The vegetarian equivalent to salsa chicken, these flavorful slow cooker lentil tacos are quick and easy to throw together and versatile enough to use in tacos, burritos, brown rice bowls, or just eat by themselves!
I went grocery shopping this week (obviously) and double checked my cart when I went to check out because our total was so much lower than our average. Eating mostly vegetarian meals has been an interesting switch up for our family and I can’t say the budget is mad about it. (Yes, I’m still inspired by my mom and this book even though I have yet to read it!)
However, switching up our weekly go-to meals has been slightly challenging. Parts of meal planning are typically mindless for me because I fill in the busy days with our staple meals (like one pot Greek chicken and lemon rice and mom’s spaghetti recipe). So finding new recipes to try has been a little more time consuming, though I appreciate those of you that have sent over your favorites; I’m so grateful and excited to try them out!
Still, I wanted to find an equivalent to slow cooker salsa chicken. You know, something mindless, versatile, and plentiful. So in “home ec” this week, my little chef and I took to the kitchen.
After a tweak here and there we found the combo that worked best for our family. Not spicy at all since my three-year-old won’t touch spicy with a ten foot poll (so you spice lovers, feel free to add a little cayenne). Hearty and plentiful enough to substitute for a meat meal because David is still giving this vegetarian kick the side eye. Simple enough that my six year old can prep it almost entirely on her own. And quick enough that it’s a set-it and forget it meal; my favorite kind for a weekday.
We ended up with the perfect slow cooker lentil tacos recipe, though you could really use these Mexican-spiced lentils in a multitude of ways. Sprinkle them on top of nachos, make them the star of a brown rice bowl, mix them into ground beef to make it go a little farther, roll them up into a burrito, or make them a base layer of a multi-layered Mexican dip. Ver-sa-tile.
Oh yeah, and tasty! Did I mention that?
The best part is that it makes a LOT of lentils. We all ate it for dinner last night and I still have leftovers for lunch today, which is not a common occurrence within my four walls. Plus, like I mentioned, a single family can eat them in a variety of ways- that’s why we all love taco night, right? That means it’s kid-friendly. Hailey ate it the same as I did (pictured above) minus the jalapenos.
For the more selective (not picky) eater, I used a larger tortilla and added the secret ingredient- melted cheese! Success all around the table.
And one slow cooker pot to clean-up? Yes, please. These lentil tacos might just be my new go-to weeknight meal!
- 1 red bell pepper, small diced
- 1 medium onion, small diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups dried brown lentils
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 48 oz vegetable broth
- For serving:
- romaine lettuce shreds
- Layer ingredients in slow cooker in the order listed. Mix well.
- Set slow cooker on low for 7-8 hours (or high for 4). Stir once halfway through the time if you are nearby (but not necessary).
- Serve in tacos, burritos, brown rice bowls, or just by themselves! Top with favorite Mexican toppings. I prefer guacamole, lettuce shreds, and jalapenos.
Like I mentioned, THANK YOU to those sending me you favorite go-to vegetarian dinners. I’m saving them all in a list to work my way through. If you have a favorite as well (bonus points if it’s husband and kid friendly), please leave it in the comments!
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