Crockpot Barley and Bean Tacos with Avocado Chipotle Cream

Crockpot Barley and Bean Tacos with Avocado Chipotle Cream |

Hi!  How are ya?  How was your weekend?  It was beautiful here on Saturday and I soaked up every single second I could outside.  But more importantly, my mom is here!  She flew in yesterday and I have big plans for her week-long visit.  You know, restaurants, shopping at the outlets – all very important things.  Yes yes.  {On that note – just a warning that it may take me longer to respond this week – as we will be busy with said shopping}.

Anywho, I made you some tacos.  And they involve the crockpot so they are super duper easy.  Dump in everything for the filling, walk away and return to a delicious dinner.  Or if you are like me and make it when you are home all day, you can be tortured by the awesome smells wafting from the kitchen that are making you crazy hungry and wanting to eat everything in sight.

Crockpot Barley and Bean Tacos with Avocado Chipotle Cream |

And this recipe makes a ton of food.  So you can have as many tacos as you want, which is always a very good thing, yes?  I think I like mexican food a little too much for my own good.

These tacos are nice and filling, as they are packed with barley, beans and veggies.  Plus, you can then top them off with a creamy, slightly smoky avocado chipotle cream, some feta and lots of chopped cilantro.

Please excuse the fact that the avocado cream isn’t actually on the tacos in the pictures.  I meant to top them right before I started shooting and then apparently completely forgot.  In my defense I am constantly swatting away one hungry little beagle who likes to try to steal the food off the table while I’m taking photos.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many photos I have with her nose in the shot.  She thinks she’s so sneaky but that snout is hard to miss.

Crockpot Barley and Bean Tacos with Avocado Chipotle Cream |

And now I want some more tacos … although that’s pretty much the case all of the time.

Crockpot Barley and Bean Tacos with Avocado Chipotle Cream
Yield: enough filling for at least 20 tacos
For the filling:
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup barley*
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • juice of ½ a lime
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
For the avocado chipotle cream:**
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 ½ tablespoons plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon half and half
  • 1 teaspoon minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
For serving:
  • flour or corn tortillas
  • chopped cilantro
  • crumbled feta
  1. To make the filling - add all of the filling ingredients to a crockpot. Give it a good stir then cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. You want most of the liquid to be absorbed and the barley to be nice and tender and chewy.
  2. To make the avocado cream - remove the pit from the avocado and scoop the flesh into a medium bowl. Mash well with a fork. Add in the greek yogurt, half and half, minced chipotle and salt. Mix until well combined.
  3. To serve - spoon some of the filling onto a tortilla. Top with some of the avocado cream, cilantro and feta.
I used hulled barley for this recipe (I buy it from the bulk bins at whole foods). If you can’t find hulled barley and use pearled barley instead, you will likely be able to reduce the cooking time by about an hour or so since pearled barley cooks quicker.

*The filling that you cook in the crockpot makes a ton of food (i.e. enough for at least 20 tacos!). For the avocado cream, the amounts listed are enough for about 8 to 10 tacos, depending on how much you use. I just made another batch of the avocado cream when we were ready to eat the rest of the filling.

Cookie Monster Cooking. Filling inspired by a recipe given to me by a friend (hi jenna!)


More from Cookie Monster Cooking:


  1. It sounds like you had a lovely weekend. :) These tacos look so yummy. I think they’re my husband’s favorite meal so I definitely want to try these!

  2. I just found your blog and I’m going crazy pinning all the amazing looking recipes! Great find!

  3. Awhhhhh Emma is such a cutie haha! I would have tried to steal these tacos as well, actually ;—) They look really delicious!
    Glad you had a nice weekend! x

  4. Gorgeous pictures Ashley! The tacos look amazing. I don’t blame your dog for wanting to get some. The avocado chipotle cream sounds amazing!

  5. Have so much fun with your mom this week!! I love using my crock pot so I can always appreciate a new recipe to try out :)

  6. Have fun with your mama! These tacos looks crazy good.. and I know exactly what you mean about the crockpot smelling so delicious all day that you eat everything in sight. Story. Of. My. Life

  7. Oh man that happens to me all the time! You have an idea for a photo, get caught up in the moment, and then as you’re looking through your photos, realize you totally forgot. But the photos are still really beautiful, and I really want tacos right now!

    Have a great time with your mom… shopping, haha

  8. It’s sunny here too, Ashley … whoo hoo! Perfect shopping weather ;-) Love these tacos … actually, any Mexican food seems pretty exotic to me, as it’s so difficult to find over here (even the ingredients to make at home, sadly). Still, I can dream … love the idea of making them so healthy with the beans and barley. So colourful!

  9. Jo @ the contented baker says:

    I SO need to get a crockpot. This is definitely my kind of supper – delicious!! Have a great week with your Mum :-)

  10. Taking photos with a canine “assistant” is a challenge at best….stolen tacos/cookies/props at worst. :) When I am trying to take photos, Pax is on his worst behavior. He hates it when I am focused on anything besides him. He isn’t spoiled or anything. ;) These tacos look like its a good thing the recipe makes a lot! Knowing that the chipotle cream is there hiding in the background makes it all the more tempting. :) Enjoy your visit with your mom, Ashley!

  11. These look like some serious tacos! I think I like Mexican food too much for my own good as well. I could eat it everyday! Love that this is a crock pot recipe too. Plus, avocado chipotle cream sounds fantastic!

  12. Oooooooo avocado chipotle cream….mmmm. Tacos are the best and I love how you made it a crockpot meal! Easy,effortless and of course delicious. LOVE IT! :D

  13. I’m always ready for some tacos! And shopping :) Hopefully the warm beautiful weather comes back. It has been raining here the past few days. Have a great time with your mom!

  14. I’m a big fan of crockpot recipes, especially healthy ones, and avocado chipotle cream sounds fabulous! I know what you mean about the animals sneaking into shots. I can’t tell you how many pictures I have of my dog’s nose!

  15. Perfect tacos! I enjoyed myself on Saturday too, patio+sun+cold beer = perfection. Have so much fun with your mama!!

  16. Enjoy the precious moments with your mom (and lots of shopping). These tacos look spectacular!

  17. These tacos look fantastic Ashley – I love that they can be made in the crock-pot! Oh man, and the avocado chipotle cream sounds amazing! Hooray for warmer weather and your mom visiting – hope you have a wonderful week and super fun time shopping :)

  18. OLE! Dinner is officially a fiesta :) Have a wonderful time with your Mom!

  19. Haha, I definitely have the same problem with my dog when I’m trying to take photos. Silly animals. :) This recipe looks delicious, I seriously love all your easy vegetarian dinner recipes. Pinned. Hope you have a nice visit with your mom!

  20. These look like amazing tacos! I love that they’re made in the crockpot! So fast, easy and delicious!

  21. This recipe looks and sounds wonderful! I cannot believe that I have never made tacos in a crockpot. Shocking, I know :). Will definitely have to change that ASAP. Also, I hope you’ll have the most amazing time with your Mom this week!

  22. I seriously don’t know what’s wrong with me: how have I never made tacos before? And this is made in the crockpot? I seriously have no excuse, this looks fantastic!

  23. These tacos… YES! That chipotle cream is just calling my name!!!

  24. oh yum! too funny that we both posted veg tacos today. i’ll have to try these soon!

  25. These tacos look delicious Ashley…like the idea of adding barley…
    Thanks for the recipe…have a wonderful week ahead :D

  26. These look great! Since the recipe makes enough for an army, do you think the leftover filling would freeze well? I’m guessing it should…


  27. A wonderful crock pot recipe, Ashley.
    Have a great time with your mom!

  28. I can’t turn down a good crock pot recipe! Great idea to add barley to tacos!
    Hope you have a great time with your mom!

  29. Love these tacos, full of vegetables and healthy barley:)

  30. These sound fantastic! I love barley, but have never thought to put it in tacos! Creative idea :)

  31. Avocado chipotle cream sauce sounds insanely delicious!

  32. Oh my gosh, this looks fantastic! I have been so into all sorts of bean recipes lately, so this is seriously right up my alley. And I totally feel you on the wafting smells from the crockpot… I torture myself like this on the reg. Enjoy your week with your mom! So fun!



  33. I am in love with these! Such a nice weeknight recipe :)

  34. I LOVE tacos, and these are so full of ingredients I love. They look delicious, Ashley! Have a blast with your mom shopping and eating…it doesn’t get much better than that (unless you’re eating a taco while you shop?). :)

  35. Seeing as I’m a big fan of Mexican food, I absolutely love tacos! I’m definitely loving your twist on them too. The avocado cream sounds especially divine!

  36. WOW – you sure did torture yourself being home with this cooking! I love vegetarian crock pot recipes and yours has me craving this for breakfast!
    Glad you mom is visiting – hope yall have a blast together!

  37. Have a great time with your mom!! And the shopping ;) These tacos look great! I love that this recipe makes a lot…perfect for leftovers!

  38. Yay for nice weather and for your mom visiting! Have so much fun this week with her!! These tacos look amazing Ashley – love that they can be done in the crockpot and that avocado chipotle cream sounds amazing! Pinned :)

  39. The crockpot looks delicious but that avocado cream…oh mine… :) ela

  40. Barley is one of my all-time favorite foods, but I’ve never tried it in tacos. What a great idea for a vegetarian taco that’s still filling. Will definitely have to try this!

    I hope you have a fantastic time with your mom. Outlet shopping is so fun!

  41. Love a good crock pot recipe like this! We had a great weekend too – nice weather and we got to have lunch and walk around nyc on Saturday. Have a wonderful visit with your mom!

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