Slow Cooker Lentil-Quinoa Taco Filling from Vegan Slow Cooking for Two

Lentil-Quinoa Taco Filling From Vegan Slow Cooking for Two

Photo by Kate Lewis, Copyrighted by Fair Winds Press

Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just You has super easy sandwich recipes. All of them cook for 7 to 9 hours so they are perfect for a weeknight meal if you start the slow cooker on your way to work. It’s worth it to come in and have dinner ready to go. Plus everyone loves sandwiches!

In addition to this hearty taco filling there are:

  • Carolina Barbecue Soy Curls
  • Sloppy Black-Eyed Peas
  • Indian Mashed Veggie Sandwich (Pav Bhaji)
  • New England Tofu Rolls
  • Asian Shiitake Sliders

Gone longer than 9 hours? Add some extra liquid so your dinner doesn’t burn. 

Slow Cooker Lentil-Quinoa Taco Filling contains no soy or gluten yet has an almost meaty texture that tacos love. This filling is also a great place to stash some shredded greens, fresh chopped summer squash, and more seasonal goodies from your market. You can cook them with the filling below or add them raw to freshen it up a bit. Let your imagination guide you.

Don’t forget to enter in the Goodreads Giveaway so you can win a copy of Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just You. The last day to enter is July 31 and you must sign up for it on the Goodreads site.

Slow Cooker Lentil-Quinoa Taco Filling
soy-free, gluten-free, oil-free

This recipe uses a 1 1/2- to 2-quart slow cooker (like all the recipes in Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just You)

  • 1/4 cup (48 g) brown lentils
  • 1/4 cup (48 g) beluga lentils or brown lentils
  • 1/4 cup (43 g) quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups (475 ml) water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 soft or hard corn taco shells (use gluten-free shells to make this gluten-free and use fat free soft taco shells to keep it oil-free)

Add all the ingredients except the salt, pepper, and taco shells to the 1 1/2- to 2-quart slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours. Before serving, add salt and pepper. Taste and adjust any of the seasonings as needed.

Serve in taco shells with lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, or any of your other favorite taco toppings.

per ½-cup (100 g) serving (without taco shell): 49.3 calories; 0.5 g total fat; 0 g saturated fat; 2.6 g protein; 8.8 g carbohydrate; 1.8 g dietary fiber; 0 mg cholesterol

yield: about 6 tacos
prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 7 to 9 hours



  1. Jeannie says:

    This is a great idea for a book. I really dislike halving standard-size recipes, so it will be nice to have a book of tried and true recipes suitable fro small crockpots. Good luck with it!

    • Kathy Hester says:

      I’m glad you like it. There are quite a few 1 1/2 to 2 quart recipes you can try out on the blog too!

  2. Jessie B says:

    Looks delicious! If I use a larger slow cooker (I think mine is 6 quarts), do I have to make any adjustments?

    • Kathy Hester says:

      You definitely will. You can either triple the recipe and freeze the leftovers or some people have put a 2 quart pyrex dish in their larger slow cooker and add water around ten outside of it to make a water bath. Tell me which one you end up using.

  3. Is there going to be a kindle version of the book?

    • Kathy Hester says:

      Yes, there will be a Kindle edition and it usually lists at release or just a little bit before.

      • I still haven’t seen a kindle version, did something happen?

        I also haven’t seen the book available for purchase in Canada.

  4. Do you use dried lentils, or have they already been cooked?

    • Kathy Hester says:

      These use dried lentils. You could use leftover cooked ones though, but you’d want to reduce the cook-time some.

  5. I added a bit of cumin to this recipe. That’s what gives it a taco flavor!

  6. These were absolutely delicious! I shared my experience making them without the aid of a slow cooker because I didn’t plan ahead (typical), but was delighted with the results all the same!

  7. I didn’t make it to the seven hour mark; it already looks done, and ready to eat. Will it be a problem if I don’t cook it through the full seven to nine hours? I’ve so far cooked it for about four and a half hours; water is gone, everything looks hearty, and it looks like it’s slowly starting to burn a little bit at the top where the food touches the edge…

    • Kathy Hester says:

      It should be fine if the lentils are tender and the quinoa cooked though. Your slow cooker may run a bit hot so you might want to add an additional 1/2 cup water next time if you need it to all day due to work.

  8. 1/4 cup (48 g) brown lentils
    1/4 cup (48 g) beluga lentils or brown lentils

    so 1/2 cup of lentils total?

    • Kathy Hester says:

      Correct. If you use only one kind of lentils you will use 1/2 cup of that one kind. If you use 2 kinds 1/4 cup each.

  9. Geoffrey Morse says:

    Is adding water inc the slow cooker required? If so, how much?

  10. I added sauted onion and some other things I hope it will be great

  11. Great recipe!! Thanks for the idea. I found adding a cup or so of tomato sauce added a lot of flavour, along with cumin and ground coriander.

  12. Just thought I would ask can this recipe be doubled or tripled for bigger families?

  13. How long should I reduce the cooking time by if I am using sprouted lentils?

    • Kathy Hester says:

      I’m not really sure and it would depend on what kind. With the slow cooker recipes they will hold well even if the mixture is ready. The only change I think you may need to make is to use a bit less water.

  14. I loved this recipe! I added cumin, as Maggie suggested, and a little more chili powder than called for. I also tried using some red lentils, which seemed to work out just fine. I think I might just have to check out your book! Thanks for the recipe.

  15. This looks fantastic Pinning!

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