Spicy Plantain Black Bean Tacos

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Trays of our Spicy Plantain Black Bean Tacos for a delicious gluten-free vegan meal

If you’ve been craving simple, plant-based meals that don’t require a ton of time in the kitchen (like me), this is the recipe for you!

My love affair with plantains continues with these 20-minute Spicy Plantain Black Bean Tacos!

Tossing spiced plantains with tacos for making healthy Spicy Plantain Black Bean Tacos

About Plantains

Plantains are grown and enjoyed in many tropical regions around the world, especially in the Caribbean, Latin America, and West Africa. They are a relative of the banana, but tend to be larger and starchier. Mmmm, starch.

They can be consumed when green (unripe) or yellow (ripe). But in this recipe, we recommend ripe, yellow, spotty plantains for best results. Because that’s when they’re most sweet!

Origins of Tacos

It’s also no secret that we love tacos! So who exactly invented the taco? Because they are worthy of our greatest praise!

A professor who has spent much time researching the topic theorizes that tacos were invented by Mexican silver miners in the 18th century. (source)

Tacos became popular throughout Mexico and were introduced to the US by Mexican immigrants in the 19th century.

How to Make Plantain Black Bean Tacos

This recipe is quick and easy, requiring just 20 minutes and 10 ingredients. And with all of this summer heat, you’ll love that there’s little heat required.

It begins with spicy-sweet plantains sautéed to caramelized perfection. In the meantime, black beans simmer away while you prepare your desired toppings.

I found jalapeño, onion, and cilantro to be the perfect texture and flavor additions. And of course, who can forget the sauce? Salsa and hot sauce go great here.

Trays of our Spicy Plantain Black Bean Tacos with a side of salsa

I think you guys will love these summer-friendly tacos! They’re:

Super flavorful
Simple
Spicy-sweet
Satisfying
Plant-based
Customizable
& Simple

These would make a great weeknight meal when you want something quick, flavorful and hearty. You could even sub large tortilla shells and make this into a burrito, or put everything atop salad greens for a more vegetable-heavy dish.

If you try these tacos, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram (our favorite) so we can see. Cheers, friends!

Gluten-free vegan Spicy Plantain Black Bean Tacos for a healthy dinner

Spicy Plantain Black Bean Tacos

Simple, flavorful, 20-minute tacos with spicy-sweet sautéed plantains and smoky black beans. A satisfying and quick plant-based meal!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Basket filled with Spicy Plantain Black Bean Tacos
4.91 from 41 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days

Ingredients

PLANTAINS

  • 2 very ripe large plantains* (peeled and cut on an angle into 1/4-inch slices)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar (plus more to taste)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne

BLACK BEANS

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans (if unsalted, add more salt)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 pinch cayenne (or chili powder)

TACOS

  • 8-10 yellow or white corn tortillas or taco shells

FOR SERVING optional

  • 1 medium jalapeño (seeds removed and sliced)
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 medium red onion (diced)
  • Hot sauce / salsa
  • Lime juice

Instructions

  • Add black beans to a small saucepan over medium heat and add spices. Once it reaches a low boil, turn heat to low to keep warm, stirring occasionally.
  • Peel and chop plantains and heat a large metal or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add plantains to a mixing bowl and toss with spices.
  • Once pan is hot, add coconut oil and plantains and spread into a single layer. Sauté on one side for 2-3 minutes, then flip and sauté on the other side for 2-3 minutes more. Turn down heat if browning too quickly. You’re going for a caramelized effect. Set aside.
  • In the meantime, prep desired toppings and warm tortillas by wrapping in a damp cloth or paper towel and warming in the microwave for 20 seconds (or place tortillas directly on an oven rack for 1-2 minutes in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven).
  • To assemble, top tortillas with black beans, plantains and desired toppings. I preferred salsa, hot sauce, red onion, cilantro and jalapeño. Ripe avocado would also make a great addition.
  • Best when fresh. Serves 3-4 generously (as original recipe is written).

Notes

*Make sure your plantains are deep yellow with brown spots and tender to the touch. Otherwise, their flavor won’t be as developed and they can be chewy in texture.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 339 Carbohydrates: 71 g Protein: 9.2 g Fat: 5 g Saturated Fat: 3.3 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 465 mg Fiber: 9.6 g Sugar: 19 g

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  1. LeeAnn says

    Yum! This was delicious! And it was quick and easy to make! I had store bought taco shells on hand; maybe next time I will try it with the corn Tortillas. Thank you for a recipe which I will add to my favorites!

  2. Charlotte says

    You know what I never leave comments on recipes but feel compelled to w/ this one. I made these tonight, followed the recipe exactly as written and they were SPECTACULAR. Very easy too! I will absolutely be repeating. Thank you for sharing this!!!

  3. Becky says

    I really loved this! My only modification is to the beans. I drained but didn’t rinse them and mashed about half gently to help them stay in the taco better. The crispiness of the plantains is divine!

  4. claire says

    This is so good I can’t even express how delicious it is. At first, when I came upon the recipe I felt underwhelmed because it was just black beans and plantains, not much more to it. But the caramelized crust on the plantains and the flavourful black beans make it so unbelievably good, it just shows you how simple recipes can be just as good as those complex. I used my leftovers to make a buddha bowl with cilantro lime brown rice, just made it even better. I fricking love this website.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Claire. We are so glad you enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  5. Rachel says

    What a fantastic meal this was. We played with the spices a little bit (added some blackening seasoning to the plantains, especially); I only had a couple of tomatoes for salsa but I did have a mango and a lime, so our salsa was very mango-forward, which made a nice addition to the flavor party. The whole thing came together pretty quickly and everyone loved it! Adults ate 4 small corn tortillas’ worth apiece; toddler ate fillings, especially the black beans (!!). No leftovers! We will DEFINITELY MAKE THIS AGAIN and if you are on the fence, you really should give it a try.

    I was slightly confused by the directions for the beans, since in the photo they appear to be rinsed and drained, but the recipe instructs bringing them to a low boil. So I rinsed and drained them, and added some butter and just a little bit of water to the pan so they didn’t dry, and mostly just gently heated them with the spices and kept them warm.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad everyone enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing, Rachel! And we’ll take a look at the directions and modify, if needed.

  6. Monica Dyer says

    This are some of the best tacos that I have ever eaten. My husband who is super picky love these also. We eat these every week. Love love love this recipe

  7. Dana P says

    I’ve been carnivorous most of my life, but have been trying to move towards a mainly plant based diet and your recipes are what get me by!! I’m not the best cook and it doesn’t come naturally to me at all, but this still came out so good (prob took me a little bit longer than most to put together but that’s ok!). I followed some of the other reviewers and added vegan sour cream, your cilantro/lime chutney, spicy salsa, red onions, jalapeños, and avocado and it was out of control good and filling!! The plantains are the perfect balance of spicy and sweet. Thank you!!!

  8. Natalia says

    This was so quick and sooooo yummy! It is an instant staple! I immediately copied it onto a recipe card as soon as we ate it because I want to make it over and over! My partner helped with the prep and chopped the plantains into 1/2 inch cubes instead and that worked just fine! We topped ours with greek yogurt along with the suggested toppings! Ah-mazing! Thanks for the much needed quick dinner!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Natalia. We are so glad you enjoyed these! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  9. Molly says

    Oh my god, Dana. You’ve done it again.
    I made this last night – We made the corn tortillas ourselves, and I garnished the tacos with homemade vegan sour cream, fresh jalapeño, diced onion, and your green chutney sauce. Also had your vegan queso as an appetizer. HOLY SMOKES. FLAVOR TOWN, USA!
    My carnivorous partner couldn’t stop raving about how good it was. He took pictures of it to send to his friends and boast, and claimed it was his favorite meal ever.
    It was easy to make, inexpensive, and the most delicious and flavorful meal I’ve ever made.
    We eat eggs in our household (from our friends’ very happy chickens), so this morning I used all of the leftovers to make power bowls with an egg on top.
    Thank you for yet another genius recipe!

  10. Elizabeth Anderson says

    This recipe is perfect, no need for modification other than a little extra heat for preference. This recipe is a staple in my house and I’ve been making it for a year! Love it!

  11. Very Satisfied Vegan says

    These are absolutely delicious tacos. My husband and I recently changed our diets to a plant based diet and these definitely fit the bill. They are sweet, spicy and savory. They are also very filling. We have these at least once a week. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  12. Lauren | The Oatmeal Artist says

    Made these tacos for the second time, and they’re just as good as I remember from my first time a year ago. I love how simple the spices are. I like to mash up a third of the beans to give them more of a “refried” texture. And I add in whatever veggies I’m trying to use up from the fridge. In this case, it was banana pepper. :)

    This is also my favorite way to prepare plantains. Even when I’m not making these tacos, I’ll season my plantains with this blend. So perfect.

  13. Debbie says

    I decided to make these because I like taco’s and I like plantains, just never think of making them! Yummy! Your recipes are such an inspiration and I use quite a few actually! ;)

  14. Tomass says

    5 stars!
    I made this recipe multiple times! Plantains are a staple in my kitchen.I grew up eating plantains so this was a definite for me! Great combination of spices that bring put the sweetness of the ripe plantains.Thank you!

  15. Sara says

    These were the best tacos I’ve ever had. I added a little more cayenne and then made your Green Chutney and used it as a topper, along with Sriracha. So delish!

  16. Meghan says

    I made these last night and all I can think about today is making them again! I used all of the recommended condiments + guac. and it was a party in my mouth. The mix of spicy & sweet was just beyond amazing.

  17. Joey says

    Dana, I made these for my family (including my brother-in-law’s family who are visiting from Algeria) and they were crazy about them. The flavors are just exquisite! You helping to give vegan cuisine a GREAT name. THANK YOU!!!

  18. Abby says

    I’ve made this 3 times this week. It was SO easy, tasty and filling. Husband ate more of it than I did. I topped with cilantro, red onion, avocado and a little queso fresco. So so so good and honestly one of the easiest dinner to throw together.

  19. Astrid Geertsen says

    Hi Dana, I have made this recipe and was really very happy with it. I never used plaintains (had to look it up because I dit not know what is was (I’m Dutch) so nice to have this first encounter. I took the liberty of translating your recipe into Dutch and have put it on my blog, for Dutch readers more easy to make. Of course I have put the original source (your website0 in there too! Many thanks, I will definitly make this more often! <3

  20. Tracy McNichols says

    These were amazing! I didn’t have any of the yummy toppings to put on top but they were still absolutely fantastic! I topped it off with some cooling watermelon for dessert and frankly I’m so full I don’t know if I’ll ever eat again!

  21. Sarah says

    In one comment you say to use the liquid from the can to boil the beans, and in another comment you say you drain them. Do you use the liquid from the can to boil them, and then drain them once they’re hot?

  22. Mallory says

    These were amazing!– my husband and I are new to the vegan diet and these were amazing! Thank you for sharing!

  23. Kelly says

    These were really, really delicious and a very simple weeknight recipe. Thank you for that. I simplified the method a bit by just stirring the black beans in at the end to warm and adding the extra cumin from the black bean mixture into the plantains and it worked out perfectly. Next time I might add a bit less sugar (my plantains were so sweet as to not need much caramelization) and a bit more heat (I used chipotle chili powder in place of the cayenne. These were so lovely. Thank you for the recipe.

  24. Ashley says

    As usual with Minimalist Baker, an absolutely amazing recipe. My boyfriend and I can’t get enough, I’ve been making them at least once a week for over a month. Add some Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream to the suggested toppings and take it to the next level!

  25. Erin says

    I’m learning to cook using your recipes and this was my first one. Absolutely delicious! I am now officially obsessed with plantains. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes! Thank you!

  26. Ashley says

    I have made these dozens of times by now… and they never fail to hit the spot!!! I was thrown at first by the sweet smell when I was mixing everything together, but these are just perfect every.single.time.

    Thank you!!!

  27. Daphne says

    This was so good that I almost couldn’t stand it! Thank you and five stars for you!

    From the Grateful Canadian

  28. Ida says

    A new and fun way to enjoy tacos! Very tasty and super simple to put together. The trickiest thing was finding ripe plantain, so it had to ripen in our cupboards. :)

  29. Nina says

    Holy guacamole! This was SO good. We sauteed some broccoli and mixed with homemade black beans (only takes 1 hr. 45 mins. on stove with cover and salt). Some homemade pico de gallo on top. Our plantains were yellow (not green) but not ripe…was delish. Fantastico! Thanks!

  30. Christie Self says

    I’m meal planning for four adults with very different likes and my whole family loved this. It’s a 5 star recipe in our book. My husband loves meat, I changed to clean raw food 10 months ago, my dad will eat anything I serve him, and my son just told me a month ago he was now a vegan so I was searching for vegan recipes and landed on your site. I see lots of great recipes I can’t wait to try.

  31. Kristen says

    This was a first encounter with plantains for me and my husband. Outstanding! Tacos will never be the same. Served this on The Pancake Princess’s “chickpea tortillas.” So good all around. Thank you!

  32. Rosemary says

    Sounds yummy as heck! Are the beans supposed to be drained though? Or do you keep the juice? I don’t understand how you could boil them otherwise, but canned beans juice isnt exactly the tastiest thing ever…
    Thanks for helping me out!

  33. Jennifer says

    You are a genius! Plantain and black bean tacos are my fave at El Rey (fast food place in Houston…I know I know…the “f” word). I’ve made your version twice and they are amazing. My only problem is that I always burn the first batch of plantains :'(

    If you’re ever in need of more food-spiration, you can be my hero and make a delicious homemade version of El Rey’s mango pie. Just sayin’.

      • Jennifer says

        So I’m definitely not an expert in the variations of mango pie, but the one at El Rey is like a super custard-y sweet potato pie, but made with mango (duh). Their pie has a normal pie crust (cooked), but I think it would be really good also with a cooked graham cracker or maybe vanilla cookie crust (you know those cookies that look like flowers and have super sugary icing in the middle…bottom row of the grocery store…oh yeah – those babies). No pressure to craft this fast food dessert into a luscious, vegan pie of my dreams…but I await your concoction with a drooling mouth. Just saying :)

  34. Anna says

    I have just tried these tacos and enjoyed the combination of flavors in platain and beans) I have been looking for decent vegan tacos for a while and here they are) thank you for the recipe!

  35. Anne says

    So so so so great! Can’t tell you how much I enjoyed these! I never would have thought of putting something sweet in the tacos but it goes so well with the basic black beans and the lime and cilantro. I put green tomatilla salsa on them and it was great. This was a good one for cooking for one and lasting for several days (I don’t like cooking every day. I’m lazy, what can I say?) Can’t wait to try some more of your excellent recipes :)

  36. Jenifer says

    I loved these. Spices are a great combo and plantains are almost buttery tasting. Wouldn’t change a thing. The salsa I used is HEB medium salsa (fresh from produce section). Will definitely make these often.

  37. Samantha says

    Hi Dana!
    We made these babies last night and boy oh boy were they ever good! My boyfriend raved about them and I think he will be requesting this as a weekly meal from now on! What a great treat / something different for a meat free Monday :) Keep the hits comin’ girl!

  38. Irianny says

    As someone who is from Dominican Republic and OBSESSED with plantains, I was SO excited when I saw this recipe! Plantains and black beans are two of my favorite foods and tacos are my other! Can’t believe I’ve never thought of putting plantains into tacos. Will definitely be making this recipe this week!

  39. Sandra says

    I made this for dinner tonight. It was amazing! I have never successfully made plantains before , but the smell brought everyone to the table . Delicious, thanks for sharing.

  40. lisa says

    hi there,

    I made them and the plantains came out amazing!!! however, can you clarify what you mean in re: to bringing the can of black beans to a boil. Was I supposed to leave the water from the can in them? I drained them, before putting in the pot so was unclear how beans could boil?

    Thank you!

  41. mary says

    This recipe looks good. I am accustomed to rinsing canned black beans when using them in a recipe. Sounds like that is not done here, correct? Thanks.

  42. Karli says

    These were amazing!! They only took about 15 minutes total, and you can’t beat that for a homemade plant based dinner. I’ve made so many recipes from your site but this is definitely in my top 5 favorites!!

  43. Lane says

    I made these tonight and we were too busy scarfing them down to take photos! I made the black beans from scratch, and we sautéed some red onion and bell pepper. Also added some back cheese, sour cream and guacamole. We are going to try to reheat the leftovers for dinner tomorrow and see how that works.

    Great recipe!

  44. Leah says

    Delicious! My kids loved them, too. Once my green plantain ripens, I’ll try it with avocado in it, too.

  45. Lori Torvig says

    Are we supposed to add water to the beans so that they can boil?
    p.s. love the cinnamon in the tacos!

  46. Alex says

    Just made these! I don’t normally comment on blogs but they came out so wonderful. I have made plantains many times but I’ve never put any spices on them- they’re delicious. The flavors are all perfect together. Thanks!

  47. Felicia@Ingredient1 says

    I’m a big fan of plantains but never cook with them at home. What a fantastic hearty plant-based option for tacos! Chipotle should take note. ;)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Agreed! If I walked into Chipotle and these were on the line up, I might faint.

  48. Marissa says

    Wow! These are making my mouth water! Plantains are one of those foods that I love but seldom cook with. I need to change that asap so I can make these beauties!

  49. Alicia Latour says

    Holy smokes this just looks amazing, sounds amazing, all amazing. I can only imagine what it would taste like in my mouth right now ! I will for sure be giving this a try asap! Thanks for the recipe !

  50. Valentina says

    I tried these tacos today. They turned out to be delicious. I cooked my black beans in oressure cooker and I made my own corn tortillas. I used peach salsa and hot sause for optional ingredients.
    They tasted wonderful, I especially liked the spices on the plantains. Who needs meet to make delisious tacos.
    Thank you for sharing this great recipe.

  51. Arman @ thebigmansworld says

    Tried plantains for the first time since moving to the northern hemisphere and fell in love (granted, they were deep fried and served with cerviche) but spicy and tacos too? sold.

  52. Sherrie says

    Hey Dana! I was just listening to your episode on the One Part Podcast, and I loved getting to know you a little better and listening to all your mega-tips. You are John are tops and so great at what you do. And, I’m realllly lovin’ these tacos. Keep fighting the good fight, xo.

  53. Miranda says

    These tacos look gorgeous- I’ve never cooked with plantains before but now I’m desperate to try it!

  54. Kathryn says

    I love plantains, but I’m not good at coming up with new ways to prepare them. These look fabulous! Now I’m craving tacos….

  55. Elisa says

    This is a great idea to sweeten the plantains and putting them into a savory dish :D

    I’ll also make your 5-ingredients granola bars again today. I’ve been making these for the past few weeks 1-2 batches a week. My boyfriend takes them to work for breakfast and he gets kinda upset if they’re not in the house … hahaha ;-)

  56. Sarah says

    Hi Dana, just wanted to say that I love your site and have made several of your recipes. I check your page everyday for inspiration. Everything you make looks absolutely amazing. The tortillas you use always look so good, what brand do you buy if you don’t mind my asking. Thanks for all the great healthy ideas!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      So kind! Glad you’re liking what you see! That brand is from Whole Foods, but usually any yellow corn tortilla works great!

      • Tara says

        Is it the 365 brand? I would slso appreciate the info! Helps a lot since I’m just starting vegan cooking for my family and don’t have time to sort through all the different brands. I saw some in the “dairy” section where they have shredded cheese – is this where you find your tortillas Dana?

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

          I highly recommend trying to get fresh tortillas from somewhere locally! Otherwise, Mission tortillas are best.

  57. Traci | Vanilla And Bean says

    I’ve not tried Plantains in tacos, but you’ve convinced me this needs to change, Dana! Thank you for this!! You had me at Spicy!

  58. Margaret @ Veggie Primer says

    “Simple, plant-based meals that don’t require a ton of time in the kitchen ” – I like the way you think Dana! :)

    This recipe looks delicious. I haven’t used coconut sugar. Is there a reason why you use it in this recipe instead of other options?

  59. Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl says

    Yum!! I cannot wait to try adding plantains to my tacos. That’s an awesome idea!

  60. Lane | Modern Granola says

    Mmm plantains and black beans go so well together! I used to eat that combo a lot when I was vegan :)
    Happy Summer!
    xx Lane

  61. Sydney | Modern Granola says

    I feel like you’ve started the plantain parade! I see them everywhere now! This looks heavenly. I can’t wait to give it a try!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I blame it on the Whole Foods hot food bar. Their caramelized plantains are INSANE. Can’t get enough of them now!

  62. Lauren says

    These sound great! I first had plantains in Puerto Rico and am always looking for ways to use them. Plus tacos, I mean is there anything better?

  63. Trudy@eatliveandplay says

    Hi Dana!
    Love your blog and your amazing simple to make recipes. When I saw this my eyes completely bulged out of my head, cartoon style. Lol I really love plantains too so will definitely be checking this out!

  64. Elizabeth @ Pineapples and Polka Dots says

    Yum! I love tacos of any kind, so thanks for sharing this variation!