You will love this healthy way to enjoy taco Tuesday! These vegan taco lettuce wraps are made with quinoa cooked with spices and peppers and then wrapped in a lettuce shell! It’s nutritious and filling for lunch or a weeknight dinner all while staying lower carb.
Every time I have a lettuce wrap, I say to myself “Now, why do I not wrap more things in lettuce?” It adds such a nice ‘fresh’ shell for holding food. There is something about crunchy lettuce wrapped with a warm filling that is simple, easy and satisfying!
These vegan lettuce wraps are fresh, healthy, dairy free , soy free, nut free and plant based. The combination of Mexican seasonings make these taste amazing. Made with a quinoa a plant based protein they are hearty and filling while also being lighter and lower in carbs.
If you love everything taco you will love these lettuce wraps! Both vegans and non-vegans devour these every time I make them. They are dinnertime favorite!
This list may look long for this vegan taco lettuce wraps recipe but that means it’s either time to add to your spice cabinet or start a spice cabinet! Spices give life to a plant based diet.
- Quinoa: I love how colorful tri color quinoa is but white quinoa works, too. I save red quinoa for this Mexican one pot red quinoa recipe.
- Rotel: I love to use Rotel which is diced tomatoes with green chiles. I used the variation with lime. You can use just diced tomatoes only if you prefer for less heat.
- Vegetable bouillon: Quinoa is bland on it’s own, so I add bouillon to the water for flavor when making quinoa. You can also use broth.
- Jalapeño: Adds a small amount of heat.
- Sweet Pepper: Use any color your prefer, red bell pepper, orange bell pepper or yellow bell pepper. I used all three for very colorful vegan taco lettuce wraps.
- Onion: Sweet onion adds aromatic flavor.
- Seasonings: Cumin, chili powder, oregano and smoked paprika all add delicious Mexican flavors.
- Fresh Cilantro: If you are not a cilantro fan you can omit or use parsley.
- Black Beans: I prefer low sodium black beans that have been rinsed and drained.
- Corn: Fresh or frozen corn.
- Lettuce leaves: I like Boston, Bibb, Red Leaf or even Romaine lettuce. You will lettuce that has larger leafs to hold the filling.
- Seasonings: Use a pre-made taco seasoning instead of the spices listed.
- Additional vegetables: Add cooked diced potato or sweet potato to the filling or sautéed mushrooms, zucchini
- Pickled vegetables: Pickled red onion or pickled jalapeno on top are delicous.
- Toppings: Vegan cheddar cheese, vegan sour cream and salsa all are perfect to top your vegan taco lettuce wraps!
How to Make Vegan Taco Lettuce Wraps
These vegan lettuce tacos are easy to put together! Just make your quinoa filling and wrap in the lettuce.
- Make quinoa taco filling: Combine your quinoa filling ingredients and vegetables with vegetable bouillon and water in medium saucepan and bring to boil. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until quinoa looks popped open.
- Add spices: After quinoa is done add all your seasonings.
- Stir in remaining ingredients: Stir in your freshly chopped cilantro, black beans and corn.
- Serve: Enjoy right away with large lettuce leaf, like Boston, Bibb or red leaf lettuce.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- Soaking or rinsing quinoa: Quinoa has a natural coating of saponin which may cause low-level gastrointestinal distress in some people. Soaking can help aid in that digestion but a good rinse in cold water for 2 minutes is often just fine. If you have soaked your quinoa you will need less water.
- Clean out the fridge: Vegan taco wraps are perfect when you need to use up any leftover vegetables in your fridge! Use what you have on hand and get creative.
- Adjust the spice: Depending your level of preference, leave out the jalapeno for less heat or include the seeds for spicy!
- Serve a crowd: Place the filling in the middle on a platter with a variety of taco toppings and let everyone fill their own lettuce wrap how they like!
How to Serve Vegan Taco Lettuce Wraps
I have used both Boston, Bibb and Red Leaf Lettuce to wrap my vegan quinoa taco lettuce wraps ingredients! Romaine hearts might work well, too. You could just skip wrapping in make a taco bowl.
- Cheesy broccoli mac
- Sweet potatoes or baked potatoes
- Rice or another grain
- Refried beans
Sure! The filling would be delicious in a corn tortilla or soft tortilla with all your favorite vegan taco fillings.
You need to dry your lettuce thoroughly before adding your taco filling. The warm filling can also cause the lettuce to wilt quickly, so you will want to eat these immediately.
Very much so! Quinoa is a complete plant based protein and the veggies provide many vitamins and minerals.
There are a variety of lettuce leaves you can use to hold your vegan taco filling. You will want to use a lettuce leaf that is larger in size and sturdier like Boston, Bibb, Romain or even Iceberg or Green Leaf lettuce or Red leaf lettuce.
Make Ahead and Storage
This is a great plant based meal prep meal! Make ahead of time and store covered in your refrigerator without lettuce in an airtight container for 4-5 days. At serving time, just reheat and wrap in lettuce!
This quinoa can also be frozen without the lettuce! Just thaw and reheat. I love when I can have easy plant based dinners in the freezer.
More Vegan Taco Recipes
- Vegan Taco Salad with Pinto Beans
- Vegan Tempeh Chorizo Tacos
- Sweet Potato Taco Bowl
- Best Vegan Taco Recipes
Vegan Taco Lettuce Wraps
Quinoa Taco Filling
- 1/2 cup tri-color quinoa
- 10 oz can Rotel with lime
- 1-2 – 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetable bouillon
- 2-3 teaspoons jalapeno , diced
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper , diced
- 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper , diced
- 1/4 cup orange bell pepper , diced
- 1/4 cup sweet onion , diced
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro , chopped
- 1/4 cup black beans , cooked
- 1/4 cup corn , fresh or frozen (thawed)
- 1 head Large Leaf Lettuce Romaine, Leaf or Boston Bibb
- pinch of salt
- pinch of pepper
- Soak quinoa overnight OR rinse quinoa well in a colander.
- Combine all ingredients from quinoa to garlic clove in medium saucepan and bring to boil. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until quinoa looks popped open—revealing the germ of the kernel. Cooking time might be reduced if you have soaked your quinoa.
- After quinoa is done add all spices from cumin to red pepper.
- Stir in cilantro, black beans and corn.
- Give it a good stir to combine all ingredients.
- Enjoy right away with large lettuce leaf, like Boston, Bibb or red leaf lettuce.