(MEATLESS MONDAYS/VEGAN RECIPES) Make Taco Tuesdays great again with these delicious seared pepper tacos! For this week’s meatless meal, try this vegan version of a healthy and versatile favorite–tacos!

Instead of overloading on spices, these tacos rely on flavors from the freshest ingredients like lime, avocado, and garlic for richness (in lieu of cheese and sour cream).

Use corn tortillas for a completely vegan and gluten-free meal. As always, happy eating! — Global Animal

Vegan Seared Pepper Tacos with Pintos and Avocado Crema. Photo Credit: Big Girls Small Kitchen

Seared Pepper Tacos with Pintos and Avocado Crema

Yield: 6 tacos


For the beans:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 dried hot pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, coriander, chili powder, or a mix (optional)
  • about 2 cups cooked pinto or pinto-type beans with their liquid, or one 14-ounce can
  • salt as needed

For the avocado crema:

  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 small clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch cumin
  • slightly larger pinch coriander

For the peppers:

  • 2 tablespoons olive or safflower oil
  • 3-4 peppers of various colors, trimmed and sliced thin (about 4 1/2 cups or so)
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander

For the tacos:

  • 6 corn tortillas (I used Hot Bread Kitchen‘s – they’re delicious)
  • Cilantro for garnish


In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil for the beans. Add the onions and the hot pepper, and cook, stirring, until very soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and spices if using. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beans with their liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes, so the beans absorb the flavor. You don’t want them to become too soft though. Salt as needed – go slow, as canned beans may have been salted. Remove the hot pepper and keep warm while you make everything else.

Make the avocado sauce: combine the garlic, cilantro, and salt in a mini food processor. Pulse to break up the herbs. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until very smooth. Taste for salt, adding more if needed.

Heat a cast-iron skillet, large frying pan, or wok over high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the oil and swirl it around – it should ripple almost immediately. Add the peppers and shallots and stir and fry, making sure to expose all the veggies to the heat. Add the salt, chili powder, and coriander, and continue cooking until the shallots are soft and the peppers have wilted but not gotten completely soft, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Toast the corn tortillas in the same pan, wiped out, or right over the burner. You can also heat them in the microwave, wrapped in a damp towel.

To assemble, spread one side of each tortilla with the avocado crema. Pile on about 1/3 cup of the cooked peppers, topped by 1/4 cup of the beans, leaving any liquid in the pan. Top with dollops of the avocado crema and some cilantro leaves.

Recipe Courtesy of Big Girls Small Kitchen

More Big Girls Small Kitchen: http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/2012/08/seared-pepper-tacos-with-pintos-and-avocado-crema.html

Learn more about the Meat-Free Mondays Challenge!

See more Meat-Free Monday recipes, here!