- Parents love them because they’re fast to prepare.
- Kids love them because they get to eat with their hands without being reprimanded by their parents.
- And dogs love them because stuff is just gonna fall off the table when kids building their own meal is involved.
I came across this Slow Cooker Lentil-Quinoa Taco recipe on the Healthy Slow Cooking website. I quickly perused the ingredients list, realized I had every single item and determined to make them for supper that very night. However, I am a serial late-starter when it comes to feeding my family and I didn’t notice the words “slow cooker” in front of taco. Honestly, I didn’t even read the words “Lentil-Quinoa” in my haste to get to the tacos. It wasn’t until I was committed to the recipe (meaning there was no turning back because I’d already purchased the fake sour cream) that I realized the recipe as written would take 7-9 hours. In a slow cooker?!
I had two hungry teenagers growing in front of my very eyes and their need for immediate nourishment was obvious. No time for a slow cooker, which oddly enough, is designed for people just like me with no time, but because I hadn’t taken the time to prepare (there’s a lesson in here somewhere, I’m sure) in advance, I was in a quandary.
I did what I do best and I improvised and tweaked and slightly modified and churned out what I believe are an awesome and fast weeknight meal if you want to continue procrastinating your meal planning but still have slow cooker tacos. Easy.
Last-minute can be so very delicious.
Need a refresher course on which lentils are which? I like this simple lentil explanation by thekitchn staff.
If you plan ahead, put all the ingredients into your slow cooker and cook on low for 7-9 hours. OR if you're late to your own supper plans, throw all the ingredients into a deep skillet on the stove top and you'll have it ready in less than an hour by following my directions below.
- Brown Lentils - 1/2 cup
- French Green Lentils - 1/2 cup
- Quinoa - 1/2 cup, rinsed
- Water - 4 cups
- Vegetable Base - 1 T + 1 tsp
- Garlic - 4 cloves, minced
- Chili Powder - 1 tsp
- Smoked Paprika - 1 tsp
- Cumin - 1 tsp
- Salt & Pepper - to taste
- Tortillas or Hard Taco Shells - Plenty :-)
Add all the ingredients except the salt, pepper, and taco shells to a deep skillet or dutch oven on your stove top. Stir to combine ingredients. Bring to a hard boil and monitor so as not to boil over. Reduce heat to medium and allow the lentils to cook through. They will absorb all the water and your kitchen will smell delicious.
This entire process takes less than 45 minutes, closer to 30.
Add salt and pepper to taste and serve as the base for your tacos.
Serve with either tortillas or hard taco shells with your favorite taco toppings.
Impress your starving family and friends.