There family favorite Vegan Tacos have been given a plant-based makeover. With a vegan taco meat that takes less than 20 minutes to make, dinner will be on the table in no time!
I have to say, I've never met a taco I didn't immediately fall head-over-heels for. Taco Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. I'm not picky.
Best of all, it's one of those meals that everyone just seems to love. Kids. Teens. Parents. No one's gonna complain when it's taco night, and now with this insanely simple vegan taco recipe, you have no reason to miss out.
In fact, I fed these to my meat-lovin teenage boy, and he absolutely deMOLished them, just like I know your whole family will.
I'm just gonna put it out there right now - make double, triple, or quadruple of this vegan taco filling, because there's a major chance they'll all be coming back for seconds.
Reasons why you'll love this Vegan Taco Recipe
Ingredients and Substitutions
So let's talk ingredients here. There aren't many, and there's a chance you already have them on hand. Many vegan taco fillings use TVP (textured vegetable protein) as a base, and while that's a valid option, I would prefer to use real whole foods that I know my body will benefit from better.
Lentils - The base of these veggie tacos is a super simple lentil "meat". It's up to you whether you want to start from dried lentils or opt for a simpler already-cooked canned lentil. Whatever you have time for
Alternately, if you don't want to use lentils or don't have them in the pantry, feel free to swap them out for black or kidney beans. Give them a little mash while cooking, and you'll be set!
Salsa - totally up to you on what kind of salsa to use here. I've used a black bean and corn salsa as well as fresh restaurant-style salsa. All works well here. I generally just use whatever we happen to have open already.
Nutritional Yeast - Fortified with B12, this "nooch" is an ingredient that will add a nutty cheesy sort of flavor that really kicks it up a notch. I know it can be somewhat of a controversial ingredient, and if you're not into using it, feel free to omit. It will not kill the experience - I promise!
Step-by-Step Instructions for Vegan Tacos
Full ingredient amounts and in-depth details are at the bottom of the post on a printable recipe card.
Step 1 - In a medium to large skillet, add all of the ingredients (excluding the toppings).
Step 2 - Cook over medium low heat while stirring often for 10-15 minutes. Add small amounts of water 1-2 Tablespoons at a time if the mixture seems too dry.
Step 3 - To assemble, fill taco shells with lentil taco meat ¼ to ½ full. Add toppings of your choice and serve.
Couldn't be easier!
Cindy's Insider Pro Tips
Use canned Lentils
One of my favorite hacks for recipes that use lentils (like my vegan meatloaf) is to use already cooked canned lentils. I have no problem cooking dried lentils (which I have instructions for in the recipe card notes), but using canned lentils just gets dinner on the table that much faster.
And I know you know what I'm talkin about - when the kids are hungry and it's been a busy day, you just gotta whip it up as fast as you can!
Turn it into a Taco Salad
Looking for a little bit of a lower-carb option? Skip the taco shell and throw in all in a big bowl with romaine lettuce, baby spinach, and spring greens.
I'm a huge fan of a big salad, and I know my family would rather go to sleep hungry than eat a salad for dinner. So I serve them up tacos and make exactly what I want, which is a salad. No extra fuss on my end!
Veggie Tacos FAQs
Yes, you can absolutely use a bean instead of lentils. Black and kidney beans work really well in this recipe. Because they're a little bigger than lentils, I like to give them a bit of a mash while cooking with the other ingredients.
This is a great recipe to double and freeze what you don't use. Store in a freezer safe container or a freezer ziploc bag. Will last up to 6 months. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight and heat on the stove.
Now that you know how to easy it is to make these Vegan Tacos, please give it a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating below and comment letting me know how it turned out for you.
- 1 cup cooked lentils
- ½ cup salsa
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- pepper to taste
- 6 taco shells of choice
- shredded vegan cheese
- vegan sour cream
- chopped onions/scallions
- chopped tomatoes
- shredded lettuce
- In a medium to large skillet, add all of the ingredients (excluding the toppings).
- Cook over medium/low hear while stirring often for 10-15 minutes. If the mixture seems too dry, you can add small amounts of water (1-2 tablespoons at a time). Set aside.
- Take one taco shell and fill with the lentil mixture ¼ to ½ full.
- Add toppings of your choice on top and serve.