Black Bean Tortillas with Cabbage Slaw and Lime Crema

These Black Bean Tortillas with Cabbage Slaw and Lime Crema are a favorite in my household – and I think you’ll love them too.

While all five of us (my husband and three daughters) enjoy plant-based foods, not everyone eats a totally vegan diet. Here’s the breakdown: two of us are totally vegan, one is almost totally vegan, one is pescatarian and one eats the standard western diet.


Crowd-Pleasing Dish to Feed a Crowd

If you are cooking plant-based food for a variety of eaters you’ll understand this. My challenge is to make highly flavorful foods that are delicious and satisfying for all palates. There are two tricks that I use.

The first is choosing very filling ingredients such as beans, whole grains, potatoes and sweet potatoes. In the case of these tortillas, black beans pack the satiating punch and then complimentary ingredients are built on top of them.


A Well Rounded Flavor Combination

The second trick is flavor – lots of it. In the case of these Black Bean Tortillas , I used a variety of Mexican spices in the beans and was sure to select ingredients to trigger all five flavor tastes.

Sour: lime juice, apple cider vinegar, tomatoes and salsa

Sweet: roasted corn and mango and slightly sweetened beans

Umami: tomato paste in the beans and cumin

Salty: salt (obvious, i know)

Bitter: lime zest, cabbage and corn tortillas

You don’t need to know all of that – all you need to know is that these Black Bean Tortillas are amazing and use sustainable ingredients! Not only that they are totally whole foods plant based without any added oils. I love it when healthy meets great taste!

Lime Crema

Wondering how to make a cream sauce without dairy? It’s easy. The secret ingredient in the Lime Crema is cashews. They blend up with the sour and salty notes to a smooth and mildly sweet cream perfect for drizzling atop the Black Bean Tortillas. My go to appliance for making the crema is this little powerhouse. i love using this Nutribullet personal size blender because it’s light, easy to clean and creates a lovely smooth crema.

Not only i the crema smooth and flavorful, but it is totally devoid of dairy products. I love this citrusy cream sauce drizzled on top of the Black Bean Tortillas. Not only does it add a nice bright zesty lift but it is totally devoid of the cholesterol, hormones and antibiotics often found in dairy products. That’s a win-win!

I hope you the Black Bean Tortillas as much as I do!



Black Bean Tortillas with Cabbage Slaw & Lime Crema

Each component of this recipe has its own star power, creating a delectable, crowd-pleasing combination. The protein-packed, spicy black bean filling, seasoned with aromatic spices and herbs, is perfectly complemented by the zesty and refreshing cabbage slaw, sweet mango, and smooth lime crema. This is one of those dishes I love to serve with all the components laid out on a table so that everyone can pick and choose what to load onto their plate. My friend Marla calls a meal like this a “build-your-own-damn-tortilla feast.”
Course Dressing/ Sauce, Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Plant-based, Vegan


Ingredients for the cabbage slaw

  • 4 cups thinly sliced red or green cabbage
  • ½ cup quartered and thinly sliced onion
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper seeded and chopped small
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt or to taste

Ingredients for the black beans

  • 2 15- ounce cans black beans drained and rinsed (3 cups)
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce such as Frank's RedHot or Cholula (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon agave or sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

Ingredients for the lime crema

  • cup raw cashews soaked for 2 hours and then drained, if not using a high-speed blender
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Ingredients for serving

  • 8 to 12 soft wheat or corn tortillas depending on size (wheat holds up a bit better)
  • 2 ripe avocados pitted, peeled, and diced
  • 2 cups corn warmed
  • 2 mangoes peeled and diced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 cup salsa
  • Hot sauce and/or plant-based cheddar, Monterey Jack, or spicy Mexican-blend cheese (optional, for serving)


  • To make the cabbage slaw, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix and set aside to allow the flavors to meld.
  • To make the black beans, mix all the ingredients together in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to simmer for 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture has thickened.
  • To make the lime crema, add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. It tends to thicken when cooled in the fridge. To thin, add more water.
  • To warm and assemble the tortillas, preheat the oven to 350°F. Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and bake for 5 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, warm individually in a skillet on medium heat for a minute or so.
  • If not setting up the ingredients buffet-style, place a tortilla on a plate. Layer with the beans, slaw, avocado, corn, mango, cilantro, and salsa. Then drizzle with lime crema and optional toppings, if desired.


Have you ever opened a small can of tomato paste to use only a tablespoon or two, and then wondered what to do with the leftovers? Try this: scoop tablespoon-sized dollops onto a small plate. Place the plate in the freezer. Once the dollops have frozen, store them in the freezer in an airtight container. Grab dollops whenever you need them, defrost if necessary, and you’ll be good to go. It may help to know that four tablespoons equals one quarter cup.
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