This easy and frugal ‘beef & lentil beany tacos’ recipe uses lentils to bulk it out. It makes 500g of minced beef stretch a lot further than most other bolognese and chilli recipes and the great thing is, no one will notice the lentils as they literally disappear! Not only is this good for the budget, but also perfect if you are trying to cut down on eating red meat. Unlike my Best Bolognese recipe, I like to keep the veggies chopped small for this one, making the mix perfect for spooning into tacos. Kids who are less accepting of vegetables are also more likely to eat them when they are smaller and cut in a uniform way within the dish. You could even use a food processor to save time and chop them even smaller for your fussiest of eaters! The beef & lentil beany mince could also be served as a meal by itself (without the need for tacos/ rice/ potatoes etc), if you are trying to cut down your carbs as it contains everything for a balanced meal.

Buzymum -

This recipe will easily serve 10-12 people but it’s well worth having leftovers. It will keep for up to a week in the fridge and freezes really well too. I think it tastes better the day after being made, so it’s the perfect recipe to prepare the night before!

  • Splash cooking oil, I use rape seed
  • 1 small onion (red or white), finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
  • 500g mince beef
  • 1/2 cup of dry red lentils
  • Small tin tomato puree (142g)
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes or 1 tin plus a portion of roasted vegetable sauce
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine or water -liquid needed for the lentils
  • 1 beef OXO cube (or other stock cube)
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes or more if you like it hot!
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 small courgette, diced
  • 1 x 400g can kidney beans, haricot beans or chickpeas (any beans will do!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tacos per person
  • In a large saucepan gently fry the onion in the oil until translucent
  • Add the garlic and keep stirring for a couple of minutes to prevent burning
  • Add the mince beef, stir and chop through with a spatula occasionally, until browned
  • Add all of the remaining vegetables and mix well
  • Add the puree, tin tomatoes, roasted veg sauce (if using), lentils and Worcestershire sauce
  • Use the wine or water to wash out the tins
  • Add the OXO and chilli flakes and stir through
  • Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer on a low heat for a further 30 minutes
  • Add the beans and stir through
  • Re-cover and continue to simmer on a low heat for a further 60 minutes (veg should be soft)
  • Add salt and pepper to taste if needed but I usually find I don’t need them
  • Serve the beef and lentil beany mince in a bowl with salad and tacos and let them make their own!!

Enjoy your Beef & Lentil Beany Tacos!!


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Beef & Lentil Beany Tacos

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