These Instant Pot tacos are easy, delicious, and plant based! Top the lentil taco meat filling with veggies and sauces for a healthy dinner everyone will love.
Ready to meet another healthy dinner recipe? Instant Pot tacos! Man, oh man, are they delicious! Alex and I have made oodles of recipes in our pressure cooker, but we keep going back to these tacos! They’re fresh and tasty, filled with an irresistible smoky lentil taco meat and topped with all the crunchy veggies. It’s an easy healthy dinner recipe that pleases everyone: set out the taco toppings and let everyone choose their own!
How to make Instant Pot tacos
Our Instant Pot tacos use our “famous” lentils and rice recipe as the “taco meat”. Here’s what one reader had to say: “I made your lentils and rice over the weekend and it was so good! My toddler Emma loved it straight out of the Instant Pot. Carnivore husband loved it too!” It makes a huge batch, so you can eat off of it for quite a while.
If you make the filling in advance, this Instant Pot tacos recipe can be made in about 15 minutes! If not, allow about 40 minutes. Here are the basic steps for how to make the Instant Pot tacos filling:
- Place veggie broth, rice, lentils, and spices (smoked paprika, fennel seeds, onion powder, garlic powder, salt & pepper) in an Instant Pot.
- Pressure cook on High for 16 minutes.
- Natural release for 16 minutes.
- Open the lid and stir in apple cider vinegar. Taste and enjoy the meaty, smoky goodness!
Video: Instant Pot tacos (1 minute!)
Make up a big pot of this healthy dinner recipe and it will feed you for the week! These tacos also kid friendly; our son Larson absolutely adores them. Here’s a quick video of me making them in our kitchen!
Taco topping ideas!
Load up these vegetarian tacos with colorful veggies and spicy sauces! This recipe is easily customizable, so you can use whatever vegetable or sauce toppings you prefer. Just make sure to do this: use a creamy or wet sauce like salsa! Otherwise the filling will be a bit dry. Here are some ideas for sauces for these Instant Pot tacos:
- Sour Cream or Mexican Crema
- Best Salsa Ever
- Spicy Mayo or Yum Yum Sauce
- Cashew Cream or Vegan Sour Cream
- Creamy Cilantro Sauce
- Chipotle Cream (spicy!)
- Avocado Cream
- Spicy Chipotle Sauce (spicy!)
- Vegan Nacho Cheese
What Instant Pot do you use?
Instant Pot is a brand name of a pressure cooker, and there are many great options out there (InstaPot is a common mis-spelling). Alex and I use this Instant Pot 6 Qt Pressure Cooker. All of the Instant Pot recipes on this website have been tested in this Instant Pot.
There are some variations between pressure cooker brands, so we can’t speak to the way that other brands cook (especially the Instant Pot Mini). So, only use the Instant Pot Mini or other pressure cookers for this recipe at your own risk!
Are lentils healthy?
This Instant Pot tacos recipe is healthier than most because…it stars lentils instead of ground beef! Lentils are not only tasty: they’re full of nutrition benefits and are inexpensive to buy! This vegan lentil recipe is not only good for your pocketbook, it’s healthy too. Here are a few of the major nutritional benefits of lentils:
- Protein & Fiber: Lentils have a large amount of plant-based protein. 1 cup of cooked lentils has about 18 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber. (Source)
- Low in Fat & Calories: Lentils have virtually no saturated fat and are low in calories.
- Protect Against Heart Disease: Lentils are rich in polyphenols, micronutrients thought to help protect against cardiovascular disease. (Source)
This Instant Pot tacos recipe is…
Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant based, dairy free, naturally sweet, and refined sugar free.Print
These Instant Pot tacos are almost totally hands off, making dinnertime easy! They’re colorful, irresistibly tasty, and please everyone at the table.
- 4 cups Instant Pot Smoky Lentils and Rice recipe (that recipe makes 10 cups total)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, multi-colored if desired
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 1/2 small red onion
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1 cup salsa, a high quality brand or Salsa Fresca
- 1/2 cup feta crumbles (omit for vegan)
- Fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Other ideas for sauces: Cilantro drizzle (vegan), Chipotle cashew cream (vegan), Avocado cream, Vegan Sour Cream, or Sour Cream
- Make the Instant Pot Smoky Lentils and Rice recipe (takes about 40 minutes).
- Meanwhile, chop the cherry tomatoes and lettuce. Thinly slice the red onion.
- Warm the tortillas*, or char them by placing a tortilla on an open gas flame on medium for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until slightly blackened and warm.
- To assemble each taco, load the tortilla with smoky lentils, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, salsa, feta crumbles, and torn cilantro leaves. Feel free to customize with any other toppings you like!
*See How to Warm Tortillas for more!
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: Instant Pot, Instant Pot Recipes, Pressure Cooker, Pressure Cooker Recipes, Lentils and Rice, How to Cook Lentils, Pressure Cooking, Tacos, Mexican, Vegan Mexican, Instant Pot Tacos, Pressure Cooker Tacos, Healthy, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free
Looking for Instant Pot recipes?
Outside of these Instant Pot tacos, here are a few more of our favorite Instant Pot recipes:
- Basics: Sweet Potatoes | Refried Beans | Lentils | Chickpeas | Lentils and Rice | Quinoa | Hard Boiled Eggs | How to Cook Rice: White Rice & Brown Rice
- Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Creamy Instant Pot Pasta
- Vegan Instant Pot Recipes
- Thai Style Sweet Potatoes
- Chickpea Couscous Bowls
- The Best Loaded Vegan Nachos
- Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup
- Apple Cinnamon Pressure Cooker Steel Cut Oats
- Granola Instant Pot Apple Crisp
- Instant Pot Stuffed Acorn Squash with Pecans
- All our vegan and vegetarian Instant Pot recipes!
Last updated: January 2020
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.