Red Kidney Beans Taco

Red Kidney Beans Taco

On those days when I feel like eating something fresh, crunchy, but also warm and filling, tacos hit just the spot. They are so easy to prepare and the best thing is that I can put anything that I have in the fridge. If I don't have a particular vegetable, I can replace it with another. With the exception of beans.....for me, tacos must have beans (probably since we can't have meat).

When I first thought about making tacos on a vegan diet, I couldn't think of what to use instead of meat. Then, as I became more familiar with vegan cooking, I found that if you add certain spices to beans they taste more 'meaty' and can totally hold their own.

I really love cumin. The smell, the taste....mmmmmmm. Added to these beans, they really transform the beans to something else. And the slightly spiced, warm, tomatoe-y beans are a perfect match to put into the crunchy tacos.

Serves 4 hungry adults

Name Red Kidney Beans Taco
Serves 4 as a full meal
Dr. Greger Points 5 (2 points for the beans and 3 for the other fillings)
Costs US$8
Cooking time 40 min (first time) / 30 min (repeats)
Difficulty Beginner



  • Two 400g cans of red kidney beans
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp cumin powder (you can buy this in a supermarket but if you can, try to get it from an Indian supermarket, where you can buy it usually for a fraction of the price).
  • 140g tomato paste


  1. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a fry pan on medium heat.
  2. Add onions and cook until the edges of the onion start getting a bit brown - approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Add 4 chopped garlic and fry for a few seconds.
  4. Add 1 1/2 to 2 tsp of cumin powder and fry with the garlic and onion for about 20 - 30 seconds.
  5. Mix in the 140g of tomato paste and cook for about 2 1/2 minutes.
  6. Add in the drained beans (keep a bit of the water aside to add in later).
  7. Stir the beans to combine it with the spices. Then, add in 1/2 to 3/4 cups of the bean liquid.
  8. Cook, uncovered, for 6 minutes or until the beans reach your desired consistency (it should not be runny or watery but should still be saucy).
  9. Serve it together with crispy tacos (we had 2 packets of the Old El Paso original taco shells) and other veggies for filling.

Other taco fillings:

I used chopped cucumber and tomatoes with a squeeze of lemon juice, some salt, freshly cracked pepper, and cayenne pepper. My sister also made some guacamole (with just an avocado, salt pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder).

You could also add lettuce, spinach, mushrooms, capsicum, or any other veggies that you want really.


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