Slow-Cooked Black Bean Tacos with Vegan Chipotle Cream {Gluten-free + Vegan}

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Slow-Cooked Black Bean Tacos with Vegan Chipotle Cream {Gluten-free + Vegan}

I have always LOVED tacos, but from traveling a ton to Texas and California and even Mexico once or twice, I am well aware of what makes a good taco. Living in Western New York for the past 30+ years meant getting the very best tacos I could on the road and when I was really craving them at home, just making them myself. I have made soo many different tacos, some vegan, like these, some with slow cooked meat from our farmer, some loaded just with grilled veggies, and so on. I am not saying my homemade tacos are THE very best and most authentic, but for the most part they were better than any I could get in Buffalo. (Though Lloyds Taco Truck were damn delicious and the best in WNY outside of my kitchen, for sure!)

I find the key to authentic tacos (or at least for my taste) is skipping on the loads of cheese and chopped iceberg lettuce like most Americans love. You want good quality ingredients like slow cooked beans or a meat, spiced to perfection. Add some fresh cilantro, a quick homemade pico de gallo or other salsa and add a few other simple but yummy things like quick pickled red onions, (diced onions or green onions are always great to) or maybe a simple chipotle cream. Less is more in a lot of ways.

OK so now I am living in Southern California, the land of amazing tacos. Why did I make tacos at home, you ask? Almost every week for Taco Tuesday we have tried a different place out, since you can get amazing prices/deals at most places. Last week, we didn’t wanna go out and we still wanted tacos, so this was the next best thing.

These tacos feature super flavorful slow-cooked black beans, that do their thing ALL day in the crock pot. Load it up in the morning before work and by dinner time it’s all ready for you. You can make the pickled onions and chipotle cream the day before, the morning of when you are loading up the crock pot or just a couple of hours before you serve dinner. I highly suggest making your own corn tortillas whenever possible, they are so simple to make and once you do, you will realize what you have been missing. I  was forced to skip on it this time as I wasn’t able to find non-GMO masa harina around here, so I just bought some pre-made organic non-GMO corn tortillas that were very good and very fresh.

**BONUS ADDITIONAL MEALS: The great thing about this recipe is that it  makes a decent amount of black beans and other goodies. So make tacos for 4 – 6, or more – or make tacos for 2 one night, then make delicious black bean and brown rice bowls another night. Instead of tortillas start with brown rice in a large bowl, top with the slow cooked black beans, add any other veggies or toppings, top with the pickled red onions and chipotle cream sauce and you have another deliciously incredible meal.

Slow-Cooked Black Bean Tacos with Vegan Chipotle Cream {Gluten-free + Vegan}

Slow-Cooked Black Bean Tacos with Vegan Chipotle Cream {Gluten-free + Vegan}

[print_this]Slow Cooked Black Beans

  • 1 lb organic dried black beans – soaked overnight, drained and rinsed*
  • 4 cups water and/or vegetable broth (if you aren’t using canned tomatoes, you may want a bit more water)
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 1-2 dried chipotles, left whole
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (I like Muir Glen organic) you can also use fresh tomato
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

Salt to taste at the end of cooking

Soak the beans overnight. Drain and rinse well.

Add all of the ingredients to the crock pot. If you aren’t using canned tomatoes, add another 1-2 cups of water. You want to make sure there is enough liquid so the beans don’t scorch or burn.

Stir well. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Salt to taste and the end.

*If you forgot or didn’t leave time to soak the beans overnight, no problem. Put them in a large pot, and cover completely with water. Bring to a rapid boil for 10 minutes, then turn off stove and cover pot. Let your beans sit for 1 hour, then drain water and put beans into crockpot) [/print_this]

Slow-Cooked Black Bean Tacos with Vegan Chipotle Cream {Gluten-free + Vegan}

[print_this]Quick Pickled Red Onions (and Jalapeños)
These simple pickled onions can be made ahead, it will keep for 2 weeks.

  • 1/3 cup red wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon raw sugar (if you are totally sugar-free try a splash of maple or other sweetener of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, cut into rings

Whisk first 3 ingredients and 1 cup water in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Place onion and jalapeños in a jar, pour the vinegar mixture over. Let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours. Cover and chill. Drain onions before using or just pull right out of the jar and add them to your tacos. [/print_this]

Slow-Cooked Black Bean Tacos with Vegan Chipotle Cream {Gluten-free + Vegan}

[print_this]Vegan Chipotle Cream
This sauce is great on these tacos, but also delicious in place of mayo or other spreads on sandwiches or wraps.

  • 1/2 cup organic raw cashews (soaked for at least an hour), drained then rinsed well
  • 1/4 cup water (you may need more)
  • 2-3 chipotles (the canned kind in adobo sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • squeeze or two of fresh lime
  • salt, to taste

Add all of the ingredients to your blender. Start on a low speed. You may find you need to add more water to get it moving and to reach your desired consistency. Gradually increase the speed of the blender until the desired creaminess is reached. If you add to much water and it’s too thin, just add a couple more cashews. Pour into a jar, cover and place in the fridge. [/print_this]

Slow-Cooked Black Bean Tacos with Vegan Chipotle Cream {Gluten-free + Vegan}
[print_this]Assembling Your Tacos – All The Add-Ons
These are the other ingredients you will need:

  • Slow Cooked Black Beans (above)
  • Pickled Red Onions and Jalapeños (above)
  • Chipotle Cream Sauce (above)
  • 6-8 Corn Tortillas (more if serving more)
  • Organic baby greens, shredded lettuce or cabbage
  • fresh cilantro
  • lime wedges

Optional:

  • sliced avocado
  • roasted corn
  • pico de gallo, salsa or fresh tomatoes
  • Tapatio or Sriracha or other hot sauce
  • etc

Assemble. Heat up your corn tortillas. Add the beans, lettuce, pickled onions and jalapeños, cilantro and drizzle the chipotle cream over top. Serve with a fresh lime wedge.[/print_this]

Slow-Cooked Black Bean Tacos with Vegan Chipotle Cream {Gluten-free + Vegan}

37 Responses

  1. My eyes are saying “heck yes” to these burritos! Totally tempted to whip these up right now.

  2. Alissa N says:

    These look amazing, I saw you post them on instagram and I couldn’t wait to see the recipe!! I honestly didn’t think for a long time that I could go fully vegan all the time, because I didn’t think I could live without cheese. Especially with things like this. But I stopped eating cheese for a couple of weeks and my cravings for it disappeared and I realized how totally unnecessary it is for food to be completely satisfyingly delicious. I especially can’t wait to try this chipotle cream, it looks incredible.

    • tastyyummies says:

      Thanks Alissa. Yeh I really thought I could never be without cheese, I put it on so much. It is amazing how many things it is on where it really isn’t needed and it sometimes even over powers (either in flavor or texture) the amazing flavors of everything else. I haven’t really missed it much at all.

  3. Laura T. says:

    These look soooo amazing. I canno wait to make them. I love the idea of that chipotle cream sauce. Can’t wait to try it.

  4. Jen says:

    Oh my gosh! I’m excited about this, especially the pickled onions! I’ve been wanting to make my own since having Lloyd.

    • tastyyummies says:

      Thanks Jen! Yeh those pickled onions are soo easy to make you will always have them on hand, they are great on salads and so much else, too.

  5. Laura says:

    Vegan Chipotle cream…wow you just made my day! I totally want to dig into these tacos and cream sauce right now.

  6. Stephanie says:

    Found this pinned on Pinterest and had to check it out…and lo and behold…a fellow Buffalonian!!! How can you not love Mighty??? LOL!!

    These sound awesome, especially the cream sauce!

    • tastyyummies says:

      haha Mighty Taco definitely has it’s place in the world (late night after drinking binge), however under the terms “amazing tacos” or “Authentic Mexican” I would never put it 🙂

      Hope you enjoy this if you make it.

  7. erika says:

    have been waiting for this recipe since i saw it on your IG feed! Yum, cant wait to try it!

  8. Maggie says:

    Amazing recipes Beth! I am TOTALLY making the pickled onions and the chipotle cream. I always have cashew pulp on hand! And we love chipotle anything. I’m coming to visit you on a Tuesday 🙂 I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t have a crock pot! Could I slow cook the beans in a soup pot or something? Thanks!

  9. these tacos look so good! the chipotle cream recipe is brilliant.

  10. amber says:

    Hi Beth,

    First off, this entire post is amazing! Love everything about it. Just gorgeous. Fantastic, healthy recipes, Beth.

    Second, I nearly fell off my chair with those onions. You see, I grew up on pickled red onions. I lived with my grandparents for many years and spent a great deal of time in the kitchen with my Gramie. And pickled red onions was one of the MANY things she pickled. I can tell you that they are incredibly sweet and I would to eat them like candy as a child (no joke). I make them once in a while and love them on sandwiches. I thought about sharing a recipe now and then, but never got around to it. I love your addition of jalapenos. Your recipe looks amazing. Just seeing those onions in there pickling in that red wine elicited a wave of happiness and joyful memories!

    I did manage to recreate her beet picked eggs that are beyond fabulous.
    http://www.thetastyalternative.com/2012/03/beet-pickled-eggs-scd-friendly.html

    Thanks for the smile today! Isn’t food just great like that. It truly connects us all.

    Be Well,
    –Amber

  11. Lauren says:

    Where do you find GF chipotle in adobo? I haven’t found any without wheat flour.

  12. Barb Grimes says:

    My beans didn’t soften. I soaked them over night and cooked 6 hours on low than 2 on high..I don’t think they are going to soften. Maybe because of the addition of tomato’s?

    • tastyyummies says:

      Hey Barb bummer to hear that. How old are your beans? That could have something to do with it. Also – slow cookers aren’t all created equally, sadly. It could just be that your slow cooker isn’t as strong as mine is. I have seen many varying times on recipes for slow cooking black beans. If you wish to eat them now and don’t want to keep them in a crock pot, I would suggest adding them to a pot on the stove and cooking them over high heat until they are soft. The tomatoes would have nothing to do with the beans not getting soft, just not enough cook time or the beans are too old and therefore stale. Sorry again they didn’t work for you.

      • Barb Grimes says:

        I bought the beans yesterday at Wegmans..I’m cooking them on the stove now,hopefully they soften up. I’m thinking I got a bum bag of beans than, usually my crockpot cooks pretty fast.

        • tastyyummies says:

          Hmm so strange. I hope they cook up quick on the stove. Such a bummer, the whole point in a crockpot is ease and simplicity 😉 So much for that! ha

    • Mary says:

      I know this is an old comment, but anyone reading this might have had the problem with beans not cooking. My advice after 20 years of cooking beans is to put the hard beans in a pot on the stove, heat the beans to a boil, then turn the heat to low setting, 2 or 3 on my stove. keep watching the beans and only keep the heat as high as you need to have an almost imperceivable boil. You can keep the cover on or off, but you will loose water more quickly wth it off. You can leave it at this temperature as long as you need to until they are soft, adding water as needed. It may take 4-6 hours instead of two but they will soften. If you try to soften them up with a rapid boil it will ruin the integrity of the beans and the skins will fall off and they may look more like mashed beans.

  13. Marnie says:

    I made this last night – AMAZING! the beans were so delicious, and the condiments just made it. Will be a regular feature on our menu. Still thinking about it 😀

  14. Samantha says:

    I’m going to make this tonight! Just curious how long the chipotle cream will last in the fridge?

  15. suzi says:

    okay going to give this a try, it looks amazing!! have a dumb question, what is the best way to warm the corn tortillas? mine always get chewy if i quick warm in a pan on the stove. is there a better way to keep them soft so they are warm but wont fall apart as soon as i pick it up to eat it? thanks so much for the assist, and the recipe!!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Suzi, I usually heat mine in a un-oiled nonstick pan. The key is to not heat them up too fast but to make sure that they are in fact heated up thoroughly it is when they aren’t heated that I notice they are super fragile and breakable. I go with a medium heat and give them enough time, making sure they aren’t going to break. We made these sunday and this time I actually heated them up on the grill, that worked great since I could heat up 8 at once instead of one at a time. I have noticed some corn tortillas are much more susceptible to breaking than others. I don’t know why. I used to wrap them in damp paper towels and microwave them, but 1) I prefer not to use the microwave any more and 2) that seemed to yield much more crumbly tortillas. Hope that helps.

      • suzi says:

        i will try that, i have one non stick pan i kept. i buy the sprouted corn tortillas and they are soooo good! really appreciate the input and keep on cookin!!

  16. Payal says:

    Love your blog and recipes! I just made some spicy chipotle cashew cream sauce for sweet potato tacos. I’m going to make these black beans on the side, with rice. I can barely wait! 🙂

  17. Kris says:

    Hi Beth-
    Just found this on your site and really want it bad!! I’m very sensitive to all nuts except almonds and peanuts all others make me extremely sick. Can this Chipotle cream be made with almonds.
    Love all your recipes especially the coconut sweet potato curry is my favorite .
    Thanks so much

  18. Emily says:

    This recipe is AMAZING!! The flavor combinations and easy execution is a win. We have added a cabbage slaw as a crunchy/tang to the sweet, smoky, spice of the chipotle. We are on the hunt for flavorful recipes on our new gluten/dairy free life and recipes like this make the loss of a diet change absolutely painless. Thank you for posting this for folks like us to find 🙂

    • Beth @ Tasty Yummies says:

      Thanks for the comment Emily. That’s so awesome to hear! I am so glad you like it so much! You are so welcome and thank YOU so much for reading! xo

  19. Aly says:

    BEST CASHEW SAUCE!!! I use your recipe every week, sometimes tweaking the spices to change it up depending on the dish. Thank you!!

  20. Alecia Lott says:

    Beth, I made your chipotle cream sauce today – that is the stuff right there!! So delicious! I boiled the cashews instead of soaking them, I usually soak them for sauces but was kind of in a hurry. When it was finished I poured it into a squeeze bottle for fanciness and kept (carefully, ha) sticking my finger in the blender to get the last bits of it. Yum! It’s so nice to have a change from vegan-mayo-based sauces. 🙂

  21. Jen says:

    This looks amazing! Any advice on how to alter the recipe if I only have canned black beans?

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