Looking for a flavorful pork tacos recipe that doesn’t take all day? Look no further than these easy ground pork tacos with black beans, which taste like they simmered forever but come together in about 20 minutes.
Ask me about my taco problem
“Ask me about my taco problem.” That’s what it says on the t-shirt at the very top of the laundry pile of t-shirts I wish I had. I’d have worn that shirt like five days a week these past two weeks if I had it. It’d be soft like a corn tortilla and would make me feel a little bit spicy and a little bit vulnerable, like I’m speaking my truth without trying too hard.
I’d tell you how many of these ground pork tacos with black beans we’ve eaten this week, purely because they’re so easy and good and easy to feel good about. But that could get awkward quickly. So instead I’ll tell you a little bit about the tacos themselves, and maybe you’ll try them. And who knows what might happen after that? Maybe YOU’LL be digging your taco t-shirt out of the laundry pile for the next two weeks.
A girl can dream.
Why we love these tacos
So here’s the deal. This is one of those recipes that’s been kicking around in my head in some nascent form for far too long. Over the course of about a year it went from, “Hmmm, interesting,” to “I should really do that,” to “OMG WHY do these tacos not exist in the world?” Sometimes that’s what it takes to carve out the time and space. Even for tacos. I know you know feel me on this one.
This ground pork tacos recipe is:
- Really quick
- Pretty good for ya
- Kid-friendly and party-friendly, too.
Easy ground pork taco ingredients
These tacos taste like they simmered all day, thanks to layers of ground spices. Here's what you'll need:
For the taco filling
- Olive oil
- Minced shallot
- Ground pork
- Canned black beans
- Canned diced tomatoes (you can use fire-roasted tomatoes if you like)
- Chili powder
- Ground cumin
- Smoked paprika
- Dried oregano
- Ground cayenne
To serve the tacos
- Taco-sized corn tortillas
- Cotija cheese
- Fresh cilantro, or level up with cilantro sauce
- Pickled red onions
Feeling good about our ground pork
As you probably know by now, I’m careful about sourcing the meat we eat. The upside is that I feel really good about our choices. The downside is that I used to routinely spend approximately 13 million dollars on a home-cooked dinner for four.
These days we get our ground pork from Butcher Box. Their heritage pork comes from breeds of pigs that are much less commonly used in meat production these days. Butcher Box farmers raise pig breeds including Duroc, Berkshire, and Chester White. These farmers are working hard to both preserve these breeds and provide customers with the more flavorful, finely marbled meat that comes from them.
Butcher Box pigs get to live in style, with bedding in open barns, outdoor access, and a nutritious diet (forage + all-vegetarian feed).
If you like, you can learn more about Butcher Box in this post.
How to make ground pork tacos
This one-pan meal comes together very quickly, so it's great for weeknights and also works well for dinner parties. Here's what you'll do. Watch all the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post.
- Heat some olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet.
- Add minced shallot and garlic and cook for a minute.
- Add ground pork and cook, breaking up into small pieces, until nicely browned.
- Add black beans and diced tomatoes to the skillet, along with the salt and all the spices.
- Simmer until the pork is cooked through.
- Then make tacos! Heat up the corn tortillas (over an open flame like a gas burner if you can, but no worries if not). Then layer on the taco filling, cilantro or cilantro sauce, cotija cheese and pickled red onions.
Expert tips and FAQs
Here's our approach to crafting the perfect taco filling: Start with a hearty base (in this case, our pork taco filling) that's packed with warm, cozy taco seasonings. Then it's all about layering on a great variety of textures and flavors.
Bright, bold cilantro sauce adds tang and savoriness. Instead of this, you could use fresh cilantro leaves and a squeeze of lime.
Cotija cheese adds a savory, salty kick and a bit of creaminess. You could also use a different cheese, sour cream, or avocado for creaminess.
Pickled red onions add a cool crunch. You could skip the pickling and just thinly slice some red onions if you like.
When you choose ingredients with big flavor and varied textures, you don't need a lot to make an impact.
Dietary needs are highly individual. But begin with good pork, and you're off to a fabulous start. Black beans add great flavor and texture to this pork tacos recipe. They also add lots of dietary fiber and help lighten the environmental load of your meal.
How to serve it
This easy meal is great as-is. But if you want to make it a party, try adding some of our other favorites:
Here are our other favorite recipes.
For the pork filling
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound lean ground pork
- 1 15.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne
- 12 taco-sized soft corn tortillas
- 4 ounces Cotija cheese, crumbled
- Pickled Red Onions
- 1 cup picked fresh cilantro leaves
- Lime wedges
- Warm the olive oil over medium-high heat in a 12-inch nonstick skillet. Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften, about a minute. Stir pork into skillet, breaking up with a spatula into small pieces, and continue cooking for a few minutes until lightly browned. Add beans, tomatoes (along with all their juices), salt, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano and cayenne to skillet and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for five minutes.
- To serve, warm taco shells according to package directions. Fill each shell with some of the pork mixture and top with Cotija, pickled onions and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
Nutrition info for this recipe does not include tortillas.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 413Total Fat: 17.3gCarbohydrates: 29.3gFiber: 9.3gProtein: 37.6g