Lettuce Tacos

Lettuce Tacos Recipe- simple alternative to flour tortillas

I’m always trying to find ways to add more vegetables to meals. I also try to replace unhealthy or nutrient-lacking parts of a recipe with a healthier and fresher option if possible.

Some of my favorite ways to do this are:

  • Using cabbage for “noodles” in recipes like spaghetti
  • Using spiral cut parsnips as “noodles” in recipes like this Shrimp Lo Mein
  • Substituting cucumbers for bread in finger sandwiches
  • Using cauliflower in place of rice in recipes like this Paella
  • Making sweet potatoes  noodles for this Shrimp Carbonara recipe

Of all of these recipes that substitute vegetables for grains or processed ingredients, this one is the most simple. It takes the idea of lettuce wraps and combines them with the classic taco recipe.

I’ve found that I actually like the lettuce version better since the lettuce provides a crunch and a coolness that isn’t found in a regular tortilla. I grew up in Texas and I love the flavors of Mexican food. This recipe is a great way to get the same flavors without the need for white flour or vegetable oils in the tortillas.

If you don’t love lettuce in tacos and prefer an actual tortilla, I’d recommend these homemade grain-free and gluten-free tortillas. Also, if you have the time, this salsa recipe truly is the best I’ve ever tried and it is so simple to make!

Lettuce Tacos




Yield 4


  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin seed
  • 1 tablespoon (non-spicy) chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 head Bibb Lettuce or iceberg lettuce
  • chopped tomato, salsa, onions, sour cream, cheese, hot sauce, etc to garnish


  1. Cook meat and season with cumin, garlic, chili powder and any desired seasonings to taste
  2. Cool slightly and put into romaine lettuce leaves like taco shells.
  3. Top with desired condiments.

Courses Main

Cuisine Mexican

Do you use vegetables in place of less healthy parts of a recipe? Share your best substitute below!

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Reader Comments

  1. hubby-approved!  This rarely happens at my house.  He actually likes it better than regular tacos!  I feel like doing a celebratory dance all over the kitchen. lol

  2. I am a vegetarian also eat fish and eggs
    I need new ideas. Been a vegetarian since 1979
    When I saw lettuce tacos i thought it may be something new

    • fish tacos then? or like an egg filling a la breakfast burritos. even some sort of veggie filling with southwestern seasonings.

  3. My teenage son loved these! Shocking considering he is such a picky eater. I made one adjustment to the recipe. Replaced the cumin with 1 tsp onion powder. I confess to make this a home run with my son, I made quesadillas with the filling and finely shredded cheddar. I know using flour tortillas is contrary to your philosophy and I am sorry to disappoint but take heart in knowing that using your recipe, i was able to avoid using El Paso taco flavor packet which has nasty stuff in it (not that I ever used El Paso, but my girlfriend does and when I read the ingredients I said to myself nope, no way)

    Thanks Katie for this recipe!

  4. These look delicious! In answer to your question about replacing things with veggies, I throw spaghetti sauce over greenbeans instead of pasta. I also use a peeler to peel zuchinni pasta and make delicious lasagne with it. It tastes just as good as the regular lasagne.

  5. Being a vegetarian how can I make this? Fish is out too.