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A close up look at the Mexican lentils in a skillet

One Pot Vegetarian Mexican Lentils

Made with pantry staples like lentils, black beans, and sweet potatoes, this one pot vegetarian mexican lentils is the perfect busy weeknight meal.
5 from 22 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Simmering time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes
Servings: 5


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (can use 2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 cup (165g) diced sweet potatoes (1/2 inch pieces)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup (195g) brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cups broth of choice
  • cheddar cheese (amount to your liking)


  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and sweet potatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes, until softened.
  • Add the seasonings (if using garlic powder, add it here) and cook for 1-2 minutes
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30-35 minutes, until lentils are cooked through
  • Add cheese (See note) and cover with a lid until the cheese has melted.


  • Skillet size: a deep 10-12 inch skillet will work best.  You can also use a dutch oven.
  • Don't rush cooking the vegetables. It's important for flavor development.
  • You can use another grain, like rice, farro, barley. Just be sure to adjust the amount of liquid and the cooking time accordingly.
  • If your child is able to handle some heat, try adding more chili powder or some green chiles.
  • If you want to add extra protein to this dish, cook some ground beef, chicken, or turkey along with onion and garlic. Then add the sweet potatoes and follow the rest of the instructions. You can also fold in whatever cooked protein you have on hand (meat, poultry, seafood, tofu, tempeh) towards the end.
  • To make this vegan, leave out the cheese or use nutritional yeast or vegan cheese.


Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 93mg | Potassium: 860mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 6909IU | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 5mg
Course Dinner, lunch
Cuisine Mexican
Diet Vegetarian
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