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Ground Turkey and Black Bean Tacos With Spanish Rice

As an athlete and mother of two young children, Lani is always looking for new ways to present her family with tasty and nutritious meals.

Learn how to make delicious ground turkey and black bean tacos served with Spanish rice!

Learn how to make delicious ground turkey and black bean tacos served with Spanish rice!

My Little Black Bean Secret

Tacos at my house are a universal hit—and they make an appearance on our table at least once a month. I began adding black beans to my taco meat when I realized that my boys could seemingly eat pounds of food when it comes to tacos. Solution? I decided to make my tacos more filling by adding black beans to the meat and whole corn kernels to the rice. So far, this tactic has been very successful. Not only do the black beans add fiber and extra nutrition, but they're filling enough that we usually have leftovers for the next day. Coupled with my version of Spanish rice, what used to be a single meal now stretches to three meals for my family of four people. In the world of a single mother, that is some good winning.

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Note: Steam the rice while you are browning the meat.


  • Wok (or 1 large saucepan for the meat and 1 large saucepan for the rice)
  • Rice cooker (or 1 large pot)
  • Small skillet (for frying taco shells, optional)


For the meat:

  • 2 pounds ground turkey, chicken, or beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola, olive, etc.)
  • 1 package taco seasoning (McCormick's, Lawry's, store brand, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 can black beans

For the taco shells:
You can use any soft or hard store-bought corn or flour tacos. However, if you would like to make your own (I strongly suggest you do, as it's just so much better), you will need:

  • 1 package small corn tortillas
  • 2 cups oil (canola or vegetable)

For the rice:

  • 3 cups uncooked rice of your choice (I use jasmine)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola, olive, etc.)
  • 1 cube chicken bullion
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder, garlic powder, cumin
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 can hot tomato sauce
  • 2/3 cup chopped cilantro (optional)

Step 1: Prepare the Meat

  1. Add oil and onions to one of your large saucepans and heat on medium until the onions are soft and transparent.
  2. Add meat, minced garlic, and taco seasoning, then brown till cooked thoroughly. Add half a cup of water at a time as needed to keep the meat and pan moisturized to avoid charring the meat and burning your saucepan.
  3. Open a can of black beans, rinse, drain then add to meat. Stir in beans then reduce heat to low. Let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes to soften the beans, occasionally stirring to distribute heat and avoid burning.

Step 2: Prepare the Rice

Method 1: In a Pot

Simply follow the instructions on your package of rice—it's that simple! Then skip to step 3, below.

Method 2: In a Rice Cooker

  1. Add 3 cups of uncooked rice to your rice cooker, rinse then fill with water to the appropriate fill line designated by your cooker. Crumble a chicken bouillon cube and scatter over the rice, cover then start your cooker. Once hot and the bouillion begins to dissolve, stir your rice to distribute the bouillon.
  2. Let the rice cook and move on to the meat and tortillas for now.
  3. Once your meat is simmering, and the rice is done steaming add oil and onions to a second large saucepan or wok and heat on medium until onions are soft and transparent.
  4. In a wok or large saucepan add rice, minced garlic, and all spices, and mix thoroughly. Add 1/2 can of hot tomato sauce and one can of drained whole-kernel corn. I only use half a can of Hot Tomato Sauce because "Hot" stands for spicey. I have used an entire can in the past; unfortunately, it was overwhelmingly spicey for my tiny children. Now I use half a can and freeze the remaining half for future recipes like shredded chicken tacos, homemade chili, and spicy spaghetti sauce. Thoroughly mix your rice, adding half a cup of water at a time as needed to keep rice and pan moisturized to avoid charring the rice and burning your saucepan/wok.

Step 3: Prepare the Taco Shells

  1. Put two cups of oil in a small skillet and heat on medium-high for about 4 to 5 minutes. Test the oil by dipping the edge of a tortilla in the oil to see if it begins to fry. You are looking for rapid and continuous boiling.
  2. Once the oil is hot use two dinner forks or two wooden spoons to lay one tortilla in the oil on one side for 3 to 4 seconds, then flip on the other side for another 3-4 seconds then bend the tortilla in half down the middle. Make sure to hold the tortilla open wide enough for the taco to accept all its fillings. When one side has fried to your desired crunchiness, flip over and fry the other side.
  3. Remove the cooked tortilla shell and place it on paper towels or napkins to drain excess oil.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for as many shells as you need.

Did you try it? What did you think?

© 2019 Lani Morris