These are flourless, grain-free, whole foods, high protein tortillas that are not only soft and easy to make but the healthiest thing you can imagine to have on taco night. Beginners are welcome as well since you only need 2 ingredients: red lentils and buckwheat groats and no tortilla press.
If you are looking for more high protein recipes that are soy-free, check out our vegan red lentil protein pancakes and vegan red lentil protein waffles recipes. If you are not familiar with buckwheat, check out our vegan lentil loaf recipe, where it is actually the not-so-secret ingredient to make the loaf juicy and moist.
What to expect from this recipe?
Isn’t it hard to find a good gluten-free tortilla recipe? The first one I tried tasted like cardboard. It took me a long time to venture another try. But there are so many delicious meals that you need a tortilla for like tacos, burritos, fajitas, or quesadillas.
Before my gluten-free days, I ate the largest veggie-loaded wrap I could make even more stuffed than these cream cheese veggie pinwheels for lunch all week long every day. I never got bored with it.
The perfect gluten-free flour tortilla is still eluding me, but I perfected this grain-free tortilla recipe that doesn’t leave me hanging if I want to do taco night. Because it is…
- soft texture,
- easy to make (no need for a rolling pin or tortilla press),
- absolutely filling, and
- allergy-friendly (fits within many diets like vegan, gluten-free, or paleo).
Apart from water, it really needs only 2 ingredients: red lentils and buckwheat. Seasoning is optional but recommended.
- Red lentils – Since discovering the plant-based diet, red lentils became one of my favorite ingredients to use and experiment with. They are quick to soak and can be ready under 20 minutes if you were to cook them without soaking. The easiest, and fastest legume to work with in the kitchen.
- Buckwheat – The other sometimes quite underrated and rarely used ingredient that I have fallen in love with is buckwheat. Not the flour version, but the whole grain version, which you soak and blend. And buckwheat has nothing to do with wheat. It is not even a grain, but a seed. So it is perfect for gluten-free or paleo diet.
- Seasoning – You can add salt and black pepper only, but we recommend using a bit of garlic powder or other spices to make it more flavorful.
How high is their protein content?
Red lentils are a good source of protein, they contain more protein than most other types of beans and legumes.
According to Cronometer a 1-cup serving of raw red lentils has approx 46 grams of protein. That’s astonishing.
Apart from that red lentils are a great source of fiber and are high in different Vitamin B and folate. They are also iron-, copper-, manganese- and zinc-rich food. If you are on a vegan and vegetarian diet, you often search for iron-rich foods and recipes and red lentils are a great source to incorporate in your diet. For more details read Healthline’s article on lentils.
Buckwheat seeds are a great source of protein among grains, for example almost double compared to rolled oats.
According to Cronometer a 1-cup serving of raw buckwheat seeds has approx 19 grams of protein.
They are also a great source for fiber and different essential nutrients like iron, copper, copper, magnesium, manganese. Buckwheat is relatively low in phytic acid, an inhibitor of mineral absorption found in other grains and seeds. For more details, read Healthline’s article on buckwheat.
How to make grain-free tortillas?
Soak red lentils and buckwheat seeds
- Take your kettle and boil some water.
- Soak red lentils and the buckwheat separately in hot water for approximately 15-20 minutes.
- Red lentils are ready, if they split and become light orange instead of dark (see below picture). (You can certainly do overnight soaking in warm water.)
- Buckwheat seeds are ready, if you can squash the, with your fingers. It means then they are also soft enough to continue. (You can certainly do overnight soaking in warm water.)
- When they are ready, drain them completely.
Use a blender to make the tortilla batter
- Take your blender or food processor.
- Add soaked lentils, soaked buckwheat, fresh water, and seasoning (garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper). Blend them until smooth.
A quick note: We use Vitamix, but I tried this recipe with a regular blender as well. Depending on your blender some tiny bits and pieces may remain, but it will do the job. Not necessarily Vitamix-smooth is the only way to go. You may not even notice those tiny pieces after frying them.
Depending on whether you want to make tacos or tortillas, the amount of batter you use is different. We recommend using ⅓ cup for taco size and ⅔ cup for tortilla size.
- Take a non-stick pan, a griddle, or a cast iron skillet and heat it over low/medium heat.
- Pour the amount of batter you have chosen.
- Try to distribute it evenly.
- Fry it until the top appears to be cooked and dry (see below photo). Then flip it.
- Don’t rush it. The tortillas need to be cooked thoroughly, so keep it on low/medium heat the entire time.
Top tips to make perfect flourless tortillas
- TOP TIP – shake the pan well or spread it with a wooden spatula (see video for visuals). I wish I have one, but the easiest way would be to use a crepe spreader*.
- Soaked vs cooked – you can use both soaked and cooked red lentils and buckwheat seeds. Drain them thoroughly though as they may absorb more water like that.
- If you don’t have a non-stick pan or plan to use a cast iron skillet, we recommend coconut oil due to its neutral flavor profile.
What to serve with them?
They are definitely softer than corn tortillas. I was aiming to get the softness I remember using wheat flour tortilla wraps. This means wherever the recipe calls for soft tortillas, you can use these. Let us know in the comments what is your favorite dish tortilla with them!
FAQs and substitutions
What can I use instead of buckwheat?
I only tested this grain-free tortilla recipe with buckwheat. But if you must, you probably will have success with quinoa. Both buckwheat and quinoa are pseudo-cereal grains aka seeds that behave like grains. We have a gluten-free flour guide if you’re interested to know about other possible substitutions.
Can I use other lentils?
I only tested this tortilla recipe with red lentils. The only thing which is on my list to test and I think they should also work are yellow split lentils. Let us know in the comments if you had success using other lentils.
Is soaking red lentils healthy?
This grain-free tortilla recipe contains soaked red lentils as the main ingredient. A lot of people are worrying about lectins in food and asking questions like “is it dangerous or safe to eat them” or “how to decrease lectin content with cooking”.
My trusted resource when it comes to nutrition is Dr. Greger’s website. He has a short video about lectins in food. In this video, he mainly talks about red kidney beans, but he explicitly highlights the following sentence: “many lectins are non-toxic, such as those from tomatoes, lentils, peas, chickpeas, fava beans, and other common foods.”
However, if you feel that your stomach doesn’t tolerate lectins, you can use cooked red lentils instead of soaked ones to make this flourless tortilla recipe.
How to store them?
Warm tortillas tend to stick together especially the sides which were cooked first. I recommend placing a piece of parchment paper in between. Or stacking them in order so their cooked side is down. When they are cooled down, they are pliable without any problem.
They remain soft for 1-2 days, but after then they get drier and might crack when you try to roll them. I recommend using them within 1-2 days.
This high-protein grain-free tortillas recipe is dairy-free and egg-free. It is also suitable for vegan, vegetarian, paleo, nut-free, and gluten-free diets. It can also be WFPB-friendly (whole foods plant-based) if you use a non-stick frying pan.
More basic gluten-free recipes
- Gluten-free Pizza Crust
- Gluten-free Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- Vegan Gluten-free Pie Crust
- Gluten-free Crepes
High Protein Grain-free Tortillas
- ½ cup Red lentils
- ½ cup Buckwheat seeds
- ¾ cup Fresh water add ¼ cup at a time to check consistency
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Black pepper
Soak red lentils and buckwheat groats
- Take your kettle and boil some water. Soak red lentils and buckwheat in hot water for 15 minutes. The red lentils should split and become light orange instead of dark. If you can squash the buckwheat seeds with your fingers then they are also soft enough to continue. (You can certainly do overnight soaking in warm water.) When ready, drain it completely.
Use a blender to make the tortilla batter
- Take your blender or food processor. Add the soaked lentils, the soaked buckwheat, fresh water, and seasoning (garlic powder, salt, and pepper). Blend until smooth. We use Vitamix, but I tried this recipe in a regular blender and in a food processor. Both works. You need to blend the mixture as smooth as you can. Not necessarily Vitamix smooth is the only way to go.
Make tortillas or tacos
- Take a non-stick frying pan and heat it to low/medium heat. Pour TWICE ⅓ cup of the batter for tortilla size and ONCE ⅓ cup for taco size. Try to distribute the batter evenly.TOP TIP: shake the pan well or spread it with a wooden spatula (see video for visuals). I wish I had one, but the easiest way would be to use a crepe spreader.
- Cook them on low/medium heat and flip when the top appears cooked/dry. In a couple of minutes, you will have a soft and rollable grain-free protein tortilla or taco to fill and eat.
Grain-free tortilla or taco, or wrapI guess it is just a matter of size. Use TWICE ⅓ cup of the batter for tortilla and wrap size and ONCE ⅓ cup for taco size. The original ½-1/2 cup red lentils and buckwheat amount will make 4 tortillas or 8 tacos.
How to store grain-free tortillas?While the flourless tortillas are hot, they stick together, especially the sides which were cooked first. I recommend placing a piece of parchment paper in between. Or stacking them in order so, first cooked side down. When they cool down, they are pliable without any problem. These homemade tortillas are still soft for 1-2 days, but after then they get drier and might crack when you try to roll them. I recommend using them within 1-2 days.
UPDATED: The original recipe was published in October 2019. More tips and details have been added and it was republished in February 2022.
Can one use the precooked red lentils from a can? Thanks for this. I’ve been wanting is recipe like this for awhile beings I don’t eat any flour or sugar/sweetener of any type. However, I can eat the unprocessed whole grain. Keeping my fingers crossed 🤞🏻
My Pure Plants
Yes, it should work similarly with pre-cooked lentils. Let us know how it goes.
Thanks for the recipe! I’m definitely going to try this, as the high-protein tortillas that I find, in my price range, tend to have trans fats, saturated fats, and a ton of preservatives!
I just wanted to point out that the 19 grams of protein is for 1 cup of UNCOOKED groats, which is far more than a serving. In fact, they bulk up, quite a lot, when soaked or cooked in water. When comparing amounts, it’s important to match the cooked portions, side-by-side. A cup of cooked buckwheat groats has 5.68 grams of protein and a cup of cooked oats has about 5.9 grams of protein.
My Pure Plants
Thanks for the info. The nutrition calculation is automatic, but I will check which input data was it based on. Let me know how you like the tortillas.