It’s coming. The zucchini is coming. Empty your refrigerator, clear your kitchen counter, and figure out which neighbors are least likely to suspect you of leaving an anonymous bag of squash on their doorsteps, because summer squash is prepping to take over. These Blackened Zucchini Tacos are one tasty way I plan to survive the influx of summer’s most prolific vegetable in the next few months.
Like a rainstorm that starts with a roll of thunder or a chick flick’s happy ending, zucchini is predictable. From late July through September, it dominates backyard gardens and farm stands, and my freezer slowly fills with loaf after loaf of zucchini bread.
Since a gal can only eat so many zucchini muffins (and zucchini brownies and zucchini waffles), I’m stockpiling my collection of easy zucchini dinner recipes, including today’s Blackened Zucchini Tacos. This recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes, healthy, and packs a sassy southwest kick.
How to Make These Blackened Zucchini Tacos
This zucchini taco recipe begins with summer produce staples: zucchini, red onion, and fresh corn for the taco filling, along with radishes for a cooling crunch on top.
The zucchini tacos are made in two phases, both of which are quick and easy to complete. Start by sprinkling thick rounds of zucchini with a zesty mix of chili powder, cumin, and cayenne, then cook the slices in olive oil until golden on each side. The spices will darken (a.k.a. “blacken”) and the zucchini.
If you sneak an early taste of the zucchini slices, you’ll notice they are pretty spicy. Fear not for your taste buds—once the zucchini mixes with the other ingredients, the heat mellows and balances.
Next up, filling part two: in the same skillet, quickly cook the corn, onion, garlic, and black beans. EASY.
Now we build! We wrapped up our zucchini tacos in soft flour tortillas. The tortillas stay nice and fluffy but are sturdy enough to handle a heaping helping of zucchini taco filling.
For a gluten free option, simply swap in corn tortillas or serve a little of each. You can do no wrong.
More Vegetarian Tex-Mex Recipes
Tools Used to Make This Recipe
- Cast Iron Skillet. Another good quality, more affordable option here.
- Sharp Chef’s Knife. Your new favorite kitchen tool.
The zucchini is coming. Fire up your stove and let’s embrace it one zucchini taco at a time.
Blackened Zucchini Tacos
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 medium zucchini cut into ½-inch round disks
- 1 medium red onion diced
- ¾ cup corn cut from the cob (about 1 ear—or substitute frozen, thawed corn)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 can low sodium black beans rinsed and drained
- 8 flour tortillas Fajita/Taco Size (to make gluten free, swap corn tortillas)
- Toppings: Sliced radishes cilantro, sour cream, feta, lime wedges
- In a large skillet, heat 1 ½ tablespoons of the olive oil over medium high. While the oil heats, combine the chili powder, cumin, kosher salt, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Once the oil is hot and shiny, add the zucchini rounds in a single layer, then sprinkle with half the spice mixture. Let cook until the first side is golden, about 4 minutes, then flip, sprinkle with the remaining spice mixture, and cook on the other side until it is golden as well, 3-4 additional minutes. Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Reduce the skillet heat to medium low. Add the onion and corn and let cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and beans, then cook until the garlic is fragrant and the beans are heated through, about 2-3 minutes.
- If desired, toast the tortillas over a gas burner or cover with a lightly damp paper or kitchen towel and warm in the microwave. Fill tortillas with the bean mixture and reserved zucchini slices, then add any desired toppings. Enjoy immediately.
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