These vegan slow cooker lentil tacos are a super easy dinner! Flavorful, family-friendly, and beloved by all kinds of eaters, this is the perfect healthy dinner recipe to make again and again.
Slow Cooker Lentil Tacos
I try to love all of my kitchen appliances equally, but my slow cooker has won a special place in my heart. It is, after all, the only appliance in the house that offers to spend the whole day cooking dinner for me. It really goes above and beyond and I just love it so.
Now that I have found a way to make lentil tacos with my beloved kitchen contraption, I love it even more.
Why these lentil slow cooker tacos are awesome!
Tacos are one of those classic dinners I think many of us grew up eating. I loved taco night in my house as a kid. All the toppings! The wonderful flavor of the filling! It was just a great dinner that everyone in the family looked forward to.
These slow cooker lentil tacos are a little extra special in my book because…
- Super flavorful. You will be amazed by how satisfying these vegan tacos taste! Even my friends and followers who swear they don’t like lentils love this taco filling.
- Easy to make. Throw it together in a few minutes and into your slow cooker or crockpot to cook to perfection while you are busy lifing.
- Family-friendly. These are mellow on the spice, so kids and spice-iffy people will enjoy them. You can also pump up the spice level if that is something you enjoy!
- Adaptable! As always, be sure to check out the suggested adaptations portion of the post below.
- Plant based. If you have been trying to get more plant-focused meals into your meal plan or are vegan, these tacos are a delicious and easy dinner to add to your rotation.
Lentils are great because…
If you aren’t already good friends with lentils, allow me to introduce the two of you. Lentils are a protein-rich legume that can soak up whatever flavors you dump onto them. They are also part of the legume family, right there with beans, and come in lots of different colors. For this taco recipe, I used brown and/or green lentils since they are cheap, easy to find, and work in lots of different recipes.
Lentils taste great, but they are also inexpensive and versatile! Perfect for when you are on a budget and/or feeding a crowd.
Lentils are packed with some serious nutrition like… (source)
- B vitamins
- Pump up the spice. I use a mild salsa to keep these tacos kid-friendly, but buy a medium or hot salsa to add extra spice. Or toss in some chopped jalapeños when these tacos are cooking.
- Veggie-load them! Add some grated carrot, finely chopped spinach, minced mushrooms or diced bell pepper to this taco recipe before cooking and you have instantly added veggies to dinner!
- Enjoy them outside a tortilla. Use this taco filling as part of a bowl with rice or quinoa, in a taco salad or even on nachos!
- Make these lentil tacos in your Instant Pot. Combine all ingredients, stir and place IP lid on, locking it in place. Cook on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes for your Instant Pot to come up to pressure. Once cooking is done, let the pressure naturally release for 5 minutes before carefully quick releasing the remaining pressure. Carefully lift lid off of your pressure cooker, stir and enjoy.
Other lentil recipes you are going to love
- Instant Pot Lentil Soup (+ slow cooker instructions)
- Mushroom Lentil Pasta
- Easy Lentil Veggie Quesadillas
- Vegan Carrot Muffins (with lentils)
- How to Cook Lentils On The Stove, In A Slow Cooker or Instant Pot
Loving this slow cooker recipe and are hungry for more?
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Vegan Slow Cooker Lentil Tacos
- slow cooker
- 1 ½ cups green or brown dry lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 ¼ cup salsa
- 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley or 1/4 cup fresh
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or sub soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 medium tortillas
- taco toppings
- Combine ingredients in your slow cooker. Stir a few times and cover.
- Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or on LOW for 7-8 hours. Each slow cooker cooks a little differently, so exact time will depend on your unique slow cooker or crockpot. Cook until lentils are tender and most of the liquid has cooked off.
- Use a slotted spoon to portion out lentil taco filling into tortillas, over rice, greens or however you opt to enjoy this taco filling. Top with sliced avocado, extra red onion, cilantro or whatever your favorite taco toppings are.
- Let leftovers cool and store in air-tight container in fridge for up to 3 days.
The nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and may vary based on the product type, servings and other factors. If you are following a diet, please consult with a professional nutritionist or your doctor. Stay healthy!
These look amazing! Yum!
I love a good taco. Especially a good crockpot taco! I hope you enjoy them!
Sounds amazing I want to make it today but don’t have 10 hours! Would you recommend it on high? And if so how many hours would you cook it!
I love your instagram and website! You have saved me numerous times with recipe ideas!
Sorry I didn’t get to answer your question sooner! I would recommend on high next time for 3-4 hours! And if in the last hour, there is still too much liquid, you can remove the lid and let it simmer off!
So glad the website and IG are helpful! That kind of feedback is always music to my ears!
I have updated this recipe to be a bit more time friendly! And IP friendly if you have a pressure cooker!
7yo and I love these! Thanks for great recipe!
I am so glad to hear that!
I usually cook it for 15 minutes on manual high pressure with a quick release.
These are a family favorite for sure! My husband and son are always down for these for dinner.
I’m so glad you all enjoy these as much as we do! My family is always jazzed for dinner when these tacos are cooking in our slow cooker.
Super delicious! My kids loved them too!!
I love kid reviews! Especially rave reviews! So glad it was a hit with the whole family.
Hi Taesha! I’ve made this so many times.. and after making it last night my whole family was wondering why it tasted different… I then noticed you made changes to the recipe. Could you tell me if its possible to find the original recipe before you made the edits (looks like this past October)?? We absolutely LOVED this and it was a staple recipe for us (but I would prefer the older version if possible??)
So glad you enjoy this version and the old. The only change I made was reducing the amount of broth in it because I noticed that others had commented that it was too watery. The original recipe called for 32 ounces of broth and cooked for 10 hours on low.
So, while I’m a total TNN fan girl I have to admit that every time I saw this recipe I thought “meh, not for me”….. I was dead wrong. This has got to be the easiest recipe on the site, and the flavors were just terrific! I can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch!
Will the amount of broth be reduced in pressure cooker recipe? 3 Cups seems like a lot…
Thank u 🙂
It definitely is a bit wetter in the IP version because it can’t cook off as much. You can either use a slotted spoon to serve to avoid wet tacos, use the sauté function to cook off some liquid after the cooking is done or reduce the liquid a bit…maybe to 2 or 2.5 cups.
I tripled this shared with my daughter and family and the next night made enchiladas with this recipe. Used the slow cooker because I thought the flavors would marry better. I wasn’t wrong but wow truly a fabulous recipe. Made some enchilada sauce on 2nd day and made them into enchiladas with some cashew queso. We are all sitting here happy.
Oh I totally love all that! And I will so have to try this with enchiladas next batch!
I made this for lunch today and it is a delicious filling for tacos! My husband is a reluctant WFPB eater so I am constantly trying to find ways to give him the experience of his favorite foods in healthier form. I used red lentils knowing they may get a little softer than brown ones and it was just the right texture. This will go into the regular rotation. Thank you!
I am so glad you love this recipe as much as we do (it is in the slow cooker as we speak!). So glad the red lentils worked! I know this will help other readers.
We made these the other night for the first time and really enjoyed them! So easy to throw together, and they were hearty and flavorful without being too heavy. I was pleasantly surprised that the mixture didn’t end up soupy or mushy. We’ll be adding this to our regular meal rotation. Thanks again, Taesha!
I’m so glad you liked them as much as we do, Kim!
My first ever venture with lentils and I’m obsessed. I’ve passed this recipe on to no fewer than 3 friends and love how easy it is to make.😊
Yay! I love that you love it! It really is such a good recipe and a wonderful way to ease into lentils.
These look great!! Is this a freezer friendly dish? Trying to figure out how many portions to make!
I love freezing this recipe after cooking! So great to have on hand.
We love this recipe so y! We enjoyed it as taco filling and also as a tasty topping for sweet potatoes with a bit of mashed avocado mixed with a little lime juice and sea salt this is a great recipe for anyone trying to eat an alkaline diet since lentils are one of the only legumes that aren’t highly acidic, especially when it paired with sweet potato and avocado these lentils made an amazing meal,thank you! One of our favourite recipes for sure!
I am so glad you love it as much as we do! Love the addition of the lime juice!
Hi and thank you for this recipe! I have this in my crockpot right now for visiting vegetarian family members arriving tomorrow. Question: what purpose does the tablespoon of oil serve in this recipe? I don’t often include oil in a crockpot dish, so wondering what I might be missing if I do not add it. Thank you! (P.S. this is my first time trying coconut aminos too – thanks again!)
You can totally omit the oil if you like! I just found that it gave the lentils a lovely richness that I like in a dinner recipe, but they will still be delish without it!
I just tossed all the ingredients into my crock pot on high. I used salsa verde and added orange sweet bell peppers with the onions. I’m looking forward to this!
Oh yum! I love the swaps! Let us know how they go….I’d love to try your version!
Is there a way to make this without a crockpot or slow cooker?
Under suggested adaptations, I share how to make this with an Instant Pot. However, I’m thinking you are looking for a stovetop option, which I truthfully haven’t tried. I have no doubt you could totally do it on the stovetop, just combine the ingredients in in a pot and let simmer until done. I don’t have an estimation on time since I haven’t tested this method, but I find that lentils usually cook up from dry in about 25 minutes on the stovetop. You might find that you need to cook longer to let the cooking liquid cook off and make for a thicker taco filling.
Delicious!!! I tried this on a whim having never made lentils before. Soooo good! Even my meat-loving husband and sons thought this was great and asked me to make it again. So easy and so flavorful!!
I am so glad it was a success, Amy! This is one of my go-to recipes for feeding a crowd with a variety of eating styles because it is loved by all!
This recipe was delicious! My husband and I loved it!! So filling and flavorful!
So glad you liked it as much as we do! I just made it for a potluck this weekend and it is always a hit
These were incredibly easy to make, and absolutely delicious. The texture of the lentils and the seasonings in a taco makes it so similar to a ground beef taco in taste, texture and appearance. I will definitely make these again and again.
I’m so glad you enjoyed this, Sandee! I agree, this is a wonderful recipe to make to please a crowd with various eating styles since it appeals to many. Or is one of my favorites to make as we try to eat more plants!
This is SO good! I made a huge batch and have been eating it all week for lunches and sometimes dinner too. It’s great in actual taco shells and I’ve been putting it on a big bed of lettuce for salads as well. I’ve tried several different versions of this type of lentil taco ‘meat’ in the crock pot, but this is, hands down, my favorite one!! Thank you for the recipe!
Yay! I’m so glad this one is a winner for you! I adore this recipe and love to eat it in all the ways you mentioned. Thanks for taking the time to share!
I am IN LOVE with these lentils. I doubled the recipe and shared with two other friends. I did tacos the first night and then made a super comfort food the second night – leftover lentils as a chili replacement over pasta and topped with cheddar cheese.
I’m so glad, Kristen! We love this recipe so much and I’m delighted to hear it was a hit in your home as well. I adore the idea of enjoying it over pasta! Must try.
Hello, these look tasty but I wonder about the nutrition info listed. Is that sodium for one taco or for the whole recipe?
Hi LeeAnn! It is for 1/8 of the recipe. The sodium is mostly from the salt and coconut aminos/soy sauce. If you are looking to reduce it, you could reduce the salt or use a low-sodium soy sauce.
This was my first time trying lentils and I was surprised how much I liked it! Very flavorful and extremely easy to make! Definitely will be making again soon.
So happy to hear that your first go with lentils was a positive one, Hannah!
These are absolutely delicious!!!!! The guys didn’t even have any idea it wasn’t meat. I am saving this recipe as a favorite. I will be making tacos this way from now on. Thanks so much for sharing these excellent recipes with everyone.
So delighted you loved it, Moggy! It truly is a wonderful plant based recipe that even the biggest diehard meat eaters seem to adore. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!
I’ve made these twice and my family loves them. They’re definitely going to be on our menu quite often. 🙂
I’m so glad you enjoy this recipe as much as we do, Donna! It is one of my go to for an easy, budget friendly dinner that is always enjoyed!
I love that it’s so budget friendly and yummy at the same time.