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Vegan Lentil Taco Salad Bowls


Vegan Lentil Taco Salad Bowls
I used to write blog posts in the mornings. For whatever reason, it’s when I’m best at putting ideas down. Maybe my brain works best before all of the other factors of the day come into mind.

That was before we got Scout. As soon as she hears me get out of bed, it’s playtime. She has to bring me her squirrel toy. And then her raccoon toy. And then her squeaky ball. Like, “Which one do you want to play with? I’m down for whatever is most distracting!”

And then there are some mornings when she doesn’t even wait for us to get out of bed. Like the day Clark woke up to find her squirrel underneath him. Or the times when she explores the room to find an empty water bottle for maximum noise-making at 8am.

Oh, Scout. I love ya, girl. But I gotta get a blog post sent out every once in a while! The people are waiting. They need lentil taco salad bowls in their lives right now.

Vegan Lentil Taco Salad Bowls
At the moment, the puppy is happily chewing away on a rawhide while I happily type away. (Why did it take me this long to think of giving her a rawhide in times like these??) Today’s post is brought to you in part by Good Buddy’s 100% Natural USA Rawhides – a special treat that she will no doubt devour in under 30 minutes.

Time’s a-ticking, so I’m gonna cut to the taco chase. Because, tacos, man. I don’t know when or how, but the idea suddenly popped into my head to make taco “meat” out of lentils. It makes sense, really. Lentils have tons of protein – ahem, more than meat – and they have a dense, hearty texture. (ALSO, lentils are way less expensive than beef or chicken. 🙌🙌🙌)

If you can’t find them at your local grocery store (which would surprise me), you can always order our favorite brand via our good friend Amazon. I’m a fan of red lentils for this recipe because they cook MUCH faster and you can stop them at your desired consistency.

Vegan Lentil Taco Salad Bowls

Vegan Lentil Taco Salad Bowls
Season with traditional taco spices and boom! You have vegan taco filling that tastes just like the stuff mom cooks up on taco night. 💪 I also added black beans for a little extra texture, but you could go all lentils if desired.

While we used the lentil filling as a base for taco salad bowls, you could totally warm some soft or crispy tortillas and go handheld-taco with this stuff. What matters is not how you taco, but that you now have a beef-free option for taco Tuesday/taco anyday.


Vegan Lentil Taco Salad Bowls

Packed with protein and nutrients, lentils make the perfect substitution for meat in these easy, vegan taco salad bowls.

  • Author: Jordan Cord
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main


  • 11/2 cups water
  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder


  • red cabbage
  • avocado
  • green onions
  • tomato
  • lime juice


  1. Heat oil on medium heat in a large pot. Add the onion and sautè for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and green pepper and sauté for another 3-5 minutes or until soft. Set aside.
  2. Rinse the lentils in a strainer.
  3. In a separate pot, combine the lentils with the water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 10-12 minutes. Drain water and set lentils aside.
  4. Add lentils and black beans to the onion and pepper pot and combine over low/medium heat. Stir in tomato paste and seasonings.
  5. In 4 bowls, arrange the “lentil meat” with toppings of your choice and top with fresh lime juice. Enjoy!


  • Calories: 359
  • Sugar: 3.3 g
  • Sodium: 129 mg
  • Fat: 11.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.6 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9.5 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 49.6 g
  • Fiber: 9.7 g
  • Protein: 17.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 g

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  • Tami
    July 24, 2018

    My husband and 12 year old son loved it!!! Will make it again, thank you for sharing!

    • thefitchen
      July 26, 2018

      Awesome! I’m so glad you all enjoyed!

  • Jen
    March 26, 2016

    The ingredients call for black beans but the steps don’t mention them! Are they dry or precooked and when do you add them? Looks great though!

    • Dee
      March 8, 2017

      “Add lentils and black beans to the onion and pepper pot and combine over low/medium heat. Stir in tomato paste and seasonings.”

      I used canned beans and added them during step #4.

      Hope this helps! :)