These vegetarian lentil tacos are perfect for quick weeknight meals! All you need is taco seasoning, cooked lentils and tomato sauce.
Lentils are the perfect filling for vegetarian tacos. At 9 grams of protein per ½ cup, they are a great protein source to fill up on!
This recipe is adapted from my vegan tempeh taco meat, another of my favorite ways to add protein to tacos.
You will love how easy it is to make this recipe. All you need is cooked lentils, tomato sauce, taco seasonings and 30 minutes.
And don't stop at tacos -- these lentils go great on nachos, in burritos...the options are endless!
How to make
This recipe is really as easy as:
- Cook lentils
- Add spices and tomato sauce
- Simmer for 5 minutes
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Serve on corn or flour tortillas with your favorite salsa and homemade or storebought guacamole.
My favorite quick guacamole: Mash 2 large avocados with ½ teaspoon coarse salt, ¼ cup diced yellow onion, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice. Taste for salt & freshly ground black pepper.
Can I use a packet of taco seasoning?
Yes! This recipe uses homemade taco seasoning, but if you have a packet of taco seasoning on hand that will also work.
Dietitian tip: Look for a seasoning packet labeled "low sodium" or "no added salt" for a heart healthy option.
What kind of lentils should I use?
You can use brown or green lentils. These lentils hold their shape well and do not get mushy while cooking, which can happen if you use red or orange lentils.
Brown lentils, which are the most common variety in grocery stores, take 20-30 minutes to cook. Green lentils can take up to 45 minutes to cook.
These lentils are great simply with corn tortillas and your favorite toppings, but there are so many more ways to serve them.
Here are a few of my favorite ideas:
- Wrapped into a vegetarian burrito
- Mixed with salad greens for a taco salad
- Tossed with roasted veggies and rice
- Burrito bowls
- Lentil stuffed sweet potatoes
Whichever way you choose to use this recipe, I'm sure that you'll love it!
Vegetarian Lentil Tacos
- 3 cups cooked brown lentils see notes
- ¾ cup (6 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 and ½ teaspoons cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons lime juice from 1 lime
- 10 6" yellow corn tortillas
- 2 cups lettuce greens
- 1 cup guacamole see notes for homemade
- salsa of choice
- fresh chopped cilantro
- Cook lentils according to your preferred method, or see note 1 for cooking instructions.
- When lentils are cooked through, add the tomato sauce and seasonings (chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt). Simmer uncovered over medium-low for 5 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Add a splash of water if the mixture becomes too thick. Squeeze with fresh lime just before serving.
- Meanwhile, toast corn tortillas on a large skillet over medium-high heat. Flip when golden on one side (or when lightly browned spots appear).
- Assemble tacos: Add a few pieces of lettuce to the center of each tortilla. Add a little less than ⅓ cup of lentil filling on top. Top with fresh guacamole, salsa, and chopped cilantro. See notes for additional topping ideas.
- To make lentils on the stovetop: Combine 1 cup rinsed brown lentils with 2 and ¾ cups vegetable broth, ¼ teaspoon salt and 2 bay leaves (optional) in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cover and simmer until lentils are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Drain off excess liquid and remove bay leaves.
- Homemade guacamole: In a small bowl, mash the flesh of two large avocados. Add ½ teaspoon coarse salt, ¼ cup diced onion, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice. Taste for salt & freshly ground black pepper.
- For best quality, store lentils refrigerated in reusable containers for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.