Easy Lentil Taco Skillet
Lentil Taco Skillet- packed full of protein and fiber, these delicious plant-based tacos come together in less than 30-minutes! (vegan + gluten-free)
If you’re looking for a classic recipe to have on hand for your weekly taco night then look no further. This is our all-time favorite recipe for plant-based tacos and I have a feeling once you guys try them, you’ll feel the same way.
Most people associate vegan tacos with fake ground crumbles and while there is a time and place for faux meat, this lentil version blows those out of the water. Not only are they way healthier thanks to the whole food ingredient list, but they have incredible texture and flavor.
Lentil Taco Skillet Ingredients
Let’s take a look at what you need to make these tacos:
- Onion and Garlic- One small onion is the perfect amount but you can also use 1/2 of a large onion. The amount of garlic will depend on the size of your cloves. I usually end up with about 4 medium-size cloves.
- Jalapeño- I always core the jalapeño as the seeds tend to be spicy for my taste. You can also substitute the jalapeño with bell pepper or leave it out altogether.
- Carrot- I love the texture and flavor that carrots add but again, you can sub a red bell pepper in it’s place if you’re not into carrots.
- Lentils- Brown or green (not French) lentils are ideal for the best texture. I prefer to use canned lentils to save time. Red lentils tend to get mushy very fast although you might be able to use them if you skip blending/mashing them.
- Walnuts- Finely chopped walnuts also add texture and a boost of healthy fats and protein.
- Tomato Paste- Tomato paste is key for savory umami flavor so please don’t skip it!
- Spices- A blend of chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and oregano act as a taco seasoning for the lentil skillet. Feel free to add cayenne or chipotle powder if you like it spicy!
How to Make Lentil Taco Skillet
- Food Processor Method- I know food processors can be a pain to clean but I promise it’s worth it for this recipe! It gets everything chopped very finely which is a game changer for texture. It also saves time since you only have to roughly chop the vegetables before throwing them in the processor.
- Hand Method- If you don’t have a food processor, you can still make these by finely chopping the vegetables and walnuts by hand and roughly mashing the lentils using a fork or potato masher.
Once you have the vegetables, walnuts and lentils finely chopped, you throw everything in the skillet and sauté with the tomato paste and spices until warm. That’s all there is to it!
We love these lentil tacos so much that we make them almost every week and still get excited every time! I’m telling you, they’re a game changer. I recommend topping them with chopped romaine, diced tomato, vegan sour cream (I like to use plain unsweetened non-dairy yogurt), and dairy-free shredded cheese. SO GOOD.
Looking for more lentil recipes? Check these out:
- Classic Lentil Burgers
- Lentil Cucumber and Tomato Salad
- The Best Lentil Soup
- Twice Baked Lentil Shepherd’s Pie Potatoes
- Healing Moroccan Lentil Soup
- ‘Cheesy’ Lentil Chili Casserole
- The Best Vegan Chili
Lentil Taco Skillet
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, or ½ large onion, roughly chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped*
- 2 jalapeños, cored and roughly chopped*
- 3-4 garlic cloves, depending on size
- ½ cup walnuts
- 1 15-ounce can cooked lentils, drained, or 2 cups cooked lentils
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt & pepper
- 8 tortillas
- chopped lettuce, diced tomato, vegan sour cream (or plain non-dairy yogurt) and shredded cheese for serving
- Add the chopped onion, carrot, jalapeno and garlic to a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, for about 10 seconds, scraping down the sides half way through. Alternatively, you can finely chop the vegetables by hand if you don't have a food processor.
- In a large skillet, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion mixture and cook for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
- Meanwhile,add the walnuts to the processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to the skillet. Next add half of the lentils to the food processor and pulse a few times, until slightly mashed. Scrape down the sides in between pulsing. You can also mash them by hand using a fork or a potato masher. Scoop them into the skillet along with the remaining lentils, tomato paste and seasonings. Stir to combine as you cook over low heat.
- Continue to cook until some of the moisture has absorbed, so that is doesn't have a mushy texture, usually about 5-10 minutes. Serve warm with tortillas and desired toppings, and enjoy!