Weeknight Black Bean Taco Bowls Bar

Black Bean Taco Bowl with rice, smoky black beans, avocado, salty Cotija cheese, sour cream, fresh tomato, and bright cilantro. This Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar lets everyone fills their bowl with any of the toppings they want! Perfect for kids. #tacos #tacobowls #healthyfood #dinner #healthydinner #familydinner #kidsdinner #blackbeans #vegetarian
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Black Bean Taco Bowl with rice, smoky black beans, avocado, salty Cotija cheese, sour cream, fresh tomato, and bright cilantro.  This Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar lets everyone fills their bowl with any of the toppings they want!  Perfect for kids.  #tacos #tacobowls #healthyfood  #dinner #healthydinner #familydinner #kidsdinner #blackbeans #vegetarian

Imagine this… Your spoon scoops up fluffy rice with smoky black beans, creamy avocado, salty Cotija cheese, cool tangy sour cream, fresh tomato, and bright cilantro.  Then you look at your child scooping up a giant spoonful of rice and a lone black bean, while simultaneously shoving cheese into her mouth with her other hand.  Ahhhh, family dinner ;).  Sound familiar?  Well, then this Weeknight Black Bean Taco Bowls Bar is just for you! 

You can make the beans and rice on the weekend and reheat on the weeknight.  Then, everyone fills their bowl with any of the toppings that suits their fancy.  You can load ’em up and the kids can pick and choose. 

Black Bean Taco Bowl with rice, smoky black beans, avocado, salty Cotija cheese, sour cream, fresh tomato, and bright cilantro. This Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar lets everyone fills their bowl with any of the toppings they want! Perfect for kids. #tacos #tacobowls #healthyfood #dinner #healthydinner #familydinner #kidsdinner #blackbeans #vegetarian

Black Beans are Sooooooo Good for You!

Black Beans are pretty amazing in terms of health benefits.  They have a whopping 15g of protein and 15g of Fiber in 1 cup!  It’s recommended that Women get 25g of Fiber daily, but most women aren’t getting this much in their diet.   When I checked my daily fiber intake, I was only at about 15g and was really surprised!!  Track your Fiber for a day or two and see how you stack up. 

Black beans are a great source of Fiber, especially if you’re eating a gluten free diet and may not be getting fiber from grains.  Try my Huevos Tostadas, Easy Brazilian Black Beans or Chickpea & Black Bean Cakes with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce or my Creamy Cajun Beans & Cauliflower over Quinoa for other great ways to enjoy black beans!

Black Beans with spoon for Black Bean Taco Bowl with rice, smoky black beans, avocado, salty Cotija cheese, sour cream, fresh tomato, and bright cilantro. This Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar lets everyone fills their bowl with any of the toppings they want! Perfect for kids. #tacos #tacobowls #healthyfood #dinner #healthydinner #familydinner #kidsdinner #blackbeans #vegetarian

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

PREP-AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR BLACK BEAN TACO BOWLS

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details) 

For Dry Black Beans start this 1-2 days prior to when you want to eat…Measure out 1 cup and strain them under water. Then pour into a bowl, cover with water so that the water is about 1 inch above the beans. Place in the fridge overnight.

Dry Black Beans soaking in water for Black Bean Taco Bowl with rice, smoky black beans, avocado, salty Cotija cheese, sour cream, fresh tomato, and bright cilantro. This Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar lets everyone fills their bowl with any of the toppings they want! Perfect for kids. #tacos #tacobowls #healthyfood #dinner #healthydinner #familydinner #kidsdinner #blackbeans #vegetarian

Dry Black Beans soaking in water for Black Bean Taco Bowl with rice, smoky black beans, avocado, salty Cotija cheese, sour cream, fresh tomato, and bright cilantro. This Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar lets everyone fills their bowl with any of the toppings they want! Perfect for kids. #tacos #tacobowls #healthyfood #dinner #healthydinner #familydinner #kidsdinner #blackbeans #vegetarian

You can definitely use canned black beans as well, just rinse them off under water and follow the same instructions in the recipe.

Mince the garlic, chop the cilantro, slice the scallion thin.

When you’re ready to cook the beans (this can be done up to 5 days in advance and even frozen up to 4 months in advance), drain them and give them another rinse. Pour them into a pot and add 1 cup water, along with the minced garlic, 1/2 cup cilantro, chili powder, cumin, and salt.

Bring the beans up to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and let cook for 60 minutes.  NOTE, for canned beans you can reduce this time to 20 minutes.

While the beans are cooking, make the rice. Rinse the rice under water in a strainer until the water runs clear. Add to 4 cups of water with a pinch of salt and bring up to a boil. Turn the water down to a low simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. 

ASSEMBLE YOUR BLACK BEAN TACO BOWLS BAR 

When you’re ready to eat, reheat the beans and rice if you’ve made them ahead.  Dice the avocado and the tomato. Get the sour cream and cotija cheese, extra cilantro leaves, and tortilla chips ready.

Serve the the rice in bowls with beans on top. Let everyone top them with whatever they want!

RECIPE FAQS 

Can I use canned black beans?

You can definitely use canned black beans as well.  You can make this recipe using 3 cans of 14-15 ounce cooked beans. If you use canned beans, first rinse and drain the beans.  Then move directly to the step adding them to the pot to be cooked with the other ingredients.

ENJOY!

😍 Carrie

Black Bean Taco Bowl with rice, smoky black beans, avocado, salty Cotija cheese, sour cream, fresh tomato, and bright cilantro. This Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar lets everyone fills their bowl with any of the toppings they want! Perfect for kids. #tacos #tacobowls #healthyfood #dinner #healthydinner #familydinner #kidsdinner #blackbeans #vegetarian

Black Bean Taco Bowls

Black Bean Taco Bowls have fluffy rice with smoky black beans, creamy avocado, salty Cotija cheese, cool tangy sour cream, fresh tomato, and bright cilantro.  This Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar lets everyone fills their bowl with any of the toppings that suits their fancy.  You can load 'em up and the kids can pick and choose.  #tacos #tacobowls #healthyfood #healthydinner #familydinner #kidsdinner #blackbeans #vegetarian

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword black beans, dinner, easy dinner, family dinner, tacos, vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Dry Bean Soaking 8 hours
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 481 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces Dry Black Beans, dry soaked in water (see notes for canned)
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Fresh Cilantro
  • 2 Scallions
  • 2 cups Rice, uncooked
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 cup Cotija Cheese
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 cup Tortilla Chips

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Instructions

  1. For Dry Black Beans start this 1-2 days prior to when you want to eat... Rinse the dry beans under water.  Then pour into a large bowl (the beans will at least double in size while soaking), cover with water so that the water is about 1 inch above the beans.  Place in the fridge overnight.

    Dry Black Beans soaking in water for Black Bean Taco Bowl with rice, smoky black beans, avocado, salty Cotija cheese, sour cream, fresh tomato, and bright cilantro. This Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar lets everyone fills their bowl with any of the toppings they want! Perfect for kids. #tacos #tacobowls #healthyfood #dinner #healthydinner #familydinner #kidsdinner #blackbeans #vegetarian
  2. Mince the garlic, chop the cilantro, slice the scallion thin.  

  3. When you're ready to cook the beans (this can be done up to 5 days in advance and even frozen up to 4 months in advance), drain them and give them another rinse.  Pour them into a pot and add 2 cups water, along with the minced garlic, 1/2 cup cilantro, chili powder, cumin, and salt.

  4. Bring the beans up to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and let cook for 60 minutes.

  5. While the beans are cooking, make the rice.  Rinse the rice under water in a strainer until the water runs clear.  Add to 4 cups of water with a pinch of salt and bring up to a boil.  Turn the water down to a low simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. 

  6. While the beans and rice are cooking (or warming back up), dice the avocado and the tomato.  Get the sour cream, cotija cheese, extra cilantro leaves, and tortilla chips ready in bowls with spoons.

  7. When the beans and rice are done, serve the the rice in bowls with beans on top.  Let everyone top them with whatever they want!  Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  1. You can definitely use canned black beans as well.  You can make this recipe using 3 cans of 14-15 ounce cooked beans. If you use canned beans, first rinse and drain the beans.  Then move directly to the step adding them to the pot to be cooked with the other ingredients.

Best Ground Chicken Taco Casserole

Close up side view of taco casserole piece on plate with sour cream drizzled on top and diced tomatoes and scallion on top. What could be better than tacos? A Taco Casserole that's made with healthier lean ground chicken and can be made ahead for your busy schedule. This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.
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Close up side view of taco casserole piece on plate with sour cream drizzled on top and diced tomatoes and scallion on top. What could be better than tacos? A Taco Casserole that's made with healthier lean ground chicken and can be made ahead for your busy schedule. This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.

What could be better than layers of taco meat, tortillas, beans, and cheeeeese – because let’s face it, this casserole is all about the cheese?  A Chicken Taco Casserole that’s made with healthier lean ground chicken, can be made ahead for your busy schedule, and can feed the entire family with leftovers for another night.  Now THAT’s what I’m talkin’ about!  This Ground Chicken Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheeeeese, and then more cheeeeese.  Then topped with cheeeeese.  Did I mention there was cheeeeese?

Check out this video – it’s so easy to make!

More Mexican Casserole Ideas!

When Dave and I were first married, I started making my enchilada casserole with shredded chicken breast and cheese.  I have made this casserole for years.  But when I had kids, I started adding pasta to it to bulk it up and appease their love for pasta.  Then, when I started the Talking Meals Blog, I wanted to make my casserole more interesting, so I added chorizo because, well, everything tastes better with chorizo, am I right?  Check out my Chicken & Chorizo Enchilada Casserole and my most recently created, White Enchilada Casserole with Chicken & Veggies.  Clearly I have a Mexican Casserole addiction so this new Ground meat Taco Casserole is just the next progression and I am owning it!

Extreme close up picture of top of taco casserole with red sauce topped with melted cheese and scallion slices. What could be better than tacos? A Taco Casserole that's made with healthier lean ground chicken and can be made ahead for your busy schedule. This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.

PREP-AHEAD FOR YOUR GROUND CHICKEN TACO CASSEROLE

You are busy, so these are the steps you can do a day or two in advance to prepare food ahead!  (See the recipe below for more details)

Ready for the bonus for this recipe?  This entire casserole can be made ahead on Sunday and then cooked in the oven for 30 minutes on Monday or Tuesday.  Then you can reheat the leftovers again on Wednesday or Thursday – so great, right?

There are 3 main steps to this recipe:

1. Make the Meat, Tomato, Bean filling – this is simply browning the meat with spices and seasoning, and then adding in the tomatoes, green chilis, and beans.  

This Skillet Ground Chicken Tomato Sauce with Ricotta is a delicious and simple one pan meal.  Ground chicken is seared until it gets a super browned, flavorful crust.  Then garlic, vegetable broth and tomatoes are added and cooked down into a delightful sauce that really lets the tomato shine with a meaty bite from the chicken.  After pasta is mixed in, creamy Ricotta Cheese is dolloped on and fresh basil added to garnish.  It's perfection! Bellissimo!

Meat, tomatoes in skillet. This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.

Meat, tomatoes, green chilis, and black beans in skillet. This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.

2. Mix tomato sauce with the cumin, chili powder, and salt

Tomato sauce in clear bowl on counter with spices on top: chili powder, cumin, and salt. This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.

3.  Now, assemble the casserole!  There will be 3 layers of tortillas, so make sure that you have about 3-4 tortillas per layer.  To start, cover the bottom of the casserole dish with 4 corn tortillas.  Then layer on half of the meat and bean mixture, sprinkle 1/4 of the scallions, then the add 1/3 of the shredded cheese.

4 Corn Tortillas covering bottom of casserole dish. This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.

Casserole Dish with tortillas and ground meat, black beans, tomatoes, and scallions on top. What could be better than tacos? A Taco Casserole that's made with healthier lean ground chicken and can be made ahead for your busy schedule. This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.

Do this again for the second layer.  Then top with a third and final layer of tortillas, the tomato sauce, and the remaining cheese.

4 Corn Tortillas covered with tomato sauce over casserole in casserole dish. This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.

At this point, you can either store the taco casserole in the fridge covered or cook it.

COOK YOUR TACO CASSEROLE:

To cook, simply bake in the oven 350F degrees for 30 minutes!  Then serve with sour cream and garnish with remaining scallions.

Enjoy!  😍 Carrie

Extreme close up picture of top of taco casserole with red sauce topped with melted cheese and scallion slices. What could be better than tacos? A Taco Casserole that's made with healthier lean ground chicken and can be made ahead for your busy schedule. This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.

Close up side view of taco casserole piece on plate with sour cream drizzled on top and diced tomatoes and scallion on top. What could be better than tacos? A Taco Casserole that's made with healthier lean ground chicken and can be made ahead for your busy schedule. This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.

Ground Chicken Taco Casserole with Black Beans

What could be better than layers of taco meat, tortillas, beans, and cheese?  A Taco Casserole that's made with healthier lean ground chicken and can be made ahead for your busy schedule.  This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.  

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword casserole, ground chicken, healthy recipes, taco
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 677 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Ground Chicken and Beans

  • 1 lb Ground Chicken
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 15 oz Black Beans
  • 15 oz Canned Diced Tomatoes
  • 4 oz Canned Green Chilis
  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Salt

Tomato Sauce

  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Make Casserole

  • 12 Corn Tortillas, 6"
  • 3 Scallions (green onions)
  • 12 oz Shredded Cheese Cheddar or Taco Blend
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Tomato, large

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. This entire casserole can be made on Sunday and then cooked in the oven for 30 minutes on Monday or Tuesday.  Then reheat again on Wednesday or Thursday.

  2. Thin Slice the scallions. Most will be used in the casserole, but save some of the greens for garnish.

  3. Preheat a large skillet on high.  Add the olive oil to coat bottom and then add the ground chicken.  Break it up, but let it sit to sear and cook for about 5 minutes.  Then mix so that all sides of the chicken cook for another 5 minutes.  

  4. Add diced tomatoes, green chilis, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. 

    Meat, tomatoes in skillet. This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.
  5. Open the can of black beans and before adding them, smash them a bit in the can using a fork.  Then add them to the chicken.  Stir to combine and let simmer for 10 minutes to cook down.

    Meat, tomatoes, black beans in skillet. This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.
  6. Mix the tomato sauce with the Chili Powder, Cumin, and Salt.

    Tomato sauce in clear bowl on counter with spices on top: chili powder, cumin, and salt. This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.

Assemble the Taco Casserole - You will need a 9x9 or 10x10 casserole dish.

  1. There will be 3 layers of tortillas, so make sure that you have about 4 tortillas per layer.  To start the first layer, cover the bottom of the casserole dish with 4 tortillas.

    4 Corn Tortillas covering bottom of casserole dish. This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.
  2. Next add 1/2 of the meat mixture on top of the tortillas.  Sprinkle with 1/4 of the Scallions.

    Casserole Dish with tortillas and ground meat, black beans, tomatoes, and scallions on top. What could be better than tacos? A Taco Casserole that's made with healthier lean ground chicken and can be made ahead for your busy schedule. This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.
  3. Then top with 1/3 of the shredded cheese.  Repeat!  Cover with tortillas, then meat mixture, scallions, and cheese.  

  4. Then the final layer of tortillas and then cover with tomato sauce and the remaining cheese and 1/4 of the scallions.  The remaining scallions are for garnish.

Bake your Casserole

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. 

  2. Bake the casserole covered for 30 minutes until hot all the way through.  While the casserole is cooking, dice the tomato.

    This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.
  3. Plate, drizzle with sour cream, sprinkle with diced tomatoes, and garnish with scallions.

    Piece of Taco Casserole on a white plate with sour cream drizzled on top with diced tomato and scallion. Casserole dish to the left on counter. This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.

Recipe Video