Easy Red Lentil Tacos Recipe

three red lentil tacos with vegetarian taco meat on a white plate with garnishes

This easy Red Lentil Tacos Recipe is the perfect weeknight meatless meal that the whole family will love! An easy Vegetarian Taco Meat is ready to eat in under 30 minutes, making it a simple, quick, and healthy meal.

Red Lentil Vegetarian Taco ‘Meat’

I am so excited to share this Red Lentil Tacos recipe with you today! It is the BEST meatless taco recipe I have ever made and the best part is it is unbelievably easy!

This easy red lentil recipe happened more by coincidence than anything else but I am so excited it happened.

I developed this recipe mostly because I didn’t feel like going to the store. I had a lot of taco garnishes and tortillas left from a few night prior and the only thing left I needed to figure out was the filling!

I had a bag of red lentils in the pantry that I hadn’t touched in a while and once I saw the bag sitting there I knew exactly what needed to be done! I sautéed some onions, garlic, and peppers, added in the lentils with taco seasoning and water, cooked them until ready and dinner was on the table in under 30 minutes!

Since then I have refined the recipe and made it countless times. It is a fast, easy, and healthy meatless dinner option that seriously everyone in the family will love!

single vegetarian taco on a white plate

Red Lentil Tacos Recipe

This recipe comes together fast with only a handful of ingredients, to make the filling you will need:

  • Onion, either white or sweet
  • Green pepper
  • Garlic
  • Taco Seasoning (Try my Simple Taco Seasoning Recipe)
  • Water
  • Red Lentils
  • And of course tortillas and all of your favorite taco garnishes
simple ingredients needed to make easy vegetarian red lentil taco 'meat'

To make the taco filling is simple and only takes about 20 minutes.

First you will want to finely dice the onion and green pepper. You can leave them a little bit chunkier if you wish but I preferred the texture when they were finely chopped/minced.

(Note: If you hate chopping vegetables you could totally mince the onion and green pepper in a food processor/chopper)

Now to start cooking lightly grease a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion & green pepper and cook until onions are slightly translucent and the vegetables are beginning to soften about 3-4 minutes.

Next add minced garlic and cook 1 additional minute until garlic is fragrant.

Mix in the taco seasoning, lentils, and water. Cover and cook 13-16 minutes, stirring occasionally until the lentils are cooked and no water remains in the taco filling. But keep in mind a few notes about cooking the lentils:

  • I used a few different brands when testing this recipe and note that different brands had slightly different cooking times. For example Trader Joe’s Brand lentils are slightly smaller and took less time to cook while Bob’s Red Mill Brand is larger and took a few minutes more to cook.
  • For the reason above make sure you are keeping an eye the last few minutes of cooking, stirring up the lentils from the bottom to ensure that the lentils don’t burn on the bottom if they happen to cook fast. If the lentils seem to be cooking to fast, uncover and stir more frequently.

Now that the lentils are cooked it is time to make some Red Lentil Tacos!

red lentil taco 'meat' in a large frying pan with a spoon

I preferred flour tortillas for these tacos but corn would work just as well, my one suggestion though either way you go warm those tortillas up!

Next use all of your favorite taco toppings as you would any taco! Some ideas are:

  • Lettuce
  • Cilantro
  • Salsa
  • Tomatoes
  • Cheese
  • Sour Cream/Plain Yogurt
  • Red Onion
  • Lime Wedges
  • Taco Sauce

The list of taco garnishes could literally go on and on!

AND you guys you don’t have to limit this vegetarian taco meat to just tacos. I used leftovers on Nachos, it would also be great in a quesadilla! The possibilities are endless.

red lentil taco filling in a flour tortilla

Questions about Red Lentil Tacos:

Can I use other color lentils or does it have to be red?

Unfortunately for this recipe other color lentils will NOT work. Red lentils are smaller and processed different (they are generally split). So if you tried to use other lentils the cooking instructions would be way off. Plus red lentils have a flavor better suited to a vegetarian taco meat.

Are Red Lentils good for you?

Yes. Red Lentils are high in fiber and protein while low in fat and calories. They are also a complex carb, high in potassium and folate, plus they are naturally gluten-free making this a meal you can feel good about!

Can I freeze the Red Lentil Taco ‘Meat’?

Absolutely! It freezes really well! I have made a couple double batches and froze half of the lentils for later meals.

three red lentil tacos sit-in non a white plate with colorful garnishes
hand holding a red lentil taco in a flour tortilla
Red Lentil Tacos

Red Lentil Tacos

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 19 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes

A simple recipe for Vegetarian Red Lentil Taco Meat, easy to make with just a few ingredinets these healthy meatless tacos will be ready to eat in under 30 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 3 cups water

For Serving:

  • Tortillas
  • Lettuce
  • Salsa
  • Cheese
  • Sour Cream/ Plain Yogurt
  • Or any other of your favorite taco garnishes

Instructions

    1. Lightly oil a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion & green pepper and cook until onions are slightly translucent and the vegetables are beginning to soften about 3-4 minutes.
    2. Next add minced garlic and cook 1 additional minute until garlic is fragrant.
    3. Mix in the taco seasoning, lentils, and water. Cover and cook 13-16 minutes, stirring occasionally until the lentils are cooked and no water remains in the taco filling.
    4. Serve red lentil taco meat in warm tortillas with your favorite taco garnishes.

Notes

If you hate chopping vegetables you could totally mince the onion & green pepper in a food processor/chopper. You can leave them a little bit chunkier if you wish but I preferred the texture when they were finely chopped/minced.

A few notes about cooking the lentils:

  • I used a few different brands when testing this recipe and note that different brands had slightly different cooking times. For example Trader Joe’s Brand lentils are slightly smaller and took less time to cook while Bob’s Red Mill Brand is larger and took a few minutes more to cook.
  • For the reason above make sure you are keeping an eye the last few minutes of cooking, stirring up the lentils from the bottom to ensure that the lentils don’t burn on the bottom if they happen to cook fast. If the lentils seem to be cooking to quickly, uncover and stir more frequently.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 67Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 119mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 5g
NUTRITION IS FOR RED LETIL FILLING ONLY, TORTILLAS AND GARNISHES ARE NOT INCLUDED IN NUTRITIONAL DATA. Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

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Peace & Love

Lauren, The Schmidty Wife

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2 Replies to “Easy Red Lentil Tacos Recipe”

  1. Just made these and they were both easy and delicious! Thank you!

    1. Awesome! So glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment Katrina!

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