This plant-based lentil taco meat base is one of those recipes you can make over and over again and use in SO many different ways! (Also a reason why you probably will love it if you try it.) It works in quesadillas, tacos, burritos bowls, and pretty much anywhere you’d like to add a bit of substance.
This recipe is one that comes right out of the Quick & Easy Plant-Based Dinner Guide which you can download for free here. It’s 8 recipes of easy weeknight dinners plus 6 recipes of food prep ideas that you can make on the weekend and be ready for quick and easy dinners all week long.
I like to make this taco meat ahead of time, usually on a Sunday and have a batch in the fridge ready for the week. Then, during the week, I’ll use it in tacos, quesadillas, and even plant-based nachos! (This cheese sauce goes really well with it too.)
This plant-based lentil taco meat packs a punch of nutrition, wih loads of benefits coming for the lentils. Some of these benefits include:
- they have strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects from the polyphenols in the lentils*
- they may help to lower blood pressure and is associated with an overall lower risk of heart disease*
And not only does this savory plant-based taco meat contain lentils, it also contains walnuts. Walnuts also contain a host of benefits including:
- they’re rich in antioxidants*
- they’re an incredible source of Omega-3’s -alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)- which are said to help lower your risk of heart disease
- they have polyphenols which can help fight oxidative stress and inflammation
And I think one of the biggest benefits of this lentil taco meat is that it tastes so good and is so versatile! It literally has become a staple in my plant-based dinner routine and I hope it can become one in yours too.
Alright, let’s get to this recipe!
Plant-Based Lentil Taco Meat
- 1 cup green lentils, rinsed
- 3 cups water
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (not in oil)
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp Himalyan salt
- Add lentils to a saucepan with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 20-25 minutes. Drain any excess water.
- While lentils are cooking, add garlic cloves to a food processor. Pulse cloves until chopped.
- Add sundried tomatoes, walnuts, nutritional yeast, and the rest of the seasonings to the food processor. Process until finely ground.
- Add drained lentils to the mixture in the food processor. Process until completely combined.
- Use immediately or store in refrigerator for up to 4 days until ready to use.