Lentil Taco Skillet

by Erin

I’m no vegetarian but I can appreciate a delicious meal, carnivorous or not, and this lentil taco skillet has stolen my heart. Or maybe it’s my stomach?

Lentil Taco Skillet #lentls #tacoskillet

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I’ve only cooked with lentils a couple of times but this one is my favorite thus far. The texture the chopped up walnuts gave to the lentil mixture was a welcomed surprise. And after making this a handful of times already, I’ve decided that I prefer the canned lentils for this dish rather than cooked from dried.

On the other hand Bob said he couldn’t tell the difference. Maybe it was just an underlying bias due to the fact that I didn’t have to add an extra step to cook the lentils haha.

Lentil Taco Skillet

Post updated 1/28/20, photo above is the original.

Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list because it’s mostly seasonings. As for my favorite way to use this lentil “taco meat”, it is over a bowl of roasted sweet potato tossed in the same seasoning used on the lentils and then topped with fresh avocado. It’s just so dang good! I sometimes use tortilla chips to scoop it up too.

Evidently so good that when I first posted this recipe I failed to stop to take more than one photo on any of the occasions in which I’ve made it. Whoops. Thankfully I’ve made it again since then and have added new photos!

Lentil Taco Skillet #meatless #lentiltaco

Two years ago: Coconut-Pumpkin Pie

Three years ago: Peanut Butter & Chocolate Kitchen Sink Cookie Bars

Four years ago: Spatchcocked Turkey with Champagne-Thyme Gravy

Five years ago: Overnight, Slow Cooker Ice Cream Oatmeal

Six years ago: Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Seven years ago: Chicken Alfredo Biscuit Casserole

Lentil Taco Skillet #lentls #tacoskillet


Yield: 5 Servings Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups (or a 15-ounce can) cooked lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp smoked paprika (feel free to use hot smoked paprika if you like extra spicy)
  • 1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder (optional)
  • 1 (14 oz.) can corn kernels, drained
  • 1 (14 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Tortillas, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and lime for serving


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes. Next add all the peppers and continue to cook for 5 more minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  2. To the skillet, add the lentils, walnuts, tomato paste, and seasonings. Stir to combine and continue to cook for about 10 more minutes. Add corn and black beans and cook just until warmed through.
  3. Remove from heat and serve in tortillas with desired toppings or other preferred method!
Did You Make This Recipe?
I want to see! Tag me on Instagram at @TheSpiffyCookie and hashtag it #TheSpiffyCookie.

Source: Adapted from Making Thyme For Health and My Kitchen Love.

Did you make this recipe? I want to see!

Tag @THESPIFFYCOOKIE on Instagram and hashtag it #THESPIFFYCOOKIE

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Sarah April 18, 2023 - 2:38 pm

I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious!! I did leave out the walnuts and had to add some water because it was starting to stick to the pan, but the flavors were great!! I love that it made such a large batch. I plan to freeze some for easy meals in the future. :)

Erin April 18, 2023 - 8:26 pm

I’m so happy to hear this! Yes, I sometimes have to add more water depending on the type of lentils I use (canned versus cooked from dried). Hope you enjoy it from the freezer as well!

Monica May 14, 2021 - 9:46 pm

Hi! I’m not sure what’s up with the less than stellar stars on your recipe. I’ve been making this for a couple of years and love it! We serve it as a taco salad over romaine, with guacamole on the side. We do eat dairy, so pair it with sour cream and cheese, too. This is a favorite recipe of ours. Thanks so much for creating it and sharing, as well.

Erin May 14, 2021 - 10:06 pm

Hey Monica, thanks for your comment! I am so lad you love it cause we do too and we are not vegan or vegetarian, but still enjoy good food. I am not sure what’s going on with the stars either as it’s actually one of the more popular recipes on my blog.

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Audrey January 28, 2020 - 11:45 am

I always need some new meatless meals in my dinner rotation. And taco variations are always a hit.

spiffycookie January 29, 2020 - 2:06 pm

This one is a hit even in our meat-loving house

Sarah July 4, 2019 - 11:10 pm

The recipe was delicious! I just made them for a 4th of July dinner! The only compliant I had was that it was dry. So next time I make this, I will add water and more lime juice. :)

spiffycookie July 5, 2019 - 7:17 am

I found that if I used dried lentils (and then cooked them) it turned out dry so I prefer canned!

Kendra April 19, 2019 - 4:48 pm

These were fantastic. I used cooked lentils from Trader Joe’s. I’m not sure if that is why it came up pretty dry. But, I add water after I added the spices and it worked perfectly. I also didn’t add the black beans, just because I was trying to get dinner on the table and didn’t want one more step. But it turned out fantastic. This recipe is a keeper, thank you!

spiffycookie April 20, 2019 - 9:00 am

Hooray I am glad you liked it! I have made them with both canned and home-cooked lentils but Haven’t tried Trader’s Joe’s pre-cooked lentils I will have to check and see.

Malini November 16, 2018 - 11:13 am

Yummmmm. Growing up I had lentils pretty much nightly, lol, but only in “dal” version. This sounds like a fun way to incorporate lentils!


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