Lentil Taco Tartlets

A lentil crust and zippy filling make these southwest taco tartlets do a salsa dance in your mouth!

lentil taco tartlets appetizers Whenever the temperatures start plummeting and it feels like we are so deeply buried in winter that spring will never come, I start thinking of sunny climes and wishing I was somewhere tropical. . .

Wishing I was lying on a beach, sipping a margarita, nibbling something spicy and feisty, feeling the sand between my toes, and hearing the Latin beat of a mariachi band mingling with the rustling of the palm fronds overhead.

Sigh. One can dream.

And one can at least fulfill some of those fantasies. . .

So I put on my apron from Mexico, whiz up a margarita, and put on some Latin music. And I cook up something kinda spicy, with that sunny southwest zip.

These little appetizer tartlets set my tongue and my toes a’dancin’!

* * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: The lentil mixture and sour cream mixture can be made up to 5 days ahead and stored in covered containers in the fridge, then just bake off a small batch at a time as the fiesta mood hits. If the sour cream mixture gets too stiff when made ahead, add a couple tablespoons water to loosen it up. The tartlets can also be baked, frozen, and reheated for 10 to 15 minutes in a 375°F oven.

lentil taco tartlets

Lentil Taco Tartlets

  • ½ cup beluga lentils (or French de Puy lentils)
  • ½ cup big green lentils
  • 1½ cups (360 ml) water
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup (240ml) sour cream
  • ¼ (60ml) cup salsa
  •  2 tablespoons chopped black olives
  • 1 cup (85gms) crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 cup shredded extra old cheddar cheese

to garnish

  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • fresh cilantro sprigs

In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils, water, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 35 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the lentils are tender. If the water has not all been cooked in by this time, remove the lid, turn the heat to medium and cook the lentils, stirring often, until they are so dry they are just starting to stick to the bottom of the pot.

Remove from the heat and mash the lentils until the green lentils are mushed and the beluga lentils are still mostly whole, to have a chunky-textured mixture.

lentil taco tartlets Let cool to room temperature. Stir the egg, olive oil, cornstarch, cumin, oregano, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne into the lentils. Mix well.

Crush the tortilla chips. (I put several handfuls chips into a bowl and crush them with the potato masher, then measure them.)

In a small bowl, mix the sour cream, salsa, and crushed tortilla chips.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Spray the wells of mini muffin tins with cooking oil spray or grease them well.

Scoop out slightly heaped tablespoons of the lentil crust mixture and roll them loosely into balls. Place one ball in each well of the mini muffin tins. Push the lentil mixture down with your finger to form a tart shell about ¼-inch (.5cm) thick on the bottom and sides of each muffin cup.

lentil taco tartlets Place a spoonful of the sour cream mixture into each tart shell, mounding it in the center.

Place a small cluster of shredded cheese on top of the filling in each tartlet.

lentil taco tartlets Bake the tartlets for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden-brown in spots.

lentil taco tartlets Let cool for 5 minutes, then use a butter knife to help release the tartlets from the pan.

Place a small dab (½ teaspoon) of salsa onto each tartlet and decorate with cilantro leaves.

lentil taco tartlets Serve warm, or let cool and freeze (add the salsa and cilantro after reheating).

Makes 2½ dozen appetizers.

Guten Appetit!

I created this recipe for the Canadian Lentil Recipe Revelations Challenge. You would absolutely make my day if you’d support me in this contest by leaving a comment on this post, below, or heading over to the Canadian Lentils Pinterest board and liking, commenting on, or pinning, my recipes there. Thank you!!!!

You might also like these other recipes I created for their contest:

Chocolate Lentil Truffle Cake Pops

Creamy, Cheesy Lentil Mashed Potatoes

Lentil Polenta with Mushroom Ragu

Broccoli Lentil Salad

This entry was posted in Appetizers, Beans & Legumes, Eggs & Cheese, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Lentil Taco Tartlets

  1. Elsa says:

    What a great recipe , I love the fact that you can freeze the tartlets and have a quick snack when someone stops in. Perfect !!!!!

    • Margaret says:

      Thanks, Elsa. I love having handy little snacks in the freezer, too. It sure takes the pressure off and lets us enjoy visiting! Happy cooking!

  2. Marie Vanderwijk says:

    These little tartlets certainly caught my attention. They look and sound delicious. I plan on giving them a try. Thank you

  3. Wendy Grant says:

    Oh Yeah! Delicious!

  4. Olivia Johnson says:

    Wow, those look absolutely amazing!

  5. Christine says:

    Margaret what a great idea!
    Lentils, like beans, are a great source of protein and go great with all the Mexican flavors.
    Thank you for the tip and helping us to find alternatives.
    Always thinking out of the box, eh!
    You are a great help!

    • Margaret says:

      I LOVE the flavors of Mexico – they are so fresh and full of zest! It’s the perfect kind of food to help us get through our long and cold winters! I hope to learn lots more about wonderful Mexican cooking! 😀

  6. WENDY STADNICK says:

    Thank you, I think I will take this recipe with me to Mexico next week and when its my turn to cook I will dazzle everyone.

    • Margaret says:

      Well, since I can’t come with you, I’ll be happy to know one of my recipes can travel there instead! Have fun cooking and relaxing in the beautiful sunshine!

  7. Gisela says:

    These tartlets look like they came straight off the menu of a high-end restaurant — lovely!

  8. Tracy Pedersen says:

    They look yummy.

    • Margaret says:

      Thanks, Tracy. The Mexican flavours are just the thing to brighten up our winter days and help us pretend we’re somewhere tropical!

  9. Jess says:

    So cute! They look like the perfect snack for parties!

    • Margaret says:

      Thanks, Jess. They are handy because they’re small enough and easy to eat with one hand. Thanks for visiting, hope you have a great week!

  10. Nickie says:

    These look delicious not to mention wonderfully colourful!

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