Vegan Lentil Tostadas with Avocado Cilantro Sauce
When I was traveling in Central America, one of my favorite street foods was tostadas of all shapes and sizes. This recipe for vegan lentil tostadas is inspired by my time in those beautiful countries. These are easy to make with everyday ingredients and make a delicious and filling plant-based meal.
Avocado Cilantro Sauce
This avocado sauce is always a good one to have on hand for dipping, as a spread or adding to dishes for a burst of fresh flavor. I don’t typically measure this sauce but I did today, just for you! Feel free to adjust as needed, you can’t really go wrong, it always seems to come out delicious!
Avocado sauce is easy to make and tastes great. It’s basically a thinner version of guacamole. To switch things up, you could also make these with your favourite salsa, my vegan queso sauce or chimichurri sauce. Any combination of those would also be amazing.
DIY Taco Seasoning
As far as the spice for the lentils, you could use a fajita seasoning mix, but I like to just make my own. I find the store-bought mixes are very high in sodium and you can easily make your own with common spices. I use a simple combination of chili powder, garlic, paprika, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt and pepper. It’s a bit spicy so adjust the amount of red pepper flakes as needed to suit your taste preference.
Make sure you crisp up the tortillas before you add the toppings or they’ll end up with soggy tostadas. To crisp them, place them in the oven and broil until they’re browned and crispy, that way they’ll work as a sturdy base for the lentils and other toppings. After they’ve crisped up, place them on a baking tray, add your toppings then place them back in the oven for a final crisping.
My favorite tortillas are made by La Tortilla Factory. They’re thick and soft and have the best flavor. If you can get your hands on the green chile ones, go for it. They’re so good. If you can’t find those, any corn or wheat tortillas will work and if you don’t feel like making tostadas, these are delicious as tacos or burritos too.
What Kind of Lentils to Use?
You can use cooked green or brown lentils or canned lentils in this recipe. To cook green or brown lentils, which are my preferred choice for this recipe, bring 2 ¼ cups water to a boil and add 1 cup of lentils, reduce the heat to light simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes until the lentils are tender.
In a pinch, go ahead and use drained and rinsed canned lentils.
Try Tacos, Tostadas or Burritos
This recipe works well as written for tostadas put you can also pile the ingredients into crunchy taco shells or soft tortillas to make tacos. They’re also really good as mini quesadillas or burritos. To make burritos, use large tortillas, fill them with toppings and fold them up to make a burrito.
Tostada Topping Ideas
There are no real rules for topping your tostadas! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- black beans or refried beans
- shredded lettuce
- grated carrot
- diced red onion and/or green onion
- diced pepper peppers
- vegan cheese (bake so it melts, YUM)
- nutritional yeast
- diced avocado
- vegan sour cream
- shredded red or green cabbage (make a quick slaw by mixing shredded cabbage with a splash of vinegar and a pinch of sugar – that’s what I did for the photos and it was good!)
More Mexican-Inspired Vegan RecipesPrint
For the Avocado Cilantro Sauce
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 cup lightly packed cilantro (35 g)
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- optional: 1/2 a jalapeno, de-seeded
For the Lentils
- 2 cups cooked green lentils (or approx. 2 15 oz cans)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- optional: 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup water or vegetable broth
For the Tostadas
- tortillas (use corn tortillas for gluten-free otherwise any kind of tortilla works)
- refried beans
- red pepper, diced
- green onion, chopped
- grated carrot
- chopped cilantro
- shredded red cabbage
- nutritional yeast (optional)
- Place as many tortillas as you need in the oven straight on the rack and bake until brown and crispy. Keep a close eye on them so as not to burn them. Once they’re crisp, remove from the oven and place on a baking sheet to await their toppings (or just plate them as placing them back in the oven is optional).
- Add the cooked lentils to a pan with all spices and broth (or water) and cook for 10 minutes or so. Mash some of the lentils with the back of a spoon until it resembles a refried bean-like texture. Add more water if it starts to dry out.
- Prepare all your toppings.
- When everything is ready, spread some re-fried beans over the crispy tortillas.
- Add a scoop of the lentils to each tortilla.
- Top with desired toppings such as carrots, peppers, cilantro, nutritional yeast and green onion.
- Optional: place back in the oven on broil for 5-10 minutes for one last crisp. Just keep an eye on them, they should be nice and crispy and fully heated.
- Remove from the oven when finished and top with the avocado sauce.
- Makes about 6-8 tostadas depending on how many lentils you add to each. Adjust the topping ingredients for how every many you’re making.
- These can also be served as tacos or rolled up into burritos.