I enjoy cooking for the most part, but I'm still early in my cooking career. I'm always learning new things, and my confidence is growing. While my husband claims I've never made a bad dish, I still get nervous about cooking for people other than him or my dad (who admittedly will eat anything as long as he didn't have to prepare it!).
Working full-time, it can be hard to find the time and energy to cook, yet eating at home is important to us for our health and our budget. Because of this, when I find a meal that is easy, affordable, healthy, and something we both like, it becomes a fast staple.
We especially love these Mexican Pinto Bean Tacos, and they make me feel like a real cook because I pulled from a couple sources to create this recipe myself. Trust me, it sounds way more impressive than it is, but it still makes me feel accomplished!
All that to say, I share this recipe hoping it will be an easy, yummy addition to your own meal planning. You can also check out my simplified stir fry, which is another easy favorite in our home.
As this novice cook always says when it comes to cooking, if I can do it, so can you! Enjoy, friends!
(Note: This recipe makes great leftovers so I often double the bean recipe to carry us through the week!)
Two 15.5 oz cans Organic Pinto Beans (I love the 365 brand from Whole Foods)
One 10 oz. can petite diced tomatoes with jalapeño and cilantro (also from Whole Foods or you can use Rotel)
1/2 heaping teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt (I prefer Kosher salt)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Bell Peppers (I usually choose a combo of red, orange, or yellow)
1 medium onion
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Base and Toppings:
Flour or corn soft tortillas (or you can use tortilla chips to make a nacho version)
Medium cheddar cheese freshly grated (or whatever cheese you prefer)
We keep it simple, but you can whatever taco toppings you like such as lettuce, salsa, sour cream, or guacamole
- Empty the pinto beans into a colander and rinse them. In the pot you will cook in, empty rinsed beans, tomatoes (including juice in the can), and all spices and stir until it's all mixed together well.
- As the beans marinate in the pot, cut the peppers and onions into fajita-style strips.
- Turn the beans on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. If it is bubbling too aggressively, turn it down a bit. You don't want all the good tomato juice to boil up too fast.
- Heat a pan on medium-high heat. Add a Tablespoon or so of Olive Oil and add peppers and onions. They should crackle and pop when they hit the pan. At the same time you are stirring the beans, stir this mixture occasionally until they are blackened to your liking.
- As the beans start to get soft (after about 5-10 minutes of heat and stirring) use a spoon to smash them against the side or bottom of the pan. I like my bean mixture to be about 2/3 smashed and 1/3 whole beans, but you can do whatever ratio you like.
- Shred cheese.
- Put the tortillas on a pan and let them broil in the oven until warm (about 60 seconds).
- Once the pepper and onion mixture and beans are to your liking, and the tortillas and cheese are ready to go, scoop beans into tortillas, top with peppers and onions, shredded cheese, and any other toppings you like.
I'd love to hear if you try this recipe or if you have a simple one you can share with me! Happy cooking!