4 tacos on a cutting board with bowl of guacamole

Crispy Zucchini Black Bean Tacos (Vegan!)

These crispy zucchini black bean tacos are an amazingly flavorful and satisfying plant-based meal. They also happen to be vegan/gluten-free!

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4 tacos on a cutting board with bowl of guacamole

These crispy zucchini black bean tacos require a slight bit of effort, I’m not going to lie. However, in my opinion it is completely worth it. I like to think of these tacos as vaguely reminiscent of fish tacos, only instead of battering and frying fish you will be rolling zucchini through an almond flour batter and panko breadcrumbs before baking them in the oven. Throw them on a tortilla, top with some black beans and whatever other toppings you like, and you have a terrific plant-based dinner on your hands.

Ingredients for Crispy Zucchini Black Bean Tacos

Zucchini: One of my favorite summer vegetables! It’s so versatile, tasty, and hydrating. It also happens to be a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.

Flaxseed and Water: To keep these crispy zucchini black bean tacos vegan, we’re going to use a flax egg to make sure the almond flour batter stays together. You could certainly use a regular egg if you’re not vegan.

Almond Flour: I like to use almond flour for this batter because it adds some healthy fats and protein, but any kind of flour will work!

Taco Seasoning: Consider this my lazy shortcut. If you’re watching sodium, you definitely want to check the label when you’re buying taco seasoning. Our absolute favorite is Sieté and we rarely use anything else, but Trader Joe’s is also a good option.

Pinch of Salt: This is definitely to taste, as many taco seasonings have enough salt. I find that when I use the Sieté I sometimes need to add just a dash more.

Almond Milk: To make sure our batter is the right texture. Any milk will work, just make sure it’s unsweetened and unflavored (vanilla almond milk simply won’t taste right!).

Panko Breadcrumbs: I have tested this recipe with both regular and gluten-free panko breadcrumbs and I can confirm they both work. I would not recommend regular breadcrumbs as the panko texture is important for making our zucchini nice and crispy.

Black Beans: The protein and fiber in black beans makes these tacos a filling and satisfying meal. We will add a little more taco seasoning and lime juice to make sure they have their own zest and flavor.

Lime Juice: I know I always say this, but it is WORTH it to fresh squeeze your citrus! The stuff you buy in a bottle at the store is absolutely not the same thing. Adding some lime juice to our black beans will brighten them up.

Tortillas: Whatever kind you want! We are partial to Sieté when they are on sale (that price tag though!), but otherwise buy corn and flour tortillas interchangeably.

four tacos on a cutting board next to a bowl of guacamole

Tips for Success

  • The key to these crispy zucchini is to avoid “over-dredging” them. It can be tempting to continue to roll the zucchini through the panko breadcrumbs until they are thoroughly coated, but this can lead to the batter falling off the zucchini altogether and creating a mess. It is best to gently press each side of the zucchini wedge in the panko and then rotate until each side is covered and then place on the baking sheet.
  • Make sure you flip each zucchini about 15 minutes into roasting to ensure even crispiness!
  • Do not skip the taco seasoning and lime juice on the black beans. It completely elevates the flavor of the tacos!

How to Store & Reheat

These crispy zucchini are best served immediately because it tends to get soggy in the refrigerator. However, it can last up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, simply put in the oven on 350° F for 10-15 minutes or until the zucchini has crisped up again. You can store the black beans in an airtight container up to 5 days and reheat in the microwave.

If you make these crispy zucchini black bean tacos, be sure to leave a rating and review! This helps my little blog show up on Google and it warms my heart every time you leave a comment.

Other Healthy Dinner Ideas:

two crispy zucchini tacos next to a bowl of guacamole
crispy zucchini tacos on cutting board

Crispy Zucchini Black Bean Tacos

These crispy zucchini black bean tacos are an amazingly flavorful and satisfying plant-based meal. They also happen to be vegan/gluten-free!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Cutting Board
  • Chef's Knife
  • Sheet Pan
  • parchment paper

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 3 tbsp water
  • ½ cup almond flour (any flour will work)
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp taco seasoning divided
  • salt to taste (this will depend on how much salt is in your taco seasoning mix)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 cup regular or gluten-free panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • juice of one lime
  • 8-10 tortillas

Topping Ideas

  • lettuce or greens of choice
  • salsa or pico de gallo
  • pickled onions
  • avocado or guacamole
  • sour cream or Greek yogurt (dairy or plant-based)
  • shredded cheddar cheese (dairy or plant-based)
  • vegan queso

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 450° F and line a large baking sheet with a lightly greased silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  • Mix ground flaxseed and water in large bowl and set aside to gel for 5 minutes. This will become a flax "egg."
  • Cut zucchini length-wise and width-wise so it is quartered. Then, chop each quarter into small wedges.
  • Add almond flour, almond milk, and 2 tbsp of taco seasoning to the flax egg mixture. Taste and add salt as needed. Put panko breadcrumbs in a separate bowl nearby.
  • Carefully dredge each zucchini wedge through the almond flour mixture and then the panko mixture until fully covered before placing side by side on lightly greased pan. The key here is to quickly cover each side of the zucchini wedge with panko without letting it dredge too long; otherwise the panko begins to fall off and cause a mess.
  • Bake zucchini for 15 minutes. Remove, flip each zucchini, and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the zucchini is crispy and golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, mix black beans with the remaining 1 tsp of taco seasoning and heat over medium-low in a small pot on the stove until warmed. Alternatively, you can place in microwave covered for 30 seconds-1 minute. Remove from heat and add juice of one lime.
  • Heat tortillas as directed on packaging (this will vary based on what type of tortilla you use).
  • Assemble your tacos! I generally put 3-4 crispy zucchini pieces, a spoonful of black beans, and toppings of choice on each tortilla.

Notes

Storage: These crispy zucchini are best served immediately, but can keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. See blog post for tips on reheating.
To make nut-free: Replace almond flour with regular or gluten-free all-purpose flour.
Keyword black beans, dairy-free, gluten free, nut-free, tacos, vegan, vegetarian, zucchini

Photography by Hope Agresti

four crispy zucchini black bean tacos on a cutting board next to a bowl of guacamole.

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