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The recipe box

Pinto beans beef tacos

Pinto beans beef tacos

Use a savory combination of beans, beef, and seasonings for a delicious taco filling. This recipe serves 12...think about trying it at your next family gathering!

Number of servings: 12 tacos
Serving size: 2



2 cups dry pinto beans (about 1 pound)

1 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 pound 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


Time needed: 15 minutes preparation; 2 hours and 10 minutes cook time; 1-4 hours wait time

  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.

Nutritional information

Calories 414
Total Fat: 17 g
Saturated Fat: 6.4 g
Cholesterol: 61 mg
Sodium: 419 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 38 g
Dietary Fiber: 7.5 g
Total Sugar: 3.5 g
Protein: 27 g

Allergens: Dairy, wheat (if wheat taco shells are used)

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.


This was adapted from the United States Department of Agriculture's Terrific Bean Tacos (no date; What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl).

Related resources

Preparing dry beans and whole dry peas (PDF) — Save money and time by preparing your own dried beans and peas.

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Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas — Bake yourself a pan of delicious homemade enchiladas. You can get it on your dinner table in less than an hour. English | español

Farmers Market Salsa — Turn fresh tomatoes, onions, and peppers and canned beans and corn into this delicious salsa. It's a great use for farmers market produce!

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