Taco Lettuce Wraps

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Low-carb Taco Lettuce Wraps with taco-seasoned meat and black beans. Load up your lettuce wraps with your favorite taco toppings such as Cheddar cheese, taco sauce, tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, avocado, fresh lime juice, etc.

Serve Taco Lettuce wraps alongside this easy cucumber salad, cilantro lime rice, or roasted vegetables.

Image of the ready to eat taco lettuce wraps on a plate

There is no shortage of taco recipes on this site, with some of my favorites being these chicken tacos, shrimp tacos, and these healthy tacos. And when so many of you requested lower-carb recipes on my Instagram poll, I decided it was time to put tacos into a low-carb lettuce-wrap meal!

While Taco Lettuce Wraps are low carb, they are not lacking in flavor or texture. With robustly flavored taco meat, crisp pieces of lettuce, sharp Cheddar cheese, cool sour cream, and all your favorite taco toppings, these wraps are the best!

Process shot-- Image of the beef being cooked on a skillet for Taco Lettuce Wraps.

Which lettuce is best for wraps?

My favorite lettuce for this wrap is butter lettuce (also known as Boston or Bibb). It has a nice flavor, the perfect amount of crispness, and rolls up nicely.

Green leaf and iceberg also work nicely in a lettuce wrap. I typically use iceberg for Asian-style wraps because it adds a nice crispness. However, iceberg lettuce tends to be harder to wrap as it breaks easily. In a pinch, romaine lettuce is also a workable option.

Process shot-- Image of the seasoning mix that goes on the beef for these Taco Lettuce Wraps.

Once you’ve got the base for these wraps, it’s all about filling them up and topping them off!

Taco meat filling

To fill these lettuce wraps, I use lean ground beef with tomato sauce and my homemade taco seasoning. Making homemade taco seasoning is extremely easy and quick. Trust me — it’s so much better than pre-made mixes! If you do opt to use packets instead, I recommend McCormick’s® taco seasoning (not sponsored).

QUICK TIP

You can make your own taco seasoning blend by whisking together 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon roasted garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper. Store this blend in small individual containers or use 2 tablespoons per recipe.

You can replace the tomato sauce with picante sauce, which is what I do in this taco bowl recipe.

Process shot-- Image of the seasoning mix all mixed together for Taco Lettuce wraps.

After the base meat filling is done, it’s all about the toppings! Below are some of our favorite toppings, but get creative with what you like best.

Taco Lettuce Wrap toppings

  • Cheese: Monterey jack, extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, or pepper jack (Taco lettuce wraps with cheddar are my personal favorite.)
  • Chopped tomatoes or salsa: Try this mango salsa for a fun pop of flavor!
  • Sour Cream: Fat-free or low-fat works great!
  • Crema Mexicana: Cacique® is another one of our favorites (not sponsored)
  • Cilantro
  • Fresh lime juice 
  • Avocado or guacamole
  • Beans
  • Cooked white rice 
  • Taco sauce or hot sauce
  • Crispy tortilla strips
  • Creamy cilantro sauce: Like the one found in this honey lime chicken recipe

Keto Taco Lettuce Wraps

These Taco Lettuce Wraps are keto friendly. Make sure you grab ground beef with a high-fat ratio and omit any toppings that don’t fit in your diet.

Other diet considerations

  • Gluten-free: As is, this recipe is naturally gluten free. Be sure to check all the labels of spices and sauces to ensure the products were processed in a gluten-free facility.
  • Dairy-free: Leave off the cheese and sour cream (or use dairy-free alternatives) when topping these wraps. Going dairy free also makes this recipe Whole 30-friendly.
  • Vegetarian: Replace the beef with cooked quinoa or meatless crumbles and add black beans and corn to the filling. Toss this updated filling with the same taco seasonings. (Here’s some delicious vegetarian quinoa tacos — add this filling to lettuce wraps!)
  • Vegan Lettuce Tacos Wraps: Similar to above — make the quinoa filling and add it to lettuce wraps. Be sure to leave off the cheese and sour cream (or use vegan alternatives).

Process shot-- Image of the cooked and seasoned beef in a skillet.

Variation ideas

  • Add fresh-grilled corn on the cob (cut the corn off and add it as a topping). See this elote post to learn how to perfectly grill corn on the cob!
  • Use ground turkey instead of ground beef. You could also try ground chicken (Note: I haven’t personally tried ground chicken in this recipe). When substituting different ground meats just keep in mind, they have different moisture contents and flavor intensities. You may need to add in a bit more or less tomato sauce and compensate with more spices

Meal prep

The taco filling can be made in advance and stored separately from the lettuce and veggie toppings.

When ready to serve, warm the taco filling separately in the microwave or over the stovetop and then pile into your lettuce and add your toppings.

Up-close image of the Taco Lettuce Wraps with sour cream and other toppings.

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Taco Lettuce Wraps

5 from 2 votes
Low-carb Taco Lettuce Wraps with taco-seasoned meat and black beans. Load up your lettuce wraps with your favorite taco toppings such as Cheddar cheese, taco sauce, tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, avocado, fresh lime juice, etc.
Print Recipe

Taco Lettuce Wraps

5 from 2 votes
Low-carb Taco Lettuce Wraps with taco-seasoned meat and black beans. Load up your lettuce wraps with your favorite taco toppings such as Cheddar cheese, taco sauce, tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, avocado, fresh lime juice, etc.
Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword Taco Lettuce Wraps
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 402kcal
Cost $7.72

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 pound ground beef or ground chuck
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: paprika and cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional, omit if sensitive to spice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH: oregano, roasted garlic powder, salt, and pepper
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup black beans drained and rinsed
  • 10-12 firm large pieces lettuce (I like Boston/butter lettuce best)
  • Toppings such as freshly grated cheese (Monterey jack or extra-sharp Cheddar), freshly chopped cilantro, fresh lime wedges, chopped cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced avocado or guac, sour cream, etc.

Instructions

  • PREP: Begin by washing and drying the lettuce wraps. Set aside. Prepare everything for cooking the beef filling, because the process goes quickly! Mince the garlic, dice the onion, and stir together all of the seasonings. Drain and rinse black beans.
  • BEEF: Heat oil in a large skillet (cast iron if possible) over high heat. Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until lightly golden. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • BEEF CONT.: Add ground beef and cook for 2-4 minutes, breaking it up into small pieces as you go, until meat is no longer pink. If there is a lot of extra grease (from higher-fat percentages of beef), drain off. Add in all the seasonings: chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir for another 2-3 minutes or until beef is completely cooked through. Add in the tomato sauce and stir until thickened, another 1-2 minutes. Stir in the drained and rinsed black beans. Remove from heat and set aside to slightly cool.
  • ASSEMBLE: Set out washed and COMPLETELY dried (don't want watery tacos!) lettuce pieces. Divide the beef evenly between the 10-12 lettuce pieces (depending on how much beef you want in each taco). Add your favorite toppings. We love extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, chopped cherry tomatoes, chopped cilantro, and sour cream. Other great options: avocado or guacamole, fresh corn, hot sauce or taco sauce, crispy tortilla strips, etc. Drizzle fresh lime over everything and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 563mg | Potassium: 637mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 778IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 4mg

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