Healthy Vegetarian Lentil Taco Filling Recipe

Dear readers,

Are you in search of a new and exciting recipe that is both filling and flavorful? Look no further! I present to you my recipe for Vegetarian Lentil Taco ‘meat Filling’ Substitute, made in the crock pot.

As a vegan chef, I am always experimenting with plant-based ingredients to create satisfying and nutritious meals. Lentils have proven to be one of my favorite staples due to their versatility and health benefits. They are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, iron, and other essential nutrients.

My Vegetarian Lentil Taco ‘meat Filling’ Substitute is a perfect meat substitute for taco lovers or anyone looking to incorporate more plant-based options into their diet. This recipe is easy to make and can feed a crowd with minimal effort on your part. Simply toss all the ingredients in the crock pot or slow cooker and let it do its magic.

Plus, this recipe is incredibly adaptable. You can switch up the spices or add in different vegetables to make it your own unique creation. Not to mention, it’s budget-friendly! Lentils are significantly cheaper than meat, making this recipe an affordable option for any household.

Get ready for a tasty and filling meal that will not only satisfy your taste buds but also nourish your body. Follow along as I guide you through each step of this delicious Vegan Lentil Taco ‘meat Filling’ Substitute recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vegetarian Lentil Taco 'meat Filling' Substitute (Crock Pot)
Vegetarian Lentil Taco ‘meat Filling’ Substitute (Crock Pot)

Dear reader,

Prepare to be convinced that once you try this vegetarian lentil taco ‘meat filling’ substitute, you won’t want to go back to traditional taco meat again. This recipe is a plant-based gem that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

Firstly, lentils are a fantastic ingredient to utilize in your diet as they are high in protein, fiber and low in fat. They also have the added benefit of being budget-friendly and incredibly versatile. Combine them with a variety of spices and vegetables, and you have yourself an exceptional filling for tacos!

This recipe is perfect for those who want to enjoy the deliciousness of tacos without consuming animal products. In recent years, many individuals have been looking for tasty vegan alternatives to their favorite dishes, and this vegetarian lentil meat filling substitute perfectly fills the craving for flavorsome and hearty Mexican-inspired cuisine.

The addition of ingredients like chili powder, cumin, and oregano gives the filling mixture an authentic smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with any salsa you prefer. It’s perfect for individuals who want to indulge in their love of spicy food without compromising their dietary preferences.

Moreover, using a crock pot or slow cooker allows for you to simply set it and forget it – perfect for those who desire a tasty meal but have busy schedules. The ease with which this recipe can be prepared is just another reason why it’s such a great choice.

All in all, this vegetarian lentil taco ‘meat filling’ substitute is an excellent meat substitute option that provides you with numerous health benefits while being flavorful and satisfying at the same time. I encourage you to give it a try as it is sure to be a hit!

Ingredient List

 Satisfy your taco cravings with this vegetarian lentil taco 'meat' filling substitute!
Satisfy your taco cravings with this vegetarian lentil taco ‘meat’ filling substitute!

Ingredients to make Vegetarian Lentil Taco ‘Meat Filling’ Substitute

Here is the list of the ingredients you’ll need to make this amazing Vegetarian Lentil Taco ‘Meat Filling’ Substitute recipe. Don’t worry, all ingredients are plant-based and absolutely delicious!

  • Dry lentils (2 cups)
  • Water (4 cups)
  • Vegetable bouillon cubes (2)
  • Garlic clove minced (1)
  • Onion chopped (1)
  • Chili powder (1 teaspoon)
  • Ground cumin (1 teaspoon)
  • Dried oregano (1 teaspoon)
  • Canola oil (1 tablespoon)
  • Salt and pepper (as per taste)

These easily available herbs and spices add the aroma and flavor of traditional taco meat to your plant-based version. You will also require a slow-cooker or crock-pot to cook this recipe. Ready? Let’s jump into the how-to section!

The Recipe How-To

 A mouthwatering vegan alternative to classic taco meat that will surprise and delight your taste buds.
A mouthwatering vegan alternative to classic taco meat that will surprise and delight your taste buds.

Preparing the Crock Pot

Before we begin with the main recipe, let’s first prepare our crock pot. It is important to grease it properly so that the food doesn’t stick to the sides. You can use cooking spray or wipe it with a paper towel coated in canola oil. Now, let’s set the crock pot aside and move on to preparing the filling.

Making the Lentil Filling

Dry Lentils work best for this recipe as you’ll want them to absorb all of the flavors of the spices and vegetables in the taco filling. Rinse about 1 cup of dry lentils under cold water and drain them well. Place them at the bottom of your greased crockpot.

Chop 1 onion, mince a garlic clove, gather 1 vegetable bouillon cube, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1 tablespoon chili powder.

In a pan, heat a tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Toss in your chopped onion and garlic, sautéing until they’re soft and translucent for around five minutes. Add this mixture to your slow cooker.

Add about 2 cups water or vegetable broth, stir together well, cover with lid, then turn slow cooker to low for 6-7 hours or on high 3-4 hours.

Once finished and liquid has been absorbed, fluff lentils with a fork and check for doneness. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Adding Salsa

Now that we have a perfectly cooked lentil mixture, let’s add some extra flavor! Grab around ½ cup of salsa, and stir it into lentils mixture.

You can use any type of salsa you prefer, but if you want that “smoky” taste, look for chipotle salsa or make your own smoky lentil salsa!

Final Notes

And there you have it – your own delicious vegetarian lentil taco meat filling substitute crock pot recipe! Once done cooking, serve in tacos, burritos or over brown rice or quinoa for a heartier dish!

If you’re looking for substitutions or variations on this recipe, check out section (5) of this article for some inspiration.

As always though, feel free to get creative with ingredients here – maybe switch up brown lentils for red ones one day? The beauty of vegetarian meals is that they are easy to experiment with!

Substitutions and Variations

 This slow cooked lentil taco filling is loaded with flavor and has the perfect texture - it's a must try!
This slow cooked lentil taco filling is loaded with flavor and has the perfect texture – it’s a must try!

My dear readers, while this vegetarian lentil taco ‘meat filling’ recipe is already quite versatile, I must admit that there are still some variations that you can make to suit your personal taste or dietary preferences. Allow me to share with you some suggestions.

If you want a smokier and bolder flavor, you may use chipotle powder instead of chili powder. It adds a delightful heat and adds complexity to the dish.

For those who avoid canola oil for health reasons, you could use coconut oil or olive oil. And if you prefer not to use oil at all, try sautéing the onions and garlic in vegetable broth instead.

To make this recipe gluten-free, simply swap the vegetable bouillon cubes for a gluten-free version or substitute with tamari sauce.

If you’re pressed for time and don’t have a slow cooker or crockpot, don’t worry. You can still make this recipe in an instant pot using the manual setting for 15 minutes, followed by a quick release of pressure.

Finally, for some additional nutritional boost and variety, consider mixing in other grains or legumes such as quinoa, brown rice or even red lentils instead of green lentils. It’s a great way to add in extra protein and fiber while also experimenting with new flavors.

I do hope these suggestions will help inspire your creativity and give you new ideas on how to enjoy this versatile meat substitute. The possibilities are endless!

Serving and Pairing

 Got a crock pot? Then you're on your way to delicious vegan tacos that will make even meat-eaters drool!
Got a crock pot? Then you’re on your way to delicious vegan tacos that will make even meat-eaters drool!

Dear readers,

Now that you’ve prepared this tantalizing lentil taco filling, it’s time to serve it up and enjoy all its glorious flavors. Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, this dish makes for an extremely satisfying meal. The lentil tacos are packed with protein and fiber, but they’re also incredibly tasty and savory.

There are many ways to serve and pair the lentil taco filling. One of my favorites is to simply spoon it onto some warm corn tortillas and top with your favorite salsa or hot sauce. This simple method allows for the flavors and textures of the taco meat substitute to really shine through. The spice from the chili powder and cumin pairs perfectly with the fresh flavor of salsa.

Another great option is to make a lentil taco salad. Simply top some fresh greens with a scoop of lentil taco meat, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, and some additional toppings of your choice (such as shredded cheese, sour cream, or black olives). The meaty texture of the lentils will hold up well against the crisp greens.

If you’re looking for a more filling meal, you can try pairing this lentil taco filling with brown rice or quinoa. It’s a great way to add extra nutrients and fiber to the dish while making it even more satisfying. You could also add some sautéed veggies, such as bell peppers or zucchini, to add more crunch and flavor.

For those who like spicy food, you could add jalapeños or chipotle peppers to give your lentil tacos a smoky kick. Alternatively, you could sweeten things up by adding some grilled pineapple or mango salsa on top of your tacos.

In conclusion, this vegetarian lentil taco filling is an incredibly versatile dish that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Experiment with different pairings and enjoy exploring all the delicious possibilities.

Yours sincerely,

[Your Name]

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Lentils are packed with protein, fiber, and nutrients, making this vegetarian taco meat substitute a healthier choice for your next Taco Tuesday.
Lentils are packed with protein, fiber, and nutrients, making this vegetarian taco meat substitute a healthier choice for your next Taco Tuesday.

Dear readers,

One of the best things about this vegetarian lentil taco meat filling substitute is how easy it is to make ahead, store and reheat. Whether you’re preparing a batch for an easy weeknight meal or to have on hand for impromptu taco nights with friends and family, this recipe won’t disappoint.

To make ahead, simply follow the recipe instructions up to the point of cooking the lentils in your slow cooker, or instant pot. Once the lentils are cooked, allow them to cool completely before transferring into an airtight container. You can refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze the lentil meat filling for up to 2 months. It’s also a smart idea to portion out the lentil taco mix into smaller batches before storing so that you can thaw only what you need.

To reheat, place your desired amount of your thawed or refrigerated lentil taco meat filling in a small saucepan with a couple tablespoons of water over medium heat on your stove-top. Stir occasionally until heated through.

This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled or more! So, if you’re looking to have extra batches for meal prep, gatherings or just as a quick and easy go-to meal, go ahead and whip up a big batch!

Overall, this vegetarian lentil taco meat filling substitute is perfect if you’re planning ahead for meal times or expecting guests who would love a taste of plant-based heaven in their tacos or burritos. Simply make, store and reheat – it really couldn’t be any simpler!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Perfect for feeding a crowd, this
Perfect for feeding a crowd, this

Allowing your vegetarian lentil taco meat filling substitute to cook at a low temperature for a long time is key to making it tender and flavorful. Here are some tips to ensure perfect results with this crock pot recipe.

Firstly, make sure you rinse the dry lentils well before adding them to the slow cooker. This step will remove any debris or dust that might have attached itself to the lentils during storage.

Secondly, when adding the vegetable broth, use unsalted or low-sodium bouillon cubes that can be dissolved in hot water. This will prevent your lentil taco meat from becoming too salty, and you can adjust the seasoning to your liking towards the end of cooking.

Thirdly, if you prefer a smokier flavor profile, consider using smoked paprika instead of regular paprika. It will give your vegetarian lentil taco meat substitute a smoky flavor and aroma.

Fourthly, take care not to open the lid of the slow cooker too frequently as this will release heat and extend cooking time. Only open it when absolutely necessary or around 30 minutes before the end of cooking time to add any last-minute ingredients.

Finally, allow your vegetarian lentil taco meat substitute to rest for 5-10 minutes in the slow cooker once done cooking. This resting period allows flavors to meld together adequately before serving.

With these tips, you’ll be able to make perfect vegetarian lentil taco meat filling substitute every time you cook it.

Bottom Line

As I wrap up this article on the Vegetarian Lentil Taco ‘Meat Filling’ Substitute recipe, I hope you’re feeling excited and inspired to try it out for yourself. Not only is it a healthier and more sustainable choice compared to traditional meat fillings, but it’s also incredibly delicious and versatile.

By using dry lentils, vegetable broth, and a handful of flavorful spices, you can get a heart-healthy dose of protein and fiber while satisfying your taco cravings. You can use this filling in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, or even as a topping for salads or bowls.

Not to mention, this recipe is incredibly easy to make with just a few minutes of prep time and a slow cooker or instant pot. So ditch the takeout and treat yourself to some homemade vegetarian lentil tacos tonight!

Thanks for reading, and I hope this article has provided you with all the information you need to get started. Happy cooking!

Vegetarian Lentil Taco 'meat Filling' Substitute (Crock Pot)

Vegetarian Lentil Taco 'meat Filling' Substitute (Crock Pot) Recipe

This taco filling is a healthier alternative to the meat version. I found this recipe on a “runners” message board where the posters were raving how much this tasted as good as a meat filling. I actually like it better than the fillings made with ground beef. It tastes great in taco shells on taco salads and anywhere you’d normally use a meat taco filling.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Calories 74.6 kcal


  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 14 ounces water
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 1 cup salsa


  • Put everything in the crock pot and cook on high for 8-12 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed.
  • use as you would a meat taco filling.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 85gCalories: 74.6kcalCarbohydrates: 12.8gProtein: 4.8gFat: 0.8gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 143.6mgFiber: 5.7gSugar: 1.6g
Keyword Beans, Easy, Lentils
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