Looking for a hearty and healthy taco filling? Look no further than lentil taco meat! This recipe is simple to make, vegan-friendly, and perfect for a quick weeknight meal.
So, whether you're looking for a new way to enjoy tacos or want to try something new with your lentil dish, these vegan lentil tacos are sure to please the family.
What is lentil taco meat?
Lentil taco meat is a vegan alternative to ground beef that is made with lentils, spices, and often other vegetables. It is commonly a filling for tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, but can also be eaten on its own or as a side dish as well.
While it may sound like a simple swap, the result is a taco that is just as flavorful and satisfying as the traditional version. Lentils are a great source of protein, fiber, and vitamins, making them an ideal choice for those looking for a healthier alternative to ground beef.
Plus, they cook quickly and easily, making them perfect for busy weeknight meals. You can make them in an oven, stovetop, or in an instant pot.
Lentil taco meat is not only vegan but gluten-free as well (excluding the tortillas).
Serve the Lentil taco meat in warm tortillas and top with your favorite toppings, such as diced tomatoes, guacamole, or salsa, and drizzle some crema. Enjoy!
Nutritional Benefits of Lentil Taco Meat
Lentils are an excellent source of protein and fiber, both of which are essential for a healthy diet. These are a good source of iron, potassium, and other minerals. They are also low in calories and fat, making them a great choice for those watching their weight.
Lentil taco meat is a great option for those who are looking for a nutritious and flavorful way to enjoy this classic dish.
How To Make Lentil Taco Meat?
You can make the taco lentils in 2 ways, i.e. - stove top and instant pot.
Rinse lentils and pick through for any debris. You may soak the lentils for a few minutes (up to 20 minutes). However, soaking is optional and can skip the step.
Stovetop method -
1. Saute the onion, and garlic till translucent. Add rinsed and soaked lentils.
2. Pour in some broth followed by seasonings and cook till lentils are cooked well but not mushy consistency.
Note- Brown lentils and green are the best in holding the shape and making the best taco meat. Don't choose red lentils and yellow lentils for this recipe as they tend to turn mushy while cooking.
Instant Pot Lentil Taco Meat
You can make it completely oil-free also. Add all the ingredients to the inner pot and close the LID. Start the PRESSURE COOK on MANUAL mode for 8 - 9 minutes. Once done, let it be on NPR (Natural Pressure Release) for 8 - 10 minutes. Then open the instant pot lid carefully. Lentils are cooked perfectly. Give them a nice stir. Remove from the pot and serve warm.
Topping for vegan tacos
Mexican lentil salad
add to burrito/ burrito bowl
toppings for nachos or tortilla chips
How to Make Vegan Lentil Tacos?
You will need vegan tortillas, salsa, lentil taco meat, some red cabbage or lettuce, some chunky avocado or tomato, red onion, and jalapeno, along with vegan dipping sauce.
Storage and reheat
It stores well in the refrigerator for 5 - 7 days when stored in an air-tight container. This is freezer friendly as well. Thaw it before reheating for use. To freeze pack them in several servings and not all in one container. When ready to use remove the portion servings to use instead of removing the whole batch. To reheat, transfer to a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 2 minutes, stirring at the 1-minute mark. Or in a skillet, till it's warm enough to use.
Lentil Taco Meat
- 1 cup raw brown/ green lentils or 2 ½ cups cooked/ canned lentils
- 2 cups vegetable broth or 1/4 cups in case of cooked lentils
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 3 - 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp oregano dried
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper optional; sub - 1/2 jalapeno pepper
- 1 bay leaf optional for additional flavor
- salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil can skip as well
Soak the lentils (Optional)
- Rinse lentils and pick through for any debris. You may soak the lentils for a few minutes (up to 20 minutes). However, soaking is optional and can skip the step.
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven. Add chopped onion and garlic.
- Saute them till translucent.
- Add rinsed and soaked lentils followed be the seasonings. Give them a nice stir.
- Saute for a minute and then pour the vegetable broth.
- Simmer for 12 - 15 minutes till it's cooked well and all liquids used up. Keep the pot covered with a lid while simmering.
- Check if the lentils are cooked or not by pressing a few with fingers or using a spoon to mash lightly. They won't fall apart but should have a soft texture.
Instant Pot Lentils
- You can make it completely oil-free also.
- Add all the ingredients to the inner pot and close the LID.
- Turn the pressure valve to the VENTING position.
- Start the PRESSURE COOK on MANUAL mode for 8 - 9 minutes.
- Once done, let it be on NPR (Natural Pressure Release) for 8 - 10 minutes.
- Then open the instant pot lid carefully. Lentils are cooked perfectly.
- Give them a nice stir. Remove from the pot and serve warm.