Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce Recipe - Skillful Cook
Our recipes, your inbox. Sign up

Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce

117 reviews / 4.9 average

These vegetarian tacos have a deliciously satisfying black bean filling with fresh salsa and seasonings all tucked into a golden crispy tortilla and served alongside a cool and creamy cilantro lime sauce. YUM!

This is a fan favorite recipe that’s part of our Fall 2022 SOS Series! View the full series.

Well HELLO there, little black bean crispies!

I will keep it quick so you can get to frying these up but mostly, FYI, bottom line, these are so-super-yummy. Also, pro-tip, you can call them crispy black bean tacos if you want - it's technically what they are - but it's a little more fun to call them black bean crispies which is what we've lovingly come to refer to them in our house.

In This Post: Everything You Need For These Tacos

What's In These Black Bean Tacos

Aside from the obvious reasons (golden crispy tortilla, super-satisfying black bean filling, brought together with a cool and creamy dipping sauce, gahh), this is one of my all-time favorite easy recipes because, well, it's EASY. Like, stupid easy. Doesn't get any easier than this:

  • Tortillas
  • Black Beans
  • Salsa
  • Taco Seasoning

That's it! And if you want to be extra, a creamy cilantro lime sauce for dipping.

Remember when we said the SOS recipes were not pretentious? And how we actually really celebrate short, low-key ingredient lists? That moment is now.

Ingredients for Crispy Black Bean Tacos

Can I Put Extras In My Black Bean Tacos?

Of course, you have options if you want to go above and beyond! Would a handful of delicious Mexican cheese tucked into that little black bean crispy be real nice? Yes, it would. As would some fajita veggies. As would some roasted chicken. And yes, if you want to make a cilantro lime dipping sauce, it is very doable and I included the directions for you and it will take you all of five minutes.

But if you're short on... everything (and believe me, I pretty much LIVE in that house), I pinky promise that you can skip the add-ins. Black bean filling is super satisfying as-is, and it's how I always eat these! Just plain.

Pro-tip: if time is tight, in place of the cilantro lime sauce, you can just mix some additional taco seasoning in with a little bowl of sour cream, and voilà. You have “seasoned sour cream” which, at least in my house, always goes over VERY well with the family dinner crowd.

Crispy Black Bean Tacos drizzled with Cilantro Lime Sauce

How To Freeze These Black Bean Tacos

I have one more piece of good news that I would like to shout from the rooftops which is that YOU CAN FREEZE THESE!

One of my best black bean taco decisions ever was making a double batch, folding the black bean mixture in tortillas, and sticking a few of them into a bag in the freezer - and look at that! Fry those babies up when you're ready to eat them, and you have a quick and easy lunch, dinner, or - yes - even a snack. This is the life I want to live.

Crispy Black Bean Taco being dunked into Cilantro Lime Sauce

Crispy Black Bean Tacos: Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the Cilantro Lime Sauce stay good for as leftovers?

Sauce leftovers do best in the fridge for 3-4 days.

What kind of oil is best for the Cilantro Lime Sauce?

A neutral-tasting oil, something like canola oil, works well here. But usually I have olive oil on hand so that's what I often use as well!

Can I meal prep these black bean tacos?

Sure! Make the filling and just keep it in the fridge for a couple of days. When you're ready to eat the tacos, spread that filling into the tortillas and fry them up! Easy. OR, alternatively, you can freeze these little cuties! Spread the black bean filling into the tacos, fold them, and then freeze them BEFORE frying. When you're ready to eat them, bring to room temp (15-30 seconds in the microwave will do it) and pop 'em back in your skillet till hot, golden, and crispy!

Prefer To Watch Instead Of Read?

Click here to see the step-by-step web story instructions for this recipe!

Source notes: I saw the idea for this recipe from a community member recipe on Tasty - thanks, Mitch and Justine Chapman, wherever you are in the world! ♡ What a fun idea. And the cilantro lime sauce is borrowed from one of my favorite ever shrimp taco recipes because I look for excuses to re-make that sauce whenever possible.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Crispy black bean tacos square

Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


These vegetarian tacos have a deliciously satisfying black bean filling with fresh salsa and seasonings all tucked into a golden crispy tortilla and served alongside a cool and creamy cilantro lime sauce. YUM!


Units Scale

Crispy Black Bean Tacos

  • 1 (14-ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite salsa
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 6-8 small flour tortillas
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil or butter for frying

Cilantro Lime Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (sub avocado to keep it dairy free / vegan)


  1. Blend all ingredients in the cilantro lime sauce until smooth-ish. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor or chopper, blend the beans, salsa, and taco seasoning. Transfer to a skillet with a drizzle of oil and cook it up long enough to soften the flavors of the garlic and / or onions in the salsa. About 5 minutes is fine.
  3. Spread a few tablespoons of black bean filling into a flour tortilla. Fold in half. Repeat until the filling is used up (about 6-8 tacos).
  4. Heat some oil or butter in a skillet over medium heat. Fry in a skillet over medium heat, until crispy and golden brown. Dip in cilantro lime sauce. Serve with chips and salsa and a mid-week margarita. You're welcome.



Your taco seasoning decision is an important one! They all have varying levels of salt as well as different spices that come through more or less depending on the blend. I am not too picky and will use any grocery store brand I can get my hands on, but one of my favorite next-level taco-seasoning-style blends is called Wow-a Chihuahua. It's not salted, so you'll just need to add salt to the recipe if you have a salt-free taco seasoning.

Same goes for the salsa - since there are so few ingredients, the brands you use really impact the end result in terms of flavor. My FAVORITE salsa is called Mateo's - I can eat so much of this salsa (like, an unadvisable about), plus it's great in recipes like this one. I like the medium one. I also really love all the Frontera salsas, which they sell at ALDI! 

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Pan Fry
  • Cuisine: Mexican-Inspired

Keywords: black bean tacos, vegetarian taco recipe, cilantro lime sauce

Time To Show You Off!

Collage of crispy black bean taco recipe done by Skillful Cook readers.

More Vegetarian Taco Recipes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Have you tried these with corn tortillas? That’s my family’s preference, but I’m afraid they might fall apart here. They look delicious!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Just used corn tortillas tonight and they turned out great! Yes, use a damp paper towel to warm them first or else they break apart. I also just put them in a pan with a little oil to warm them up first.

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          Alison- thanks for sharing! I was hoping these would work with corn. Going on this week’s menu!

          1. Skillful Cook Logo

            This recipe deserves 6 stars! I make these twice a month, but I make the Cilantro Lime sauce once a week. We use it on everything, including eggs in the morning. It’s also a tasty dip for veggie sticks, it’s so much better than store-bought dips.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      We haven’t tried, Kara! If you wrap the tortillas up in damp paper towels and heat in the microwave, they should become pliable! If you give the recipe a try with corn tortillas, we’d love to hear back!

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      I used las palmas corn tortillas and they turned out great! I left them open face for about a minute on the pan and that softened the tortilla and then folded it over!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    It’s not really meal prepping if you have to fry them to eat them…seeing as I doubt many people have access to stovetop at work. I certainly don’t. 🙁

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I think she just means meal prepping for easy after work dinners.. not meal prepping for work lunches.. however I bet if you made them and fried them at home and froze them or whatever and then put them in the toaster at work for lunch they’d be just as crispy.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Yeah…I get that’s what she means because her life is 100% unrelatable to mine…

        But when people talk about “meal prep” they almost exclusively mean ready to go food that can be taken on the go. Especially because these can be assembled so quickly to begin with.

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          If this recipe doesn’t work for you, just move on to another. No need to criticize. It’s ok to have differing needs.

        2. Skillful Cook Logo

          Wondering why I have not been frying all my tacos, these are amazing!!
          Made the filling ahead and then fried them up the night I was ready for them. Yum!

        3. Skillful Cook Logo

          For what it’s worth, I’ve never heard of meal prep referring to meals you eat on the go… I’ve always heard it referred to meals you prep ahead for easy weeknight dinners.

        4. Skillful Cook Logo

          Not true I know many who meal prep do so for all meals not exclusively lunch or meals on the go. An idea for meals on the go is to make filling and sauce then have in a soft tortilla that would not need to be heated that would be yummy too

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      I don’t see why you couldn’t prepare a bunch at home as part of meal prep and take a couple to work. Seems pretty on the go to me!

    3. Skillful Cook Logo

      You have something to complain about literally every time. You are free to unfollow since you find the content so I relatable.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Did you try these in the air fryer? I’d love to know how it went…what setting and how much oil? Thanks in advance!

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      I was thinking the same thing. Might try lightly brushing them with oil before putting them in the air fryer.

    3. Skillful Cook Logo

      I tried these in the air fryer and they were great! I brushed the outsides of the tacos with a little oil and first put them in for 3 minutes on 350 degrees, then flipped and did another 2 minutes at the same temperature. The flip side ended up a little pale, so 3 minutes on the second side might be more appropriate… I just wanted to make sure I didn’t totally overshoot!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Love the idea of a SOS series. I also have a dog, baby, and toddler, so the timing is great! And this is a great recipe to whip up quickly. However, using (and then cleaning) the food processor twice as SOS seems a bit involved to me for the purpose of this series.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Agreed – anything with a food processor is NOT an SOS. Love this recipe, though, and the idea – will be looking to this when I have more time not less 🙂

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        I thought of that too. Taking out the Cuisinart and cleaning it is a commitment when you’re pressed for time or just too stressed to deal with it. I try to relegate as much of the work to my bullet blender when I can. Or, do several Cuisinart tasks on Sundays when I have a little time to prepare.

      2. Skillful Cook Logo

        I only washed it once. Made the sauce first, put it in a container, then rinsed it with water and made the taco filing.

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      There’s also the option of simply mashing the beans and salsa with a fork, then you only have to use the processor once.

    3. Skillful Cook Logo

      Made these yesterday without the food processor. I just heated the oil in the pan and toasted the taco seasoning for about 30 seconds. Then in went the beans and salsa. I used a potato masher to mix and mash the beans. Worked great and fewer dishes! I’m sure a fork would work if you don’t have a masher or just use canned refried beans.

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          Has anyone tried these with fresh green salsa rather than red? That’s what I happen to have on hand so I’m going to try that to save a trip to the store.

          1. Skillful Cook Logo

            Just made these for dinner after work, will definitely make again. Like many others, loving the idea of SOS! We don’t have kids yet, but I work in healthcare with long shifts so quick meals or leftovers are necessary on weekdays (I think most kids would totally eat these though). Pretty tasty for a mostly pantry meal (sauce excepted because you need a little forethought for those ingredients) and the textures are comforting. I made the sauce with an avocado and added a little lemongrass paste and turned out delicious, highly recommend the sauce. I didn’t clean the food processor after the sauce, mostly scraped it out then added bean filling ingredients. If a little sauce gets mixed up in there it doesn’t matter, and then you only wash it once if that’s an issue (mine goes in the dishwasher anyway…). Fried the tacos in ghee, came out super crispy with no clashing flavor. And made a little margarita to go with it 😉🍹

    4. Skillful Cook Logo

      I used a whisk to mash the beans with the salsa and seasoning. It was quick, easy, and left the bean mixture more chunky than smooth — which I prefer! I also skipped the sauté step as I don’t think the bean mixture needed it.

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wonderful recipe. I love these – thank you.
    I made your healthy sweet potato skins last week – so very delicious and it’s a keeper recipe.
    Also purchased some ground chicken for your meatball recipe. I live in anticipation for these. LOL
    Thanks so much for all the effort you put into delicious food recipes.
    I am enjoying your new SOS series. Even though I am a senior, I believe they are beneficial to us older folks also, especially those (me) with mobility issues, sometimes we need something quick and easy.
    Blessings to your family.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Awesome, Yvonne! Thank you so much for following along with the series!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    I just wanted to say I AM LOVING the SOS series! I have a two year old and a 4 year old and lets just say I have good intentions for dinner but by 5:30 after daycare pickup I am just looking for something asap. Thank you thank you for these recipes~

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Anyone have other sauce ideas? I want to make these tonight and while I have sour cream I don’t have cilantro or green onions.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Our favorite quick sauce is just a small amount of mayonnaise mixed with chipotle pepper sauce (to your spice perference) a bit of lime juice and a dash of salt. Yummy!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        My husband is anti-cilantro, so I dipped ours in an avocado lime crema! I just mashed up an avocado and mixed with sour cream, some lime juice, and salt. It was great with these tacos!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Delicious!! And shockingly filling! I doubled the recipe for my big eaters and had leftovers! We are all so full!!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Just made these in my panini press instead of frying… even less fuss, as I don’t have to worry about hot oil!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Holly your a genius!! Due medical reasons I can’t tolerate fried food so this is the best solution. Thank you for sharing!!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Air fryer is another option if you have one. They were great! I also tried frying them in a pan as well, and they were also good. But air fryer was superior

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          Airfryer question-did you brush the shell with oil or put them in dry? How long and what temp?

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    What a great series, and a great recipe. Customizable based on time, preferences, and energy level. I appreciate that you’ve given the base recipe with a few options for if you have more or less time.

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Made these last night. So simple and so delicious! The whole family loved them. Will be making often!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Yum yum! I didn’t bother with heating the filling, and I used a vegan nacho sauce to dip. I also used burrito sized tortillas and chopped them into quesadilla slices. Next time I’ll try your dipping sauce.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    So excited for this series, and that these are vegan! I would make them even faster and say you can skip cooking the filling–I do a bean dip like that in the food processor and it’s just fine to me! It definitely saves time if you have hangry little ones nipping at your heels 🙂 And also hate washing pans like me.

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    I watched your video the other day and immediately put it on my list of meals to try. We made it tonight and it was delicious!! The sauce was the icing on the cake!! Another successful pinch of yum recipe!! Yay!! Thank you!!

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    I made these for 12 nieces and nephews tonight, ages ranging from almost 4 to 19, and they were a hit! Even my two pickiest eaters ate ’em up. Definitely adding this recipe to the regular rotation.

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    These are easy, filling, and delicious! I often have all the ingredients on hand too which makes it even more appealing. I was a teensy bit skeptical of an easy recipe involving the food processor, but the time it took to use and clean was still faster than many other quick/easy recipes. I went with a simple sauce of light sour cream, lime juice, and hot sauce, mixed by hand. Thank you!!

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    I made these today and they were excellent / super easy. Love the SOS series and suggestions for spinning the meal into a vegetarian version -is always appreciated.

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    My husband and I made these for dinner today. We cut the recipe in half since we’re just a two-person household. We both loved these tacos. So delicious – even for a meat lover like me. 🙂 Definitely making these again! ❤️

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    I made these tonight and they’re going to become a regular meal for us. Easy enough for my husband to make them and my 1 year old loved eating them! I prepped the sauce and bean filling during nap time, then just had to assemble and cook! I tried some in the air fryer (7 minutes at 350, flipped halfway through) and some pan-fried and both were great. Pan-fried are definitely more flavorful (and super, super easy!) but the air fryer will definitely be handy for cooking a lot at one time!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Great to know that they worked well in the air fryer! Thanks so much for the comment, Sarah!