I’m going to be honest with you… I wasn’t planning on posting this recipe, but my daughter absolutely loves these tacos, and she said I should. I figured everybody has a good taco recipe, but as she pointed out, a lot of folks are making tacos using those seasoning packets. If this is you, stop that. Seriously. Those things are loooooaded with sodium, along with a long list of other chemicals that you’d be hard pressed to say five times fast (read the ingredients on that packet… go ahead, I’ll wait.) Plus, it’s far more economical and EASY to make your own. These are super lean – no added fat or oil, and I use 99% lean poultry. They are a protein powerhouse and loaded with fiber; just keep the toppings in check!
Let me also say, I am the kind of cook who tastes as she goes along, and rarely measures. I am also good at eyeballing measurements, a skill that comes in handy when you are watching your calorie and nutrient intake, and how I measured this recipe. Here’s a good visual guide.
Chicken & Black Bean Tacos
- 1 lb. Ground Chicken (I use the 99% lean – turkey works too, as does beef but beef adds a lot of fat)
- 1 can (or 1.75 cups) Black Beans, rinsed and drained
- 3/4 cup Yellow Onions, diced
- 1 cup Red Bell Peppers, diced (I used red and orange here, any color will work)
- 1/2 cup Corn (I use frozen)
- 2 Tbsp Lime Juice
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Corriander
- 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder (or 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely diced)
- 1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
- Fresh Cilantro to taste
- Salt and Pepper to taste
First, I spray the pan with cooking spray to keep things from sticking because we are NOT adding any oil (fat) to this. (If things start to stick, add a tiny bit of water, only about a quarter cup at a time, at most.) Get the ground meat in a hot pan and season with salt, pepper, and some of the garlic powder. Add the onions and peppers. As it cooks, chop/break the ground meat as finely as you like your taco meat to be. I turn my heat down to medium-medium high at this point. Add the corn and sprinkle the spices over the mixture you’ve got going in there. (You probably should have added water once or twice by now; just continue to do that as needed.) Once the meat is cooked through, add the black beans. I always add them last because too much chopping and stirring breaks them up. I also add fresh cilantro, and sprinkle lime juice over everything at this point. Stir your mixture gently for a few minutes to ensure the meat is cooked through and the beans are hot.
Now you are ready to build your tacos! We also use this mixture over tortilla chips. One of my favorite toppings for both is the Cilantro Avocado Yogurt Dressing from Bolthouse Farms. I am a sour cream fiend, and I had to find a healthier alternative. I use this stuff on everything – tacos, chili, sandwich wraps, even my tortilla soup! It’s one of the few bottled dressings I will buy.
P.S. Spices vary depending on brand, age, and how they are stored. We like our foods a little on the spicier side, so if your palate is more sensitive you might want to give this a try with half the amount of spices first. Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take them out! (Yes, I’ve learned this the hard way.)