Smoky Lentil Taquitos….I’m not really sure we need to discuss much further – you should just take my word and make them! Their flavor is intense, delicious and on point for a flavorful fiesta!
Taquitos are one of my favorite dishes. Ever! But if you have been frequenting Beard & Bonnet for a while now than you already know that. I love the rhythmic process of stuffing and rolling them, the pop and fizzle of the hot oil as they hit the pan, and of course I love to dunk them in a sultry sauce and eat them.
I dream up new taquito fillings quite frequently; I write them downw and I save them for special occasions like Cinco de Mayo. In a perfect world I would be able to eat taquitos every day of the week, but thankfully my self control is strong and I resist. I have literally been obsessing about making these for weeks now – the filling is from my Super Easy Taco Bake recipe and I knew as soon as I tasted it the first time that at some point it would have it’s turn to stuff a taquito. The lentils are smoky, spicy, and dare I say “meaty”? Which just means that the even your meatiest of meat lovers will be coming back for seconds of these veggie based taquitos.
If you are as big a fan of taquitos as I am, then you should totally check out our other taquito recipes:
- 2 teaspoons gluten free taco seasoning
- ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- For the lentil taco meat
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- pinch of salt
- 2½ cups cooked brown lentils, drained
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce, I use Cholula
- 1 lime, halved
- 12–14 white corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup shredded jalapeno jack cheese or vegan jack cheese
- peanut, grapeseed, or canola oil for frying
- Avocado Cilantro Dipping Sauce, recipe follows
- Combine the taco seasoning, oregano, cumin, and coriander in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Fill a cup with water and place next to the stove to add to the pan as you cook. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Saute the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt for about 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the spice blend and toss for 30 seconds to toast the spices.
- Lower the heat to medium, and add the lentils along with a few splashes of water, the tomato paste, and hot sauce. Use the back of a wooden spoon, a spatula, or a fork to mash the lentils as they cook until they hold together. Continue mashing and stirring the lentil mixture for approximately 5 minutes, adding small splashes of water as necessary when the lentils look like they are drying out.
- In a large heavy skillet, heat 1/2-inch of oil over medium heat. Working with one tortilla at a time, rub the fleshy side of half of a lime over the tortilla then spread 1 heaping tablespoon of the smokey lentils along one side of the tortilla and lightly sprinkle with cheese. Gently roll the tortilla tightly beginning on the side with the filling. Use a toothpick to secure the taquito so it doesn’t unroll while cooking. (Corn tortillas have a tendency to dry out quickly and split, so I rolled 4 taquitos then placed them in the hot pan and rolled 4 more while the others were cooking until they were all finished.)
- Place the prepared taquitos seam side down in the hot oil and cook, rotating with tongs, until they are golden brown and crispy on all sides, approximately 3-4 minutes per batch. Once cooked through remove the cooked taquitos to a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain and cool slightly. Continue to cook the rest of the taquitos in batches, adding more oil as needed. Remove the toothpicks after you have fried them and serve with Avocado & Cilantro Dipping Sauce..
Corn tortillas will often tear if they’re not warmed before you roll them. To heat them up, simply wrap them in a damp paper towel and heat them in the microwave for 30-45 seconds at a time until they’re pliable.
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup thinly sliced shallots
- ⅓ cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, drained and rinsed.
- ½ of 1 large avocado, pitted and peeled
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ cup water or more if needed to thin out the dressing
- Place all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and process on high, until smooth and creamy. Add more water until you have reached the consistency of a creamy dressing. Tweak flavors with salt, pepper, and more lime if you want. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.