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, so if you’d like to used canned lentils, by all means. That said, cooking lentils from scratch isn’t all that complicated.
Lentils, unlike other legumes, don’t require pre-soaking, and take only about 35 minutes to cook. Here’s how to cook brown lentils:
Rinse and sort: Rinse lentils in a sieve or colander. Check for small stones, which sometimes sneak into batches of dried lentils (that’s what “sort” means, apparently).
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.
Lentils swell to about 2 1/2 times their dry volume. So for this recipe that calls for 3 cups cooked, you’ll need a heaping cup —but don’t be so precise; you can always cook a little extra to put in salads, stews, etc.
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. Find lots more tips in our Guide to Lentils.
More easy taco recipes
- Summer Squash and Black Bean Soft Tacos
- Vegan “Carne Asada” Tacos
- Vegan Fish Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Cream
- Vegan Pulled Protein Tacos with Corn-Pineapple Salsa
- Lime Marinated Tofu Fajitas or Soft Tacos
- Vegan Korean BBQ Tacos
- Easy Coleslaw and Plant Protein Soft Tacos
- 8 to 10 taco shells or 8-inch corn or wheat tortillas
- Two 15-ounce cans lentils, drained and rinsed, or 3 cups cooked
- 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.
If cooking lentils from dried, see tips above the recipe box.
Amount Per Serving: Trans Fat: n/ag