Southwestern Black Bean Tacos

Easy vegetarian black bean tacos are topped with fresh corn salsa, guacamole, and crumbled cotija cheese. 

Southwestern Black Bean Tacos. These vegetarian tacos are topped with a fresh corn salsa!

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Sabra.

My taco obsession remains strong throughout the year, but the warm summer months are quite possibly my favorite time of year for tacos! Fresh vegetables are bountiful, and tacos make for fast dinners for two or a whole crowd of people.

July is almost here (how is this possible?), and I’m trying my best to take full advantage of all the summer produce that I can get my hands on. Starting with fresh sweet summer corn, and these southwestern black bean tacos.

Give me the new avocado and taco emoji, and I’m pretty much set for life.

Fresh Corn Salsa

The inspiration for these accidental vegetarian black bean tacos came from my friends at Sabra. They are celebrating the launch of their new veggie fusions guacamole dips, and I am thrilled to celebrate right alongside them. They are hearty, filling, and nutritious, and loaded with fiber and protein.

As much as I love to prepare food and cook from scratch, I’m all for healthy shortcuts – particularly when avocados are involved. Similar to their line of hummus dips, Sabra’s new veggie fusion guacamole dips are made with only the best whole ingredients.

Fresh guacamole meets veggie heaven. Fresh haas avocados are mixed with crisp, fresh vegetables (7 different varieties in each dip!) to create a lightened up guacamole that contains about 30% less fat and only 40 calories per two tablespoon serving. As someone who has a tendency to consume her weight in guacamole, it’s a great lightened-up option for topping or dipping.

Southwestern Black Bean Tacos. These vegetarian tacos are topped with a fresh corn salsa!Fresh Corn on the Cob

These Southwestern black bean tacos are an ode to the new Southwestern veggie fusion guacamole flavor, which contains all of the following: onion, corn, black beans, tomato, red bell pepper, poblano, lime juice, chipotle pepper, garlic, and cilantro.

While I didn’t use every single one of those ingredients in these tacos, I came pretty darn close! The black bean filling is made with canned black beans, sautéed poblano and onion, ground spices, and finished with lime juice and cilantro.

I’ve found that I enjoy the flavor of undrained cooked beans more than drained canned beans, particularly when they are used for tacos.

Southwestern Black Bean Tacos. These vegetarian tacos are topped with a fresh corn salsa!

The fresh, raw corn salsa is a simple combination of shucked sweet corn, diced red bell pepper, cilantro, and lime juice. It is crisp, sweet, and adds great texture and freshness to each bite. Fresh corn is just coming into season, and this salsa takes full advantage of that.

Each taco is finished with a spoonful of dip and crumbled, salty cotjia cheese. All the flavors come together in each bite! Don’t forget to grab a free coupon for Sabra Veggie Fusions here – the dips are available in the refrigerated deli section of your local grocery store.

Southwestern Black Bean Tacos

Ingredients:

Fresh Corn Salsa:

  • 2 ears of corn, shucked (about 1.5 to 2 cups corn kernels)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • kosher salt + black pepper

Black Beans:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large white or yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded, stemmed, and finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon - 1 teaspoon jalapeño hot sauce (optional)
  • small handful of  chopped cilantro
  • kosher salt + black pepper

Assembly:

Directions:

  1. Prepare the Corn Salsa: Combine the shucked corn, bell pepper, chopped cilantro, and lime juice in a medium bowl. Toss and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside as you prepare the black beans.
  2. Prepare the Black Beans: In a medium saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and poblano, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the the vegetables have softened and the onions are slightly translucent. Add the ground cumin and chili powder, and sauté, stirring constantly, for an additional 30 to 45 seconds. Add the undrained black beans to the pan, stir, and simmer over medium-low heat, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, stir in the lime juice, hot sauce (if using), and chopped cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and keep warm until ready to serve.
  3. Char and warm the tortillas: Line a large plate or bowl with a clean kitchen linen. Turn your gas burner over medium heat. You could use two burners at once to speed this process up, or do them one at a time. Place one corn tortilla directly over the flame one at a time and heat for 15 to 25 seconds per side, flipping them with tongs, or until lightly charred. Transfer the warm tortillas to the kitchen linen as you work, and cover them to keep them warm.
  4. Assemble: Using a slotted spoon, fill the tortillas with a generous spoonful of cooked black beans. Top with guacamole, corn salsa, and crumbled cotija cheese. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve immediately.

Tips For Success:

  • If you can't find cotija cheese at your local grocery store, feel free to substitute it with crumbled feta cheese for a similar effect!
  • If you don't have a gas stovetop, warm the tortillas in the oven or microwave according to the package instructions.

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I am thrilled to be part of the Sabra Tastemaker program! This recipe post is sponsored by Sabra. Thank you for supporting brands that allow me to get in the kitchen, be creative, and share my passion for great food!