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Easy Spiced Lentil Tacos

Serves: 4-6

This dish cooks up fast, faster than meat. Red lentils are cheap; I always keep several bags in our pantry for soups and taco filling. This hearty, satisfying, high-protein meal can be made from scratch in under 30 minutes.


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small yellow onion, grated or finely diced

3 cloves garlic, finely diced or pressed (or, 1 teaspoon of garlic paste from a tube)

2 cups of red lentils, dry

5 cups of water

4 tablespoons of taco/fajita seasoning (buy it ready-made, or make your own — see recipe below)

8 corn tortillas

1 jar low-sodium salsa (less than 90 mg sodium per 2 tablespoon serving; examples include Newman’s Own, Green Mountain Gringo)

Chopped lettuce, lime slices, chopped green onions, plain Greek yogurt and/or red pepper flakes for serving, if desired


Homemade Taco/Fajita Seasoning:

3 tablespoons chili powder

3 tablespoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)

Easy Spiced Lentil Taco Filling

Pour the lentils into a colander and rinse under cool water, swishing around. This removes any debris that may be mixed in. Classically, red lentils are known to have debris mixed in, and so people often call for washing them prior to cooking. You can choose whether or not to rinse the lentils in a colander first. I’ll admit I often skip this step, and haven’t come across any rocks yet.

Heat a large sauté pan or medium saucepan (that has a cover) over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swish around for a couple of seconds. Add the onion and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.

Add the lentils and water, and bring the water to just boiling, then turn down to a simmer. Simmer for five minutes, then add the fajita seasoning and stir. Cover the pan and turn off the heat. The lentils will absorb the rest of the water while you prep the rest of your meal.

Put the meal together

Wrap the tortillas in a clean towel or paper towel and microwave for thirty seconds to heat.

Chop some lettuce (romaine is a good choice here), slice a lime, and set out plain Greek yogurt and the salsa. Let people put together their own tacos. Enjoy!