Smoky Lentil Tacos
Recipes > Vegetable Dishes > Smoky Lentil Tacos

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Recipe Checklist:
  • 3 T Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion, (Julienne)
  • 1 t Ground Cumin
  • 1 t Kosher Salt
  • 1 T Pimenton
  • ½ t Ancho Chili Powder
  • ½ t Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 1 T Tomato Paste
  • ½ t Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 cup Brown Lentils, (Dried) (Rinsed)
  • 1 ½ cups of water, more if needed
  • 1 T Distilled White Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes, (Chopped Fine)
  • ¾ cup Roasted Salsa
  • 12 small Corn Tortillas, Flour Tortillas or Taco Shells, warmed
  • 1 cup Cotija Cheese, (Shredded)
  • 2 cup Green Cabbage, (Grated Finely)
  • 3 Scallions, (Sliced)
  • 1 Hass Avocado, (Sliced)
  • ¼ cup Sour Cream
  • 6-8 Lime Wedges
Tools & Equipment
  • Cutting Board
  • Chefs Knife
  • Medium Sauce Pan
  • Measuring Cup
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Grater
Estimated Time
30 Minutes
Serves 4
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The Preparation, Smart Kitchen’s 2nd Lever of Cooking™ mostly involves rinsing, draining and some knife work.

If you have purchased Sun Dried Tomatoes in Oil, they should be drained and dried before use. Dried Brown Lentils should be purchased, but they should be rinsed before use.

The Yellow Onion should be Peeled and then Julienned. The Scallions should be Sliced thinly.The Cotija Cheese should be Grated, so should the Green Cabbage.

The flesh should be removed from the skin of the Hass Avocado and Sliced thin. You should make enough Lime Wedges (6-8) to serve with the dish.

If you are looking to reduce calories, you can substitute Plain Yogurt for the Sour Cream.


To begin, place a medium Saucepan over Medium Low Heat. Pour in the Olive Oil. Wait until the Olive Oil begins to “show its legs,” indicating that the pan is hot enough to receive ingredients.

Add in the Julienned Yellow Onion, stirring occasionally. Sweat the Yellow Onion until it begins to release its Volatile Oils. An Olfactory Clue that the Volatile Oils are free will be the strong odor of Onions.

Once it is Sweated, add the Cumin, Kosher Salt, Pimenton, Ancho Chili Powder, and Chipotle Powder. Stir everything to incorporate and then let them cook together for 2 minutes or so.

Next, add in the Tomato Paste, Sesame Oil, Lentils, Water, Vinegar, and Chopped Sun Dried Tomatoes. Increase the heat to Medium High Heat and bring everything to a Boil. Once a Boil has been reached, reduce the heat level to Medium Low. Cover and Simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed by the Lentils. This will take approximately 20-30 minutes.

If, after 30 minutes, the Lentils are still not cooked enough to be Knife Tender, add more water (1/3 of a cup at a time) and continue cooking until the Lentils are Knife Tender. Once the Lentils are Knife Tender, the filling for the Vegetarian Smoky Lentil Tacos is ready.

Serve family-style, setting out the Lentils, Salsa, Tortillas, Cotija Cheese, Shredded Cabbage, Sliced Green Onions, Hass Avocado, Sour Cream and Limes in separate serving bowls on the table and allow the diners to assemble their own tacos.