5 Minute Black Bean Taco Bowls from the Pantry + Freezer
These black bean taco bowls are truly ready in five minutes. They’re vegan if you like, gluten-free, whole food to the max, and largely sourced from your pantry and freezer. A dream come true. Plus, scroll down for more of our favorite super-fast recipes, and protips for fast family dinners that work.
Black bean taco bowls
I’m loving the back to school, back to life, back to reality routine this year. Compared to the summer, I find I’m:
- Moving a lot more without trying (thanks, Fitbit, for making me feel like a hero for doing something I’m sure I’ve been doing every fall for years)
- Getting a lot done
- Eating a little better, and
- Reconnecting with local friends and activities in the best possible way.
Dinners, though, get a little tricky at this time of year. Some nights we have multiple sports practices, choir rehearsals, meetings, you name it. We need good, healthy fuel for all these activities, but we don’t have a lot of time to prepare it.
Speaking of choir, am I preaching to it, or what? I know I’m not alone here. So I thought I’d share one of our frequent solutions: 5-Minute Black Bean Taco Bowls.
Taco bowl just sounds so much more of-the-moment than taco salad, does it not? Taco salad sounds like something my 1980s hairdresser with the perm would have eaten after Jazzercise. Taco bowl sounds like something I can’t refuse.
Three tips for fast family dinners that work
These taco bowls easily meet all of my top-three criteria for fast family dinners that work:
- Even though these bowls are nutrient-dense and full of fresh flavors, they don’t require a special shopping trip of any kind. They draw heavily from pantry and freezer ingredients, and everything else can be kept in the fridge for at least a week.
- We’ve found over the years that kids really appreciate the feeling of control over their food. These taco bowls are a great way to give them the chance to put together their own dinner from healthy options. You’ll feel you’ve done your best to give them healthy choices, and they’ll feel they get to eat whatever they want. Win-win.
- Speed and efficiency are of the essence on weeknights. We’ve literally never met a faster dinner.
- 1 16-ounce package frozen corn, cooked in the microwave according to package directions and drained
- 2 15.5-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained*
- 1 jar sliced Spanish-style olives with pimentos, drained
- Shredded Romaine lettuce
- Sliced scallions
- 1 or 2 ripe avocados, sliced, if available
- Jar of your favorite salsa
- Sour cream, optional
- Shredded sharp cheddar or other cheese, optional
- Cholula or other hot sauce, optional
- Lime wedges, optional
- We like to put all the ingredients in separate bowls in the middle of the table, stick a spoon or fork in each, and let everyone assemble their own taco bowl. You could make the bowls before serving if it's easier to manage -- just arrange a bit of everything in its own little pile in each bowl.