These slow cooker lentil and quinoa tacos are a super low effort dinner that’s also healthy, full of flavour, and endlessly customisable!

A lentil and quinoa taco topped with sliced tomato and avocado.

I need to use my slow cooker more often! It made these lentil and quinoa tacos an absolute doddle to prepare. Just cook the tasty filling in the slow cooker, then wrap it up in some tortillas or taco shells, pile them up with your favourite toppings, and you’ve got yourself an easy, healthy, delicious dinner.

A lentil and quinoa taco topped with sliced tomato and avocado.

Summer slow cooking

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that slow cookers are only good to use in the winter. To be fair, they are fantastic for making soups, stews, curries – all hearty, warming winter dishes.

But they’re good for so much more than that!

Just use your slow cooked ingredients in a more summery way, that’s all it takes.

Uncooked vegetables, lentils and quinoa in the slow cooker pot.

No pre-cooking required

As always, I made sure there was no pre-cooking or major prep work required to make these slow cooker lentil tacos – just dump everything in the pot, turn it on, and come back in a few hours.

I can’t stand it when I find a slow cooker recipe that required loads of pre-cooking – at first glance it seems easy, but when you look closer, you realise you need to cook all the veggies on the stove first, and soak the beans, and make the sauce from scratch…

There’s none of that here. In my opinion, slow cooker recipes should be easy. And that’s exactly the case with these vegetarian tacos! Chopping up a few veggies is all you need to do.

A large red slow cooker on a kitchen counter.

Healthy vegan tacos

Tacos probably aren’t the first thing that come to mind when you’re thinking of healthy dinner ideas, but these lentil and quinoa tacos are actually a pretty good choice!

With the lentils and quinoa, and plenty of veggies, the taco filling is full of goodness. Pile them up with some fresh toppings, and you’re ticking all the right boxes. If you’re not a fan of the white flour tortillas I used, use wholemeal ones, or corn tortillas – or just skip them altogether.

These lentil tacos are vegan too, as long as you swap the grated cheese I added for a vegan version!

Lentil and quinoa taco filling in a slow cooker pot.

Hidden veggies

The vegetables in this taco filling cook right down into the lentil mixture, so they’re not hugely obvious in the finished dish. The pan above contains a couple of peppers, a whole onion, and a big handful of mushrooms, but you’d never know it at first glance!

I never consciously try to hide vegetables in my cooking – luckily my toddler eats most things anyway (she’s inherited my love of food!).

But if you do have some picky eaters in your family and you like to hide your veggies, these tacos are a great option. Just cut the vegetables up a bit smaller than I did (I used big chunks!), and they’ll be even less visible.

You can also give everyone the chance to add their own toppings from a selection, so everyone can end up with a taco they’re happy with.

Lentil and quinoa taco filling in a slow cooker pot.

Big batch slow cooking

This recipe makes a fair few portions of the lentil and quinoa taco filling – I figure if you’re going to go to the effort of cooking something for 4 hours, you may as well make a decent batch of it, right?

Slow cooking lends itself so well to big batches of recipes – it’s basically no extra effort to throw a few more lentils into the pot, but it can be so handy to have those leftovers, either for future meals, or to keep in the freezer.

This recipe makes around 6 decent portions of the lentil and quinoa taco filling.

A lentil and quinoa taco topped with sliced tomatoes and avocado.

How can I use up the leftover taco filling?

If 6 portions of taco filling is too much for one meal for your family, you have loads of options:

  • use a smaller slow cooker and halve the recipe
  • freeze the leftovers in a tub, ready for an easy meal another day
  • have tacos a couple of nights running (it’s hard to complain about extra tacos!)
  • reinvent the lentil taco filling to make a different dish the next day

I went for the fourth option – it always feels quite satisfying to repurpose my leftovers into something new!

A few ideas for using up the leftover taco filling:

  • cheesy lentil quesadillas (this is what I did, it worked really well!)
  • a topping for a jacket potato
  • stirred through pasta with a dollop of cream cheese
  • a topping for nachos
  • top with mashed potato and bake to make lentil shepherd’s pie

Let me know in the comments if you have any other bright ideas! And in the meantime, enjoy these slow cooker lentil and quinoa tacos.

A lentil and quinoa taco topped with tomato and avocado, being held up in a hand.
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5 from 1 vote

Slow cooker lentil and quinoa tacos

These slow cooker lentil and quinoa tacos are a super low effort dinner that’s also healthy, full of flavour, and endlessly customisable!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time: 3 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, sliced or diced
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced or diced (I used green and red)
  • 6 medium mushrooms, sliced or diced
  • 200 g (~ 1 cup) dried brown lentils
  • 100 g (~ 1/3 cup) quinoa
  • 400 g tin chopped tomatoes (~ 1 1/3 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder (mild or hot)
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 850 ml (~ 3 1/2 cups) vegetable stock
  • Black pepper
  • To serve: mini tortillas or taco shells, plus your choice of toppings (shredded lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, grated cheese, sour cream, etc.)

Instructions

  • Add all the ingredients to a large slow cooker (mine is 6.5 litres / ~ 7 quarts), and mix well to combine. Cook on high for around 3 1/2 – 4 hours, until cooked to your liking. You can stir once or twice during cooking, but don’t leave the lid off for any length of time, or the heat will take a while to build up again.
  • Adjust the seasonings before serving if necessary – add more salt and pepper, or more chilli powder if it’s not spicy enough.
  • Serve on mini tortillas or taco shells, with your choice of toppings.
Course: Main meals
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Keyword: lentil tacos, slow cooker lentils, slow cooker tacos, vegan tacos, vegetarian tacos
Author: Becca Heyes
Nutrition Facts
Slow cooker lentil and quinoa tacos
Amount Per Serving (1 portion)
Calories 234 Calories from Fat 23
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2.6g 4%
Saturated Fat 0.2g 1%
Sodium 94mg 4%
Potassium 527mg 15%
Total Carbohydrates 41.7g 14%
Dietary Fiber 8.2g 33%
Sugars 3.4g
Protein 13.1g 26%
Calcium 4%
Iron 20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/6 of the recipe, not including tortillas or toppings.

Fan of Tex-Mex food? These slow cooker burrito bowls are another great one to try!