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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.

Vegetarian Lentil Tacos on plate

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?

This lentil tacos recipe is...

Vegetarian. To make gluten-free, use corn tortillas. To make vegan, omit cheese and use Vegan Sour Cream.

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Lentil Tacos

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 27 minutes
  • Total Time: 37 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x


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.  


  • 1 ¼ cups brown lentils (8 ounces)
  • 3 ½ tablespoons homemade taco seasoning mix
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ketchup
  • 8 to 12 whole grain or corn tortillas
  • Toppings of your choice: Lettuce, fresh tomatoes, shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, or vegan sour cream


  1. In a medium sauce pan, bring 1 ¾ cups salted water to a boil. Add 1 ¼ cup lentils, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer covered for about 20 to 25 minutes, until most of the water has been absorbed.
  2. Mix the taco seasonings. Wash and chop the lettuce and fresh tomatoes, if using.
  3. 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.
  4. Turn off the heat and add the lentils. Stir in 3 ½ tablespoons of taco seasoning mix and 1 ½ tablespoons ketchup. Add more seasoning if desired.
  5. Warm the tortillas. (See How to Warm Tortillas for more.)
  6. To serve, add lentils to a warmed tortilla and top with lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, salsa, and sour cream. Fold and enjoy!
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: lentil tacos, vegetarian Mexican recipe

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. YUMMY. I made these and they were so good. I was out of taco seasoning so I used your receipe for that also. These were a little too spicy for the kids but my hubby and I loved them. I’m also linking this post within my menu monday blog. Thanks for a great recipe.

    1. I’m so glad you liked them! It’s great to know others enjoy a recipe too — thanks for sharing! :)

  2. I made these tacos tonight and they were DELISH! Using the lentils was such a wonderful change from the norm. My family loved it. It will be our go to filling for taco nights. A huge thank you from our family to yours for a great recipe.

    1. You’re welcome! We’re so glad you enjoyed them. They really might be tastier than ground beef – who knew?

  3. What a great idea! They look scrumptious! I’ll definitely try it!!! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! :)

  4. This is awesome!! I was just telling Jason how lentils are my new food that I’m cooking with. I’m off to guy buy some corn tortillas now. Thanks guy

  5. Yum! I’ve seen roasted chickpeas in tacos but these look awesome too! Love using lentils but I never would have thought to put them in tacos. Awesome!

  6. I didn’t see the recipe for the homemade taco seasoning. Can you please post it or send it to me? Thanks.

  7. I’m not only excited about the lentil tacos here (as I have had some lentils sitting around for a LONG time with no ideas in mind), but I’m almost more excited about the homemade taco seasoning! Yess!

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