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Slow Cooker Lentil Quinoa Tacos

January 17th, 2017 by Audrey Weidman

lentil quinoa tacos

My daughters, both college students, had told me multiple times that their favorite dish from the vegan bar at school is Lentil Quinoa Tacos.   So I did some exploring and discovered this protein packed vegan option is really quite tasty.  The smoked paprika gives vegan dishes the taste of meat – maybe because it is used in a lot of cured meat.  Be sure to seek out this wonderful spice for your kitchen if you don’t have it already.

I would recommend using french green (puy) lentils or basic green lentils.  You can find either of these at your health food store or even at Trader Joes or Whole Foods.  They tend to hold their texture better.  The basic brown lentil work fine as well – just be careful not to run your crock pot too long or they may get mushy.  I also have both white and red quinoa on hand and decided that the red quinoa would look more like meat so I decided to use it.

This is so simple to make – just a few ingredients you add to the slow cooker early in the day – and arrive home to a tasty filling ready to make delicious tacos with.  For me the sides you put on top of the tacos are just as important as the actual filling, so be sure to have a few fresh ingredients on hand to really dress it up!

There is no soy or gluten in this recipe and it’s easy to put in a few extra veggies into the filling such as shredded carrots, diced bell pepper, or even greens.  Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your own liking, but stay away from the taco seasoning in envelopes.  Those have lots of ingredients you don’t want to be ingesting.


  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

12 soft or hard corn taco shells (to keep it gluten free).

Suggested Toppings:Lentil Quinoa Tacos

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Diced tomato
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Diced Avocado
  • Salsa/Pico de Gallo
  • Fat free sour cream
  • Plain Greek yogurt


  1. Add all the ingredients except the salt, pepper and taco shells to the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 – 9 hours.  (Add more water if you will be gone longer than 8 hours).
  2. Before serving, add salt and pepper.
  3. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
  4. Serve in warm corn tortillas or hard corn taco shells and dress with lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, and any of your favorite taco toppings.

Cook Time: 7 hours

Serves: 12 tacos




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