Tlacoyos De Frijol (Black Bean Tlacoyos)

Tlacoyos are a classic Mexican oval-shaped patty made with masa dough and typically filled with beans and cheese. Top them with a delicious fresh salsa and you’re set to enjoy a delicious and easy to make meal! 

This recipe is low-fat, gluten free, vegetarian with plant-based & vegan options.

Three tlacoyos on a metal plate topped with Nopalitos and crumbled queso.

The Tlacoyos are a fundamental piece of Mexican gastronomy, since many meals & snacks have their origin in this dish: Sopes, Huaraches and Gorditas were created after this delicacy made with masa

Holding a our the dish ready to eat with one hand.

Ingredients

We don’t need a lot of ingredients to make Tlacoyos but it does require other toppings and fillings to make this super delicious dish. It’s all about layers of flavor!

On this blog post, I will show you how to make the Tlacoyos and the Nopalitos (cactus) salsa. The fillings is made with beans which I will provide the link to the recipe below.

All of the ingredients in small white bowls.

MASA DOUGH

  • 1 ½ cup masa harina
  • 1 ½ cup hot water
  • ½ teaspoon table salt

NOPALITOS SALSA

  • 15 ounces cooked Nopalitos or 15 oz store bought jar 
  • ¼ cup diced white or yellow onion.
  • 1 large roma tomato diced into small cubes
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

FILLINGS

  • 1 cup Refried Black Beans or Pinto Beans
  • Other filling ideas are mashed green peas, broad beans (habas in Spanish), or cheese. In recent years people started filling them with meats like chorizo or shredded meat.

TOPPINGS

We eat the tlacoyos with a cactus salsa which is so important as a topping. It adds a whole nother flavor and textures. It’s the perfect final touch! 

Other delicious toppings are crumbled queso fresco, crema, avocado, lettuce, salsa, and radishes.

How To Make Tlacoyos

Make The Nopalitos Salsa – Start by making the salsa then set it aside: Mix the nopalitos, onions, tomato, cilantro and season with salt & pepper to taste.

Tlacoyos Masa in a white bowl.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the masa harina and salt. Stir in water a little bit at the time to thoroughly combine. Knead dough just until it comes together into a smooth ball, about 2 minutes.
  • Keep the dough in the bowl and cover with a towel. Let rest for 15 minutes.

FORM THE TLACOYO

  • Fill a shallow dish with water to keep handy when working with the masa.
  • Working one dough ball at time, with your fingertips, press a deep indent into the ball, then work it into a thick tortilla (about ¼ inch-thick).
  • Place about 2 tablespoons of beans into the middle area. Using moist fingers, carefully bring edges of dough together, enclose filling, and press to seal. Roll the ball in your hands until smooth.
Images of putting beans inside the masa dough and shaping the tlacoyos.
  • Carefully and very lightly press the Tlacoyo with your hands flipping it side to side, until they form into a football shape. About ¼ inch-thick. If the edges crack, smooth them with a wet finger tip. Place Tlacoyo on a plate and set aside to make the rest.
  • Repeat procedure with remaining dough and filling.
Two images of forming the masa by hand.

COOK THE TLACOYO

  • Heat a comal, large cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Once it becomes very hot, lower the heat to medium.
  • Cook the Tlacoyos in batches (how many fit in the comal): Cook for one minute then flip them. Cook for 2.5 minutes. Then flip them again and cook for another 1.5 minutes.
Cooking the masa with beans on a comal.
  • Place them on a plate lined with a kitchen towel and cover with same towel.
  • Serve Tlacoyos with Cactus Salsa and add your favorite toppings.
Dinner set on a table with toppings in small bowls.

SERVE

  • Serve the Tlacoyos warm by layering with the nopalitos salsa and the toppings of your choice.

Equipment

Preferably use a comal but if you don’t have one, you can use a griddle or an iron-skillet. Make sure to use a skillet where the heat is distributed evenly to cook well.

Holding a Tlacoyo with a bite with one hand.

How To Store The Tlacoyos

Any leftovers can be stored in a ziploc bag or an airtight container. They can be made ahead and simply heat up on the comal or skillet before serving.

Top tips:

  • Make sure the dough is not dry. If it feels to dry, add one tablespoon of water at the time and knead again.
  • The beans have to be on the dry side and cold to prevent them from spilling out when you seal them in the masa. 
  • The Tlacoyos have to be on the thin side in order for it to cook thoroughly.
  • Cook them for 1 minute on the first side, then flip them and cook them for 2.5 minutes. Flip them again and cook for 1.5 minutes. So they’re only flipped 3 times. 
  • Avoid leaving them on the comal too long as they will get hard and dry. 
  • Tlacoyos are a healthy dish since they’re not made with fat and don’t need to be fried to cook. Enjoy!!!
Holding a our the dish ready to eat with one hand.

Tlacoyos De Frijol (Black Bean Tlacoyos)

Servings 8 Tlacoyos
Ana Frias
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Make these Tlacoyos and enjoy all of the classic Mexican flavors you like! It's like an extra-thick corn tortilla with a filling then topped with salsa or anything you like. So good!
8 Tlacoyos

Ingredients
  

Masa Dough

  • 1 ½ cup masa harina
  • 1 ½ cup hot water
  • ½ teaspoon table salt

Nopalitos Salsa

  • 15 ounces cooked Nopalitos or 15 oz store bought jar diced into small cubes
  • ¼ cup diced white or yellow onion.
  • 1 large roma tomato diced into small cubes
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings

  • Cactus Salsa
  • Avocado, lettuce, radishes optional
  • crumbled queso fresco and Mexican crema optional

Instructions
 

Make the Masa Dough

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the masa harina and salt. Stir in water a little bit at the time to thoroughly combine. Knead dough just until it comes together into a smooth ball, about 2 minutes.
  • Keep the dough in the bowl and cover with a towel. Let rest for 15 minutes.

Form The Tlacoyo

  • Fill a shallow dish with water to keep handy when working with the masa.
  • Make a masa ball (about 60 grams) the size of very large golf ball and with your wet fingertips, press a deep indent into the ball, then work it into a thick tortilla (about ¼ inch-thick).
  • Place about 1 to 2 tablespoons of beans into the middle area. Using moist fingers, carefully bring edges of dough together, enclose filling, and press to seal. Roll the ball in your hands until smooth.
  • Carefully and very lightly press the Tlacoyo with your hands flipping it side to side, until they form into a football shape. About ¼ inch-thick. If edges crack, smooth them with a wet finger tip. Place Tlacoyo on a plate and set aside.
  • Repeat procedure with remaining dough and filling.

Cook The Tlacoyo

  • Heat a comal, large cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Once it becomes very hot, lower the heat to medium.
  • Cook the Tlacoyos in batches (how many fit in the comal): Cook for one minute then flip them. Cook for 2.5 minutes. Then flip them again and cook for another 1.5 minutes.
  • Place them on a plate lined with a kitchen towel and cover with same towel to keep them warm and not dry out.

Make the Nopalitos Salsa

  • Mix the nopalitos, onions, tomato, cilantro and season with salt & pepper to taste.

Serve

  • Serve the Tlacoyos warm by layering with the nopalitos salsa and the toppings of your choice.

*Ana’s Notes:

  • Make sure the dough is not dry. If it feels to dry, add one tablespoon of water at the time and knead again.
  • The beans have to be on the dry side and cold to prevent them from spilling out when you seal them in the masa. 
  • The Tlacoyos have to be on the thin side in order for it to cook thoroughly.
  • Cook them for 1 minute on the first side, then flip them and cook them for 2.5 minutes. Flip them again and cook for 1.5 minutes. So they’re only flipped 3 times. 
  • Avoid leaving them on the comal too long as they will get hard and dry. 
  • Tlacoyos are a healthy dish since they’re not made with fat and don’t need to be fried to cook.

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1tlacoyo | Sodium: 2mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 3g | Potassium: 244mg | Cholesterol: 25mg | Calories: 120kcal | Fat: 2g | Protein: 5g | Carbohydrates: 25g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

The History

Tlacoyo is a traditional food from the center of the country and its consumption dates back to long before the arrival of the Spanish to the American continent.

When the ancient settlers of what is now known as Mexico undertook long journeys, they filled their “itacate” with tlacoyos and their gourd with water or pulque.

According to some records, the Spanish tried the tlacoyos for the first time in the tianguis of Tlatelolco and they liked it so much that they included this food in their diet, but not before adding products derived from beef and dairy products.

Three tlacoyos on a metal plate.

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Recipe Rating




13 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I enjoyed these tlacoyos with beans just as you described them. Made a tomato salsa and they were so good! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Your Tlacoyos look delicious, I love the different toppings you serve with them. Thanks for all the tips, looking forward to trying your recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. I lived In Mexico for many years and miss tlacoyos so much! I keep coming to this post to make the recipe and never disappoints!

  4. 5 stars
    Wow! This meal is a huge hit at our house. We love how easy this is to make and fun! I’m totally adding this to our monthly rotation. My kids loved it!