Recipe: Simple Lentil Tacos

Spicy, seasoned lentils star in these simple, satisfying tacos. Set up a taco bar with all the fixings and let your family (or guests) make their own. You can add hard taco shells or a meat-based filling as options, too.

Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1/2 cup dry lentils, picked over and washed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large jalapeño, chopped
  • 1 cup minced broccoli (about 1 stem)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 corn tortillas or lettuce leaves
  • Your choice of taco toppings (salsa, chopped avocado, chopped onion, shredded cheese, cilantro, etc.)


  1. Place lentils in a one-quart pot and add 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer for 20 minutes. If they are not yet tender but not falling apart, you may need to cook for an additional 5 minutes. When lentils are done, drain gently and let cool.
  2. In a large sauté pan, drizzle the olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Add the onions and stir, reducing the heat to medium when they begin to sizzle. Cook for about 5 minutes, until softened and starting to brown. Add the garlic, jalapeño, broccoli and tomato and stir, cooking for about 5 minutes, until the liquid in the pan has almost completely evaporated. Add the spices and stir to mix, then add the lentils and stir until mixed and heated through, being careful not to break up the lentils.
  3. Place about a quarter cup of filling in the center of each tortilla or lettuce leaf, top with your favorite taco toppings, then fold in half and serve.
  4. The taco filling keeps for up to 4 days, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.

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