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These easy ground pork tacos with black beans taste like they took all day to make, but they come together in about 20 minutes. Don’t miss them.

ground pork tacos and lime wedges
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Why we love this recipe

There are so many wonderful kinds of pork tacos in the world. I’m more than happy to eat all of them, and sometimes even to cook the ones that take all day. But we also really love this almost embarrassingly weeknight-friendly version, which simmers for just a few minutes but tastes incredibly good.

These ground pork tacos are:

  • Super-flavorful
  • Really quick
  • Pretty good for ya
  • Kid-friendly, party-friendly, and make-ahead friendly, too. They’re so friendly!

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

For the filling

ingredients in bowls
  • I call for lean ground pork because that’s what I used to develop the recipe years ago, but you can make this recipe with “regular” ground pork. Unlike beef, it’s not always labeled, but typically pre-packaged ground pork in U.S. supermarkets will have around 15% fat, and products labeled lean will be in the 10% or lower range. Sausage-grade pork is too high in fat to really shine in this recipe. I try to use heritage-breed pork these days, for both the superior flavor and the better animal welfare and environmental impact. If you like, you can read more about sourcing in the section below.
  • Drain and rinse a can of black beans, or use the equivalent 1 3/4 cups cooked black beans.
  • Use a small can of diced tomatoes, including their juices. You can use fire-roasted tomatoes if you like.
  • A simple and nicely balanced combination of ground spices gives this dish lots of Mexican-inspired flavor. You’ll use a chili powder spice blend, cumin, sweet smoked paprika, dried oregano, and a little bit of ground cayenne.
  • Safflower oil is my high-smoke-point, neutral-tasting vegetable oil of choice. You can substitute another oil that has similar properties, such as canola, sunflower, peanut, corn, or vegetable oil blend. If you prefer, you can use olive oil in this recipe.

To serve the tacos

ingredients in bowls
  • You can use any taco-sized tortillas that you like. I’ve pictured one of my favorite brands of corn tortillas. Or level up and make your own.
  • Here’s how to make a beautiful batch of pickled red onions. It’s quick and easy, and they keep well in the fridge for a month.
  • This filling tastes great with a wide variety of cheeses (or without, for a dairy-free variation). I typically choose tangy crumbled cotija or queso blanco.
  • A few delicate fresh cilantro leaves add tons of flavor and freshness. Or level up with our super-popular cilantro sauce.

My favorite sources for meat & pantry staples

For years, I’ve been sourcing our meat from ButcherBox. We love this curated meat delivery service, which provides grass-finished beef, heritage breed pork, organic chicken, and more from small farms direct to the customer. You can learn more in my extensive Butcher Box review and unboxing.

I love Thrive Market for a wide variety of products. Often described as one part Whole Foods, one part Costco, they’re a membership-based online market for healthier products at discounted prices. Plus, they’re mission-driven, engaged in the community, and not currently owned by a giant corporation. You can learn more in my Thrive Market review and unboxing.

ground pork taco meat with black beans in a pan

How to make them

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a quick and easy batch of ground pork tacos. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Briefly sauté the shallot and garlic in the oil.
  2. Add ground pork and cook, breaking up into small pieces, until nicely browned. Then add the beans, tomatoes, and spices.
  3. Simmer for a few minutes until the pork is cooked through, and then spoon into warmed tortillas.
  4. Top and serve. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

What do you put inside a taco?

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.

Are pork tacos healthy?

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.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

The filling keeps and reheats well, so you can make it up to a week in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge, or freeze for up to a year. Assemble tacos right before serving.

a hand garnishing a ground pork taco

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:

Love tacos with meat?

Here are some of our other favorite recipes.

a hand picking up a ground pork taco

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ground pork tacos and lime wedges
4.53 from 117 votes

Easy Ground Pork Tacos with Black Beans

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
These quick and easy ground pork tacos are full of slow-simmering flavor even though they only cook for a few minutes. The bright, fresh toppings add lots of great color and flavor without a lot of work. This recipe is gluten-free if you use GF corn tortillas and chili powder, and dairy-free if you skip the cheese.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
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Ingredients 

For the pork filling

  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) safflower oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound (454 grams) lean ground pork
  • 1 15.5- ounce 439-gram can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14.5- ounce 411-gram 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
  • teaspoon ground cayenne

To serve

  • 12 taco-sized soft corn tortillas
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) queso blanco or Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • Pickled Red Onions
  • 1 cup picked fresh cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedges

Instructions 

  • Warm the safflower 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 tortillas according to package directions. Fill each shell with some of the pork mixture and top with cheese, pickled onions, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Step-by-step video

Notes

  1. Safflower oil is my high-smoke-point, neutral-tasting vegetable oil of choice. You can substitute another oil that has similar properties, such as canola, sunflower, peanut, corn, or vegetable oil blend. If you prefer, you can use olive oil in this recipe.
  2. I call for lean ground pork because that's what I used to develop the recipe years ago, but you can make this recipe with "regular" ground pork. Unlike beef, it's not always labeled, but typically pre-packaged ground pork in U.S. supermarkets will have around 15% fat, and products labeled lean will be in the 10% or lower range. Sausage-grade pork is too high in fat to really shine in this recipe. I try to use heritage-breed pork these days, for both the superior flavor and the better animal welfare and environmental impact. If you like, you can read more about sourcing in the section below.
  3. Drain and rinse a can of black beans, or use the equivalent 1 3/4 cups cooked black beans.
  4. Use a small can of diced tomatoes, including their juices. You can use fire-roasted tomatoes if you like.
  5. Chili powder means the American-style spice blend, not pure ground chili.
  6. The filling keeps and reheats well, so you can make it up to a week in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge, or freeze for up to a year. Assemble tacos right before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 413kcal, Carbohydrates: 29.3g, Protein: 37.6g, Fat: 17.3g, Fiber: 9.3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Mexican-Inspired
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.53 from 117 votes (117 ratings without comment)

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11 Comments

    1. Hi Kerri, it includes everything, but the exact numbers will vary pretty widely based on the tortillas you choose.

  1. Made this tonight! Decrease the salt to 1/2 tsp and add more if needed. Found it too salty with 1 tsp. Increased cumin and chili powder just a bit. Will be great in our tacos.

  2. I absolutely love this spice mixture. It’s been my go-to for a while now. I typically rub it on a pork butt or a pot roast, wrap the roast in foil and bake in a dutch oven. From there, I’ll remove the meat, add some broth and continue to let braise. I’m really interested in trying to just add the spice mixture onto ground meat. Would that be too overpowering? Thank you so much.

  3. Made this today! The only change I made was that I added a little bit of red onion as I did not have shallots in hand and 3 fresh Roma tomatos instead of the can as I had misread the recipe and the meat was still so delicious!! Definitely a keeper!!

  4. I’ve made this recipe several times (even doubled) and it’s definitely a keeper! I had to increase the amount of spice to suit the family’s tastes, but the flavors are great and it’s easy to make. My teenage son even eats this for his lunch at school (except with rice)! I have also frozen this meal, minus the beans. When I’m ready to have it for dinner, I defrost the mixture in the refrigerator, then add the beans, and simmer for about 5-10 min. You might need to add a little water (or broth) to loosen it up. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Jeannine, thank you so much! I love the remix as a lunch over rice and knowing that you’ve frozen it successfully. xx