Black Bean Taco Salad with Cilantro & Jalapeño Dressing

Sometimes you need tacos or nachos, and sometimes you need a salad.

My sister, Heather, and I always need tacos or nachos.  There’s a local vegan restaurant that has tofu tacos with a creamy jalapeño/lime sauce… and we both love to order the tacos, mainly for the sauce.

So I’ve been dying to make the jalapeño/lime sauce at home, and realised that if we used it like a salad dressing, we could have a taco salad.  And I know that cashews make a creamy vegan dressing — so into the blender went cashews, water, fresh lime juice, and fresh cilantro, along with a few pickled jalapeño slices.  And out came my new favourite thing: Cilantro & Jalapeño Dressing!

So I knew a taco-themed salad would be perfect to show off the dressing, with smoky Chipotle Black Beans, crispy Romaine lettuce, and lots of fresh veggies.  And of course, some more pickled jalapeño slices!

Black Bean Taco Salad with Cilantro & Jalapeño Dressing |

Inspired by Vegan MoFo, I picked up some Daiya Cheddar shreds at the grocery store… and they add just the right salty and cheesy flavour to make this salad feel like a real treat.

Warning: the jalapeños and chipotles add quite a bit of spice! Feel free to adjust as you will for your own spice-loving levels!

Black Bean Taco Salad with Cilantro & Jalapeño Dressing |

Black Bean Taco Salad with Cilantro & Jalapeño Dressing
This salad gets you filled up with healthy ingredients, but also hits the spot when you’re having a taco craving.  Top with your favourite taco toppings — maybe pickled red onions & jalapeño slices, along with a few fresh avocado slices and some fresh cilantro leaves.  Serves 2.

Chipotle Black Beans

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 can (540 ml / 19 fl oz) black beans, drained
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon chipotle hot sauce (or to taste, this is spicy!)

Cilantro & Jalapeño Dressing

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 handfuls fresh cilantro
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 10 pickled jalapeño slices (or 1 fresh jalapeño, sliced)


  • 1 head of Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • pickled jalapeño slices (optional)
  • 4 Tablespoons vegan cheese shreds (I like Daiya Cheddar shreds)

Begin by preparing the Chipotle Black Beans: In a small pot, heat the oil & garlic.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Add the beans and spices (cumin, oregano, salt & hot sauce).  Cook for 5 minutes more, until the beans are hot.

Mix up the Cilantro & Jalapeño Dressing: Place all ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth.

Prepare the Salad: Place the lettuce in the bottom of two bowls.  Top with a big scoop of the Chipotle Black Beans.  Add the fresh veggies over top (tomatoes, pepper, green onion & jalapeño slices).  Spoon a couple tablespoons of the Cilantro & Jalapeño Dressing over top.  Sprinkle with the vegan cheese shreds, and eat with delight!


Vegan MoFo |

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Main Course, Salad, Sauce, Vegan, Vegetarian


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6 Comments on “Black Bean Taco Salad with Cilantro & Jalapeño Dressing”

  1. September 10, 2014 at 7:07 am #

    Your taco salad looks amazing! Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. isabella
    September 10, 2014 at 7:46 am #

    Yum, looks delicious!!

  3. September 11, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    This looks tasty! I could see this working on sopes, too.

    • September 12, 2014 at 11:22 am #

      Absolutely!!! We did it on arepas too!


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