Southwest Lentil Tacos Vegan and Gluten-Free

Southwest Lentil Tacos Vegan and Gluten-Free

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Lentil tacos are packed with fiber, plant protein, and big on flavor. In 30 minutes or less you have a family favorite meal on the table. Add your favorite toppings like guacamole, salsa, cilantro, and green onion, and you’ve got a meal everyone in the family will enjoy!

Who doesn’t LOVE tacos? Whether it’s Tuesday, or any day of the week, lentil tacos are always a fan favorite in my house!

We have a great hole on the wall taco restaurant nearby that’s our go-to takeout place when I’m too tired or lack creativity in the kitchen. Everyone can get their favorite type of taco. My husband goes for the beef and pork tacos, my kids are crazy about fish tacos, and since I’m a plant-based vegan I usually end up with a boring black bean taco that I try to fancy up.

One evening when we were all craving tacos, I decided to try something new, lentil tacos. The black bean tacos from our take-out place have no spice. They’re basically canned black beans on a corn tortilla with cilantro and onions. I was certain I could do better with a tasty vegan option that I would enjoy, and I crossed my fingers the rest of the family would like them too.

To my great delight, they were a big hit with everyone! Even the carnivore husband had several helpings! Now my kids request these tacos on a weekly basis!

lentil taco ingredients

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of brown lentils
  • 3 cups of water or vegetable broth
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 8 hard or soft corn tortillas

Toppings for Lentil Tacos:

  • Avocado/Guacamole
  • Green Onions/Scallions
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Salsa
  • Cilantro

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need to Make Lentil Tacos:

Lentil tacos are awesome to make because you don’t need anything fancy. All you need is a pot to boil and cook the lentils, and skillet to sauté the onions, peppers, and garlic.

I recommend The Green Pan company because their cookware is non-stick and non-toxic. I like their covered skillet and their 2 Qt Covered Saucepan.

onions, peppers, and lentils

HOW TO MAKE LENTIL TACOS – STEP BY STEP

  • You can choose to use prepared lentils from the refrigerated section of the grocery store, or you can cook your own. I prepare my own lentils. Bring 3 cups of water or vegetable broth (vegetable broth adds more flavor) and lentils to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • While lentils are cooking sauté onions, peppers, and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Add spices and cook an additional minute.
  • When lentils are soft but still firm, combine them with the onion mixture.
  • Serve on corn tortillas with your favorite toppings.
lentil tacos

Eat More Lentils!

These lentil tacos have numerous health benefits. If you haven’t made lentils a staple in your diet yet, you should!! They’re not just great in soups, they are extremely versatile with numerous types for different textures and flavors.

What are the health benefits of lentils?

  • Low in calories
  • Rich in iron
  • Rich in folate
  • Rich in magnesium
  • Excellent source of fiber (helps with cholesterol)
  • Excellent source of protein
  • Contain polyphenols that reduce risk of heart disease
  • Rich in complex carbohydrates that boost metabolism and burns fat

Types of Lentils

They’re are many different varieties and colors of lentils. Some of those include:

  • Brown
  • Green
  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Black/Beluga

Brown Lentils

Brown lentils are the most common and can be found in any grocery store. They have a mild and earthy flavor. They are great in soups or in this amazing taco recipe!

Green Lentils

Green lentils are firm in texture and have a slight peppery flavor. They take the longest to prepare. They are delicious as a salad topping.

Red Lentils

Red lentils are smaller than green and brown lentils. They cook quickly and are a staple in Mediterranean, and Indian dishes. Soft in texture and mild in flavor, they taste great in dal recipes, and soups.

Yellow Lentils

Like red lentils, yellow lentils are also small and soft in texture. They are sweet, and nutty in flavor. They are a staple in Indian cuisine often used in curry and dal recipes.

Black/Beluga Lentils

Black or beluga lentils got their name for the similarity in the way they look to beluga caviar. They have an earthy flavor and are firm in texture. They are delicious in salads or as a side dish.

Choosing the Right Lentils for Tacos

The red and lentil tacos are too soft in texture for tacos. Brown or green lentils are perfect! They’re firm, mild, and earthy in flavor. When stuffed in a taco they resemble the typical ground beef tacos you are probably used to from your childhood. But these tacos are so much healthier!

VARIATIONS

These lentil tacos are very versatile. You can choose to cut the lentils in half using 1/2 cup dried lentils and 1 1//2 cups of water, and combine with a 15 oz can of black beans.

You may also choose to use different peppers, yellow, orange and green peppers would all be delicious in this recipe.

The toppings for these tacos are up to you. I keep it mild for the kids using creamy avocado, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and a few green onions. You could choose to add a vegan sour cream, corn, shredded lettuce or cabbage.

lentil tacos
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Southwest Lentil Tacos Vegan and Gluten Free

These super easy and delicious lentil tacos are packed with nutrients and flavor! Your whole family will ask for this recipe again and again!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: lentil tacos
Servings: 4 2 tacos
Calories: 360kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups prepared brown lentils
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 8 crunchy or soft corn tortillas
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • cilantro for garnish
  • scallions/green onion for garnish

Instructions

  • If you have prepared lentils, you can skip this step. If not, rinse 1 cup of dry lentils. Cook on stovetop with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are soft. Lentils will double in size. Be sure to use a large enough pot. 
  • In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, add onions, garlic and diced peppers. Sauté until soft about 3 minutes. 
  • Add spices to onion mixture. Sauté an additional minute.
  • Add cooked lentils.
  • Assemble tacos. Add avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, and any additional toppings you desire. 

CHECK OUT THESE OTHER FAMILY DINNER FAVORITES!

If you’ve tried my Lentil Taco recipe, please rate it and let me know how it turned out. You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest for more plant-based family recipes your whole family will enjoy!

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. This is wonderful! And it’s exactly the sort of recipe I talk about with my clients—it allows people to “chef” their own meal, adding the pieces they like, skipping what they don’t (although at our house, veggies are always a requirement. 😉 I love any recipe that can be turned into a “bar”—chili, tacos, nachos, bake potatoes, pasta….

    1. Yes, so true! It’s so much easier when you have the kind of meal everyone can assemble and make their own.


  2. These sound delicious, and it is such a fabulous idea. The perfect family meal – I will be making these over the weekend for sure!

    1. Thanks! Your recipes look delicious too!


  3. I can’t wait to try these for Taco Tuesday tonight! They look incredible and I know my family will love them!


  4. These tacos look great I am going to give them a try for sure.


  5. What a great looking recipe! I will definitely be adding this to my dinner line up this week!

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