Who doesn’t love tacos? These delicious walnut lentil tacos are ready in under 30 minutes, if your lentils are already cooked! It’s an easy recipe to fill those bellies and can be changed up with any taco toppings you like. The lentils make a nice alternative to black or pinto beans tacos, and I love the texture the walnuts give it.
How to Cook Brown Lentils
I can’t ever seem to find canned lentils so I buy a bag of dry brown lentils. To prepare the lentils: Rinse them in a colander, then put them in a large pot, cover the lentils with a few inches of water, bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and let them simmer for 30 minutes. When the lentils are done, drain them, let them cool, then store in the refrigerator or freezer for later use. For the freezer, measuring your lentils out in cups helps when it’s time to thaw. For labeling the contents of your freezer-safe jars, masking tape works great. A rough estimate for cooking lentils is that dry lentils double in volume when cooked.
How to Make Walnut Lentil Taco Meat
Start with a hot pan. This is an oil-free recipe and onions will brown better with a hot pan versus starting the onions off in a cold pan. Lower the heat and cook the onions for a minute or two before adding the garlic. If the onions start to stick, deglaze the pan with a tablespoon of vegetable broth. Only a tablespoon at a time so the onions still brown and not boil. All that browning on the bottom of the pan is flavor. When the onions are translucent, add the cooked lentils, chopped walnuts, vegetable broth, tamari, chili powder, oregano, paprika, and cumin. Cook the mixture on low until walnuts have softened and the liquid has evaporated, which takes about 5-10 minutes. Then warm up the tortillas and fill them with the lentil taco meat, your favorite toppings, and cashew lime crema. I prefer to warm up tortillas in a hot skillet. Wait for the pan to warm up, then add the tortilla, warm on each side for 10-15 seconds.
- Red onion diced
- Tomatoes diced
- Greens (spinach, romaine lettuce, baby kale)
- Fresh cilantro
- Salsa or Pico de Gallo
- Cashew Lime Crema
- Pickled radishes
- Mashed Avocado
Belly-filling walnut lentil tacos, topped with red onion, romaine lettuce, fresh tomatoes, and a cashew lime crema.
- 1 onion (diced)
- 1 clove of garlic (minced)
- 1 ½ cups cooked brown lentils (¾ cup dry lentils makes about 1½ cups cooked)
- ½ cup raw walnuts (chopped finely)
- ¼–½ cup vegetable broth (plus a few extra tablespoons for deglazing)
- 1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Pepper to taste
- 10 Tortillas
- Toppings of your choice
- Cook dry lentils if needed.
- Sauté the onion for about 2-3 minutes in a preheated pan.
- Turn down the heat and add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds to a minute, use a tablespoon of vegetable broth at a time to deglaze the pan (as needed for oil-free cooking).
- When the onion is translucent add the lentils, walnuts, ¼ cup vegetable broth, tamari, chili powder, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Start with a ¼ cup of broth, it depends on how hot your pan is for the broth to evaporate, add more broth if the lentils get too dry.
- Keep the mixture at a low simmer.
- Cook the mixture until and vegetable broth has evaporated and the walnuts are softened, about 5-10 minutes.
- Warm up tortillas then fill them with the taco meat and your desired toppings.
- Category: Main Course
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keywords: Walnut lentil taco meat, vegan tacos