These vegetarian lentil tacos feature a homemade taco seasoning that makes for the most flavorful meal! Serve with black beans and rice for a full meal.
Growing up, it was always a treat when tacos were on the dinner menu. Seems like most kids can’t get enough of them! Since I’ve become an adult, I must admit I’ve tended more towards the enchilada or tostada when I’m in the mood for some Mexican-inspired fare. But when I was recently craving the spicy goodness that is the taco, I remembered a great recipe we tried out several years ago using lentils.
We dusted it off, made a few tweaks, and ended up with a marvelous and simple meatless meal! It’s surprising how satisfying the lentils are (even when expecting the traditional ground beef), and how much the homemade seasonings enhance the flavor. Alex actually admitted to liking these lentil tacos more than their meat-filled counterpart (which is saying something since though he eats mainly meatless these days, he’s still very much a meat-lover at heart).
Give them a try – they’re simple enough to prepare for a weeknight meal, but special enough to have everyone looking forward to Taco Night!
Tips for making these lentil tacos
These vegetarian tacos are easy to make as is, but there are a few things you can do to shorten the amount of hands-on prep time. To make the lentils cook faster, you can soak them in advance for an hour or so. This will cut their cooking time by almost 10 minutes and will give them the most incredible texture.
You’ll also want to have your taco seasoning prepped and ready to go before you start cooking this recipe. We have a great homemade taco seasoning we like to use, but you can certainly buy the store-bought stuff if that’s easier for you. I’d just recommend buying a spice blend that’s low in salt; you can always add in more salt, but there’s no turning back once you add too much in!
For the taco fixings, you can add whatever you’d like! Again, we have a homemade salsa we like to make, but going the store-bought route is probably easiest if you’re serving a crowd. You can also find pre-shredded lettuce and cheese at the store, and likely anything else you could want pre-made. To make these lentil tacos vegan, omit the cheese and sour cream, and substitute nutritional yeast, if desired.
Looking for more vegan Mexican recipes?
- The Best Loaded Vegan Nachos
- Grilled Mango Tacos with Dream Sauce
- Homemade Sopes with Black Beans
- Black Bean and Corn Salsa Fresca
This recipe is…
Vegetarian. To make gluten-free, use corn tortillas. To make vegan, omit the sour cream and cheese.Print
- 1 1/4 cups brown lentils (8 ounces)
- 3 1/2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning mix
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
- 8 to 12 whole grain or corn tortillas
- Toppings of your choice: Lettuce, fresh tomatoes, shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream
- In a medium sauce pan, bring 1 3/4 cups salted water to a boil. Add 1 1/4 cup lentils, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer covered for about 20 to 25 minutes, until most of the water has been absorbed.
- Mix the taco seasonings. Wash and chop the lettuce and fresh tomatoes, if using.
- Finely dice 1 red onion and 2 garlic cloves. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet; add red onion and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute more.
- Turn off the heat and add the lentils. Stir in 3 1/2 tablespoons of taco seasoning mix and 1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup. Add more seasoning if desired.
- To serve, add lentils to a warmed tortilla and top with lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, salsa, and sour cream. Fold and enjoy!
Keywords: lentil tacos, vegetarian Mexican recipe
About the Authors
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.
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.