Organic, Real Food on a Budget – Beef Tacos

Beans. They are great for stretching out a meal. Soups, pastas, and many mexican dishes can be almost doubled with a wide variety of beans. As a kid, my mom always made beef tacos with kidney beans in the mix. I thought this was “normal” but later realized she was stretching her dollar.

Now that my kids are a bit older, a pound of ground beef doesn’t go as far as it used it. But when I mix in some kidney beans, we now have more than enough for our dinner and usually a little leftover.

Do you use beans to stretch meals? What is your favorite kind of bean to use, and in what dish do you like to use it?

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Beef Tacos

Serving Size: Serves 4-6

Beef Tacos



  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 pound ground beef (grass-fed preferred)

  • 1 1/2 cups kidney beans, cooked (if you use canned, make sure and rinse them)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 12 corn tortillas (I prefer these sprouted corn tortillas)
  • Toppings:

  • 20 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced

  • 1 lime, quartered


Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onion and saute until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add ground beef to softened onion and cook, stirring frequently and breaking up meat with the back of a spoon, until browned, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in kidney beans. Make a well in the center of the pan and add the garlic, cumin and salt. Stir spices in the center of the pan until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Stir spices into meat mixture. Taste meat and add more salt if necessary. Remove skillet from heat.

Serve meat in a tortilla and topped with tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

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  1. Karen

    We love taco night in our home, too! This one is going to camp with my son. He has some specific dietary restrictions so I’ve arranged with the camp to send food. I’ve already included taco meat (organic) and spanish rice (brown rice) as one of his dishes. And based on the meal plan from the camp, the other kids are going to be soooo jealous! :)

  2. Karin

    Looks yummy! Wish you lived down the street so we could come and join you! I love to use white beans (cannellini) which I think are just Italian kidneys. I like the softer texture and mild flavor of these and so do the kids.

  3. I thought I didn’t like beans, until I discovered that size matters. I like small beans best, like lentils, navy / pea beans, and black beans. I love making chili now because we make it with black beans instead of kidney beans.

    We have burritos occasionally — usually either beans or meat but not both — will have to give the mix a try!

  4. These look fantastic, thanks for sharing the recipe.

    My girlfriend is vegetarian which leads us to use beans in a lot of meals, including tacos, for a meat substitute. It’s funny, even though I am not a vegetarian I catch myself ordering bean quesadillas, or a making a bean burger without even thinking about it. Makes her happy. =)

  5. Brooke @ Food Woolf

    I just made a hearty soup for some friends who just had a baby, and instead of the broth being all about the meat, I saved more than a few dollars by using beans and potatoes for a hearty meal on the fly. Thanks for the great recipe and money saving ideas! xoxo

  6. Shari

    I love adding beans to make meat stretch! Good for the environment, good for your wallet & adds some extra fiber.

    Silly question? I’ve re-read it several times,but why are the beans listed twice in the recipe? I thought maybe you were adding some beans early in the cooking and the rest later, but I don’t see that. Is it 1 lb beef & 2 cups beans – or 1 lb beef & 1/2 cup beans? Sorry if I’m missing it!!



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