{Vegan} Barbacoa Tacos

We LOVE this recipe from Minimalist Baker for these easy 1-pot vegan barbacoa tacos. 

Vegan Barbacoa Tacos


  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive or grape seed oil (or sub water)
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion (55 g), minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) cooked green or brown lentils (I used canned, rinsed and drained)
  • 1 1/2 cups packed (200 g) finely shredded/grated carrots (I used my food processor + grater attachment)
  • 2-3 Tbsp (24-36 g) coconut sugar or organic brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (canned) + 1-3 tsp adobo sauce (more or less to preferred spice level)
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) coconut aminos (or sub 1 Tbsp (15 ml) tamari or soy sauce if not GF)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water (more as needed)
  • optional: 2 bay leaves


  • Sprouted corn tortillas
  • Shredded red cabbage
  • Guacamole or avocado
  • red onion
  • tomatoes 
  • hot sauce (Green Chile Tabasco is AMAZING on these!)


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil (or water), onion, and garlic. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until tender and slightly browned.
  2. Next, add cooked lentils, carrots, coconut sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, cloves, oregano, chipotle peppers + adobo sauce (start with 1 tsp for low spice level), coconut aminos, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, water, and bay leaves (optional). Stir to combine.
  3. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for at least 15 minutes (or up to 30-40 minutes on low heat) or until the carrots are tender and the color has deepened. Stir occasionally and add more water as needed if it dries up.
  4. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more paprika or cumin for smokiness, salt for saltiness, coconut sugar for sweetness, lime for acidity, coconut aminos for “umami” flavor, or chipotle peppers for spice. I added more chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, coconut aminos, lime, paprika, and salt.
  5. Optional: Scoop half of the mixture into a food processor and (using the "s"-shaped blade) mix/pulse to mash some of the lentils and carrots together. This creates a more cohesive texture, which I prefer.
  6. Serve the mixture on tortillas (I used corn tortillas heated over an open flame for 20 seconds on each side). For toppings, I went with shredded red cabbage, sliced radish, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges or hot sauce for more flavor.
  7. Store leftover “barbacoa” covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or up to 1 month in the freezer. Reheat on the stovetop until hot, adding water as needed to add moisture back in.

*Recipe loosely adapted from the talented Serious Eats + Gimme Some Oven.