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These crunchy taco cups make a taco appetizer for snacks or a quick 20 minute meal! They’re easy to make and filled with black beans and drizzled with a spicy tahini taco sauce that packs some seriously titanic-sized flavor. Everyone will love the combination of crunchy taco boat and tasty filling.

completed Crunchy Taco Cups with Black Beans plated on a white speckled plate

We love tacos! And these crunchy taco boats are just like them but in a different shape! You can even add fun, tasty taco toppings to the top as well!

Have you tried any of our tacos yet? Lentil tacos, vegan black bean tacos, and cauliflower tacos are just a few of the varieties you’ll find!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Easy clean-up! These taco boats make an edible bowl which equals fewer dishes!
  • Lots of flexibility and variety! Fill them with any combination of ingredients you want. Add some brown rice, ditch the beans for baked tofu, or add some vegan nacho cheese!
  • Kid-friendly vegan option! These are popular with kids of all sizes.
  • Great for a meal or party snack!

What Goes Into This Recipe

These taco cups with corn tortillas require simple ingredients you can easily grab during a quick trip to the grocery store. Here’s what you need:

ingredients for Crunchy Taco Cups with Black Beans measured out against a white background
  • Corn tortillas: The crunchy base for your taco cups. 
  • Olive oil: Or any vegetable oil. 
  • Black beans: For filling up the cups. 
  • Garlic and lemon juice: Fresh garlic and lemon juice give the spicy tahini sauce more flavor.
  • Tahini: A tasty way to make a creamy vegan sauce to drizzle over these cups before serving.
  • Hot sauce: Just a touch to spice things up. 
  • Cumin: This spice gives the tahini sauce some taco flavor. 
  • Pico de gallo: Buy a pico de gallo at your local supermarket or make it homemade. I made mine beforehand using a simple combo of onions, tomatoes, yellow peppers, jalapenos, cilantro, and a bit of lime juice,  salt, and pepper.

Variations

  • Swap the corn tortillas for flour tortillas instead. 
  • Make mini taco cups. Use a mini muffin pan and a round cookie cutter to cut out smaller circles from the corn tortilla.
  • Swap the black beans: Use any other bean you prefer!
  • Make a spicy vegan tofu taco filling instead.
  • Drizzle with some spicy vegan queso.
  • Add some rice, veggies, quinoa, or anything else to your filling.

How To Make Crunchy Taco Cups

Let’s get cooking! Here are the highlights of the steps involved but be sure to check the full instructions in the recipe card.

  • 1) Brush each side of a corn tortilla with some olive oil. Cut a slit in each tortilla from the edge to the center of the tortilla. 
  • 2) Using that slit, create a cone shape, and place it in the cup of a muffin pan. Repeat with the other tortillas.

TOP TIP:  If you want to make an even sturdier taco cup, double up the tortillas in each muffin opening. If you use double tortillas you will need to extend the cooking time.

  • 3) Bake the tortilla cups in the oven and remove after 4 minutes. The tortillas should be slightly crispy but not fully baked.
  • 4) Fill each of the half-baked cups with two tablespoons of black beans. Pop the cups back in the oven for an additional 4 to 6 minutes. 
  • 5) Once the shells are crispy remove them from the oven and set aside.
  • 6) Mix together the garlic, lemon juice, tahini, hot sauce, cumin, salt, and two tablespoons of olive oil with a whisk until fully combined.
  • 7) Top each mini taco bowl with some pico de gallo, a drizzle of spicy tahini sauce, and an optional sprinkle of fresh cilantro.

Expert Tips 

  • Watch the tortilla cups closely to prevent burning.
  • Serve while hot for the best flavor!
  • Store leftover tortilla cups, pico de gallo, and tahini sauce separately in the fridge. The taco boats are best eaten within three days while the tahini sauce will last for up to five days. Reheat in the oven at 325° F until heated through.
  • Feel free to change up the flavors to use up ingredients you have on hand or with flavors you enjoy.
  • Be sure all ingredients you add to the taco boats while baking are drained well to prevent soggy bottoms!
  • Jazz them up with some fresh easy guacamole or swap the pico de gallo for a tomatillo green chili salsa verde or this fresh restaurant-style blender salsa.

FAQs

What taco toppings work well for crispy taco boats?

The sky is the limit! Some of our favorites include guacamole, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, salsa, vegan cheese, diced jalapenos, chopped cilantro, and vegan sour cream.

Can these taco cups be made in advance?

Sure they can but honestly, they taste much better when freshly made. If you want to make them for meal prep or for a large group, make the tortilla cups and partially bake them. Then when you’re ready to serve you can add the filling and pop them back in the oven.

completed Crunchy Taco Cups with Black Beans plated on a white speckled plate

More Taco Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Crunchy Taco Cups with Black Beans

5 from 53 votes
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 1
These crunchy taco cups make a taco appetizer for snacks or a quick 20 minute meal! They’re easy to make and filled with black beans and drizzled with a spicy tahini taco sauce that packs some seriously titanic-sized flavor. Everyone will love the combination of crunchy taco boat and tasty filling.

Ingredients 

  • 3 small corn tortillas
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil divided
  • ½ cup of black beans
  • ½ teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of tahini
  • 3 tablespoons of hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
  • teaspoon of salt
  • 4 tablespoons of pico de gallo
  • Minced cilantro for garnish (optional)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Lightly coat both sides of soft corn tortillas with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cut one slit in each tortilla to the center of the tortilla. Using that slit, create a cone shape and place each one in its own cup of a muffin pan. (*Note: To create an even sturdier taco cup, double up the tortillas in each muffin hole)
  • Bake tortilla cups in the oven and remove after 4 minutes. (*Longer if cups are doubled up) Tortilla’s should be slightly crispy but not fully baked.
  • Fill half-baked cups with 2 tablespoons of black beans.
  • Pop cups back in the oven for an additional 4 to 6 minutes. (*Longer if cups are doubled up) Once shells are crispy but not burned, remove from the oven and set aside.
  • In a bowl, add minced garlic, lemon juice, tahini, hot sauce, cumin, salt, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and whisk until fully combined.
  • Top each mini taco bowl with salsa fresca, a drizzle of spicy tahini sauce, and an optional sprinkle of fresh cilantro.

Notes

  • Watch the tortilla cups closely to prevent burning.
  • Serve while hot for the best flavor!
  • Store leftover tortilla cups, pico de gallo, and tahini sauce separately in the fridge. The taco boats are best eaten within three days while the tahini sauce will last for up to five days. Reheat in the oven at 325° F until heated through.
  • Feel free to change up the flavors to use up ingredients you have on hand or with flavors you enjoy.

Nutrition

Calories: 839kcalCarbohydrates: 67gProtein: 16gFat: 61gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gMonounsaturated Fat: 37gSodium: 1982mgPotassium: 689mgFiber: 14gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 299IUVitamin C: 59mgCalcium: 163mgIron: 5mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Lauren Bossi
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Mexican
Method: Stovetop
Diet: Vegan
Keywords: crunchy taco cups, healthy recipes, kid-friendly, quick recipes, simple recipes, taco cups, taco cups corn tortillas, tacos, vegan taco boat, vegan tacos, vegetarian tacos
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Lauren Bossi

My name is Lauren Bossi; I run Track & Field at the University of Hartford in CT. I’ve got a passion for running and plant-based eats. When I’m not wandering around the aisles of the grocery store I enjoy cooking, baking, photography, pun-writing and tag-saling.

More about Lauren Bossi

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These crunchy taco cups are so good and perfectly seasoned. This is a great dinner for our Friday nights, winding down after the week.

  2. 5 stars
    These taco boats are not only cute, but really satisfying and tasty. This is my new favorite way of eating tacos! Yay!