with a creamy cilantro lime vinaigrette
Taco Tuesday has never been easier or tastier. On your table in under 30 minutes and using only simple whole food ingredients, these smoky lentil tacos are your new go-to meatless Taco Tuesday meal.
Lentils provide a substantial texture that you won’t even miss the meat in this vegan taco recipe. They are also an excellent source of plant based protein providing about 10 grams of protein per half a cup of cooked lentils. Additionally lentils are packed with fiber, 8 grams per half cup, cooked.
Finally, lentils are a budget friendly ingredient. The remaining ingredients are also inexpensive pantry staples.
This lentil taco recipe is nutritious, delicious and budget friendly making it a no-brainer to add to your taco rotation.
Let’s not forget about the creamy cilantro lime sauce. This topping adds just the right amount of coolness and tanginess to contrast the smoky lentils. These tacos are guaranteed to be a hit!
Ingredients for lentil tacos
Lentils – I like to use red lentils in this recipe, however brown or green lentils work well also.
Chipotle peppers in adobo – This is one of those magical ingredients that really brings the flavor. You don’t want to leave this ingredient out as it provides the smokiness to these tacos. Find Chipotle peppers in adobo in the international section of the grocery store along with other Mexican ingredients.
Tomato paste – A small amount adds to the depth of flavor
Seasonings – cumin, smoked paprika and salt (if you don’t have all spices on hand use an equal amount of taco seasoning).
Corn Tortillas – I like to use soft corn tortillas that I heat over an open gas flame. You could also use crunchy corn taco shells.
Toppings – Creamy cilantro lime sauce (recipe here), pickled onions, avocado, chopped cilantro
How to make this easy lentil taco recipe
First, boil the lentils adding the chipotle pepper in adobo to the cooking water. Cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain and set the lentils aside.
Second, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and cook the garlic for one minute. Then, add the chipotle pepper that has been boiled along with the tomato paste and stir around to make a paste.
Next, add the lentils to the pan along with the spices and salt. Stir until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Lastly build your taco using soft or crispy corn shells and top as desired.
Add in vegetables such as sautéed spinach or corn. Roasted cauliflower pairs well with lentils and is a yummy addition to these tacos. Add rice or quinoa to your tacos to make them extra filling.
Store the lentil taco “meat” in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Smoky Lentil Tacos
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1/2 large chipotle pepper in adobo
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 Corn tortillas
- Place red lentils in a saucepan and cover with water. Add the chipotle pepper in adobo. Bring the mixture to a boil for 7 minutes (you want the lentils to still have a bite). Drain the lentils and the pepper and set aside.
- Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the garlic for one minute. Add in the chipotle pepper that has been boiled and the tomato paste. Stir to make a paste.
- Add the lentils to the pan along with the spices and salt. Stir until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
- Heat the corn tortillas and fill with the lentil mixture.
- Top with pickled onions, cilantro and the creamy cilantro lime vinaigrette.