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Lentil Tacos

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 them 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!


Lentil Tacos

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 4 to 6


  • 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


  1. 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.
  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 1/2 tablespoons of taco seasoning mix and 1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup. Add more seasoning if desired.
  5. To serve, add lentils to a warmed tortilla and top with lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, salsa, and sour cream. Fold and enjoy!

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  • Reply
    July 12, 2011 at 2:56 am

    *stuffs recipe into the “have-to-try-or-I-might-explode-pile* :D

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    July 12, 2011 at 7:46 am

    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!

  • Reply
    July 12, 2011 at 2:57 pm

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

  • Reply
    Heidi @ Food Doodles
    July 12, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    July 13, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    yummy looking tacos

  • Reply
    JD Schuyler
    July 13, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    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

  • Reply
    sheila @ Elements
    July 16, 2011 at 3:16 pm

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

  • Reply
    July 19, 2011 at 12:53 am

    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.

    • Reply
      July 19, 2011 at 9:25 am

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

  • Reply
    July 19, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Love this! I’ve done something similar with chickpeas in a burrito.. yum!

  • Reply
    Alycia Freimund
    July 22, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      July 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm

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

  • Reply
    July 25, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Yum! I made lentil sloppy joes a few months ago! They were really, really good!

  • Reply
    The Iowa Farmer's Wife
    August 9, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Made these tonight! Was looking for a lentil taco recipe and yours came up! I had leftover lentils so I prepared them a bit differently, but so yummy!

  • Reply
    Emily Bradley
    February 6, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    I just made these, and although I was hopeful they’d be good, I wasn’t expecting that much. Wow was I surprised! These are really fantastic and quite honestly made my former weeknight chicken taco recipe pale in comparison.

    One thing I’m curious about: do you think the lentil mixture would freeze well? I’ve frozen lentil dishes of similar consistency (daal, stew-like soups, etc.) with great success, but I was wondering anyone had success freezing leftovers for this recipe.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Reply
    February 20, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    I just made these in hard taco shells. They’re great that way, too!

  • Reply
    Sonja in Texas
    May 2, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Hi, from another Sonja! Had to write and tell you how much we enjoyed this dish. Made them this afternoon for lunch. My taco was on corn tortilla and hubby had his on flour ones. Both were delicious. We topped the tacos with some ranch dressing combined with salsa. Nice little bit of moisture that hit the spot. Thanks for your beautifull collection of recipes.

  • Reply
    Bekah @ Plenty
    June 25, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    We eat a lot of veggie tacos around here (2 Texans), but had never considered lentils. Can’t wait to try!

  • Reply
    August 1, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Just wanted to add that we made these yesterday and, like everyone else has said, they really were amazing! If my eyes had been closed I would have thought it was beef, only I don’t really like “taco meat” beef and I LOVED this! (probably because it wasn’t greasy) You guys have got a new fan!

    • Reply
      August 1, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      Glad you enjoyed them!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    I am excited to try these! Is it made using dried lentils??

    • Reply
      March 8, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      Yes! Hope you enjoy the recipe.

  • Reply
    March 19, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    I love your guys’ blog! I started looking through the recipes recently and knew I would love it. I made these lentil tacos last night and they were so tasty! I can’t wait to cook up some of your recipes.

    • Reply
      March 24, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      Thanks, Danielle! I’m so glad you enjoyed these tacos – they are one of our absolute favorites! Let us know if you happen to try anything else :)

  • Reply
    April 4, 2013 at 9:34 am


    I would like to make this tomorrow night, but I would like to know if it is not necessary to soak the lentils one night before. If you get a chance, I would love to know!

    Thanks in advance!

    • Reply
      April 4, 2013 at 9:37 am

      Hi Jennifer!

      It’s not necessary to soak the lentils — they cook really quickly! :)

      • Reply
        April 4, 2013 at 9:57 am

        Thank you for the quick response! I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  • Reply
    August 26, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    We tried these tonight and they were delicious! I’m always looking for new ideas for vegetarian dinners, and we really enjoyed this one. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    February 8, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    This has become one of my favorite convenience recipes. It’s simple, quick, uses few ingredients, and super affordable.

  • Reply
    Maya @ Maya - Kitchenette
    February 27, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Yummy ! Tacos… this is added in recipes to try thank you so much :)

  • Reply
    Nina at
    May 3, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Yum! As a vegetarian, I’m always looking for fun ways to spice up taco night….what a great idea to use lentils! Gonna try these Tuesday!

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