Vegetarian Lentil Tacos (Slow Cooker)

January 10, 2019

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Vegetarian Lentil Tacos are a perfectly healthy and incredibly tasty taco recipe that will even impress meat lovers! They’re deliciously flavorful, unbelievably easy to make (the slow cooker does most of the work) and they make great left overs.

Vegetarian Lentil Tacos

Vegetarian Lentil Tacos for Meatless Monday

Do you do Meatless Monday? I’m not the type to be organized and plan ahead so I don’t do specifically “meatless Monday” but I try to eat more vegetarian recipes, especially for breakfast and lunch. And lately I’m trying to do a few more meatless recipes for dinner for my family.

This a meatless recipe my whole family can agree on, even my husband (who’s crazy about meat) loves these! And you can’t beat the quick prep time of this recipe. Plus you’ll be glad you’ll likely have leftovers for lunch the next day.

You can finish these easy tacos off with any toppings you like, then if you are making them vegan use vegan cheese or omit it.

What Ingredients Do I Need for Lentil Tacos?

  • Green lentils
  • Vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  • Canned diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • Olive oil
  • Veggies – yellow onion, garlic, cilantro
  • Spices – cumin, chili powder, ancho chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper (optional), salt and pepper
  • Lime
  • Tortillas and desired toppings, for serving

Vegetarian Lentil Tacos Ingredients

So What are Lentils?

  • Lentils are a small round legume that are grown in pods, about two seeds per each.
  • They’re a good source of protein and fiber which makes them nice and filling and have hardly any fat.
  • You’ll find them in several colors including red, yellow, green, brown and black.
  • They’re very affordable and a much cheaper alternative to meat.
  • They have long shelf life (usually several years) and don’t require refrigeration (until cooked of course).
  • Once cooked they’ll freeze them for several months.
  • Lentils make a great vegan substitute for meat in many dishes.

I actually love lentils and always keep some on hand now. I’d never even tried them until just a few years ago but now I love finding new ways to cook with them, these tacos are one of my favorite ways to use them.

Lentil Tacos

How do You Make Lentil Tacos?

Lentil tacos can also be made on the stove top but I love these no fuss slow cooker method.

No tending to it just dump in a slow cooker and cook 3 – 4 hours on high or 7 – 8 hours on low. Serve in warm tortillas with desired toppings, easy breeze and so good!

Lentil Tacos

What’s the Best Way to Warm Tortillas?

I always like to cook corn tortillas in a skillet or on a griddle either brushed with olive oil. Heat on medium-high until light golden brown spots appear on bottom then flip and cook opposite side until golden brown.

When I’m short on time I also love these with crispy corn taco shells. No cooking required. I like the way the crunch pairs with the soft filling.

What Else Can I Use This Filling For?

This filling would also be good for nachos, tostadas, enchiladas or taco salad. Or freeze half for tacos the next week.

Lentil Tacos

More Delicious Lentil Recipes to Try!

Vegetarian Lentil Tacos
4.88 from 8 votes

Vegetarian Lentil Tacos (Slow Cooker)

Healthy, hearty taco filling that couldn't be easier to make! It's the perfect meatless dinner the whole family will love! Recipe makes about 4 1/3 cups.
Servings: 9
Prep10 minutes
Cook3 hours 30 minutes
Ready in: 3 hours 40 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups green lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (10 oz) can mild diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

For serving

  • Corn tortillas or crisp taco shells, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes (for serving)


  • Add lentils, broth, olive oil, tomatoes, onions, garlic, chili powders, and paprika to a 5 - 6 quart slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Cover and cook on high 3 - 4 hours on high or on low 7 - 8 hours. 
  • Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Serve warm into warmed tortillas with toppings.


  • For a little heat add in some chipotle chili powder or cayenne pepper to taste.
  • Nutrition listed is for filling only.
Nutrition Facts
Vegetarian Lentil Tacos (Slow Cooker)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 145 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Sodium 332mg14%
Potassium 406mg12%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 10g42%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 590IU12%
Vitamin C 5.7mg7%
Calcium 36mg4%
Iron 3.2mg18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

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  • Sabra

    I didn’t have green lentils, so used red. They cook quickly, so fast recipe to make. I was surprised by how good these tacos taste.

  • Hillary

    The flavor of these lentils was delicious! The problem I had (still having) is the lentils never got soft! I ended up boiling some of the mixture so I could have dinner and it was so yummy! I had it on low for about 8 hours, then tried high for another couple hours and ended up putting it on low and went to bed and still crunchy lentils! I’ve cooked dried red beans before so I am super surprised they aren’t softening. I am going to try the recipe again because it’s excellent, but I am just going to boil the lentils.

    • Kathy

      Old lentils were probably the cause of your lentils not softening. Try to find a source for fresher lentils. Grocery stores that have a high turnover could be a source. (IMHO, Rancho Gordo has fresh, delicious lentils and beans.)

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I haven’t tried in the instant pot yet, it should work but I’m just not sure on the broth amount. If it’s like rice it might be a little finicky.

  • Michelle

    These were so good and so easy to make! I’m vegan and brought these to a get together and even the meat eaters loved it.
    The first day I had them in tacos and the second day in a bowl over rice.

  • Angela

    If using brown lentils do I cook the same amount of time as the green lentils

  • Irene

    Great easy and delicious recipe thank you! I’ve just had a baby so really appreciated putting this on in the morning and enjoying it in the evening! Delicious too!

  • Holly

    Could this recipe be made on the stove with good results? What would be the cooking time? Would I need to change anything?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Sorry I forgot to measure in cups or oz but I can easily be done if you have a kitchen scale to weigh out the whole batch and divide by servings listed.