You really wont miss the meat in these flavorful, filling, and healthy Instant Pot Lentil Tacos! Ready in 20 minutes, and easily adaptable to use ingredients and toppings you already have, this vegetarian instant pot recipe is a WINNER.

A tray full of lentil tacos made in the instant pot, served inside a tortilla, garnished with lettuce, tomato and avocado.

I’m a big fan of mixing up our dinners with some meatless meals. I’m not a vegetarian (far from it 🙂 ) but I also don’t like my family eating heavy servings of meat every single night.

One of my favorite vegetarian meals is black bean burgers — so dang easy and TASTY! I love that I usually always have what I need to make them. I also really love this Lentil Salad.

I feel like Mexican flavored dishes are even easier to make meatless because of all of the delicious flavor and spices you can add to the dish. These sweet potato and black bean enchiladas, and these black bean and corn quesadillas, for example, always leave us feeling satisfied.

What I really love about these Mexican inspired lentil tacos are how hearty the mixture is–you wont even miss the meat! They are soo flavorful, and delicious, and one of my absolute favorite vegetarian instant pot recipes. Learn all of my instant pot tips!

An instant pot filled with the ingredients needed for lentil tacos including lentils, salsa, and spices.

The Instant Pot makes this meal even more genius. Throw everything in the pot, and give it a stir. That’s it! Cook it for 15 minutes on high pressure, and you’re ready to eat. No babysitting the lentils, no stirring the pot. You don’t even need to let the pressure naturally release!

Overhead view of a wood cutting board with parchment paper on it and tacos filled with lentil mixture and topped with lettuce, tomato and avocado.

This Instant pot lentil tacos recipe is also really easily adaptable to what you have on hand.

Substitution Ideas:
Chopped onion for onion powder.

Use the saute function on the instant pot to saute 1 cup chopped onion in a little bit of oil, before adding the rest of the ingredients. 

Water for chicken broth.

You can use water if you don’t have chicken broth. I just like the extra boost of flavor that the chicken broth adds. Or you could add 4 teaspoons/4 chicken bullion cubes to the water.

Tomato sauce instead of salsa. 
Additional veggies:

Try adding corn, diced green chilies (if you like it spicy), or another chopped vegetable, like zucchini.

More great Instant Pot Dinner recipes:

Instant Pot Chicken Taco Bowls

Instant Pot Spaghetti

Instant Pot Beef Gyros



A tray full of lentil tacos made in the instant pot, served inside a tortilla, garnished with lettuce, tomato and avocado.
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 25 minutes
Save Recipe


Topping ideas:

  • corn or flour tortillas , for serving
  • shredded cheese
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • avocado , chopped (or guacamole)
  • fresh cilantro
  • green onion , chopped
  • olives
  • sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
  • salsa , or hot sauce


  • Add all ingredients to instant pot and stir to combine.
  • Close the lid and move valve to sealing position.
  • Cook on manual (high pressure) for 15 minutes.
  • Once the timer beeps, cover the valve with a towel and switch it to quick release to release all of the pressure.
  • Open lid and gently stir.
  • Allow to cool while you prepare toppings.
  • Serve warm, inside corn or flour tortillas, with desired toppings.


*Makes 4 cups, to make about 16 tacos (using ¼ cup mixture/per serving.) 
Try my other Instant Pot Recipes!


Calories: 97kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 7gSodium: 76mgPotassium: 305mgFiber: 7gVitamin A: 50IUVitamin C: 1.2mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 2mg

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Recipe adapted from My Plant Based Family.

Nutritional label is based off a ¼ cup servings (to fill 1 taco). Does not include toppings.

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Lentil Tacos
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Have you tried this recipe?! 

RATE this recipe and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I made this just as recommended and it was great! I made some quick pickled red onions and that added a nice touch too. Great for a light dinner and for my family of 4 we had plenty of layovers. I’m sure we’ll have that for lunch. Thanks so much.

  2. I love this recipe! I have been using it since 2020, and that summer I worked an early shift. After work, I came home and had tacos for lunch almost every day! These days, I usually halve the recipe. Instead of separate spices, I often use 2 tablespoons of my homemade taco seasoning for 1 cup of lentils. Then I have enough for tacos right away plus 2 or 3 more meals with the leftovers. Thank you for the inspiration!

  3. 5 stars
    Love this recipe. I throw in a small can of green chili as well. Make it and use for lunch for the week. With tortilla. Avocado and cheese.

  4. Lauren, I love your recipes and tell everyone that I get some of my best ideas from you. I don’t have an instant pot. So how long would you cook this on the stovetop or would you use a crock pot? Thanks

  5. 5 stars
    So good and so easy! I like it better than the meat way! On extremely lazy days, do you think it would taste just as good if I just threw a packet of taco seasoning mix in there?

  6. I can’t believe a recipe this simple can be so delicious! I’ve made this many times now. Such a perfect meal for a lazy day.

  7. 5 stars
    I’m thrilled with this recipe! I used the Instant Pot method and it was perfect. There was just a bit of extra liquid but it was absorbed by the lentils the longer it sat. I’ll use this recipe often, and it’s inspired me to try lentils as a replacement for ground beef in other recipes to limit animal fats in my diet. Thank you so much!

  8. 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious! My insanely picky toddler who only eats pbj and cheese and crackers devoured this! (We added “rainbow toppings” aka colorful veggies.) My 8 month old ate some. The adults ate it. This was truly delicious and a family friendly recipe. Only change I made was adding chopped mushrooms that I needed to use up. Thank you thank you thank you!

  9. 5 stars
    I’ve been trying to make a conscience effort to eat less meat. With this recipe… who needs it? This is delicious.
    The only issues I had, was my own error I assume. I have never had an issue with my Instapot, but today, I heard the button drop on it part way through, it had siphoned a bunch of water into the overflow, I didn’t need to vent the pot at the end at all – just removed the lid, there was a good portion of the meal burned onto the bottom of the pot. The remaining product is delicious though. Any Instapot experts to tell me what I did wrong? Is my seal going bad? Thanks for a great recipe. I will likely not make ground beef taco meat again:)

  10. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe several times and my husband has deemed it “the best tacos he’s ever had.” Thanks for making my life easier with such a ridiculously quick crowd pleaser!

  11. Would this recipe work in a slow cooker (crockpot)? Would any ingredients change? How long would it need to cook?

  12. 5 stars
    So tasty and quick!! My favorite companion to lentil taco filling is cubed chipotle roasted sweet potatoes, for that spicy sweet combo. Top with cilantro and pickled purple onions and it is heaven!

  13. I don’t have an instapot nor crock pot. Will there be a problem using my regular, big stock pot?



  14. 5 stars
    I love this recipe but it makes a ton! Can you freeze the leftovers? Or if I wanted to cut the recipe in half would the proportions and cook time be the same?! I’m very new to using my instant pot so wasn’t sure. 🙂

  15. 5 stars
    I still cannot believe how good these lentil tacos taste.
    We are fairly new to the plant based diet; having started it because of my husband’s health. Being Hispanic I knew I’d like the lentils and I could tell the spices were spot on. Besides, it gave me an opportunity to use my Insta Pot for a quick effortless meal.
    My family was amazed! Especially my 80 year old aunt. She really liked the lentejas (lentils). And there is plenty left over for is to use with some potatoes and tortillas on Friday night (meatless Lent meal).
    Thank you for this delicious recipe.

  16. Has anyone tried freezing this? It’s just me and my 7 year old so I like to freeze have of something and then have it to thaw for the next time. Just wondering if it would get too mushy?

  17. 5 stars
    This is easy and tasty! I like mine spicy so I add some crushed red pepper. It is even better when you serve it with refried beans! I am a vegan and other taco meat alternatives I don’t like much….this is great! I use lots of fresh cilantro when I serv it too. So yummy!!!

  18. 2 stars
    Came out too watery/soupy. I sautéed for an extra 10 minutes to reduce the liquid and it’s still too watery to put into tacos. Flavor is good though

  19. 5 stars
    Five stars due to how easy this is and it’s pretty darn good. And this is coming from a family that is heavy meat eaters and looking for vegetarian alternatives. Toppings and seasoning are key (which is the case more meat tacos). Better texture than black bean tacos we’ve been making for years (for occasional meatless options).

  20. These were amazing! Have you tried adding rice to it? Not sure if white or brown and if liquid would need to be increased.

    1. Yes, for every one cup of white rice, add 1 cup of water. For brown rice add 1 1/4 water cup per cup of rice.

  21. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! We’ve officially converted from ground beef tacos to these lentil tacos. They taste so much better!

  22. 4 stars
    These were great! A bit too wet but that could have been the salsa that I used. The taste is fantastic. Thank you so much.

  23. Hello! Would this freeze well? Also, if I were to cut the recipe in half would there need to be any adjustments other than halving the ingredients?

    Thank you!

    1. Yes, I think it would freeze great. No other changes to half the recipe. Cooking time will stay the same.

  24. 4 stars
    Just made this for my picky family and everyone loved it! My four year old has been raving about the “best tacos ever” since his first bite. I used our own taco seasoning and added salt because my broth was salt-free, but this was a great recipe to start with, thanks!

    1. 4 stars
      Really enjoyed this recipe overall! With all the toppings it tasted delicious and the texture of the lentils was wonderful. The only comment I have is I felt like the lentils could have used a bit more flavor. I will try some things on my own but if anyone has any recommendations of what to add for a little bit more flavor I would love to hear! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  25. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! It is so quick and easy, and the lentils come out perfect. I used veg broth instead of chicken and also threw in a finely chopped jalapeno pepper. I decided to stir in a little corn at the end too. Oh, and try a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime once it is done…really brings out the flavours.

    This will definitely be added to my weekly rotation. Such a versatile recipe! Thank you!

  26. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe! Easy, delicious, plant based! I halfed the recipe and it came out wonderfully. Could easily feed four with half the recipe. My partner and I ate half and still have lots for leftovers! This is a keeper recipe. Will share and make again. Thank you!

  27. 5 stars
    Great recipe, but I cook it in my IP Mini for 4 minutes. Any more and it turns into mush. Somehow all recipes tend to cook much faster in my IP than in any recipes, so just wanted to add this here for any other mini users.

  28. I used half a can of diced tomatoes instead of salsa. They turned out awesome, AND mild enough even the pickiest little dragon liked them. Thank you!!

    1. Hi Katie,
      I haven’t tried it with red lentil- I think it should work given that there cook times are very similar. I’d love to hear how it goes!

  29. 5 stars
    This was a big hit! I love how easy dry legumes are in the instant pot! Next time I’ll add just a but more spice as we like it a little spicier but it was really good. This left the lentils done and soft but still with a bit of chew. If you wanted a creamier lentil filling, you could add more liquid and cook a bit longer. But we loved how it turned out. Now I want to okay with it and see what veggies I can add in, like shredded carrots and so on!

  30. I just made this and it turned into slop! I’m not sure where I went wrong. The taste was delicious but the texture way off!
    2 things that maybe happened?
    a) I used red lentils as that’s all the store had
    b) I let it slow release the pressure as I was busy running around so it sat on keep warm for 20 min naturally releasing pressure.
    Any ideas? I want to make it again

      1. Seconded! Though, red lentils make an awesome protein boost to tomato sauce for pasta because they end up so creamy instead of maintaining shape

    1. Clearly says you can use water. How about saying “thank you for your wonderful recipe” and then adjust to suit your self imposed dietary restrictions?

  31. I have a question. Do the lentils still need to be soaked overnight? I’m brand new to using the instant pot so sorry if this is an obvious one!? looking forward to trying this recipe. Thank you!

  32. these look so yummy- mixing it up right now, and i was curious…my hubby can’t do tomatoes…what do i sub for the salsa? thanks!!

  33. 5 stars
    These were fantastic! We are a mostly-vegan household, so I used vegetable broth in place of chicken and adapted the condiments accordingly. Having tried a variety of recipes for lentil taco filling, I must say this is hands down the best: the lentils are perfectly tender, the filling thickens on cooling, and the spices are just enough for those who are heat-averse (and the rest of us can add more salsa as needed). We’ve so far used the filling in tacos, burritos, and nachos, but I have a feeling it will be outstanding in cornmeal and tortilla-based casseroles, as well. Thanks so much for posting the recipe!

  34. 5 stars
    Yum! Thanks so much for this recipe! Just made them and my lentil came out a little hard. Should I add a few minutes to the instant pot? Thanks! 🙂

  35. 5 stars
    These are our new addiction! We ate them 3 times last week and I am now making another batch! Thank you for bringing this into our life!!