Dinner Tonight: Black Bean and Kale Tacos Recipe

I'm all for eating more vegetables, but I usually click away from nutrition-focused websites spouting "healthy" recipes. But as I searched for meals with kale and black beans, this recipe for black bean and kale tacos from Delicious Living just kept popping up. It was a fairly straightforward recipe, but with some incredible kale from the farmers' market and some freshly made black beans, I figured I could make it work. My goal was to unhinge the tame recipe by adding stronger flavors and maybe just a bit of lard.

What I ended up with was surprisingly filling and meaty for a meal based on greens and beans. This was achieved largely with that healthy dose of good quality lard. Say what you will—lard is such an easy way of adding a meaty boost to dishes that don't have any actual meat. I always have some hanging around my fridge. If you really don't want rendered pork fat in your meal then geez, I don't know, maybe some duck fat, beef tallow, or chicken schmaltz would work, too.

Anyway, though the lard helps flesh out the dish, the real star here is the kale, which still retains some crunch and texture. I was worried this would just turn to mush after a few minutes because of the black beans, but it luckily didn't. The beans just soak up the flavors, and the jalapeños and hot sauce add the kick.

Recipe Facts

Cook: 25 mins
Total: 25 mins
Serves: 3 to 4 servings

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  • 2 tablespoons lard

  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced

  • 3 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 head kale, washed, and tough stems removed, and roughly chopped

  • 15 ounces cooked black beans

  • 4 ounces queso cotija (or other crumbly Mexican cheese)

  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed

  • 2 to 3 pickled jalapeño, chopped

  • Hot sauce

  • 8 to 10 corn tortillas

  • Salt and pepper


  1. Melt the lard in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until translucent and tender. Add the garlic and cumin, and cook for another minute.

  2. Add the kale to the skillet. Toss the kale to coat in the fat, and then cover the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove the top, stir, and check a bit of kale to see if it is done. If it is still tough, add a tablespoon of water, recover, and cook for another 2 minutes.

  3. Dump in the beans, and cook until they are warm. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Meanwhile, warm the tortillas on another skillet set over medium-high heat, about 5-10 minutes a side.

  5. Spoon some of the kale and bean mixture onto a tortilla. Top with a sprinkling of cheese, pickled jalapeños, some cubed avocado, and a dash of hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
636 Calories
24g Fat
87g Carbs
26g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 636
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 34mg 11%
Sodium 880mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 87g 32%
Dietary Fiber 23g 82%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 26g
Vitamin C 130mg 651%
Calcium 533mg 41%
Iron 6mg 36%
Potassium 1485mg 32%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)