The tasty, high-protein filling in these crazy-easy vegan lentil tacos consists of just two ingredients — lentils and bold-flavored chipotle salsa. Use canned or cooked lentil, as you prefer. Then, all you need are a few traditional toppings, and you’ve got a fun meal in minutes.
If you’d like, you can serve with store-bought or homemade guacamole and some extra salsa or picante sauce. Since the tacos are your protein and salad all in one neat (or maybe messy) package, if you’d like a larger meal, consider adding baked or microwaved potatoes or sweet potatoes.
If you’d rather cook lentils from scratch
We’re all about ease, but cooking lentils from scratch isn’t all that complicated, if you prefer to do that for otherwise simple dishes like these easy lentil tacos. Lentils, unlike other legumes, don’t require pre-soaking, and take only about 35 minutes to cook. Rinse them and check for small stones and such. Here’s how to cook brown lentils:
Combine lentils with water in a roomy saucepan. Use 3 parts water to 1 part lentils (i.e., 3 cups water per 1 cup lentils) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer gently, leaving the lid ajar.
Add more water if needed. Unlike grains, lentils don’t need to absorb all the water they’re cooked in, so you can always drain excess liquid off. Add salt if you’d like, but only toward the end of cooking time. Keep any stirring to a minimum.
Check on the lentils frequently toward the end of cooking time. It’s nice to stop the cooking process once they’re just tender, but still holding their shape. Once done, drain any excess water in the pan.
- 8 to 10 taco shells or 8-inch corn or wheat tortillas
- Two 15-ounce cans lentils, drained and rinsed
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups chipotle salsa, or your favorite variety
- 1/2 medium cucumber, diced
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- Shredded lettuce, as desired
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded vegan cheese, optional
- If using corn or wheat tortillas, heat briefly on a dry skillet or in the microwave until slightly warm and pliable.
- Combine the lentils and salsa in a medium saucepan and warm over medium-high heat until piping hot.
- Meanwhile, combine the cucumber and tomatoes in a small serving bowl; place lettuce and optional cheese in separate bowls.
- Have everyone make their own tacos, figuring on two tacos per person. If using pliable corn or wheat tortillas, place a little of the lentil mixture on one half, then top with a little of the cheese, if using, the tomato-cucumber mixture, then the lettuce. Fold over for a soft taco. Pick up and carefully eat out of hand!
- For crisp tacos, start with the lentil mixture at the bottom, followed by the optional cheese, then the tomato-cucumber mixture and lettuce. Eat out of hand.
Amount Per Serving: Trans Fat: n/ag
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Photos: Joshua Resnick / Bigstock