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. Amber says

    Wow! I just found your website and I’m so glad I did. I just made these last night with beef broth, fresh tomatoes and corn and added in leftover brisket. Kids and hubby said they were the best tacos ever. Thanks so much for the recipe, I can’t wait to try more. :)

    • Ashley says

      Oh this made my day! So happy to hear you all loved them (and those additions sound awesome!). Thanks so much for letting me know Amber! Have a great weekend!

  2. says

    I wonder if you could make this with uncooked black beans rather than canned, cooked beans. They would definitely be cooked in the 5-6 hours of cooking time.

    • Ashley says

      Hey Julia! I haven’t tried it that way myself so it’s hard to say. It could possibly work but the level of liquid would probably have to be adjusted…

  3. says

    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

  4. says

    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

  5. says

    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!

  6. 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 :-)

  7. says

    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!

  8. says

    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!

  9. says

    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!

  10. says

    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 :)

  11. says

    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!

  12. says

    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!

  13. Breanne says

    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…


  14. says

    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!



  15. says

    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?). :)

  16. says

    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!

  17. says

    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 :)

  18. says

    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!

  19. says

    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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