Grilled Vegetable Healthy Tacos

This grilled vegetable healthy tacos recipe features charred zucchini and onion, taco-spiced lentils, and a creamy sauce to tie it all together.

Healthy tacos with grilled vegetables

Over here, we’re all about tacos. Whether they’re authentic or fusion tacos with creative flair, we love finding new and interesting filling combinations. Since we eat mainly meatless at home, it’s sometimes a challenge thinking of vegetarian taco ideas that are both flavorful and satisfying. This time, we decided to combine our favorite standard lentil tacos recipe with another one of our favorites — grilled vegetables!  The result was were delicious healthy tacos with just the right amount of contrasting textures and flavor complexity to satisfy our palates. Keep reading for the recipe!

Related: 10 Best Vegetarian Tacos

How to make this healthy tacos recipe

Our lentil tacos recipe is one of our favorite go to recipes, and it’s become a fan favorite. We took our old recipe and gave it a new spin as healthy tacos with grilled vegetables. In this version, I got lazy and didn’t want to make the entire taco seasoning batch, so I threw all the spices in with the lentils. It may seem like a lot of spices, but you’ll likely find many of them in your spice drawer (if not, they’re good ones to have around!).

For the grilled vegetables, they’re very easy to make. Simply slice red onion, zucchini, and summer squash into thin strips, drizzle them with olive oil and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Then toss them on the grill and cook at medium heat for about 5 minutes, until tender. They’ll come off the grill a bit charred and with a smoky flavor, perfect for tacos!

These healthy tacos may take a bit of time to put together, but they’re worth it!  To save time, you could make the lentils in advance. And make sure to make up the pickled onions in advance (they’re easy to put together!).

Looking for more vegan & vegetarian tacos?

Outside of these grilled vegetable healthy tacos, here are a few of our favorite vegan and vegetarian tacos recipes:

This grilled vegetable healthy tacos recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

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Grilled Vegetable Healthy Tacos

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x


This grilled vegetable healthy tacos recipe features charred zucchini and onion, taco-spiced lentils, and a creamy sauce to tie it all together.



For the lentils

  • 1 1/4 cups brown lentils (8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon each paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes (or more, depending on your spice tolerance)

For the grilled vegetables

  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 onion
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper

For the tacos toppings


  1. Preheat a grill to medium heat. 
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil (and add a pinch of kosher salt). Once boiling, add the brown lentils, cover and reduce heat. Simmer covered for 20 to 25 minutes, until most of the water has been absorbed.
  3. Turn off the heat, then stir in the olive oil, ketchup, chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, kosher salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  4. Meanwhile, cut the squash, zucchini and onion into thin strips. Place them in a bowl; toss with enough olive oil to coat, and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables until tender, for about 5 minutes, turning frequently.
  5. Make the pickled red onions and the sauce of your choosing (Chili lime sour creamCashew creamChipotle sauce, or Creamy cilantro sauce).
  6. To serve, add lentils to a warmed tortilla; top with grilled vegetables, pickled onions, and chili lime sour cream.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Mexican Inspired

Keywords: Healthy Tacos, Healthy Taco Recipe, Lentil Tacos, Lentil Taco Recipe, Grilled Vegetables, Grilled Vegetable Tacos, Grilled Tacos

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

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

Cookbook Author and photographer

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.


  • Reply
    Melissa @ Kids in the Sink
    July 12, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I’m still learning the grill but these look amazing! I love your other version of lentil tacos but adding grilled veggies to it sounds even better. Can’t wait to try this and hopefully not fail with the grilled veggies!

  • Reply
    Cookie and Kate
    July 12, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I love lentils and tacos so much! Your lentil tacos look fantastic, I’ll have to give them a try soon. Glad your site is back up and thank you for the link love!

  • Reply
    July 12, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I see you’re making up for loss time! Looks delicious… Thanks for including me!

  • Reply
    July 12, 2012 at 11:18 am

    These definitely look worthy of those homemade corn tortillas!

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    July 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    I am trying to swing it so I can have this tonight! Looks awesome!

  • Reply
    July 12, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Garlic Chicken Tacos are my favorite!

  • Reply
    Pretty cool stuff
    July 13, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Love this blog!!!
    Greetings from Belgium.

  • Reply
    jaime @ sweet road
    July 14, 2012 at 5:01 am

    I love tacos as well, I made tacos from a black bean and jicama salad last night. I have yet to try using lentils, it sounds amazing though!

  • Reply
    Sara {Home is Where the Cookies Are}
    July 14, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Yum!! This looks so delicious! I might try it with a combination of black beans and quinoa instead of lentils, since my husband refuses to eat them! But wow – I might have to make it just for myself!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    I usually do these with half a bottle of beer instead of ketchup, you get that
    nice yeasty flavor without all the added sugar.
    viva mexico !

    • Reply
      December 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      Clever! We’ll have to try it.

  • Reply
    May 21, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    I just made these for dinner. I was honestly a little bit weirded out about the ketchup, but I’m so glad I made these anyway. Absolutely delicious!

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