This post may include affiliate links; for details, see our disclosure policy.

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.

Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Lentil Tacos

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

  • 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

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.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Chris says:

    I’m quite new to cooking with lentils and would like to know if I could use crimson or green lentils instead of brown. Do you know of a guide to lentils that I could check out? Starting a Daniel Fast with church in a few days and have been looking at tons of your recipes to try out! Excited to have so many great options!

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Thanks for asking! We like it best with brown lentils, but you could try it with green if you like — the cooking times are similar. Green just has a more peppery flavor! We would not recommend trying with red because they become mushy. Here’s our guide to lentils!

  2. Sarah says:

    Yum! Had these last night. They were a hit!

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed them.

  3. Bridget says:

    I tried this recipe as soon as I saw it. It was awesome! My family loved them. They were great on soft and hard taco shells. They didn’t know the tacos were vegetarian until I told them.

  4. Nina at says:

    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!

  5. Maya @ Maya - Kitchenette says:

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

  6. Nikolai says:

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

  7. Pam says:

    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!

  8. Jennifer says:


    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!

    1. Alex says:

      Hi Jennifer!

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

      1. Jennifer says:

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

  9. Danielle says:

    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.

    1. Sonja says:

      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 :)

  10. Katelyn says:

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

    1. Alex says:

      Yes! Hope you enjoy the recipe.

  11. Molly says:

    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!

    1. Alex says:

      Glad you enjoyed them!

  12. Bekah @ Plenty says:

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

  13. Sonja in Texas says:

    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.

  14. Wendy says:

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

  15. Emily Bradley says:

    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!

  16. The Iowa Farmer's Wife says:

    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!

  17. Kirstin says:

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

  18. Alycia Freimund says:

    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. Sonja says:

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

  19. janet says:

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

  20. Melissa says:

    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. Alex says:

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

  21. sheila @ Elements says:

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

  22. JD Schuyler says:

    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

  23. torviewtoronto says:

    yummy looking tacos

  24. Heidi @ Food Doodles says:

    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!

  25. Jessica says:

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

  26. Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum says:

    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!

  27. Zarah says:

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

See More Comments