Paul McCartney’s refried bean tacos

Paul McCartney's refried bean tacos One of my challenges is to find some new meatless dinner recipes that the whole family will enjoy, besides your typical pasta.  Don’t get me wrong, I love pasta, but I want to offer other meatless alternatives for the family.  I’ve been trying to cut back on our meat intake to just a couple of days a week, and it’s been easy to find recipes that John and I like, but it’s been a bit harder to find recipes that the kids will enjoy as well.  

I recently picked a new favorite cookbook called, Meat Free Monday, and came across this refried bean taco recipe from Paul McCartney.  It was said to be one of his favorite recipes, so I decided to give it a try.  

So how did these tacos go over with the family?  The kids & hubby rated them a thumbs up!  I rated them a thumbs up as well due to the taste factor, but also because I had dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes.  These tacos are the perfect weeknight meal because everything can be made and assembled in less than 20 minutes, and chances are you have most of the ingredients on hand in your pantry. Double thumbs up to Paul! 

Paul McCartney's refried bean tacos

Paul McCartney’s refried bean tacos:

recipe from Meat Free Monday
serves 4-6

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 15 ounce can of refried beans or a 17 ounce box - the Fig beans come in a 17oz box and I used the whole box – I also like and most often use Amy’s Organic Refried Beans.
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped – I used Italian plum tomatoes
  • pinch or two of sea or kosher salt 
  • 1 package of whole grain corn tortillas or taco shells – Paul used hard taco shells in his recipe, so feel free to use hard taco shells
  • Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 lime
  • *Optional – 1-2 teaspoons hot chili sauce – I did not add this because the kid’s do not like things to spicy

Below are most of the ingredients you will need to make the tacos.  
I really love beans from Fig Food Company as they are organic, and come in BPA free packaging.  I have a stocked pantry full of their cannellini, garbanzo, and black beans.   
You can find these beans at most Whole Foods.  
Update:  I’m finding that these beans are becoming hard to find, so I often use Amy’s Organic Refried Beans.
Below are the three ingredients you will need for the actual filling, so easy!
First, chop up your onion, and then de-seed and chop up your tomatoes.
 Not sure how to de-seed and chop an Italian plum tomato?  I will show you how.  
Cut your tomato in half lengthwise. 
Then quarter it.
Take a small knife and scoop out the seedpod.
 Lay the tomato skin side down and cut into thin strips lengthwise. 
It’s much easier to cut tomatoes on the inside than the outside.
Cut the strips crosswise into small pieces.
Heat up the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  
Add the onion and cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently until the onion is soft but not colored. 
Stir in the refried beans.  Add in the chopped tomatoes and cook until heated through.  Season to taste with some salt.  
If you like your tacos spicy, add the 1 to 2 teaspoons of chill sauce to the refried bean mixture.
John wanted a bit more spice so he diced up a jalapeno pepper and topped his taco with it instead of making the mixture spicy for the whole family. 
Below is a picture of the refried bean mixture.  
I know it’s not the prettiest picture, but I wanted to show you what it looks like.
Its time to heat up your tortillas.
You can heat up the tortillas 2 ways.  
Throw the tortillas on the grill, and grill them until slightly charred and pliable, about 20
seconds per side.
Don’t feel like turning on the grill?  Then turn on your stove.  Set your burner to low and put the tortilla on top of the grate and cook for about 20 seconds per side.
You don’t have to heat up the soft tortillas, but they taste so much better when you do.
Now comes the fun part, assembling the tacos!
Top each tortilla with the bean mixture and then add your favorite fixings.
Make sure to squeeze some fresh lime juice on each taco.
Paul McCartney's refried bean tacos
Here’s what we topped our tacos with.
I topped mine with Monterey jack, sliced avocado and cilantro. 
The kids topped theirs with Monterey jack, sour cream and cilantro.
John topped his with Monterey jack, some diced jalapeno, sliced avocado, sour cream and cilantro.
We paired the tacos with some roasted asparagus (surprise, surprise).
Paul McCartney's refried bean tacos
These were so good that I had some leftovers for lunch the next day. I paired the tacos with some strawberries and blueberries fresh from the farmers market, so good!
Paul McCartney's refried bean tacos
Do you try and have a meatless day during the week?  If so, what are some of your favorite recipes?

Paul McCartney’s refried bean tacos

Rating: 51

Serving Size: serves 4-6

Paul McCartney’s refried bean tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 15 ounce can of refried beans or a 17 ounce box
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped - I used Italian plum tomatoes
  • pinch or two of sea or kosher salt
  • 1 package of whole grain corn tortillas or taco shells - Paul used hard taco shells in his recipe, so feel free to use hard taco shells
  • Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 lime
  • *Optional - 1-2 teaspoons hot chili sauce - I did not add this because the kid's do not like things to spicy

Instructions

First, chop up your onion, and then de-seed and chop up your tomatoes.

Not sure how to de-seed and chop an Italian plum tomato? I show you pictures in the post, but also explain how to below.

Cut your tomato in half lengthwise.

Then quarter it.

Take a small knife and scoop out the seedpod.

Lay the tomato skin side down and cut into thin strips lengthwise.

It's much easier to cut tomatoes on the inside than the outside.

Cut the strips crosswise into small pieces.

Heat up the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the onion and cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently until the onion is soft but not colored.

Stir in the refried beans. Add in the chopped tomatoes and cook until heated through. Season to taste with some salt.

If you like your tacos spicy, add the 1 to 2 teaspoons of chill sauce to the refried bean mixture.

Its time to heat up your tortillas.

You can heat up the tortillas 2 ways.

Throw the tortillas on the grill, and grill them until slightly charred and pliable, about 20

seconds per side.

Don't feel like turning on the grill? Then turn on your stove. Set your burner to low and put the tortilla on top of the grate and cook for about 20 seconds per side.

You don't have to heat up the soft tortillas, but they taste so much better when you do.

Now comes the fun part, assembling the tacos!

Top each tortilla with the bean mixture and then add your favorite fixings.

Make sure to squeeze some fresh lime juice on each taco.

Here's what we topped our tacos with.

I topped mine with Monterey jack, sliced avocado and cilantro.

The kids topped theirs with Monterey jack, sour cream and cilantro.

John topped his with Monterey jack, some diced jalapeno, sliced avocado, sour cream and cilantro.

http://www.marinmamacooks.com/2012/06/paul-mccartneys-refried-bean-tacos/
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Comments

  1. says

    Non-pasta meatless meals kids might like: 1)roll-your own spring rolls with rice pancakes, shredded vegetables, plum sauce 2)pizza (which can be made quickly with or tortillas or English muffins) 3) grilled cheese and soup or salad 4) breakfast for dinner: waffles, pancakes, omelets, scrambled eggs 5) quesadillas. Some kids even like make-your-own sushi made with seasoned rice, avocado, egg and nori (not me, though).

    • says

      Great ideas Sharyn! I forget about the english muffin pizzas. That is a great lunch idea that the kids can do on their own (with my supervision, of course). They love sushi as well, but I don’t think I’m going to attempt to make it, as I have a great market down the street that the kids can walk to and buy some. I will make the spring rolls as I have seen some great recipes for them.

      xo,
      Jackie

  2. says

    This meatless taco looks extremely yummy! With two of my son’s favourite ingredients, beans and avocado, I think my meat-eating son will be happy eating this for his lunch or dinner.

    Heard of Paul McCartney and Stella McCartney “wholesome” cooking but I have not tried any of their cooking yet. This one is a great start for me to try.

    One silly question from me…I realise that some of your pictures show your hands chopping the vegetables or demonstrating some cooking. Did anyone help you with all these photo-taking or do you have a tripod stand to do this? I didn’t have an open-concept kitchen and all my kitchen benches face a wall and so all my photo are taken with my wall as a backdrop :D

    • says

      Hi Zoe! My meat eating daughter was happy with these tacos because they are filling and dense. I think your son will like them if he likes bean and cheese burritos.

      So, I have a tripod but I have not figured out how to set the timer and I usually have to focus my camera for each shot so I’m not sure how to do that with a tripod. Anyway, I have a lovely 12 year old (Zoe) who happily takes all my pictures. She has even done a few videos, but I’m not ready to post them. You can have your husband take pictures of you from the side angle in your kitchen or you can do the demonstrations on your kitchen or dining room table. Everything doesn’t have to be done in the kitchen. I have learned from blogging that every room in the house gets used. I bring my rimmed baking sheet to whatever room has the most light at that moment and click away.

      I hope that helps Zoe!

  3. says

    I loved those summers with my kids. We had a neighborhood pool and they would ask me to bring them sandwiches and snacks and drinks. I loved putting together their favorites and making them happy. This does look like it would and could make me happy. Two thumbs up for easy and delicious. Thanks!

    • says

      I know Tricia. I’m looking forward to hanging with the kids this summer. They are growing way to fast and I want to savor every minute.

      I made these again this week and just love how easy they are!

    • says

      Hi Becca. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you find recipe or two on the blog that become your favorite. The chickpea burgers, lentil meatballs and lacinato kale salad are a few of my favorites.

  4. says

    Hi Juli! Thanks so much for the kind words. I have made these tacos 3 times since I posted this recipe. This is going to be our go-to meatless taco Tuesday meal!

    I hope you like it.

  5. Reiko Yamasaki Runquist says

    OMG ! So delish. I can’t believe I haven’t made these earlier. We loved them so much we ate them for two nights in a row. Do you have cookbook? If so, do you recommend buying it?

    Thanks again for sharing ! Love reading your blog.

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Reiko! I’m so glad you made and loved these tacos. They’re one of our favorite meatless meals and I love that they literally take 20 minutes to make. We sometimes take the leftover refried bean mixture along with some cheese, and pan fry up some quesadillas, so good. No, I do not have a cookbook, but I have plenty of other great recipes on the blog. The best way to see them with the photos is to click on the recipe tab at the top and scroll down to a category like dinner, click on dinner and it will show you all of the dinner recipes that I have on the blog. Thanks again for stopping by and saying hi and thanks for you kind words :) xoxo, Jackie

  6. says

    Finally made these tonight after eyeing them for months! SOOOO GOOD! They are going to be a regular for us. I just can’t believe how easy they were for such a refreshing taste. We are totally following part of your meatless menu this week and trying the heirloom soup Wednesday :)

    • jackiegrandy says

      Yaay Dani! I’m so glad you finally made these tacos. They may not look pretty, but they sure are tasty. I’m psyched you’re following the meatless theme this week as well and trying some new recipes! I can’t wait to hear how you like the heirloom tomato soup! :) xoxo, Jackie

  7. says

    Last night I had to work really late, so I e-mailed this recipe to David so he could make them for us and they’d be ready when I got home. He LOVED them, said they were SO easy, and loved your instructions on cutting the tomatoes. He also said he loves your photos — so that’s great! I love that he was able to make a delicious meal for me from this post — so thank you! Oh yeah, they were delicious, too!

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Kelli! Great news girl! I’m psyched that you both loved these tacos (my fave as well) and that David made the recipe all by himself :) He’s the man! Tell him I said thanks for his sweet comments about the photos. I’m glad he found them helpful and pretty ;) I aim to please here at Marin mama :) Ok, I think I put in a few too many smiley faces, but you get it! Your comment made me smile, so there you go! Have a great day girl! xoxo, Jackie

  8. Charity says

    So, so good! Used Trader’s Joe salsa style refried beans and then added in some cumin, chipotle chili pepper, and red pepper flakes to suite our tastes. Used whole grain soft taco shells too to up the health factor. My husband and I ate them all, just the two of us. Yum!

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Charity! Yaay! I’m so glad that you and your hubby loved these tacos. They’re very hard to stop at one I must say ;) I also love the yummy additions you made to the refried beans. I might have to give that at try next time! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know how they turned out for you! xoxo, Jackie

  9. says

    Love Paul and will try these as they look good. Just one question: I thought Paul was vegan.. did you add the cheese? (I’m not vegan, just curious – thanks!)

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Rebecca! So funny that you commented on both the kale salad and refreied bean tacos! I made these both for dinner last night :) I’m not sure if Paul if vegan or not? Yes, we do add cheese to the tacos. We add some monteray jack cheese and they’re so darn good! Make sure that you heat up the tortillas as they make the tacos so much better! xoxo, Jackie

  10. Emily3 says

    This recipe has been on my radar for a while – finally tried it tonight. My husband and I really enjoyed it! I think the twist of lime at the end is totally worth doing. My kids (aged 2&4) wouldn’t touch the beans, which drove me crazy because they LIKE beans of all varieties…. Guess they’re not used to them mushed up refried style. But it’s ok, since it means more leftovers for me! Now I know what I’ll have for lunch tomorrow ;)

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Emily! I’m so happy to hear that you finally gave this recipe a try. Yaay! I LOVE it! I think kids get freaked out by the chunks of tomato and onion in the refried beans. I will agree that it’s not the most attractive dish, but it sure is tasty! I hope you enjoyed your lunch! xoxo, Jacquelyn

  11. Marjorie Snow says

    Finally prepared Paul McCartney’s Refried Bean Tacos – they were delicious! Even the reluctant ‘meatless Monday’ husband liked them. Added a little mild salsa to kick them up a bit. Keep these great recipes coming our way!

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Marjorie! Yaay, so happy that you made the tacos and you want to know what? I made them tonight for dinner as well. We’re two peas in a pod! They’re seriously so easy and so good and I’m glad to hear that your meat loving hubby enjoyed them as well. I will keep the recipes coming as long as you keep making them :) Have a great night :) xoxo, Jacquelyn

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