Fresh Arugula and Black Bean Tacos with Pickled Radish and Feta

Simple, fresh and filling vegetarian tacos! -

This week has been a doozy. Big decisions have been clamoring for my verdict and, as usual, I’ve been struggling to make up my mind. I like possibilities, you see. I like the feeling of unlimited potential. Narrowing down my options makes me nervous. So nervous that I find myself clicking through page after page of J. Crew’s final sale and reaching for extra-large glasses of wine in attempts to escape it all. I see what you’re trying to do there, unconscious self.

lime dressing and arugula

Another strange form of escapism? Making a mess of leftovers in the kitchen. I like to absentmindedly throw a bunch of different leftovers in a bowl and hope that I’ll happen across a magical combination. These tacos are one of the rare combinations worth sharing.

At the time of discovery, I had just gotten back from the grocery store but most of my ingredients were destined for future recipes. I grabbed some arugula, warmed some black beans, and threw in some feta and quick-pickled radishes. I tossed all of that in jalapeño-lime dressing and took a bite. Eureka! I was onto something.

lime dressing -

Then I warmed up a corn tortilla and stuffed it full of salad. Who knew that arugula would make such a perfect taco? It’s spicy, crisp, peppery—I should have known.

I honestly hadn’t intended to turn my quick-pickled radishes into a two-part series, but those crisp, vinegary, spicy sliced radishes are the perfect complement to warm black beans and arugula. The resulting tacos are fresh and light, yet filling. This is a 30-minute meal (pickled radishes excluded) that I’ll be revisiting often. I’m hoping it becomes a staple in your house, too.

Fresh vegetarian tacos, ready in 30 minutes -

A couple of notes before you get started: If you’re planning to have leftovers, only dress the amount of arugula you intend to consume in one sitting. The vinegar in the dressing breaks down the leaves and you don’t want wilty arugula in these tacos. Also, if you don’t have time for pickled radishes (they are super quick to make!), just use thinly sliced fresh radishes and add some hot sauce.

And hey, if you make this recipe at home, will you make me a happy blogger and snap a photo? Tag it #cookieandkate so I can see it on Instagram! I LOVE to see what you’ve been cooking. You can check out what other readers have made making over here!

Fresh arugula and black bean tacos with pickled radish and feta -

Vegetarian Arugula and Black Bean Tacos with Pickled Radish and Feta
5.0 from 6 reviews
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Fresh, light yet filling tacos made with cumin-spiced black beans, topped with lime and jalapeño dressed arugula, quick-pickled radishes, avocado and feta. Recipe as written below yields 8 tacos.
Jalapeño-lime dressing
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 large lime)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño (about 1 medium jalapeño), membranes and seeds removed
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon honey (or agave nectar)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Spicy black beans
  • 2 cans black black beans, rinsed and drained (or 4 cups cooked black beans)
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ⅓ cup water
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Everything else
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 4 to 6 cups baby arugula
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced into thin strips
  • ⅔ cup crumbled feta
  • Quick-pickled radishes or chopped fresh radishes
  • Optional garnishes: freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes and/or hot sauce like Cholula
  1. To make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine all of the listed dressing ingredients. Whisk until emulsified.
  2. To prepare the black beans: Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and a sprinkle of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and are turning translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the cumin and cook for about 30 seconds while stirring. Pour in the beans and ⅓ cup water. Stir, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and use the back of a fork to mash up about at least half of the beans. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and cover until you're ready to serve.
  3. To warm the tortillas: Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat and warm each tortilla individually, flipping occasionally. Alternatively, you can warm them directly over a low flame on a gas range.
  4. Put it all together: Just before serving, toss the arugula with enough dressing to lightly coat the leaves (you will probably have leftover dressing). Spread black beans down the middle of each tortilla. Top with sliced avocado, pickled radishes, a small handful of dressed arugula and a sprinkle of crumbled feta. Finish with a couple dashes of freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes and/or hot sauce.
Black beans adapted from my sweet potato and black bean tacos. Dressing adapted from my kale and black bean burrito bowl.
Make it vegan: Skip the feta and add extra pickled radishes to make up for feta's salty punch.
Make it gluten free: Be sure to use gluten-free tortillas.
Storage suggestions: Store individual components separately. Gently warm beans in the microwave or on the stovetop (add a splash of water if they seem dry). Toss arugula with dressing just before serving.
If you love this recipe: You'll also love my kale and black bean burritos and summer squash tacos.


  1. says

    These look fantastic! I love the flavour and texture combo happening here. Can’t wait to try those radishes! I looooove pickled anything :) I’m a vinegar fanatic!

  2. says

    This looks great, a perfect filling but light summer meal. My wife is gluten free and vegetarian and I’m always on the lookout for recipes that fit those stringent qualifications. I’ll be sure to post a pic when (not if) I make this. Thanks!!

  3. says

    Tacos can seem to take all manner of food and easily incorporate them into something yummy. I’ve seen a lot of Asian fusion-y tacos but never arugula and feta! Love both of those and with the crunchy pickled radishes and creamy black beans sounds pretty yummy. You’ll have to share more of your oddball leftover creations!

  4. says

    Yum! This is just the kind of odds and ends meal I love to eat too! Radishes, beans, and arugula are staples for me as well.
    Good luck with your decision-making Kathryne. I look forward to hearing what is next for you.
    xoxox from Berkeley,

  5. says

    Hooray for tacos! Especially with a handful of pungent radish pickles — so classic and delicious. Also, I made your orange poppyseed cake yet again a few nights ago — it’s fast becoming one of my go-to cakes! Thank you!

  6. says

    We just had tacos for dinner last night! Nothing quite as fancy as these though. I love playing around with taco flavours (I make a balsamic mushroom version :) ) but the ‘rents tend to be quite traditional in their taco flavourings.
    I love the thought of making the pickled radishes and incorporating them into this dish! Thanks for the dinner idea Kate!

  7. says

    Hahaa.. I was just talking with a friend of mine about the J.Crew sale last night! Indeedy, very big decisions to be made (I am seriously needing to save cash at the moment so I am trying to avoid online sales at all costs, argh!). As for leftovers in tacos? Awesome. I never thought to try rocket in a taco either but it makes perfect sense after reading this. I NEED to make those radishes. Quick smart, yes please!

    • says

      The J.Crew final sale always gets the best of me! I bought a beautiful royal blue winter coat on super sale a few weeks ago and I can’t wait to wear it next winter! I think you would love these arugula and radish tacos, Laura.

  8. says

    oh yuuuuummmmm! These look so delicious! I actually just had a black bean taco at a restaurant and it was out of this world yummy, I’m thinking I need to make this one and I’ll have the same experience :)

  9. says

    I have been meaning to make your pickled radishes (slightly obsessed with radish at the moment), so this looks like a perfect excuse for tonight – yum to the combination of black beans, rocket and radish -will try to remember to instagram it!

  10. says

    Now you’ve got ME paging through that J. Crew sale! Instead of doing blog work. Sigh. I love/hate procrastination.

    Yay for fun-ing up leftovers! These tacos look like summer.

  11. Elizabeth says

    I stumbled on your blog not long ago and I love it! I made the pickled radishes the other day (they are fabulous) and I made this tonight for dinner, only I didn’t actually have tacos, I just had it all in a bowl on some warm quinoa. It was really, really gorgeous. Thank you for your blog, I really do enjoy it.

  12. Sarah says

    These are to-die-for. The pickled radishes were easy and are excellent as a garnish (or even by themselves). I ate leftovers from this dish twice this week– just as delish as the first time! Warmed corn tortillas are key.

  13. says

    Hi Kate! What can I say, WOW. I follow your blog all the time and absolutely love your recipes. I am, by no means, a vegetarian but I do appreciate a meatless meal! My boyfriend and I LOVED this recipe and will make it again. Those radishes. MMM. I work for a Canadian wine company and take care of the social media for two wineries. I’m definitely going to be posting this on their accounts! It paired perfectly with the Gewurztraminer. Thanks so much. Can’t wait to try more!

  14. Mona says

    These took a fair amount of work and time, but the results were CRAZY DELICIOUS!!!! :)

    I added coriander seeds and garlic cloves to the pickles in addition to the required red pepper flakes and mustard seeds (I used black mustard seeds).

    I finished the tortillas with Sriracha.


  15. Kerry says

    This was a hit with the whole family including the non-veg husband and the growing, picky 13 year old boy. He came back for seconds and just asked me to add this to the rotation for next week. (He and I have also polished off 2 batches of your toasted muesli. haha!)

    You’ve fed me all week! :) I love your recipes so much.

  16. says

    This looks so delicious! My go-to easy quick meal lately has been corn tortillas with mashed avocado, salad greens and slices of grilled halloumi, but I’ve been craving a black bean variation, can’t wait to make this! Thank you so much!

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