Instant Pot Lentil Tacos

These Instant Pot Lentil Tacos are quick and easy to make! Whether you serve them mild or spicy (yes please!) they’re sure to rock your weeknight dinner routine and even taste great the next day!

Freeze leftover filling or pop it in the fridge to use in tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and more!

Instant Pot Lentil Tacos

These Instant Pot Lentil Tacos have been rocking our world this week!

I’ve been making stove top lentil tacos for my family for ages now, but the fact that I can just toss lentils and a few extra ingredients in the pressure cooker and have a flavorful taco filling with hardly any effort… hello game-changer!

I don’t have to babysit the pot and can completely walk away or spend the lentil’s speedy cook time prepping my tortillas and taco toppings.

No Instant Pot? No problem! Try my recipe for Vegetarian Lentil Tacos which are made in a pot on the stove. You could also make these IP lentils the conventional way by first cooking/boiling your lentils and then seasoning them after draining.

Instant Pot Tacos

what tortillas should I use for lentil tacos?

Since these Instant Pot lentils are hearty and saucy, plain soft corn tortillas will need a little reinforcement to stay together. You can double up on tortillas or simply use one and sear it first in a hot pain with a spritz of oil. The pan-fried tortillas will be much sturdier and are the option I used for the tacos in the photos.

Craving a crunch? You can 100% use hard crunchy taco shells for these lentil tacos. In fact, I do this for my Chipotle Lentil Tacos and love the combo! The tender lentils pair perfectly the crispity crunch of the tortillas.

As for flour tortillas, they work excellent as well! Warm them up in the microwave or on a skillet and fill them to the brim with your lentils and toppings.

tasty taco toppings

There are so many amazing topping options for these lentil tacos. Choose your favorites or set out a bunch so everyone can build their own taco.

If your vegetarian, feel free to add some cheese and sour cream or keep it vegan with the tasty toppings below!


veggie toppings

Feel free to add tomatoes, jalapeños, pickled jalapeños, lettuce, cabbage, slaw, diced white onion, guacamole, chopped or sliced avocado, minced red onion, pickled red onion, and/or sliced olives.

Easy Instant Pot Lentil Tacos

The lentil taco filling can be made in advance for an easy weeknight taco night or a party/potluck with friends. Not only is it make-ahead, but the taco filling can even be frozen for later! They’re great right away and fantastically flavorful the next day.

While these saucy lentils are great as tacos, you can also use them as a filling for quesadillas, burritos, and more! I even made a lentil crunch-wrap the other day and it was so tasty I ate it straight out of the skillet like an animal.


Instant Pot Lentil Tacos
5 from 7 votes

Instant Pot Lentil Tacos

These Instant Pot Lentil Tacos are quick and easy to make! Whether you serve them mild or spicy (yes please!) they’re sure to rock your weeknight dinner routine and even taste great the next day!

Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Vegetarian
Keyword Instant Pot Lentil Tacos
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Time to build pressure in IP 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Calories 98 kcal
Author Jenn Laughlin - Peas and Crayons


  • 2 cups dry lentils (green or brown)
  • 1/2-1 cup finely diced white onion
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce (plus extra 1/2 cup if desired)


  • corn or flour tortillas (crunchy or soft)
  • pico de gallo
  • shredded lettuce
  • fresh chopped cilantro
  • sliced avocado
  • sliced jalapeño
  • hot sauce or salsa
  • sour cream or Greek yogurt (skip if vegan)


  1. Add lentils, onion, broth, water, salsa, and spices to your Instant Pot, saving the enchilada sauce for the very end after cooking (to prevent mixture from being to thick/sticking).

  2. Give the ingredients a little stir to combine and lock the lid. Ensure the valve is set to sealed position and set to manual (high pressure) for 15 minutes.

  3. It should take the IP 5-10 minutes to come to pressure, followed by the 15 minutes active cooking time. While you wait, you can either sit back and let your IP do all the work or prep your tortillas and taco toppings.

  4. When the lentils have finished cooking the timer will beep. Carefully switch the sealed valve to venting and step back as the steam releases for a "quick release."

  5. When the pin has dropped, safely remove the lid and stir in enchilada sauce. Give the filing a little taste and add any extra seasoning/spice your heart desires. They're totally customizable and can be made as spicy or as mild as you'd like.

  6. Spoon filling into your choice of tortillas and top with all your favorite vegan or vegetarian taco toppings!

Recipe Notes

The lentils require a set liquid-to-solid ingredient ratio to properly cook in the Instant Pot as there is an auto-shutoff/burn notice for recipes too thick to cook. If you're skipping, swapping, or adding extra ingredients, this will need to be accounted for. If you have questions,- feel free to ask if it'll work beforehand so I can guide you! xoxo

Try the toppings from the list above or see the blog post for a full list of topping options! Add a few, or load 'em up! Anything goes when it comes to toppings.

The filling can be made in advance for an easy weeknight taco night and leftover lentil taco filling can even be frozen for later!

Nutrition Facts below are estimated for the filling using an online recipe nutrition calculator and will vary based on tortilla choice and toppings. Adjust as needed and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Lentil Tacos
Amount Per Serving
Calories 98 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 311mg14%
Potassium 267mg8%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 275IU6%
Vitamin C 1.9mg2%
Calcium 19mg2%
Iron 2.1mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Lentil recipe adapted from Tastes Better From Scratch

If you get a chance to try these tasty vegetarian Instant Pot lentil tacos, let me know!

Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

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Recipe Rating


  • Bernie

    5 stars
    There’s two ways to know if a dish is a hit. Either you get instant comments from everyone on first bite, or… dead silence except for the sound of chewing. This was a stuff your mouth silence response! Probably because this is a hand to mouth food rather than a polite pinky extended eat with a spoon recipe.

    When I opened the Instant Pot after cooking it looked and smelled delicious. Virtually every drop of liquid was absorbed. I added one cup of enchilada sauce per the recipe recommended over at DINNER , then DESSERT. Taste was excellent but not for the faint of heart. Next time, and there will be many more “next times”, I’ll try cutting back a bit on the sauce to make the mix a little firmer and allow people to dial in spicyness more with the toppings. Nobody touched the hot sauce bottle so for this Plain Jane family the base is plenty spicy.

    Also my first attempt at pan frying soft shell tortillas. Can’t say every one turned out perfect but I kept the worst for last and can personally say it was great. Caramelized, not over done… right? I used 8″ flour tortillas. Flour have always seemed to hold up better than corn. Pan frying may put corn back in the running. I like the color but “raw” they fall apart. I also want to try “street taco” size tortillas. This way you can try out different toppings and combinations. It would also smooth out the serving process since everyone could quickly build one taco and start eating and the zero in on what they like.

    • Bernie I am so thrilled you and your family enjoyed the lentil tacos. Thank you! I think I need to put these on the menu for this week I’m starting to crave them again now, haha! I’m fully with you on the corn tortillas – I love them a little toasty after pan frying so they hold together and have that little extra oomph flavor wise. Setting up a build your own taco bar for the fam is our favorite method — it really does streamline the serving process and let everyone have a piping hot, fully custom taco. Love it so! Hope your 2021 is off to a great start! xo

  • Jennifer

    Is it possible to make these without an instant pot?

  • Casey

    Can this be halved?

  • 5 stars
    This recipe is a total keeper! I guess I thought they would be good, but I didn’t know that they would be GREAT! It’s a new family favorite!! I added fresh cilantro after cooking, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly and it’s perfect!

    • I’m so over the moon excited the whole fam enjoyed them! Thank you!

  • Cristin

    These look and sound amazing! What enchilada sauce do you like to use? Favorite brand? Red or green? Excited to try making them tomorrow!

    • So excited for you to try the tacos! I love red enchilada sauce best here and my all-time favorite is Whole Foods 365 enchilada sauce in the glass jar. It’s PHENOM!

  • SANdra

    How do I Make the enchiladas sauce please & thank you
    I have never heard of it

    • Hi Sandra! It’s readily available in stores all over the world. If you would like to make the sauce from scratch, Sabrina at Dinner then Dessert has a homemade recipe you can try!

  • Gail Martin

    Can I use red lentils ? Just asking because that’s what I have. Thanks

    • Hi Gail! I LOVE red lentils and you can totally use them! The cook time is a little different so just be mindful of that (it’s quicker) and they tend to break apart bit more into the sauce but the flavor is still great!

  • Erin e marani

    5 stars
    I made these for dinner tonight for my family. We all loved them, especially my six year old daughter!

    • Yay! I’m so happy y’all enjoyed the tacos Erin! Thanks!

  • Mandy

    5 stars

  • Jen

    5 stars
    This is now a regular in my meal prep rotation. Thank you for posting the nutritional information! I can honestly say I now like lentils in my tacos way better than ground beef!! The recipe comes together very quickly. <3!

    • Whoooo! So glad you’re loving the lentils!

  • Kristin

    5 stars
    Super yummy tacos! The lentils give the taco filling the perfect texture, all while being packed with flavor. You will not miss the greasy aftertaste of ground beef or the mushy taste of beans. I’m ruined for ordinary tacos. These will be my go-to for sure!

    • I’m so stoked you loved them! I need to make these again soon — already craving them!

      • Keri

        I need to omit the onion OR use frozen. Any suggestions for how to make either option work?

        • Hi Keri! Frozen onion will totally work! If you want you could try adding an extra minute to the cook time (so set the IP to 16 minutes high pressure) just to make sure the frozen onion has a little extra time to tenderize in the lentil filling for ya. I’d have to test it to know exactly how much extra time is needed but if I were testing it at home that’s what I’d do! Hope this helps! xoxo

          • Keri

            Thanks so much! Every recipe my husband has eaten from your website he says is the “best he’s ever had” and he grew up a meat and potatoes guy! Grateful to you for helping our family have a healthier diet!

  • These lentil tacos look amazing and I am always looking for new vegetarian recipes to try for my daughter because she doesn’t really like to eat meat.

    • Thanks Scarlet! Hope y’all get a chance to try them soon – we’ve been flipping over the recipe!

  • 5 stars
    You know I adore your lentil tacos, burritos, enchiladas or whatever you can stuff those tasty lentils in. I’ve been cooking them right in the enchilada sauce. Sooo good.

    • Thanks Meghan! I’ve got some more lentil deliciousness up my sleeve for ya soon too! xoxo

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