Growing up in the south I ate a lot of Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes. I’ve since created quite a few of my own variations on the humble taco. These lettuce tacos are wrapped with butterleaf or romaine lettuce instead of the traditional corn or wheat shell. They’re paleo, low carb, and keto, and make the perfect weeknight meal.
Subbing in Veggies
I’m always trying to find ways to add more vegetables to meals. I also try to replace the unhealthy or nutrient-lacking parts of traditional recipes with healthier, fresher options when possible.
Some of my favorite ways to do this include:
- Using cabbage for “noodles” in recipes like one pan spaghetti
- Using spiral cut parsnips as “noodles” in recipes like this shrimp lo mein
- Using cucumbers for bread in finger sandwiches
- Dipping cucumber slices (instead of crackers or chips) into a savory smoked salmon dip or radish cream cheese dip
- Using cauliflower in place of rice in recipes like this paella
- Making sweet potato noodles for this shrimp carbonara recipe
Lettuce Wrap Tacos
Out of all the recipes that use veggies instead of grains or processed ingredients, these lettuce tacos have to be the simplest. It takes a lettuce wraps recipe and combines it with the classic taco.
I actually like the lettuce version better now because it gives them a crunch and coolness you don’t find 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. Or convert them into nachos with cassava chips like in this BBQ chicken nachos recipe.
Lettuce Tacos Ingredients
This recipe is super simple and there are lots of substitutions available. Healthy recipes that are also versatile are always my favorite. For the meat portion, you can use ground chicken, ground turkey, or ground beef. Throw in some pinto or black beans if you want.
We use a wide variety of fresh toppings on our tacos, including sour cream, avocado, and fresh tomato. Use whatever you have on hand and what your family prefers. If you’re not a fan of raw onions and peppers on your tacos, then feel free to saute them for a bit.
I like to use romaine or butter lettuce for the lettuce cups. They hold up better than iceberg lettuce and offer more nutritional value. Butter lettuce also goes by the name bib lettuce and has large, soft leaves that are slightly sweeter than some varieties. Even though it’s tender, it still holds up pretty well as a lettuce wrap.
Tex-Mex Lettuce Wrap Tacos
- In a large skillet, over medium-high heat brown the meat until cooked.
- Sprinkle the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt over the meat and stir well.
- Cool slightly before scooping the taco filling into the lettuce leaves like you would with taco shells.
- Top with desired taco toppings.
Looking For More Taco Recipes?
Try one of these for your next taco Tuesday night!
- Chicken Taco Soup
- Tacos al Pastor With Pineapple & Cilantro
- Zesty Shrimp Poblano Tacos With Kiwi Salsa
- Grain-Free Taco Bowl
- Fish Tacos in Cabbage Leaves
Do you use vegetables in place of less healthy parts of a recipe? Share your best substitute below!