Looking to change up Taco Night at home? This recipe for Walnut Lentil Taco Meat is high protein, satisfying, and ready in under 30 minutes. Try it in lettuce wraps or on top of nachos!
- 1 cup raw walnut pieces
1 cup dry brown or green lentils (a little over 2 cups cooked, if using pre-made)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper, optional if you like some heat
1 clove garlic, or ½ tsp garlic powder
¾ tsp sea salt
2 tsp olive oil
Water to thin
Options to serve: lettuce wraps, tortillas, chips, salsa, avocado, cashew cream, vegan queso, or sautéd peppers and onions
- Toast the walnuts. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Add walnuts to a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned and fragrant – 6 to 8 minutes. Alternatively, feel free to toast the walnuts in a skillet on the stovetop. To do this, heat over medium-low and stir walnuts consistently until they look a bit more golden and smell nutty. Be warned – they can burn very easily! Feel free to skip this step if you are running low on time.
- Cook the lentils. Rinse lentils in a fine mesh strainer, checking for any debris. In a small saucepan, add lentils and a few cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook until lentils have absorbed most of the water and are soft, about 15 minutes. Drain lentils and let cool slightly.
- Process ingredients to blend. Add lentils to a food processor along with walnuts, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne if using, garlic/garlic powder, salt, and olive oil. Pulse to combine a couple of times. You do not want to fully blend the mixture; instead, you want to see visible chunks of walnuts and lentils. Add a few TBS of water until you have a crumbly, tacky mixture that resembles ground meat. Taste a bite to see if it’s to your liking, adding more spices as needed (I love cumin so will often go “heavy” on that).
- Serve! I like to serve this with sautéd peppers and onions inside of a tortilla or lettuce wrap (more details in the post about this). However, feel free to use whatever taco fixings you typically enjoy.
Walnut lentil taco meat can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-6 days and in the freezer for a few months.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Serving Size: One fifth of recipe
- Calories: 261.7 calories
- Sugar: 0.9 grams
- Sodium: 352.9 milligrams
- Fat: 17.4 grams
- Saturated Fat: 1.7 grams
- Unsaturated Fat: 15.7 grams
- Trans Fat: 0 grams
- Carbohydrates: 19.3 grams
- Fiber: 6.2 grams
- Protein: 10.7 grams
- Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Keywords: lentils, walnuts, tacos, mexican