This vegan lentil taco meat makes the perfect filling for vegan tacos or whatever your lentil meat needs are. It can be made quickly, is gluten-free, soy-free, can be made oil-free, and is a delicious whole-food plant-based meat substitute.
Lentils are one of those powerhouse foods that I love to incorporate into our diet in any tasty way I can.
This vegan lentil taco meat checks all the boxes for me.
It’s easy, tasty, nutritious, versatile, and kid-friendly (unless you have one kid who has a weird thing about lentils, I’m sorry, and I feel your pain).
My other kid, who doesn’t have a weird thing about lentils, loves these!
I know I already mentioned how easy these are, but I will say it again. SO easy!
These call for already cooked lentils. If you don’t have pre-cooked ones lying around, it will take a bit longer.
I use taco seasoning in this; you could use storebought or your favorite homemade version; either works.
But if you use storebought, make sure it has no dairy in it; they hide that in everything.
You’re going to need tomato sauce. The combination of the taco seasoning and the tomato sauce pair perfectly together.
I like to make mine just like you would in the pre-vegan days. With chopped-up onions, this is optional; we have some onion haters around here- I know how it goes!
This recipe works great for meal prep; you can add it to salads, taco bowls, or whatever you need taco meat for.
Next taco Tuesday you can give these vegan lentil ground meat substitutes a try.
I won’t say lentils have the same meaty texture as ground beef. Often, people add walnuts or cauliflower rice to make it have a bit meatier texture.
But I wanted this to be a simple, quick throw together on a busy weeknight meal, so this is basically lentils with seasoning to spice it up.
What type of lentils should I use for this meat substitute?
There are a host of different kinds of lentils;
- green lentils- will hold their shape
- brown lentils- this is what I almost always use for this recipe
- black lentils- these are hearty and will work as well.
- red lentils – these get mushy and aren’t a good fit for this recipe
Can I use canned lentils?
If you’re short on prep time, feel free to use canned lentils, rinse and drain them first.
Can I use homemade taco seasoning?
You sure can; if you have a recipe you love, go for it. Otherwise, use storebought just be sure to check the ingredient list; sometimes, they put milk in the seasoning for some reason.
What are some good toppings for these vegan lentil tacos?
- salsa or pico de gallo
- hot sauce
- fresh cilantro
- Mexican rice
- red onion
- vegan cheese
- vegan sour cream
- refried beans, black beans, pinto beans
Whatever your favorite toppings are.
What ingredients do you need for these lentil vegan taco filling?
For the full recipe, check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post. I love that this recipe has simple ingredients.
- cooked lentils
- oil (olive oil, vegetable oil, whichever is your favorite)
- small onion
- taco seasoning (check to make sure it’s vegan)
- tomato sauce
- black pepper
How do you make this vegan lentil taco recipe?
If you don’t have your lentils cooked, follow the cooking time according to the package directions.
Take a medium to a large frying pan, add your oil and chopped onion, cook until the onions are soft; on medium-high heat, you can add more oil or water, so it doesn’t stick.
Add the rest of your ingredients and stir well.
Cook on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes stirring semi-frequently to ensure it doesn’t burn.
How do you serve this vegan lentil taco meat?
Serve with all your favorite taco toppings in either corn tortillas, flour tortillas, or even a taco salad.
This is best served warm.
How do you store leftovers?
It’s best to let the lentils come to room temperature, then add them to an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can you freeze this?
You can freeze it, place it in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months.
Reheat after defrosting on a skillet with a little bit of oil; add more seasoning if you need to add some extra flavor.
Want some other delicious vegan Mexican recipes?
- 2 cups cooked lentils
- 1.5 tsp oil
- 1/2 small onion chopped small (optional)
- 2 TB taco seasoning check to make sure it’s vegan
- 1/2 can 4 oz tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Take a medium fry pan, add your oil and onions, cook until the onions are soft- you can add more oil or water, so it doesn't stick. Add the rest of your ingredients. Cook on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes stirring semi-frequently to ensure it doesn't burn. Serve with all your favorite taco toppings.
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