Pinto beans beef tacos

About this recipe

Serving size
2 tacos
Time to make
15 minutes preparation; 2 hours and 10 minutes cook time; 1-4 hours wait time


  • Water
  • 2 cups dry pinto beans (about 1 pound)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 2 cups tomato sauce, no salt added
  • 24 taco shells, any variety
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 1 cup cheese, shredded


  1. Add 1 1/2-2 quarts of water to a large pot with a lid. Bring water to boil.
  2. Wash and sort beans. Add beans to the water and boil for 2 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let the beans stand for 1-4 hours.
  4. In a large pot, combine drained soaked beans, salt, and 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer until beans are tender, about 90 minutes.
  5. Drain the beans. Mash beans and set aside.
  6. In saucepan or skillet, fry beef with chopped onions and peppers until well done. Drain off any excess fat and set aside.
  7. Place the mashed beans in a saucepan or skillet. Add chili powder, cumin, and tomato sauce. Cook slowly for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Mix in fried beef mixture.
  9. Fill taco shells with hot filling and bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees F. Top with lettuce and cheese.

Tips and variations

  • Substitute chicken or ground turkey for the lean ground beef, or black beans for the pinto beans.
  • Use canned beans instead of dried beans to reduce cooking time. Use low sodium canned beans, and rinse off the beans before using to remove additional sodium.
  • Serve with salsa.

Nutritional info

Total fat
17 g
Saturated fat
6.4 g
61 mg
419 mg
Total carbohydrates
38 g
Dietary fiber
7.5 g
27 g
Total sugar
3.5 g