clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
macro image of lentil and walnut taco meat in pan

Lentil & Walnut Taco Meat

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 8 reviews

  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: About 6 servings
  • Diet: Vegan


Learn how to make this simple and delicious lentil and walnut taco meat. It’s a delicious, vegan, gluten-free and soy-free!


  • 3/4 cup unsalted walnuts
  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke 
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh lime juice, as desired


  1. In a small bowl, add in the walnuts along with enough lukewarm water to fully submerge the nuts. In a separate bowl, add in the lentils also with enough lukewarm water to cover them. Soak both the walnuts and lentils for about 30 minutes.
  2. Once the walnuts have finished soaking, drain them and transfer them to a cutting board (or a food processor). We just let the lentils continue to sit in the water during this time. Roughly chop the walnuts until they have broken down into a “meat crumble”-like texture. You don’t want them to be powder, you want them to still have some texture in the mixture. 
  3. In the medium-sized pan, add in 1 tablespoon of cooking oil along. Once warm, add in the onions and garlic, and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant. 
  4. Add in the chopped walnuts, cumin, chili powder, oregano and cayenne, and cook for 1 minute more. 
  5. Drain the lentils and add them into the mixture along with the liquid smoke, tomatoes, and broth. Mix until everything is combined and then bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Allow the mixture to simmer covered for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid from the pan and continue sautéing until the liquid has cooked off and the lentils are soft. 
  7. Remove from heat and add in the cilantro. Mix until well combined and serve warm. Enjoy!


  • You can skip the walnuts if you would like.
  • We used green lentils for this recipe but you could really use any variety that is available to you. 
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stovetop