Cinco (Five) Black Bean Tacos For Cinco de Mayo

Growing up in Southern California and living most of my life less than two hours from the Mexican border I was exposed to good Mexican food. Mexican restaurants are abundant in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas.  When we moved to Oregon a little over ten years ago I realized that good Mexican food was hard to find.

The chain restaurants do okay with their presentations of the Mexican classics, and even some of the “mom and pop” restaurants with their homemade tortillas, but I’ve not found any that compare to my favorites in Southern California. 

And it doesn’t help we just returned from a week in Mexico and enjoyed some truly good Mexican food. I realized that I really like cactus in more than just their traditional green juice. 

Another slightly different version:

My friend Gay introduced me to a cactus salad that can be served warm or cold and it was quite delicious. Her recipe is simply cactus, red onion, tomatoes, cilantro and a dash of vinegarette dressing.  I found a good recipe from McCormick and I really like this version from The Spruce Eats as it gives you options using canned cactus and instructions how to use a fresh cactus paddle in place of canned.

So with the celebration of Cinco de Mayo upon us, I decided to also try a new taco recipe to serve neighbors and friends who stop by for a margarita and satisfy my hunger for good Mexican food. 

This recipe makes five generous tacos, or 15 snack/appetizer size tacos. These are great to bring to a party or use as appetizers because they are meatless and gluten-free, meeting a variety of dietary needs. And added bonus, they are healthy and low in calories!

If you want to take a stab at making your own flour tortillas, here is a link to a former post where I did just that! Homemade flour tortillas. However, I used store-bought corn tortillas in this recipe.

Black beans and seasonings.

Add onions and cilantro to black beans and mash.

Lay mashed beans in a tortilla, sprinkle feta on top.

Gently fry in a little oil.

Tacos crisp nicely as the cheese melts into beans.

I’ll take two!

These were sooo good. Served with the cactus salad – a perfect meal to celebrate Cinco de Mayo – well, with a couple of margaritas of course! 

Serves 5

Cinco Black Bean Tacos

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  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained (and rinsed if you prefer)
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. lime or lemon juice
  • 5 corn tortillas
  • canola oil, for cooking
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled


  1. Drain and rinse the black beans and put into a bowl. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, onion, cilantro and lime juice and mash with a potato masher or fork until chunky.
  2. Microwave tortillas for about 30 seconds to one minute to warm and make pliable.
  3. Spoon the black bean mixture over one half of each tortilla, add crumbled feta and fold over.
  4. Fry tacos in a scant amount of canola oil, flipping once or twice, until golden and crisp on each side.
  5. Serve warm.


Reheat tacos in warmed fry pan to re-crisp.


Calories: 208 cal
Carbohydrates: 28 g
Fat: 7 g
Sodium: 434 g
Cholesterol: 13 g
Protein: 9 g
Fiber: 7 g
In case you are interested, here is the nutrition label for the bean tacos:

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