Tasty Lentil Tacos

Taco Tuesday meets Meatless Monday for a cheap & tasty low-sodium meal the whole family will love!

Have you ever tried vegetarian tacos? Perhaps with chickpeas or even TVP (textured vegetable protein)? Lentils might not immediately come to mind, but when cooked they’re soft and brown, with a look & texture not unlike ground beef. Combined with sauteed onion, garlic, some no-salt-added salsa and seasoning, they make amazing taco filling. Warm, hearty & delicious, and SO healthy!

NOTE: Many supermarkets sell salt-free or low-sodium taco shells, but they’re not often marketed as such. One brand to look for is Bearitos; if you can’t find them locally, order them online. Better yet? If you have a Whole Foods Market nearby, they sell their store brand 365 Everyday Value Organic Taco Shells for only $2.79 a box – and with ZERO mg sodium per serving!

Adapted from Taste of Home Dinner on a Dime: 403 Budget-Friendly Family Recipes.

Serves 6.

SODIUM CONTENT: 163 mg per serving


1 t. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c. dried lentils, rinsed
1 T. no-salt-added chili seasoning
2 t. ground cumin
1 t. dried oregano
2 1/2 c. low-sodium vegetable broth
1 c. no-salt-added salsa (I like Trader Joe’s No-Salt-Added Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa)
12 taco shells (see note above)
1 1/2 c. shredded lettuce
1 c. diced fresh tomato
1 c. shredded Swiss cheese
6 T. sour cream


Heat the oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium. Add the onion and garlic and saute 3 minutes. Add the lentils, chili seasoning, cumin & oregano and cook, stirring, one minute. Add broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Warm taco shells according to directions on package.

Remove lentils from heat, uncover pan and mash lentils slightly. Stir in salsa.

Spoon roughly 1/4 cup of filling into each taco shell, garnish with lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Serve immediately.

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10 Responses to Tasty Lentil Tacos

  1. shambo says:

    I love lentils. In fact, I’ve got some of the tiny lentils sitting on my counter waiting for me to make a salad. And I found some dried sprouted lentils at my favorite grocery store a couple of weeks ago that I haven’t tried yet. I love the slightly peppery flavor. I think they make good veggie burgers, meatloaf, and meatballs. This application sounds pretty tasty too.

  2. Christy says:

    I love them too! When I found this recipe it sounded so intriguing. I’d never have imagined lentils + tacos but in retrospect it really makes sense. The look of them is so close to beef, and they absorb the flavors of the seasonings perfectly. Such an easy & inexpensive meal – can’t wait to dig in. It’s that magical time.. 🙂

  3. Amber says:

    We do low-so veggies tacos at least once a week. It’s our go to quick dinner recipe. I use bulgur instead of lentils and mix it with low sodium tomato sauce and some homemade taco seasoning.

  4. Christy says:

    Bulgur’s a great idea too. We LOVED these last night; even the girls were raving.

  5. easyfoodsmith says:

    I love your veggie take on tacos. The idea of lentils is fab! This is so delicious and healthy.

  6. Christy says:

    They were so good and even better the next day (though truth be told, there wasn’t much left!)

  7. We have been trying to watch calories, lately (and we’re always on the look out for new/good options). This looks like it would work perfectly! Thanks so much for including the nutrition facts in your posts, Dishy (I know that takes a bit of doing, but it really helps out, too)!

  8. Christy says:

    Inky, you should try this – I really think you’ll enjoy it. Another great vegetarian (vegan!) alternative is sweet potato & black bean burritos (in Recipe Index!)

    We had some taco shells left over, so I made this filling Tuesday night. SO GOOD!

    As for the nutrition facts, so glad you find them useful! I know many, many people need them to accurately plan their meals. Just happy to do my part.

  9. Beth says:

    These are so amazing. My husband liked them so much that he had them for dinner and then the next morning for breakfast! Thank you for posting delicious, low-sodium recipes, with lots of options for vegans and vegetarians.

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