Vegetarian Lentil Taco Skillet

gluten freevegetarian
Vegetarian Lentil Taco Skillet

If you didn’t know lentils could be used as a taco meat, you’re going to be amazed by how delicious this vegetarian taco skillet with bell peppers is!

Vegetarian Lentil Taco Skillet

By now you all know that I’m really into substitutes. Substitutes for grains, substitutes for meat, sometimes even substitutes for dairy. I love finding creative ways to incorporate vegetables, fruits, and legumes into our everyday diet and that sometimes includes disguising them.

Vegetarian Lentil Taco Skillet

Lentils are one of my favorites foods to use for this, because they have a hearty taste when cooked with a bay leaf (many meats and chilis and stews are made with bay leaves) and they transform easily!

I love vegetarian meatballs, vegetarian meatloaves, I love it all. And today, we’re turning lentils into taco meat!

Vegetarian Lentil Taco Skillet

How to make lentil taco meat:

  • Cook tomato paste and broth in a skillet
  • Add cooked lentils and stir
  • Add taco seasoning to the lentil mixture and stir well
  • Use lentil taco meat where you would in a recipe that calls for taco meat!

That’s it, it’s super simple. You could take it a step further and add mushrooms and walnuts and all these other ingredients to improve the texture, but honestly, it’s good just like this!

Vegetarian Lentil Taco Skillet

Simply tossed with bell peppers, corn, and topped with Mexican shredded cheeses and you’ve got yourself a delicious, protein packed vegetarian meal that saves well and can be repurposed into tacos or enchiladas – or even on a salad!



Serves 2 large or 4 small servings

Vegetarian Lentil Taco Skillet

15 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

35 minTotal Time

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  • For the taco seasoning:
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the rest:
  • 1.5 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cups cooked brown lentils (about 1 cup dry)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 medium bell peppers, Blade A, noodles trimmed
  • 2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup frozen organic corn
  • ¾ cup Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Mix together all the taco seasoning ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once heated, add the tomato paste and broth and swirl in the pan until paste turns sauce-like. Add the taco seasoning and stir to combine. Add the lentils mix well together. Remove the lentil taco meat and set aside in a bowl or plate.
  3. Immediately add the olive oil and then add the onions and bell peppers and cook until mostly soft, about 7 minutes. Add the lentils back to the pan with the tomatoes and corn. Toss together well to combine, top with cheese and cover and let cook for 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
  4. Uncover the skillet and garnish with the avocado slices and cilantro. Serve immediately.

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Lisa Roth says:
You mention taco seasoning and fajita seasoning in the directions. Also why not sauté onions and peppers first so you don’t need to remove other ingredients and put them back in the skillet? It does sound delicious and I love lentils!
Meaghan says:
Prevents burning/overcooking!
Reagan says:
Delish! Came together quickly after having everything chopped and ready. :)

Meaghan says:
Wow! Looks amazing! Thank you for sharing.

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