mashed pinto bean taco salad

Mashed Pinto Bean Vegan Taco Salad

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This smashed pinto bean vegan taco salad is loaded with flavor and perfect for your next southwest inspired dinner!

Ingredients in Mashed Pinto Bean Taco Salad

The shining star of this vegan taco salad are mashed pinto beans! Well technically they are a bit more smashed pinto than mashed but we used a potato masher to get them smashed, so we will call them mashed pinto beans.

I love this easy mashed pinto bean recipe because it is easy yet the flavor is amazing! Mashing your beans for a taco salad takes your vegan taco salad to a whole other level of creamy deliciousness. For these mashed pinto beans you will need:

  • pinto beans
  • jalapeño
  • sweet onion
  • minced garlic
  • cilantro
  • chili powder
  • cumin

For your taco salad you will need assorted vegetables, seasoning and a grill basket!

mashed pinto beans

How to Make Mashed Pinto Beans

Smashed Pinto Beans are easy to make! First combine your rinsed pinto beans in a bowl along with your chopped onion, jalapeño, onion and spices. Mash with a potato masher.

Next, chop your taco seasoned vegetables with seasonings and grill over medium heat until they are done. I always like to get mine crispy, so that takes a little time longer on the grill about 40 minutes.

While your taco salad vegetables are grilling, warm up your pinto beans on the stovetop. Slowly add in water 2 tablespoons at a time, so your beans turn out creamy not dry!

Serving Your Vegan Taco Salad with Smashed Beans

Assemble your vegan taco bean salad with your grilled vegetables and smashed pinto beans. I love to use hearty lettuces such as baby kale, spinach and chard but romaine or really any salad green will be delicious.

This plant based taco salad is best to eat when fresh, but leftovers can make for an easy lunch or dinner on a busy day!

The pinto bean mixture could be made ahead and reheated. You will need to add additional water when reheating.

I love to make this vegan taco salad as part of my meal prep. I cut up the vegetables and toss them with the seasonings. Next, I store them in a covered dish or bag in the refrigerator. I make the beans ahead of time and also store them in the refrigerator. At dinnertime, I remove the prepped and seasoned vegetables and grill them. I reheat the beans with a small amount of water.

I love to serve this smahed bean taco salad with our creamy guacamole and simple homemade tortilla chips. If you make this during the summer, also pair it with fresh garden cucumber salsa or mild fresh from the garden salsa. You will have a complete southwest feast for dinner!

If you make this recipe, tag @badtothebowl on social media.

Smashed Bean Vegan Taco Salad

Recipe by SarahCourse: Main

Easy refried beans are smashed pinto beans full of southwest seasonings!


  • Mashed Pinto Beans
  • 1 – 15 oz can low sodium pinto beans

  • 1/2 of a jalapeño finely diced

  • 1/2 cup of finely diced sweet onion

  • 2 garlic clove, minced

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro

  • 1/2 tsp cumin

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp of chili powder

  • 1/8 tsp ground red pepper

  • 2 Tblsp – 1 /4 cup water

  • Grilled Taco Veggies
  • 1 small head of broccoli florets

  • 1/2 of a chopped jalapeno

  • 1 sweet peppers (orange, yellow or red)

  • chopped variety of onion slices (red, sweet, white)

  • 1 cup diced cooked sweet potato

  • 1 summer squash or zucchini, sliced

  • portobello mushrooms, sliced (optional)

  • 1/2 tsp each of salt, garlic, cumin, chili powder*

  • 1 adobe pepper in sauce chopped (about 1 tsp of sauce)*

  • 1 minced garlic clove

  • 1 tsp lime juice

  • 1/4 of pepper


  • Smashed Beans
  • If using canned beans, drain and rinse.
  • In small saucepan water sauté your jalapeño and onion 3 – 5 minutes. At the end of sauté time, add garlic.
  • Add your beans to pan and smash them with potato masher.
  • If this mixture seems dry add a little bit of water. Add in spices, stir well, then remove from stove.
  • Grilled Southwest Veggies
  • Chop all veggies – except sweet potatoes. Add all vegetables except sweet potatoes to a bowl or large baggie. Add wet and dry spices. Shake bag or stir gently.
  • Grill vegetables grill pan over high heat until done, stir frequently (20 – 40 minutes). Add your cooked sweet potato to grill pan during last 10-15 minutes of cooking.
  • Add all ingredients to salad bowl with fresh salad greens and your choice of toppings! Salsa, guac, vegan sour cream or cheese.


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