Tacos with Refried Beans

Low-carbon recipes are mindful of the energy and resources that go into producing, packaging, and transporting food.

Tacos are fast, easy, and delicious, and can be easily customized with what’s in-season and available. This version includes a recipe for homemade refried beans. To keep the carbon footprint of this recipe low, look for flour tortillas (or make your own!) instead of corn tortillas. Corn is a crop that requires large amounts of water and fertilizer and leaves soils depleted.

Ingredients (for 4 serves)

  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cans beans (pinto or black), rinsed and drained, or 3 cups cooked beans
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ½ a lime, juiced

Topping suggestions

  • Red onion
  • Cilantro
  • Cabbage slaw
    • Use a mandolin or sharp knife to finely slice any type of cabbage you have on hand (red, green, napa, etc.). Add the juice of 1 lime, a handful of chopped cilantro, ½ a finely diced jalapeno, and some salt.
  • Hot sauce
  • Vegan cheese, shredded
  • Lime wedges
  • Avocado
  • Sliced hot peppers (like jalapeno, serrano, etc.)


Step 1.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, salt, chili powder and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Step 2.

Add beans and ½ cup water, reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes.

Step 3.

Using a fork or potato masher, mash beans until smoother and creamy, or until desired consistency is reached. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often.

Step 4.

Remove from heat and stir in lime juice, cilantro, and salt to taste.

Step 5.

Top your tortillas and enjoy!

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