Instant Pot Tacos With Lentil Walnut Taco Meat

By Alexandra Caspero on March 29, 2023
These vegan lentil tacos are one of our favorite weeknight meals.
Makes 12 Tacos

Try these homemade vegan tacos stuffed with lentil walnut taco meat! They are delicious, flavorful, and simple to make for dinner. This taco recipe is also really great to add to your meal prep schedule! 

I ask my family what they want for dinner at least a few times a week. And, they almost always respond the same way: lentil tacos!

I’ve always got a batch of my lentil tacos in the fridge (or the freezer) as they are not only my family’s favorite but one of mine as well. They taste just as good on a tortilla as they do in a salad or folded into a burrito bowl.

Now that I’ve got my Instant Pot almost permanently on the counter, I figured it was time I recreate my lentil taco recipe for the Instant Pot. While lentils don’t take that long to cook, making them in the pressure cooker allows me to throw everything in at once and walk away.

These days, that’s music to my ears!

Tacos With Lentil Walnut Meat

This vegan taco meat is an amazing meat substitute whether you are vegan or not. It is great for anyone looking to cut back on meat or even add more variety of foods into their diet. Plus, you can save a lot of time!

I love to make these lentils and walnut meat to go in my wraps and tacos as a tasty protein option. It tastes just like taco meat and pairs perfectly with all kinds of Mexican-style dishes and meals.

If you are looking for a way to step up your taco game, here it is!

Instant Pot Lentil Taco Meat

Tips On How To Make Instant Pot Tacos With Lentil Walnut Taco Meat

This recipe for lentil walnut taco meat is truly a delicious recipe that everyone should try, vegan or not!

This protein-packed taco filling is hearty and made out of lentils and walnuts. Perfect for anyone on a vegan diet or for those trying to cut back on meat.

Here are a few tips to help you make amazing vegan taco meat every time without fail!

  • After falling in love with this pumpkin walnut chili, I knew I wanted to add walnuts to this lentil taco recipe. It adds nice texture and body and is the perfect complement to the hearty lentils. I know it sounds weird, but they aren’t crunchy after they cook. They become almost like ground meat and absorb the taco spice well.
  • If you don’t have walnuts, you could also try using almonds or shelled pumpkin seeds. The results won’t be exactly the same, but they will still taste just as good! You can also omit them, if desired. 
  • Don’t skimp on the seasonings. I know that this recipe might seem really heavy-handed on the seasonings, but those amounts are needed! In order to have realistic-tasting taco meat, you want all of that flavor. For a low-sodium version, I recommend this Low Sodium Taco Seasoning.
  • Make sure to completely cook the onions to avoid adding a strange texture to the lentils. They should be just turning translucent and getting caramelized for maximum flavor!
  • It is best to use the Instant Pot for cooking this taco meat since it can be programmed to cook the lentils perfectly. You do not want to overcook the lentils, or they will start to become too soft and break apart into a paste.

    Instant Pot Lentil Tacos

How To Add Variety To Lentil Walnut Tacos

  • For a very meaty mix, you could also throw in some crumbled extra firm tofu. Just make sure to completely press it before using, or it will add in too much moisture. This is a great way to give this taco meat an extra protein boost!
  • Add in whatever toppings you like. We love crumbled queso fresco, salsa roja and avocado but any combination works!
  • This filling also works great as an enchilada filling, roll into tortillas of top and smother with my easy enchilada sauce, cover with cheese and bake until hot and bubbly!

    Lentil Walnut Taco Meat Made In The Instant Pot

What To Serve With Lentil Walnut Taco Meat Tacos

I love these tacos wrapped in a flour tortilla with lots of shredded lettuce and homemade salsa, but they also taste great over a loaded salad or homemade lentil nachos. Either way, it’s a healthy, protein-packed weeknight meal that you are sure to love!

This taco meat is very versatile and can be added to simple meals, like tacos and vegan burrito bowls. The options are endless, and you can get really creative with how you use this vegan taco meat!

I hope you enjoy these Instant Pot vegan tacos with lentil walnut meat as much as we do. If you try it, make sure to come back, leave a comment and rate it. Your feedback helps others and seeing you make my recipes makes my day! 

Instant Pot Lentil Walnut Taco Meat

More Vegan Taco Recipes:

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Vegan Instant Pot Lentil Walnut Taco Meat

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Vegan Instant Pot Lentil Walnut Taco Meat

Instant Pot Walnut Lentil Tacos

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 tacos 1x
  • Category: dinner, main, instant pot
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: healthy, vegan, vegetarian
  • Diet: Vegan


Instant Pot Lentil Walnut Tacos! You’ve gotta try these vegan tacos. Lentil and walnut taco filling cooked in the Instant Pot, the perfect weeknight dinner!

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 tacos 1x
  • Category: dinner, main, instant pot
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: healthy, vegan, vegetarian
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 tacos 1x
  • Category: dinner, main, instant pot
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: healthy, vegan, vegetarian
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced white or yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils
  • Taco toppings of choice: shredded lettuce, tomato, jalapenos
  • Flour or corn tortillas, warmed


  1. Turn the Instant Pot on and press the sauté button. Add the olive oil, onion and sauté until onion is tender and cooked through, stirring often, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the spices and stir together. Hit cancel and add the vegetable broth, walnuts and lentils and stir to combine.
  3. Place the top on, move valve to sealing and cook on high manual 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.
  4. Open lid and gently stir, seasoning with more salt and pepper as desired. 
  5. Serve lentils warm on tortillas of choice with toppings.


For the stove-top: Sauté the onion in olive oil until soft, then add in the spices. Cook another 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add in vegetable broth, lentils and walnuts and increase to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until lentils are tender, about 20-25 minutes.


This recipe was updated in July 2021. Previous recipe is here:

  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (15 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils
  1. Turn on Instant Pot and press the sauté button. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic clove and sauté until onion is tender and cooked through, stirring often, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the spices and stir together. Hit cancel then add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, walnuts and lentils and stir to combine.
  3. Place the lid on and cook on high manual pressure for 15 minutes. Let pressure come down naturally for 4 minutes, then quick release. Remove the lid and stir lentils, seasoning to taste if needed.
  4. Serve lentils on tortillas of choice with toppings. The lentil mixture will thicken as it cools.

did you make this?

Tag @delishknowledge on Instagram and hashtag it #delishknowledge

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge. I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 

Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Chef, and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

(52 comments) leave a comment

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    1. Natalie
      June 25, 2022 AT 11:00 am

      This is a great recipe! I use it over and over again. Simple and delicious!!

    2. Aj3
      March 12, 2022 AT 2:52 pm

      Oh, I will admit that I only had a really good quality chicken broth on hand so that’s what I used. But still very good. Next time will try with a good veggie broth and I’m sure will be yummy as well.

    3. Aj3
      March 12, 2022 AT 2:48 pm

      My girlfriend has been shifting her diet to be more vegan and told me about walnut tacos. I personally prefer less meat in my diet and I had not heard of that concept prior and wanted to give it a try. But the recipe she gave me has sun-dried tomatoes in it and I didn’t have that on hand. Saw this recipe and thought I’d give it a try since I already had everything in my pantry. I loved it! Easy, flavorful, will be making it again. I think I might decrease the lentils and increase the walnuts next time I make this because I want more of that texture. I was curious what the original recipe tasted like and wasn’t sure why the recipe was updated but I didn’t have a can of fire roasted tomatoes in hand either to try side by side. Was pleasantly surprised with this recipe so I might never get around to trying it.

    4. Emily
      February 26, 2022 AT 2:08 am

      Love this recipe and make it often.
      We have it on tacos and rice.

    5. Linda
      September 22, 2021 AT 1:17 pm

      This recipe is so good! My family loves it! I want to make this for taco night for a large gathering. I am new to the Instant Pot. Can I double the recipe and use the same cooking time?


      1. Alex
        September 23, 2021 AT 7:42 am

        Hi Linda– should work when doubled and the same cooking time. IF they still aren’t done, then I’d bring it back to pressure for few minutes.

    6. Vanessa Katzenberger
      August 2, 2021 AT 5:57 pm

      Hi, there!

      Did you modify this recipe? I had this recipe printed out, but it got tossed in a recent overseas move. I’ve made it twice with this most recent post, and it seems different. Thanks!

      1. Alex
        August 2, 2021 AT 6:39 pm

        I did update it! I made it recently and it came out watery, so I retested and changed it. Did you like the old version better? I can put the older version in the notes.

        1. Vanessa Katzenberger
          August 17, 2021 AT 12:28 pm

          We did like the older one and used it all the time for a burrito filling. I would appreciate the older version in the notes!

          1. Alex
            August 18, 2021 AT 10:24 am

            Just added for you!

    7. Jen
      July 29, 2021 AT 4:03 pm

      Made this for dinner tonight, amazing! This will be our go to on taco nights. Thanks for another great, easy recipe.

    8. Sheila Korn
      July 27, 2021 AT 11:38 am

      Just wondering if your calorie count included the tortilla? We’re trying to keep around 1200 calories for the day to lose a little weight.

      1. Alex
        July 27, 2021 AT 6:54 pm

        Hi Sheila, yes the calorie count includes the tortilla.

    9. Casey
      March 29, 2021 AT 10:34 am

      I can’t find brown lentils anywhere-Will green lentils work in this recipe?

      1. Alex
        March 29, 2021 AT 10:58 am

        Hi Casey, you can use the french green lentils in this recipe. Split green ones will turn to mush in the IP in this recipe as they cook.

    10. Dawn
      March 22, 2021 AT 5:10 pm

      I made the cheat version with a packet of low-sodium taco seasoning and even my picky 10 year old loved it! It was so easy, even on a work night. We definitely eat too many fake chiken nuggets and other types of processed “meat” in this house so it was such a win that he loved what is basically a whole foods recipe. I felt like the vegan angels were singing ‘hallelujah!’ when he chomped it down and said he wants it in our regular rotation lol. Thank you so much for this recipe!