Tacos Dorados with Refried Beans (tacos dorados de frijoles)

If you love frijoles and crispy tacos then these tacos dorados with refried beans will be your new favorite tacos recipe. Crispy corn tortillas filled with creamy refried beans and topped with your favorite garnishes and a spicy salsa, they’re an explosion of flavor! 

Three tacos dorados filled with refried black beans and topped with shredded lettuce, salsa, sour cream and radishes.

What Are Tacos Dorados de Frijoles

Tacos dorados de frijoles are fried tacos with beans. You could also call them hard-shell tacos with refried beans. 

In this case the Spanish word “dorado” means golden as in the color of the corn tortilla after it’s been fried. 

These golden crispy tacos are traditionally made with soft corn tortillas and filled with refried beans. They are folded in half and fried until crispy and golden brown.

Then they are topped with all sorts of garnishes like shredded lettuce or cabbage, queso fresco, Mexican sour cream and a salsa.

Tacos dorados are one of the most popular foods in Mexican cuisine. There are some with meat filling: chicken based called tacos dorados de pollo and there’s also tacos de carne made with either ground or shredded beef.

But there’s also traditional meatless tacos dorados and they are tacos de papa made with a potato filling, and these taco dorados de frijoles. 

These meat free tacos dorados are popular all year long but specially so during the Lent season.

You can find them at pretty much any sit-down Mexican restaurant and some taco joints but they aren’t one of the more popular street tacos which are more meat-based.

In my family during the Lenten season tacos dorados de papa and tacos de frijoles were often on the menu.

The bean filled ones were always some of my favorite tacos, so of course I had to share these recipes with you. 

Amigos, you’re going to love this recipe and I do think it will become a family favorite for you.

Why You’ll Love These Tacos Dorados

  • Just like my crispy potato tacos these bean ones too are budget-friendly. 
  • Use up leftover refried beans and corn tortillas. 
  • They are a vegan or vegetarian option depending on the toppings used.
  • Perfect for everyone because each person con customize their garnishes. 
A brown table with small bowls filled with tacos dorados ingredients. They are: vegetable oil, black beans, corn tortillas, white onion.

Tacos Dorados Ingredients

The ingredients used for this recipe are quite short and pretty much food staples in most homes.

  • Corn Tortillas: These will help us make the crispy taco shells to hold in the filling.
  • Beans: You can either make the refried beans yourself or used store-bought ones. I like to use either black beans or pinto beans, your choice.
  • Oil: To fry the tacos and make the refried beans if needed. 
  • Onion: To give the beans a bit more flavor. 
  • Garnishes: Shredded lettuce or cabbage, chopped white onion, sliced radishes, sliced or chopped tomatoes, Mexican crema, Mexican cheese, and homemade salsa. 
Garnishes for tacos dorados: Shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, radishes, sour cream, cheese, and salsa.

Ingredient Variations

I always cook my own beans and refried beans, and when I do I make sure that they are well seasoned.

So when I use them to make tacos I don’t typically need extra seasonings. 

However there are some additional flavorings you could add to your beans if you’d like: garlic powder, red chili powder for a touch of heat, or taco seasoning for a Tex-Mex twist.

If you don’t have white onion you could use red onions instead.

For the cheese I used vegan Violife Manchego and whenever I have it I also use my homemade cotija cheese.

Vegetarian cheese options are queso fresco or cotija, Chihuahua cheese or even cheddar cheese would work.

Use whatever you already have in your fridge – or omit it if you’d like. 

How to Make Refried Bean Tacos Dorados

A stainless steal pan with black beans and a potato masher for making refried beans.

Step 1

If you’re using canned refried beans then you can pour into a bowl and season as desired. If making them yourself then add a little bit of vegetable oil in a large skillet and heat over medium heat.

Once hot, sauté some chopped onion until soft and translucent. The add the whole beans and a little bit of their broth or low-sodium vegetable broth or water.

Cooked refried beans inside a stainless steal pan.

Step 2

Mash until smooth or to your desired texture. Add any additional seasonings now.

Cook until they have thickened and stir often to prevent them from burning. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

A large stainless steal skillet filled with hot vegetable oil to fry tacos.

Step 3

Pour the oil into a frying pan and heat over medium heat. While the oil is heating up warm tortillas for a 30 seconds in the microwave or on a warm comal. They just need to be soft and pliable. 

Folded and rolled up corn tortillas filled with refried beans to make hard-shell tacos.

Step 4

Grab one warm tortilla and add a heaping tablespoon of the cooled refried beans. Fold in half then weave a toothpick through each sides of the tortillas. (Watch the video for a visual guide.)

Set aside and repeat until you have a few tacos to put in your pan or continue folding the tacos until you’ve run out of ingredients.

Deep frying tacos inside a stainless steal pan.

Step 5

Use a wooden spoon to place in the hot oil and if you see the sides star to bubble then the oil is hot enough to proceed. Very carefully use tongs or a thin spatula to place a few tacos into the hot oil.

Do not over crowd them. The tortillas should sizzle and bubble once they touch the oil. Fry tacos for 5 minutes on then carefully flip over once that side is golden and crispy. Fry for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Fried crispy tacos dorados draining excess oil on paper towels.

Step 6

Carefully remove the fried tacos and drain off excess oil on a paper towel-lined plate. Continue frying the tacos until you’re done.

There should be enough oil to cover up to the seam side if needed add more oil and wait for it to heat up before proceeding.

Three cooked tacos dorados on a blue plate that's on top of a wood table.

Step 7

Allow to cool until you can handle then remove the toothpicks.

Garnish tacos with shredded lettuce, crema, radish slices, tomato, onion, cheese and a spicy salsa.

You can either place the toppings right on top of the tacos or some people also like to partly open the tacos and stuff the toppings into them.

Either is fine and completely up to you. Enjoy!

Three tacos dorados filled with refried black beans and topped with shredded lettuce, salsa, sour cream and radishes.

Nancy’s Tips & Notes

  • It’s best to add the toppings and garnishes right before serving your tacos. Otherwise the longer they sit they’ll become soggy and be harder to pick up and eat. 
  • Let everyone have fun and allow them to each add their favorite toppings. 
  • Save yourself time by using leftover refried beans.
  • Instead of folding the tacos in half you can roll them up and make taquitos de frijoles. 
  • After you make my tacos dorados with refried beans try my potato tacos dorados recipe. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Tacos Dorados

What are tacos dorados made of?

There are many variations to dorado tacos, from meat-based ones to vegetarian and vegan options. Some fillings include seasoned ground beef, crispy chicken tacos, and mashed potatoes and refried beans, sometimes even cheese is mixed in.

Are tacos dorados gluten free?

Yes because corn tortillas are naturally gluten free. As for the refried beans if using canned double check the label or make them yourself. 

Are tacos dorados spicy?

No they’re not because no chile is used in the fillings. You can also serve with a mild tomato salsa or salsa verde so you don’t have to worry about the heat.

Can I use flour tortillas to make tacos dorados?

Though it’s not the more common tortilla to use, yes you can tacos dorados with flour tortillas. Use store-bought or day old from my recipe. 

What’s the best way to ensure crispy tortillas for tacos dorados?

Make sure to use day old tortillas so they have less moisture and make crispier tacos. Another method is to fold the tacos and let them sit out for an hour or so to allow the tortillas dry out before frying.

Can I use an air fryer for the taco shells?

Absolutely! An air fryer is a fantastic alternative for a healthier version of Tacos Dorados. Simply brush the tortillas with a bit of vegetable oil and air-fry until golden and crispy.

A woman's hand holding up a bitten into crispy fried taco filled with beans.

What Do Tacos Dorados with Refried Beans Taste Like

This taco recipe makes scrumptious crispy golden tacos that I just know will become one of your favorites. 

They are crispy on the outside and the creamy refried beans is a great combination of textures.

​When you add the garnishes it gives the tacos a pop of fresh, crunchy, creamy, savory and slightly spicy flavors. 

Seriously amigos, these are some of the best tacos around! 

How to Serve Tacos Dorados

​Make sure to use your favorite garnishes and below are some ideas of what you can serve with these tacos.

How to Store and Reheat

You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. More than that and the tortilla will begin to get quite soggy.

​Freezing is not recommended for tacos dorados because they will become soggy when defrosting. 

It’s best to enjoy them right after cooking or within a day or two for optimal freshness. 

To reheat on a dry skillet allow it to get hot then place the tacos on it. Heat for 5 minutes then flip over and heat another 5 minutes before checking the temperature.

To reheat  in the oven in a sheet pan at 350F for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them. 

In the air fryer reheat at 350F for 2 minutes or until heated through.

More Taco Recipes

Nancy Lopez author of Mexican Made Meatless

Gracias

I’m so happy you stopped by. If you have any questions or want to let me know how you liked this recipe, do leave a comment. Muchas gracias, I appreciate you!

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Three tacos dorados filled with refried black beans and topped with shredded lettuce, salsa, sour cream and radishes.

Tacos Dorados with Refried Beans (tacos de frijoles)

Nancy Lopez & MexicanMadeMeatless.com
Crispy golden tacos these tacos dorados are filled with refried beans and make for a delicious treat.
5 from 1 vote
Pin Recipe Leave a Review
Print Recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Vegan Mexican Recipe
Servings 12 tacos
Calories 342 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups cooked beans* pinto or black beans
  • 1.5 Tablespoons oil
  • ¼ cup chopped white onion
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup vegetable oil for frying

Toppings

  • 2 cups chopped lettuce
  • ½ cup chopped white onion
  • 1 large roma tomato sliced
  • 4 whole radishes sliced or chopped
  • ½ cup Mexican sour cream use my vegan crema recipe
  • 1 cup grated cheese I used VioLlife manchego cheese
  • 1 cup salsa taquera use my recipe

Instructions
 

Make The Refried Beans

  • Heat a little bit of olive oil in a large pan. Once hot sauté the 1/4 chopped onion until soft. Then carefully pour in the cooked beans with a little bit of their broth or water or vegetable broth.
  • Mash until smooth to your preferred texture. Salt if necessary. Cook for 8 minute or until they’ve thickened.
  • Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature.

Prepare Your Garnishes

  • Decide what toppings you want to use and get them ready while the beans cool down.

Make The Refried Bean Tacos Dorados

  • Pour the cup of vegetable oil into a frying pan. Allow to heat up over medium low heat.
  • Grab a warmed corn tortilla then place a heaping Tablespoon of the cooled refried beans onto one half. Fold over into half moon pockets. Use two toothpicks to seal the sides. (Watch the video for a visual) If you’d like you can roll up the tacos instead of doing the half moon shapes.
  • Repeat filling the tortillas until you've used up all of the ingredients or until you have enough to fry the first batch.
  • Very carefully test that the oil is hot enough by putting a wooden spoon into it. If you see immediate bubbles form around it then it’s hot enough and ready.
  • Use tongs to place the folded tacos into the hot oil – careful not to splash yourself. Add a couple more tacos or only enough so that you don't crowd them into the pan.
  • Fry for 5 minutes or until you can see the tortilla change to a darker golden color. Carefully flip over and fry another 3 minutes.
  • Drain fried tacos on a plate lined with paper towels. Continue frying the remaining tacos until you are done.
  • Allow to cool until you can handle then remove the toothpicks from each taco.
  • Serve 3 tacos on a plate and begin layering on the toppings of your choice on top of the tacos. Some people also like to partly open the tacos and stuff the toppings into them. Either is fine and completely up to you. Enjoy!

Notes

*You can use homemade or canned beans. Either pinto beans or black beans work great.
Please notice that the calorie and nutrition information are rough estimates and will highly depend on if you use homemade or store-bought beans as well as what garnishes you use. 

Nutrition

Serving: 12servingsCalories: 342kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 7gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 385mgPotassium: 306mgFiber: 5gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 580IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 124mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Leave me a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and tag me on social media @MexicanMadeMeatless or tag #mexicanmademeatless!

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for your recipes I have purchased you book on Tamales it’s waiting for me in UK when I return, please keep posting recipes I really love Mexican vegan food thank you again. Regards Frank

    1. Hi Jane! Yes, I occasionally make my tacos dorados in the air fryer without oil and they turn out pretty good. I set it to 375F and air fry for 5 to 8 minutes on one side then flip and fry another few minutes on the other side. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn. Enjoy!