Easy Plant-Based Lentil Picadillo Recipe

A plant-based diet doesn’t have to hold you back from favorites like Picadillo. This Plant-Based Lentil Picadillo recipe offers full flavor without meat. Try this vegan Picadillo recipe for your next dinner, cookout, or anything in between! 

Vegan Lentil Picadillo Recipe


  • 1 cup cooked green lentils 
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 1 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 canned diced tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 1 small sweet potato (diced and boiled for 4-5 min until soft but not easily mashable )
  • 1/3 cup green Spanish olives 
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper 
  • 1 dried bay leaf 
  • 3 tbsp olive oil 
  • Optional: ¼ cup golden raisins 


  • Cooked brown rice or quinoa for serving 
  • Sautéed red onion
    • 1 red onion
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp mojo marinade or sub juice of 1 lime 

Step By Step Directions

Prepare lentils and potatoes ahead of time. Cook 2/3 cup of lentils on medium-high heat in 2 cups of water until they are soft (approximately 15-20 min). Drain and set aside. For the potato, dice and cook in boiling water (on high) for only a few minutes until the potatoes have softened to al dente and set aside.

In a large pan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium-low heat then add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, salt, black pepper, and cumin. Stir to combine and cook until the veggies have softened and the onion is translucent (about 3-5 minutes). Then add the cooked lentils, cooked sweet potato, canned tomatoes, and Spanish olives and bring to a simmer. Add 1 dried bay leaf. Cover the mixture and cook on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are completely soft. Add additional salt and cumin to taste. Once cooked, serve with brown rice (or quinoa) and sautéed onions. 

While that’s cooking, slice a red onion and heat it in a pan with 1 tbsp olive oil or mojo marinade. Add a small pinch of salt and cook on low heat until the onion has softened. If you do not have mojo marinade, use olive oil and the juice of 1 lime. Visit the Youniverse Blog for more healthy recipes

Lindsey Gass

Lindsey Gass, RD, LD/N is a registered dietitian in Miami, FL. With a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University, Lindsey has years of experience in clinical, sports, long term care, and community nutrition. Lindsey currently works in critical care at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she provides nutrition support and participates in trauma research. Outside of her career, Lindsey is an avid runner and Nike run club pacer working towards qualifying for a Boston marathon. Follow Lindsey on Instagram at @lin.health for nutrition tips and tricks. Learn more about Youfit’s Registered Dietician