Quinoa & Black Bean Tacos arranged on a marble board, topped with cilantro lime crema sauce & chopped cilantro. There are a few lime wedges surrounding the tacos, along with a small blue bowl with the cilantro lime crema.

Quinoa & Black Bean Tacos (with Cilantro Lime Crema!)

  • Author: Jess Larson | Plays Well With Butter
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: tacos, main dishes, vegetarian
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican, American


Meet your new favorite vegetarian quinoa & black bean tacos recipe! These tacos are completely vegetarian (& easily vegan). A 30-minute dinner made entirely with pantry ingredients in one skillet – perfect for meatless Monday and Taco Tuesday!



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika (or smoked paprika)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry Simply Nature Organic Quinoa
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock (or water)
  • 1 14-ounce can Simply Nature Organic Black Beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
  • for serving: charred corn tortillas, sliced avocado, cilantro lime crema (below), chopped cilantro, salsa of choice, lime wedges, etc.

for the cilantro lime crema: 

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream, or your favorite dairy-free alternative)
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 2 limes, zested & juiced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • water, as desired


Prep note: Once you get cooking, these tacos come together very quickly! I suggest starting by getting all your chopping, measuring & other prep odds & ends out of the way so cooking is a smooth process: dice the onion, mince the garlic, grab your spices & tomato paste, measure the quinoa & veggie stock, & rinse the black beans. Place everything within an arm’s reach from the stovetop. 

  1. Sweat the onion: Add the olive oil to a medium skillet (with lid) over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion. Season with 1 teaspoon Kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent & fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. 
  2. Toast the aromatics: Stir the garlic into the skillet. Cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the spices (chili powder, cumin, paprika) & tomato paste. Stir to coat the onion & garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes more, until very fragrant. 
  3. Cook the quinoa: Add the quinoa to the skillet, stirring to combine with the onion mixture. Let the quinoa toast for about 1 minute before adding in the vegetable broth. Increase heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, add in the black beans. Cover the skillet and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Once the quinoa cooked, remove the skillet from the heat – but let it stand covered for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the lid. Squeeze the lime juice over top and fluff the mixture with a fork. Set aside for taco assembly.
  4. Prep the cilantro lime crema: Meanwhile, as the quinoa simmers, prep the cilantro lime crema. Add all listed cilantro lime crema ingredients to a food processor or blender. Blend to combine, adding a tablespoon or two of water as needed to reach your desired consistency. Set aside, or transfer to an airtight container & store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 
  5. Assemble & serve: Add some of the quinoa & black bean mixture to a tortilla with sliced avocado. Top with a drizzle of cilantro lime crema. Finish with some chopped cilantro, a spritz of fresh lime juice, & any salsas or toppings your taco-lovin’ heart desires. Enjoy! 


  • This quinoa taco recipe is vegetarian & very easily vegan &/or dairy-free if you simply swap out the Greek yogurt in the crema with your favorite dairy-free alternative, such as dairy-free yogurt. You could also make the smoky chipotle cashew crema from this recipe – it’s 100% dairy-free, vegan & delish!
  • 10-minute meal prep: These tacos come together really quickly once you get to cooking! To make this an even faster weeknight dinner, dice the onion & prep the cilantro lime crema whenever you’re meal prepping for the week. Store in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. At dinnertime during the week, you can get cooking with minimal prep needed – seriously, the easiest dinner ever!

Keywords: black bean tacos, black bean tacos recipe, quinoa black bean tacos, vegetarian tacos, plant-based recipe