Social Media

Slow-Cooked Vegetarian Lentil Tacos Recipe

Dive into the flavors of these slow-cooked vegetarian lentil tacos. This recipe offers a hearty and satisfying meal that's perfect for those looking for a meatless option. The lentils are slow-cooked to perfection, allowing them to soak up the rich blend of spices and flavors. The final touch of fresh cilantro and lime juice brings an added zing that makes this dish truly memorable.

Image 1
Image 2
Image 3

Photos of Slow-Cooked Vegetarian Lentil Tacos Recipe

Image 1
Image 2
Image 3

This recipe uses green lentils and ancho chili powder, which may not be staples in every home kitchen. Green lentils are a type of pulse and a nutritional powerhouse, packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins. They are commonly found in the dried beans section of most supermarkets. Ancho chili powder, made from dried poblano peppers, provides a mild, sweet heat to dishes and can be found in the spice aisle or in stores specializing in Mexican products.

Ingredients for Slow-Cooked Vegetarian Lentil Tacos

Green lentils: A healthy and hearty pulse that adds a chunky texture.

Vegetable broth: Provides the liquid base for our lentils to cook in and absorb flavors.

Tomatoes and green chiles: Adds a tangy flavor and a bit of spice to the lentils.

Olive oil: Used to sauté the onions and garlic.

Yellow onion: Adds a sweet and slightly pungent flavor to the tacos.

Garlic: Gives a spicy, pungent kick.

Ground cumin: Provides a warm and earthy flavor.

Chili powder: Adds heat to the lentils.

Ancho chili powder: Gives a sweet and mild heat.

Paprika: Adds a sweet-pepper flavor to the dish.

Cilantro: Provides a fresh and citrusy flavor.

Lime juice: Adds acidity and freshness, balancing the flavors.

Corn tortillas: The base of your tacos, providing a chewy and slightly sweet flavor.

Lettuce: Adds crunch and freshness to your tacos.

Cheese: Adds a creamy and salty element that contrasts nicely with the other ingredients.

Tomatoes: Adds a juicy and sweet element to the tacos.

One reader, Enoch Grover says:

star icon star icon star icon star icon star icon

This slow-cooked vegetarian lentil tacos recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are rich and satisfying, and the lentils have the perfect texture. It's a great way to enjoy a meatless meal without sacrificing taste. Plus, it's so easy to make in the slow cooker. Highly recommend!

Enoch Grover

Cooking Techniques for Slow-Cooked Vegetarian Lentil Tacos

How to cook lentils in a slow cooker: Lentils should be rinsed and drained before adding them to the slow cooker. They should be cooked with vegetable broth, tomatoes, onions, and seasonings for the specified duration until they are tender.

How to season the lentils: The lentils should be seasoned with ground cumin, chili powder, ancho chili powder, paprika, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. The seasonings should be added to the slow cooker along with the other ingredients.

How to serve the lentil tacos: The lentil mixture should be spooned into warmed corn tortillas and topped with lettuce, cheese, and tomatoes before serving.

How To Make Slow-Cooked Vegetarian Lentil Tacos

The slow cooker does the bulk of the work to make these lentil tacos. This tasty recipe is healthy, filling, & delicious enough even for loyal meat lovers.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total: 3 hours 40 minutes



  • cupsgreen lentils,picked over and rinsed
  • 3cupsvegetable broth
  • 10oztomatoes and green chiles,(1 can), mild diced
  • 1tbspolive oil
  • ½cupyellow onion,finely chopped
  • 2tspgarlic,minced
  • 2tspground cumin
  • tspchili powder
  • tspancho chili powder
  • 1tsppaprika
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper,to taste
  • 3tbspfresh cilantro,chopped
  • 1tbspfresh lime juice

For Serving:

  • corn tortillas,or crisp taco shells
  • lettuce
  • cheese
  • tomatoes


  1. Add lentils, broth, olive oil, tomatoes, onions, garlic, chili powders, and paprika to a 5 to 6-quart slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

  2. Cover and cook on High for 3 to 4 hours on Low for 7 to 8 hours. 

  3. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Serve warm into warmed tortillas with toppings.


  • Calories: 156.29kcal
  • Fat: 2.29g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.32g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 1.29g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.51g
  • Carbohydrates: 26.93g
  • Fiber: 5.08g
  • Sugar: 3.65g
  • Protein: 9.26g
  • Sodium: 432.31mg
  • Calcium: 37.22mg
  • Potassium: 460.52mg
  • Iron: 3.19mg
  • Vitamin A: 56.33µg
  • Vitamin C: 83.85mg

Crucial Technique for Perfect Slow-Cooked Lentil Tacos

To ensure your lentils are cooked to perfection in this slow-cooked vegetarian lentil tacos recipe, it's crucial to not lift the lid of the slow cooker during the cooking process. Each time you lift the lid, you're letting out heat and moisture, which can significantly increase the cooking time. Resist the temptation to stir or check on the lentils, and trust that the slow cooker is doing its job. This will result in perfectly tender lentils that are full of flavor.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Slow-Cooked Vegetarian Lentil Tacos

Prep ahead: Chop vegetables and measure out ingredients in advance to streamline the cooking process.

Use canned: Opt for canned tomatoes and green chiles to save time on chopping and preparation.

Slow cooker: Utilize a slow cooker to let the lentils cook slowly while you attend to other tasks.

Double batch: Consider making a larger batch and freezing the extra for a quick meal in the future.

One-pot meal: Choose recipes that allow you to cook everything in one pot to minimize cleanup time.

Pre-made toppings: Consider using pre-shredded cheese and pre-washed lettuce to save time on prep work.

Efficient chopping: Master efficient chopping techniques to speed up the preparation process.

Organized workspace: Keep your workspace organized and clean to avoid wasting time searching for ingredients and utensils.

Substitute Ingredients For Slow-Cooked Vegetarian Lentil Tacos Recipe

  • green lentils - Substitute with brown lentils: Brown lentils have a similar texture and cooking time to green lentils, making them a suitable substitute in this recipe.

  • vegetable broth - Substitute with mushroom broth: Mushroom broth adds a rich umami flavor that can enhance the depth of the dish, similar to vegetable broth.

  • tomatoes and green chiles - Substitute with diced tomatoes and a pinch of cayenne pepper: Diced tomatoes provide a similar base, and a pinch of cayenne pepper can add a touch of heat similar to green chiles.

  • olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a mild flavor and high smoke point, making it a suitable substitute for olive oil in this recipe.

  • yellow onion - Substitute with white onion: White onions have a slightly milder flavor compared to yellow onions and can be used as a substitute in this recipe.

  • garlic - Substitute with garlic powder: Garlic powder can be used as a convenient substitute for fresh garlic, providing a similar flavor profile.

  • ground cumin - Substitute with coriander: Coriander has a warm, citrusy flavor that can complement the other spices in the recipe, similar to cumin.

  • chili powder - Substitute with smoked paprika: Smoked paprika can add a smoky, earthy flavor similar to chili powder, enhancing the depth of the dish.

  • ancho chili powder - Substitute with regular chili powder: Regular chili powder can provide a similar level of heat and flavor to ancho chili powder in this recipe.

  • paprika - Substitute with cayenne pepper: Cayenne pepper can add a spicy kick similar to paprika, adjusting the heat level to taste.

  • fresh cilantro - Substitute with fresh parsley: Fresh parsley can provide a similar fresh, herbaceous flavor to complement the dish.

  • fresh lime juice - Substitute with fresh lemon juice: Fresh lemon juice can offer a similar level of acidity and brightness to the dish as lime juice.

  • corn tortillas - Substitute with flour tortillas: Flour tortillas can be used as an alternative to corn tortillas, providing a different texture and flavor to the tacos.

  • lettuce - Substitute with shredded cabbage: Shredded cabbage can offer a crunchy texture and a slightly peppery flavor similar to lettuce in the tacos.

  • cheese - Substitute with vegan cheese: Vegan cheese can be used as a dairy-free alternative to traditional cheese in the recipe.

  • tomatoes - Substitute with bell peppers: Diced bell peppers can provide a similar texture and a touch of sweetness similar to tomatoes in the recipe.

Presentation Ideas for Slow-Cooked Lentil Tacos

  1. Elevate the lentil mixture: Arrange the cooked lentil mixture in a neat and visually appealing manner on the plate, ensuring that each component is showcased beautifully.

  2. Garnish with fresh cilantro: Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro over the lentil tacos to add a pop of color and a burst of fresh flavor.

  3. Warm the corn tortillas: Gently warm the corn tortillas before serving to ensure they are soft and pliable, making them easier to handle and enhancing their flavor.

  4. Arrange the lettuce with precision: Carefully place the lettuce on the plate, ensuring it complements the lentil tacos and adds a touch of freshness to the dish.

  5. Artfully place the cheese: Arrange the cheese in an artistic manner, ensuring it enhances the visual appeal of the dish while adding a creamy and savory element.

  6. Add a pop of color with fresh tomatoes: Slice fresh tomatoes and strategically position them on the plate to add a vibrant burst of color and a juicy, refreshing element to the dish.

  7. Create a harmonious composition: Pay attention to the overall composition of the dish, ensuring that each element is balanced and visually appealing.

  8. Use high-quality serving ware: Select elegant and high-quality serving ware to present the lentil tacos, elevating the overall dining experience for the guests.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Lentil Tacos

  • Slow cooker: A slow cooker is a countertop electrical cooking appliance used for simmering, which allows for the preparation of slow-cooked meals over several hours. It's perfect for making tender and flavorful dishes like the slow-cooked vegetarian lentil tacos.
  • Vegetable broth: Vegetable broth is a flavorful liquid made by simmering vegetables, herbs, and spices. It adds depth and richness to the lentil taco filling, enhancing its taste.
  • Food processor: A food processor is used to finely chop or puree ingredients. It can be handy for quickly chopping onions, garlic, and cilantro for the lentil taco filling.
  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is essential for combining the ingredients for the lentil taco filling, ensuring that the flavors are well distributed.
  • Skillet: A skillet is used for warming the tortillas before serving, adding a nice texture and flavor to the tacos.
  • Knife: A knife is essential for chopping vegetables and herbs, ensuring they are finely diced and ready for cooking.
  • Cutting board: A cutting board provides a stable surface for chopping and preparing the vegetables and herbs needed for the lentil taco filling.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Measuring cups and spoons are essential for accurately measuring the ingredients, ensuring the perfect balance of flavors in the lentil taco filling.
  • Serving platter: A serving platter is used for presenting the finished lentil tacos, making them look appetizing and inviting.

Storing and Freezing Slow-Cooked Vegetarian Lentil Tacos

  • Allow the lentil taco filling to cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • For storing in the refrigerator, transfer the cooled filling to an airtight container and keep it refrigerated for up to 5 days.
  • To freeze the lentil taco filling:
    • Divide the cooled filling into portion-sized freezer-safe containers or resealable bags.
    • Remove as much air as possible from the bags before sealing to prevent freezer burn.
    • Label the containers or bags with the date and contents for easy identification.
    • Place the containers or bags in the freezer, where they will keep for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat the frozen lentil taco filling:
    • Thaw the desired portion in the refrigerator overnight.
    • Transfer the thawed filling to a saucepan and reheat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
    • If the filling appears dry, add a splash of vegetable broth or water to help reconstitute it.
    • Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, or additional lime juice if needed.
  • When ready to serve, warm the corn tortillas and assemble the tacos with the reheated lentil filling and desired toppings, such as shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheese.

How to Reheat Leftover Vegetarian Lentil Tacos

  • Reheat the lentil filling in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. This method allows you to control the moisture content and prevent the lentils from drying out. If the filling seems too thick, add a splash of vegetable broth or water to achieve the desired consistency.

  • For a quick and easy reheating option, place the leftover lentil filling in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the filling is heated through. The damp paper towel helps to retain moisture and prevent the lentils from drying out.

  • If you have leftover assembled tacos, wrap them loosely in aluminum foil and place them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 10-15 minutes, or until the tortillas are crispy and the filling is heated through. This method helps to restore the texture of the tortillas while warming the filling.

  • For a crispy texture, reheat the leftover lentil filling in a skillet over medium heat with a small amount of olive oil. Stir occasionally until the filling is heated through and slightly crispy on the edges. This method adds a nice texture contrast to the soft lentils and works well if you prefer a drier filling.

  • If you have a lot of leftover filling, consider transforming it into a new dish. Use the reheated lentil filling as a topping for nachos, a filling for burritos, or a base for a hearty vegetarian chili. Get creative and experiment with different ways to repurpose your leftovers.

Interesting Fact About Lentils Used in This Recipe

Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein and are packed with essential nutrients such as iron, folate, and fiber. They are also low in fat and high in complex carbohydrates, making them a healthy and filling option for vegetarians and vegans.

Budget-Friendly Slow-Cooked Vegetarian Lentil Tacos

The cost-effectiveness of this vegetarian lentil tacos recipe is quite high. Lentils are an affordable source of protein, and the other ingredients are also reasonably priced. This recipe offers a budget-friendly option for households looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into their diet. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $10-$15, making it a cost-effective choice. The overall verdict rating for this recipe would be 9/10, considering its affordability, nutritional value, and delicious taste.

Are Vegetarian Lentil Tacos Healthy?

This vegetarian lentil taco recipe is a nutritious and wholesome meal option. Here's why:

  • Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, and essential nutrients like iron and folate.
  • The recipe uses vegetable broth, which is lower in sodium compared to regular broth, making it a healthier choice.
  • The inclusion of tomatoes and green chiles provides additional vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and potassium.
  • The use of various spices like cumin, chili powder, and paprika adds depth of flavor without relying on excessive salt or unhealthy additives.
  • Fresh cilantro and lime juice add a burst of freshness and provide antioxidants and vitamin C.

However, there are a few areas where the recipe could be improved to make it even healthier:

  • Opt for whole grain or corn tortillas instead of regular corn tortillas to increase the fiber content and provide additional nutrients.
  • Choose low-fat cheese or omit it altogether to reduce the saturated fat content.
  • Include more vegetables as toppings, such as diced bell peppers, onions, or shredded carrots, to boost the nutrient density of the tacos.
  • Consider using a low-sodium vegetable broth to further reduce the sodium content of the dish.
  • Experiment with adding other nutrient-dense ingredients like chopped spinach or kale to the lentil mixture for an extra nutritional boost.

Editor's Opinion on Slow-Cooked Vegetarian Lentil Tacos Recipe

This slow-cooked vegetarian lentil tacos recipe is a delightful fusion of flavors and textures. The combination of green lentils, aromatic spices, and zesty lime juice creates a hearty and satisfying filling for the tacos. The slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a rich and robust taste. The addition of fresh cilantro and lime juice at the end adds a burst of freshness. When served with warm tortillas and a variety of toppings, these lentil tacos are sure to be a hit at any gathering.

Enhance Your Slow-Cooked Vegetarian Lentil Tacos Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Guacamole: Creamy avocado mixed with zesty lime and fresh cilantro, perfect for adding a burst of flavor to your lentil tacos.
Mango Salsa: Sweet and tangy mango chunks mixed with spicy jalapenos and red onions, a refreshing and tropical side to accompany your lentil tacos.
Cilantro-Lime Rice: Fluffy white rice infused with zesty lime juice and fresh cilantro, a light and fragrant side dish to complement the hearty lentil tacos.

Similar Recipes to Slow-Cooked Vegetarian Lentil Tacos

Spicy Black Bean Tacos: These tacos are filled with flavorful and spicy black beans, topped with fresh salsa and creamy avocado. A perfect vegetarian option for taco night!
Mango Salsa Chicken Tacos: Juicy and tender chicken topped with a refreshing and sweet mango salsa, wrapped in warm tortillas. A delightful combination of flavors for a taco night feast!
Butternut Squash Soup: A creamy and comforting soup made with roasted butternut squash, perfect for a cozy night in. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh herbs for an extra touch of flavor.
Berry Cobbler: Indulge in a warm and sweet berry cobbler, topped with a buttery and flaky crust. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate dessert experience.
Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Fire up the grill and cook up a colorful assortment of fresh vegetables on skewers. A healthy and delicious option for a summer cookout or barbecue.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Slow-Cooked Vegetarian Lentil Tacos

Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and indulgent appetizer by stuffing large mushrooms with a mixture of cream cheese, garlic, herbs, and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and serve hot for a crowd-pleasing starter.
Bruschetta: Elevate the classic bruschetta by topping crispy baguette slices with a flavorful mix of diced tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, and balsamic glaze. This refreshing and vibrant appetizer is perfect for any gathering.
Decadent Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and intense chocolate flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Velvety Vanilla Panna Cotta: Treat yourself to a silky smooth vanilla panna cotta, drizzled with a sweet berry compote and garnished with fresh mint leaves. The delicate balance of flavors and luxurious texture will leave you wanting more.

Why trust this Slow-Cooked Vegetarian Lentil Tacos Recipe:

This vegetarian lentil tacos recipe offers a flavorful and satisfying option for those seeking a meatless meal. The combination of green lentils, tomatoes and green chiles, and a blend of spices creates a rich and hearty filling. The slow-cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a delicious and aromatic dish. With the addition of fresh cilantro and lime juice, this recipe promises a burst of freshness. Trust in the wholesome ingredients and the carefully crafted cooking method to deliver a delightful taco experience.

Want to share your own twist on this Slow-Cooked Vegetarian Lentil Tacos Recipe? Head over to the Recipe Sharing section of our forum and let us know how you make this dish your own!
Can I use red lentils instead of green lentils in this recipe?
Yes, you can use red lentils instead of green lentils. Just keep in mind that red lentils tend to cook faster than green lentils, so you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Can I substitute the vegetable broth with chicken broth?
Absolutely! You can substitute the vegetable broth with chicken broth if you prefer. It will add a different flavor profile to the dish, but it will still be delicious.
How can I make this recipe spicier?
If you prefer a spicier flavor, you can increase the amount of chili powder or add some diced jalapeños or hot sauce to the lentil mixture while it's cooking.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time and reheat it later?
Yes, you can make the lentil mixture ahead of time and reheat it when you're ready to serve. Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave.
What are some suggested toppings for these lentil tacos?
Some delicious toppings for these lentil tacos include shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, grated cheese, sour cream, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Get creative and add your favorite taco toppings!

Was this page helpful?

Chat Bubble Icon Share your own special recipe
Submit Your Own Recipe

Have your own special recipe to share? Submit Your Recipe Today!