Smoky Beans & Greens Tacos with Aji Verde
Three cheers for summertime eating! Smoky black beans sautéed with kale and garlic and spices, tucked into charred corn tortillas, and topped with the best feisty, punchy green sauce – Aji Verde!
These tacos are just one long love letter to FLAVOR. ♡
Smoky chipotle black beans, sautéed with kale and garlic and spices, tucked into charred corn tortillas, topped with fresh, crisp sweet corn cut right off the cob, and smothered with too much (and yet never enough) aji verde.
As of lately I have been affectionately calling these guys “beans and greens tacos”, and OH MY GOODNESS, they are just so delightful. They appear humble with the black bean / kale vibes and a cutesy little name, but seriously, don’t sleep on these. They are a top summer recipe for me this year.
Over the last few weeks these have been repeatedly served to myself, my husband, my toddler, and a random sampling of friends who happened to be over at dinnertime. Everyone has given them two thumbs up, and more importantly, everyone has confirmed what we all know in our hearts: that the real star here is the aji verde.
You Need To Know About Aji Verde
Aji verde is a spicy Peruvian green sauce, and it came into my life last year when I made it as a little drizzley drizzle for this plantain stew (um, incredible). Now here we are in the summer, when stew is out and tacos are in, so I’m revisiting the beloved aji verde for these beans and greens tacos. Because what’s a taco without a good sauce? Sad. That’s what it is. And we don’t do sad tacos. Enter: more aji verde.
What To Pile On Top Of These Tacos
As with all tacos, please, by all means, go big with your toppings. You know I will approve of the more-is-more mentality here. For one, I can confirm that avocado is killer. Slaw or some kind of pico would be excellent. Pickled red onions would truly make the angels sing. And the sweet corn that I generously scooped all over my tacos was a peppy nod to summer and all things sweet, fresh, and a little bit crunchy.
But really, all you NEED need for the base of these are:
- Chipotle black bean and kale mixture (pictured in the pan up there, looking spicy, mysterious, and delicious)
- Aji verde x10
Holy smoke show, these were so good. Three cheers for vegetarian tacos that you can look forward to eating and feel proud to serve to friends (aka self). YUM.
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Smoky Beans and Greens Tacos: FAQs
Absolutely! This is the best homemade enchilada sauce and is ready for you in 5 minutes. Seriously!
Good news! It’s super easy to vegan-ize this recipe. Just swap out the regular mayo for a vegan mayo here.
The tacos themselves have a lot of flavor, but they aren’t really spicy. The Aji Verde sauce on the other hand has some heat and punch to it, so if you don’t love spicy food, it’s probably best to limit how much green sauce goes on top of your tacos.
Source notes: Aji verde is a Peruvian green sauce. I based this version off the recipe from A Cozy Kitchen, which is my all-time go-to for this amazing, punchy, fiesty green sauce (with a few swaps based on what I usually have in my fridge). So yummy!
Smoky Beans and Greens Tacos with Aji Verde
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
Three cheers for summertime eating! Smoky black beans, sautéed with kale and garlic and spices, tucked into charred corn tortillas, and topped with the best feisty, punchy green sauce – Aji Verde!
Smoky Beans and Greens
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2–3 cups shredded kale (no stems, please)
- one 14-ounce can black beans
- 1 cup enchilada sauce (I like this one)
- 1 chipotle pepper, minced (or a sprinkle of ground dried chipotle spice)
- salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 3 ounces of queso fresco (optional)
- 1 jalapeno pepper, with seeds and ribs to keep it spicy (remove for a mild version)
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic
- juice of 1 lime
- pinch of salt (to taste)
- fresh sweet corn, cut off the cob
- anything else you like on your tacos
- Make the aji verde: Blend aji verde sauce ingredients together until smooth.
- Cook the beans and greens: Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add kale; sauté for 4-5 minutes until soft. Add beans, enchilada sauce, and chipotle. Season with salt. Simmer until the kale is very well-cooked and everything has taken on a roasty-tomato-chipotle kind of of vibe.
- Serve: Fill each tortilla with beans and greens, corn, and a heavy drizzle of aji verde sauce. Top with whatever else makes your heart happy. Mwah. So good.
- Category: Tacos
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Peruvian-Inspired
Keywords: black bean tacos, taco recipe, vegetarian tacos