Healthy Vegan Lentil Tacos
These healthy vegan lentil tacos are easy to make and so tasty, you’ll never know they’re vegan! Enjoy this simple recipe for a plant-based version of family taco night.
Lentils to Replace Meat
Thank goodness for lentils. They’re one of my favourite ingredients for their health benefits and versatility. They’re a staple in my kitchen and a great food to include in a plant-based diet, or any diet for that matter. Lentils are filling, satisfying, high in protein and packed with nutritional benefits.
Lentils are also excellent for replacing meat in dishes like tacos and chili.
Lentil Health Benefits
Lentils are an excellent source of cholesterol-lowering fibre and not only do they help lower cholesterol they can help manage blood sugar disorders since their high-fibre content prevents blood sugar spikes after eating.
Lentils have also been linked to reduced risk of breast cancer when eaten regularly and are high in many essential nutrients such as protein and folic acid. They’re also a good source of lysine, an essential amino acid that’s harder to come by if you eat a plant-based diet. Read more on vegan protein and amino acids here.
Here’s what you’ll find in 100 grams of lentils:
- 239 calories with 18 grams of protein
- 40 grams of unrefined carbohydrates
- less than 1 gram of fat
- 90% of your daily RDA of folate
- 36% of your daily RDA of iron
- 64% of your daily RDA of dietary fibre
- a good source of magnesium
- a good source of lysine, an essential amino acid
The nutritional profile of all lentils is very similar so whether you’re using red, green, black or French, you’ll enjoy the same health benefits.
How to Make Vegan Lentil Tacos
These couldn’t be easier to make! Cook up the onions and garlic, add the spices and lentils. Mash it all up then pile in tortillas or taco shells and top with your favourite taco fillings. They can also be made as burritos.
Lentil Taco Filling Ideas
Here are some ideas for taco fillings in addition to the lentil taco “meat”:
- grated carrot
- avocado or guacamole
- refried beans
- quick pickled red onions
- grated beet
- shredded lettuce
- chimmichurri sauce
- chipotle sauce
- salsa or pico de gallo
- vegan sour cream
- sliced radish
- shredded cabbage
- diced bell peppers
Vegan Lentil Taco Recipe
This delicious vegan dinner comes together in about 15 minutes. All you need to do is prepare your toppings and cook up the lentils and you’re all set. This makes a great option for family taco night as you can create a taco bar with toppings so everyone can customize their tacos to their own preference.
Extra Lentil Taco Filling?
If you have extra taco filling, you can use it in a taco salad with the rest of the taco fillings piled on bed of romaine lettuce, add it to my quinoa fiesta salad or make a vegan burrito for lunch the next day. It’s also great in a savory breakfast bowl alongside tofu scramble.
More Vegan Lentil Recipes
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For the Lentil Taco Filling
- 2 19 oz cans of cooked lentils, well rinsed
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 3/4 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
For the Taco Toppings
- 1 diced green peppers
- 1/2 cup packed chopped cilantro
- 1 chopped avocado
- 4 grated carrots
- 1/2 cup salsa
- small corn or wheat tortillas
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan.
- Add the chopped onion and garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add the lentils and spices.
- Cook until completely heated while mashing with a large spoon. Continue cooking while you prepare the toppings.
- Prepare the green peppers, carrots, cilantro, avocado and salsa.
- Remove the mashed lentils from heat and place in a bowl.
- Set out the tortillas, begin by filling them with the lentil mixture and then add your toppings and enjoy.
Keywords: vegan tacos, lentil tacos, easy, healthy, weeknight, family, kid-friendly, vegetarian
This recipe was originally published April 3, 2013. It was updated April 2019 with new photos and more detailed instructions. The recipe was not changed.