These zucchini tacos with the most amazing cilantro and avocado cabbage slaw and black beans are the perfect vegetarian tacos. Ready in less than 20 minutes!
Zucchini and black bean tacos are the perfect way to get your family to try a meatless meal. No one misses the meat with these hearty tacos. We also love these Sweet Potato Tacos and Mushroom Tacos for a vegetarian Taco Tuesday meal.
Lately, I have been consciously trying to eat more vegetables and add more greens to our diet. But, truth be told, it is usually a harder sell with my husband.
However, I'm happy to report that all changed when I started making vegetable-based tacos. When any variety of veggies is layered into a tortilla and then covered with salsa, he is happy to eat his fair share of vegetables.
One of the first recipes we tried was these Zucchini Tacos with Cilantro Avocado Slaw. The zucchini is covered in a spice blend featuring ancho chili powder, which is made from chipotle peppers. They are cooked until they begin to char and then paired with earthy black beans and then topped with a cool, crunchy slaw.
If you are looking for a nutritious meal that helps you everyone eat more veggies, look no further than these vegetarian zucchini tacos. Easily customizable both in ingredients and in flavorings, you'll be hard-pressed to find someone who is not pleased by these tacos.
Ingredients and Easy Swaps
Here is everything you need to make these tasty zucchini tacos.
- Zucchini: Cut the zucchini into bite-sized pieces for this recipe so that they are easy to eat as tacos. You can also add summer squash, bell peppers, or onions. Make sure to choose firm zucchini and only cook them until tender-crisp so they have some texture.
- Black Beans: Any type of beans will work in this recipe including black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, or chickpeas. Make sure to rinse and drain the beans first. If you aren't a fan of beans, you could swap in corn or just double the zucchini.
- Spices: To ensure the beans and zucchini have plenty of flavor, use a combination of ancho chili powder (smoky and spicy), paprika, oregano, and coriander. If you only have regular chili powder, that will work. It just won't be as spicy. Store-bought or homemade taco seasoning can also be used. These are also really tasty with blackening seasoning to make blackened zucchini tacos.
- Cabbage: The base of the slaw is shredded green cabbage. Swap in red cabbage, Napa cabbage, or a combination if you like. Store-bought coleslaw mix is great to use to save time.
- Avocado: To add healthy fats and balance the spices in the seasoning, avocado is the perfect addition. Swap in guacamole if you prefer or it can be left out.
- Cilantro: Cilantro is the most authentic herb to use when making tacos. If you aren't a cilantro fan, you could add parsley or fresh basil.
- Lime: Lime brightens up the entire dish and brings everything together in the slaw. Lemon can be swapped in but the flavor won't be quite the same.
Ways to Serve Zucchini Black Bean Taco Filling
- Classic tacos: Normally I serve these zucchini tacos in corn tortillas, but that doesn't mean you have to. You can also use flour tortillas, low-carb tortillas, or whole-wheat tortillas.
- Make burritos: Add some cooked brown rice or quinoa to the zucchini taco filling and you can make delicious burritos with lettuce, cheese, and avocado.
- Tostadas: You can make these into tostadas easily. Purchase pre-made tostadas or make your own. I like to serve mashed beans on tostadas, so after you heat the beans, simply smash with the back of a fork. This creates a sticky base for your tostada that will help to hold the zucchini and toppings.
- Lettuce Wraps: Make low-carb lettuce wraps with your taco ingredients. Good lettuces to use include romaine, bibb, and butter.
- Taco bowls: with all of the ingredients, except add them on top of a bed of white or brown rice or even Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice. Top with the slaw and salsa as well.
Recipe Ideas and Variations
Tacos are crazy easy to customize! Trust me, as a taco aficionado, I know what I'm talking about.
- More vegetables: Add any and all vegetables that you want to these tacos. Some that I enjoy include eggplant, mushrooms and other varieties of squash.
- Different beans: Switch up the beans — just about any hearty bean will do. Use whatever you have on hand. If you prefer to use refried beans instead of whole, try your hand at making your own.
- Make them spicier: Make the tacos spicy by including jalapeno slices while you're cooking or add them as a topping when you're layering on your ingredients. Other ways to make your tacos spicy include incorporating chipotles in adobo, red pepper flakes, or a healthy dose of your favorite hot sauce.
- Add sour cream: If you like to add sour cream to your tacos, consider using a low-fat variety or a dollop of Greek yogurt (you won't even be able to tell the difference).
- Add corn: Frozen, canned, or fresh. If using canned, rinse the corn off first to get rid of any extra salt. This corn salsa is also delicious on top.
Storage and Leftovers
Taco fillings are even better the next day. Any kind, any variety, any toppings. Don't ask me why, I just devour them the next day (that is IF we have any leftovers to begin with).
Usually, I just reheat the ingredients and pile them on a tortilla or a lettuce wrap, but you can also add these to a bed of lettuce for a delicious taco salad. Make individual salads or one big one to share as a dinner entree.
I've used these leftover ingredients before for making a taco dip. Layer them in as you see fit, alternating with other layers of low-fat cream cheese mixed with taco seasoning, low-fat cheeses, salsa, and lettuce. Serve with homemade tortilla chips, veggie chips, or raw veggies.
Reimagine your taco and put your ingredients inside a quesadilla or a wrap. Use a panini press or heavy skillet to press down onto the tortilla to create a crispy crust around the outside of your meal.
Toss the ingredients with other leftovers like rice, chicken, potatoes, or even eggs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making these zucchini tacos.
There are so many delicious toppings for these vegetarian tacos. Consider adding salsa, queso fresco, pickled red onions, radishes, sour cream, or shredded cheese.
Also if you decide to make these tacos without the slaw, you could add guacamole, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo or tomatoes, diced onions, cilantro, and corn.
If you prefer to make blackened zucchini for the tacos, simply swap in blackening seasoning for the spices. Then cook the zucchini in a hot skillet with a combination of olive oil and butter.
For these tacos, I recommend adding corn with the zucchini for a sweet component.
Zucchini Tacos with Cilantro Avocado Slaw
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- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 zucchini, chopped
- 1 tsp. ancho chili powder (chipotle chili powder)
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 14 oz. canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups coleslaw mix
- 1 avocado
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 3 tbsp. lime juice (or more)
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- Salt and pepper
- 8 corn tortillas
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- Nutritional Information
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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