News from Illinois CancerCare

Cinco de Mayo Recipe: Lentil Tacos

Photo credit: Taste of Home 'Tasty Lentil Tacos'

Photo credit: Taste of Home ‘Tasty Lentil Tacos’

Cinco de Mayo has us craving Mexican cuisine… and maybe a margarita or two!

Looking to do the cooking yourself? Good for you! Our dietitians recommend plant-based recipes for a healthy twist on Cinco de Mayo. Plant-based meals are delicious AND they provide vital protein and cancer fighting nutrients.

Consuming a lot of plant foods has been found to reduce your risk of cancer. This means adding in plant-based proteins on a regular basis can help to lower your risk of cancer. Plant-based proteins are beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. Legumes may improve blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and lower heart disease risk. This dish is a great take on a holiday favorite and includes plant-based protein.


Servings: 6


  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2-½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 12 corn taco shells
  • Toppings:
    • 1-½ cups shredded lettuce
    • 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
    • 1-½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
    • 6 Tbsp Greek yogurt


  1. In a large nonstick pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, sauté until tender.
  2. Add lentils, seasoning, and broth, stir until well mixed. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer under lentils are covered (25-30 minutes).
  3. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens (6-8 minutes).
  4. Slightly mash lentils, stir in salsa, and heat mixture.
  5. Serve lentils in taco shells. Add toppings as desired.
  6. Fiesta!


Recipe adapted from: Tasty Lentil Tacos Recipe: How to Make It | Taste of Home