We first developed this recipe because I am a weak woman and Taco Bell was calling to me early in veganism…
I wanted crunch wraps.
Chili cheese burritos as well, but they unfortunately do not make those right now…
So, we had to find an at home version we loved, and since we have become vegan figuring out certain flavors and textures has been key for us.
This recipe easy, the kids love it, and we can make a big batch and use it throughout the week for tacos, nacho bowls, you name it.
The key to it tasting like Taco Bell, however, is a hearty dose of sea salt and onion powder with a few other gems. Since we don’t do processed food in general, we don’t worry about extra salt in a meal or two but if your concerned or watching this feel free to scale back the salt in the recipe. We usually make our Vegan Nacho cheese recipe with this, and the kids always eat this meal with no fuss.
Serves 8-10 burritos
3 cups dried red lentils (or another lentil, we just like the color for the faux meat)
2 cups or 1 can, black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can chopped green chilies or 1 cup chopped fresh pepper of your choice
1 ½ cup mild salsa
2-3 medium sized onions (chopped and sauteed is best here, but can use raw)
¼ tsp garlic powder or two cloves chopped fine
1 1/2 tbsp onion powder
2 tsp cayenne
1-2 tbsp or to taste salt
3 tsp pepper
3 tsp paprika
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2-4 tbsp avocado or grape seed oil ( for sauteing onions, feel free to substitute)
- Add lentils to 7 cups boiling water with a pinch of salt. Keep a close eye on them, lentils double and may need a bit more water.
- Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes stirring occasionally and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes or until softened.
- Add finely chopped onions to a couple tbsp oil and
sauteeover medium high heat for a few minutes while stirring, tilsoft and fragrant.
- Add rinsed and drained beans to the lentil mixture. Both bean mixtures should be soft at this point but cooking them a bit longer will help create a “
hamburgerish” texture that you want out of a beef filling. Allowing some of the extra water to evaporate out helps, just don’t make it too dry.
- Add salsa, peppers, and seasoning to bean mixture. We like to take chips and dip them to test it out, mix in your favorite seasonings and snack until you get the flavor the way you want. We prefer heavier garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and paprika.
We have found that one of the secrets
to getting it closer to a Taco Bell flavor is finely minced and sauteed onions.
Lots of them!
We love onions anyway, but it does help create the correct flavor profile.
- Simmer together on a low heat for another 5 minutes over a low heat, mixing often.
After the texture is where you want it, we recommend getting a burrito ready with sour cream, or salsa, or whatever you prefer. Add vegan cheese shreds to it and the mixture, then grill it for a few minutes on a low-medium heat to help get the cheesy-melty delicious texture that we love from Taco Bell.
Even if this is not exactly like taco bell, it has kept us from eating any fast food, keeping in mind that Taco Bell is definitely our weakness…
It’s so delicious.
But creating and altering this recipe over time has satisfied us in much of the same way. We remind ourselves that we must put effort in if we expect to replicate food that’s full of all kinds of additives to literally make it addictive.
We hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as we have, and of course tweak it as much as you need to for your preference.