Black Bean and Walnut Tacos

Black bean and walnut tacos.

I figured these black bean and walnut tacos were the perfect recipe to post after Labor Day weekend, because let’s face it, I’m sure we all ate a few too many burgers over the holiday weekend, and are on the search for some easy meatless dinner ideas. I love these black bean and walnut tacos because they’re another easy, healthy, weeknight, meatless dinner option. The black bean and walnut filling literally take 10 minutes to make, and it uses pantry ingredients, well,  at least for me, as I always have walnuts, black beans, tortillas, spices and kale around the house. The vegan cheese sauce is the BOMB!  

I also love that it’s a budget friendly dinner to whip up, but tastes like a $15 taco. We love pairing these tacos with a big healthy salad topped with my 5-minute pantry champagne vinaigrette.

Black bean and walnut tacos paired with a salad meatless dinner.

I was torn between calling these tacos or quesadillas, but since the cheese is vegan, it doesn’t get all melty like a regular cheese quesadilla, so we decided they were more like tacos, but feel call them what you wish.

These are the perfect meatless option for your next Taco Tuesday!  We like rotating between these black bean and walnut tacos and my refried bean tacos.

Paul McCartney's refried bean tacos

You should also try the vegan cheese sauce, even if you can tolerate dairy, because it’s that good. I mean Steve even loves it, and that’s saying a lot! You can of course make these tacos without the the vegan cheese sauce, and use regular old cheese. It’s totally up to you!

Black bean and walnut tacos.

Black Bean and Walnut Tacos

recipe adapted from Plant and Planet

serves 4

Black Bean and Walnut Filling

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, you can use regular chili powder as well, but the chipotle one gives it an extra kick of flavor
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine Celtic sea salt
  • 1 15-ounce can of black beans
  • 2 cups lacinato kale leaves, roughly chopped (approximately  5-7 leaves) – you can also use spinach, or chard if you don’t have kale on hand

Vegan Cheese Sauce 

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 jalapeño, diced (ribs and seeds removed)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine Celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder –I love using chipotle chili powder, as it adds an extra kick of spice. 

Extras

  • Tortillas of choice – I love these grain-free Unbun tortillas because they are grain-free, GF, and don’t crack, break up, or get hard like other grain-free tortillas. My kids even love them!
  • Sliced avocado or guacamole
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Cheese of choice

Directions

Vegan Cheese Sauce. If you prefer not to make the vegan cheese sauce, then go down a few steps. 

Let’s first make the vegan cheese sauce, as it will need to sit for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld together. In a blender, combine the cashews, boiling water, nutritional yeast, diced jalapeño, minced garlic, olive oil, salt, smoked paprika, cumin and chili powder.

Vegan cheese ingredients in a blender.

Blend the mixture on low and then slowly move to high, until a smooth sauce forms, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides as needed. Let the mixture soak in the blender jar for 30 minutes, as this helps the ingredients meld together. 

After 30 minutes, blend the mixture again, scraping down the sides as needed. Using a spatula, scrape mixture into a jar or glass container fit with a lid.  Vegan cheese sauce can be stored in the refriderator for 1 week.

Vegan cheese sauce pureed in a blender.

Black Bean and Walnut Filling.

While the vegan cheese sauce is melding together, start prepping the walnuts and kale. In a small bowl mix together the oregano, spices and salt.

prepped ingredients for black bean walnut tacos mixture

Add 2 tablespoons avocado oil to a medium skillet set over medium heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add the walnuts, oregano, spices and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the walnuts are toasted and fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the full can of black beans, along with the liquid, and chopped kale. Turn the heat down to medium low, as the black beans and liquid will sizzle. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is wilted and the black beans are warmed through and the sauce has thickened a bit, about 5 minutes. Make sure to scrape off any black beans or spices that get stuck on the bottom of the pan, also, feel free to turn down the heat if the beans and kale seem to be cooking too fast. Turn off heat and set mixture aside.

Black bean and walnut tacos mixture in a pan.

You can do a few things here:

  • You can use the black bean and walnut mixture for regular tacos, and top them with shredded cheese/ vegan cheese, salsa, guacamole and or avocado.
  • Toss the black bean and walnut mixture on a salad and make a taco salad, some millet tossed in would be great as well.
  • Make taco quesadillas which is our preferred method, and the one I will show you below.

Get out a large cast iron skillet and warm it over medium heat. Lay 2 tortillas in the skillet and using a spatula spread the vegan cheese on one side of the tortilla, top the cheese with the walnut and black bean filling. Fold the tortilla in half and cook until the bottom of the tortilla is browned and toasted, then flip and cook the other side until browned to your liking. Be careful when flipping the tortilla, as the mixture can be a bit loose and can spill out.

Black bean and walnut tacos in the pan.

Transfer to a cutting board and repeat with remaining tortillas, cheese and black bean and walnut mixture. Cut the tacos into wedges and serve immediately. Feel free to open the taco and add in sliced avocado, salsa or guacamole.

Black bean and walnut tacos with salad.

The vegan cheese sauce and black bean and walnut filling can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. These make great leftover tacos!  I love pairing mine with my favorite green ginger smoothie.

Black bean and walnut tacos paired with a smoothie.

If you want more meatless and vegan Taco Tuesday ideas, then try one of these.

The vegan cheese sauce pairs beautifully with my one pan Mexican quinoa wraps. 

Mexican quinoa wraps

Paul McCartney’s refried bean tacos. These are a family fave and a go-to quick and easy dinner. Just takes under 20 minutes.

Paul McCartney's refried bean tacos

Spaghetti Squash Tacos. These are another kid approved taco!

Spaghetti squash tacos

Sweet Potato Tacos with avocado crema. I love these tacos, and the cream can be made using a dairy-free yogurt.

Sweet potato tacos with avocado cream

If you love black beans, then you need to make these quick and tasty weeknight beans. These are a Taco Tuesday staple and so simple to make.

Quick and easy weeknight black beans in a white bowl with can of beans

You can’t have tacos without guacamole, and my quick and easy guacamole is exactly as it sounds, quick and easy!  It only requires 5 ingredients!

Quick and easy guacamole

With love Jackie

Black Bean and Walnut Tacos

5.0 from 6 votes
Recipe by Jackie
Servings

4

servings

    You should also try the vegan cheese sauce. I mean Steve even loves it, and that’s saying a lot! You can of course make these without the the vegan cheese sauce and use regular old cheese. It’s totally up to you!

    Ingredients

    • Black Bean and Walnut Filling
    • 2 tablespoons avocado oil

    • 1 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped

    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

    • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, you can use regular chili powder as well, but the chipotle one gives it an extra kick of flavor

    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

    • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

    • 2 cups lacinato kale leaves, roughly chopped (approximately  5-7 leaves) – you can also use spinach, or chard if you don’t have kale on hand

    • Vegan Cheese Sauce
    • 1 cup raw cashews

    • 1/2 cup boiling water

    • 1 jalapeño, diced (ribs and seeds removed)

    • 1 clove garlic, minced

    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

    • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, you can use regular chili powder as well, but the chipotle one gives it an extra kick of flavor

    • Extras
    • Tortillas of choice – I love these grain-free Unbun tortillas because they are grain-free, GF, and don’t crack, break up, or get hard like other grain-free tortillas. My kids even love them!

    • Sliced avocado or guacamole

    • Pico de Gallo

    • Cheese of choice

    Directions

    • Vegan Cheese Sauce
    • I have a video in the above post showing me making the vegan cheese sauce. 

    • If you prefer not to make the vegan cheese sauce, then go down a few steps.

      Let's first make the vegan cheese sauce, as it will need to sit for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld together. In a blender, combine the cashews, boiling water, nutritional yeast, diced jalapeño, minced garlic, olive oil, salt, smoked paprika, cumin and chili powder.

    • Blend the mixture on low and then slowly move to high, until a smooth sauce forms, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides as needed. Let the mixture soak in the blender jar for 30 minutes, as this helps the ingredients meld together. 

    • After 30 minutes, blend the mixture again, scraping down the sides as needed. Using a spatula, scrape mixture into a jar or glass container fit with a lid.  Vegan cheese sauce can be stored in the refriderator for 1 week.

    • Black Bean and Walnut Filling
    • While the vegan cheese sauce is melding together, start prepping the walnuts and kale. In a small bowl mix together the oregano, spices and salt.

    • Add 2 tablespoons avocado oil to a medium skillet set over medium heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add the walnuts, oregano, spices and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the walnuts are toasted and fragrant, about 2 minutes.

    • Add the full can of black beans, along with the liquid, and chopped kale. Turn the heat down to medium low, as the black beans and liquid will sizzle. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is wilted and the black beans are warmed through and the sauce has thickened a bit, about 5 minutes. Make sure to scrape off any black beans or spices that get stuck on the bottom of the pan, also, feel free to turn down the heat if the beans and kale seem to be cooking too fast. Turn off heat and set mixture aside.

    • Assembling the Tacos
    • Get out a large cast iron skillet and warm it over medium heat. Lay 2 tortillas in the skillet and using a spatula spread the vegan cheese on one side of the tortilla, top the cheese with the walnut and black bean filling. Fold the tortilla in half and cook until the bottom of the tortilla is browned and toasted, then flip and cook the other side until browned to your liking. Be careful when flipping the tortilla, as the mixture can be a bit loose and can spill out.

    • Transfer to a cutting board and repeat with remaining tortillas, cheese and black bean and walnut mixture. Cut the tacos into wedges and serve immediately. Feel free to open the taco and add in sliced avocado, salsa or guacamole.

    Options for the Black Bean and Walnut Filling

    • You can do a few things here:
    • You can use the black bean and walnut mixture for regular tacos, and top them with shredded cheese/ vegan cheese, salsa, guacamole and or avocado.
    • Toss the black bean and walnut mixture on a salad and make a taco salad, some millet tossed in would be great as well.
    • Make taco quesadillas which is our preferred method, and the one I will show you in this post.
    • The vegan cheese sauce and black bean and walnut filling can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. These make great leftover tacos!

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    5 thoughts on “Black Bean and Walnut Tacos”

    1. Hi Jackie. I was waiting for this recipe. I made them up tonight, and it was super easy and my hubby and I loved them. I even took your advice and made The vegan cheese sauce. It was surprisingly good! Thanks for another winner recipe. Leslie

    2. Yay Leslie! I’m super happy you and the hubby loved the tacos and that you even made the vegan cheese sauce! Whoo hoo! xoxo, Jackie

    3. Katherine Caffrey

      Loved this recipe! Made it today for lunch…was delish, and I know leftover will reheat well for lunches this week. Another MMC “sure thing” recipe!

      1. Hi Katherine, Yay! So happy you made these tacos, and they were a hit. Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know. xoxo, Jackie

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