end up with less tacos and each tortilla will need more filling.
- Seasonings: These tacos use a simple combination of chili powder, cumin, and oregano. You can also just add 1-2 tablespoons of taco seasoning (homemade or storebought).
- Mexican blend Cheese: This is usually a mixture of Monterey Jack, cheddar, Asadero and Queso. You can use dairy-free Mexican blend cheese to make this recipe vegan.
- Cilantro: This adds a touch of freshness alongside all of the canned ingredients. If you don't like cilantro or don't have it on hand, just skip it!
- Toppings: Avocado, salsa, pickled red onions, pumpkin seeds...these are all my favorite optional toppings!
How to make
Important step: Drain and rinse the black beans. Drain liquid from the refried beans and canned tomatoes. This step is important because otherwise the tacos will be soggy.
In a large bowl, stir together the black beans, refried beans, tomatoes, cilantro, and seasonings.
Lay out flour tortillas on a large baking sheet, careful not to overlap any of the tortillas. This recipe makes 12 tacos, but you may need to assemble the tacos in batches.
Scoop out ¼ cup of filling and place on half of each tortilla. Use the flat part of the measuring cup, or a knife, to spread out the filling. Try not to spread it all the way to the edges.
Top the filling with a sprinkle of cheese.
Fold the tacos over and press down gently. If the tacos are popping open, just flip them over and they will stay closed.
Bake at 375F for 11-13 minutes, flipping halfway through (this is actually an optional step but it makes it so that the tortillas are the same texture throughout).
The baked tacos are ready when the tortillas are golden throughout and the edges are crispy brown.
- How to add veggies: It's very easy to load up baked tacos with vegetables. For the best results (AKA to avoid soggy tacos), I recommend sauteing or cooking vegetables before adding them to the tacos.
- Vegetable ideas: Fajita vegetables like bell peppers and onions are my go-to, but any sauteed veg works.
- Corn tortillas: I have not tested this recipe with corn tortillas. However, I expect that corn tortillas may be more fragile when baked but overall should turn out. I'd love to hear if you try this recipe with corn tortillas!
- Extra seasoning: Canned black beans and refried beans are often sold already seasoned. This is an easy way to add extra seasoning to the tacos, but the sodium on seasoned beans adds up quickly. Another easy way to add seasoning is with a taco seasoning packet, which are often available as a low-sodium option.
- Leftovers: The bean filling is great for more than just tacos. Use it in burritos, regular un-baked tacos, etc.
- Make in advance: This filling can be made 2-3 days in advance of use.
- Leftover filling: The filling is best within 4-5 days. Keep refrigerated in a closed container.
- Leftover tacos: For the best quality, I recommend making the tacos as you are ready to eat them.
- Reheating: Tacos made using leftover chilled filling will take just 1-2 minutes longer in the oven to bake.
- Freezing: You probably can freeze already assembled tacos, but I haven't tried it. If doing so, I recommend assembling the tacos before baking. The filling itself can be frozen for up to 3 months. Just let thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
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Vegetarian Baked Tacos
- 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 (16 ounce) can vegetarian refried beans drained
- 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles drained
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 12 6-inch flour tortillas see note #1
- 1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Drain and rinse the black beans. Drain liquid from the refried beans and canned tomatoes.
- In a large bowl, stir together the black beans, refried beans, tomatoes, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt.
- Lay out flour tortillas on a large parchment-paper lined baking sheet, careful not to overlap any tortillas. You may need to assemble the tacos in batches.
- Scoop out ¼ cup filling and place on half of each tortilla. With a knife or spoon, flatten/spread the mixture across one half of the tortilla. Don't spread it all the way to the edges.
- Top each portion of beans with a sprinkle of cheese.
- Fold the tacos over and press down slightly. If the tacos are popping open, just flip them over and they will stay closed.
- Bake at 375F for 11-13 minutes, carefully flipping halfway through (flipping is optional but makes the tortilla texture eequal on both sides).
- The tacos are ready when the tortillas is golden throughout and the edges are crispy brown.
- Tortillas: This recipe also works with eight 9-inch tortillas. I have not tested with corn tortillas.
- Adding vegetables: Saute or cook vegetables (like onions, peppers, and cauliflower) before adding them to the tacos to avoid soggy tacos.
- Leftovers and freezing: I recommend assembling the tacos as you are ready to eat them instead of prepping tacos ahead. The filling is best within 4-5 days. Keep refrigerated in a closed container. Freeze the filling for up to 3 months. Just let thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
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These are so freaking good. I tried them with corn tortillas, I couldn’t find flour ones at the store. The corn tortilla did not work well at all, but the flavor was amazing. My husband snagged some flour tortillas a couple of days later and it worked perfectly then and tasted amazing. Love love love this.
Thank you so much for the review! And I'm glad you got a chance to try again with flour tortillas, I had a suspicion that corn wouldn't work well and you've confirmed it!