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15-Minute Lentil Taco "Meat"

15-Minute Lentil Taco “Meat”

15 MIN

There are a lot of food impersonators out there – sweet potato as toast, coconut as bacon, carrots as smoked salmon. While I can’t say the majority of them appeal to me (toast is toast), there are a few I’ll endorse. Like lentil taco “meat”, not because we don’t go for beef, but because we can all stand to eat more plants. (Bonus: this one won’t leave you craving “the real deal”.)

Lentils and Gut Health

The soluble fiber found in lentils is a prebiotic, meaning it preps our gut to maintain optimal amounts of good bacteria, which are critical to keeping us balanced and healthy. Other good sources of prebiotics include asparagus, onions, barley, oats, apples, bananas, and flaxseed. If you’ve upped your intake of probiotics, whether from supplements or foods like kefir and kombucha, make sure you’re eating enough of the prebiotics to keep them well-fed and happy!

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups cooked lentils*
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • Kosher salt

*I like Melissa’s steamed lentils or Trader Joes steamed lentils (look for them in the refrigerated section); a 1-pound package yields about 3 cups. See recipe notes for instructions on cooking dried lentils.


In a small dish, mix together the dried seasonings (chili powder through oregano). Heat olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-low heat. Add dried seasonings and quickly toast for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in lentils and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season to taste with salt (I use 1/4 tsp).

How to Cook Lentils

In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water (or stock) and 1 cup of dried brown or green lentils to a boil. Toss in a bay leaf, but don’t salt yet. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Drain any remaining water and remove bay leaf. Season with salt to taste. Yields 2 1/2 – 3 cups cooked lentils.

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