These healthy vegan taco lettuce wraps are fresh and flavorful with a Mexican-spiced filling of mushrooms, lentils and walnuts. They make for a quick and easy, not to mention nutritious, weeknight dinner. Hello, low-carb Taco Tuesday!
Lettuce wraps are one of those meals we always forget about. Yes, we spend most of our days thinking of unique and easy vegan dinner recipes, but sometimes the simplest ones escape us!
Lettuce wraps are such an easy and satisfying dinner to make on a weeknight. They're easy to customize based on dietary preferences, especially if you have both vegans and non-vegans living under one roof.
We typically serve up a vegan version and a non-vegan version by simply subbing ¾ lb. ground chicken or turkey for the vegan ingredients. Perfect for the whole family!
These healthy, Mexican-spiced lettuce wrap tacos are an especially big crowd-pleaser at our house. Sometimes we can even get away without having to make a non-vegan version for the rest of the fam - they're that good!
We love anything taco or taco-adjacent (as do most people, I hope!). We've shared many of our favorite taco renditions over the years - here are a few of our favorites! (All vegan + gluten free.)
- Spicy Potato Breakfast Tacos. Because who doesn't want to start their day with tacos?
- Vegan Al Pastor Tacos. We used portobello mushrooms to vegan-ify this classic sweet and spicy recipe.
- Cauliflower Black Bean Tacos. These are a classic for us. Super simple to whip up, and they check all the boxes for a delicious dinner taco.
As you can see, we've been thinking outside the taco shell recently. We combined some of our favorite parts of the above recipes with our recipe for Vegan Asian Lettuce Wraps. Thus, this easy fusion dinner recipe was born!
Lettuce wraps make a delicious low-carb taco shell, and of course they're naturally gluten free. Butter lettuce leaves are ideal because they hold everything together without overpowering the delicious taco-spiced filling.
You can also use romaine, green leaf lettuce, or anything else that holds up well against the filling.
The filling for these Mexican lettuce wraps is super easy. It comes together in just about 25 minutes, and it's incredibly hearty.
Thanks to lentils, walnuts and finely chopped mushrooms, this taco filling is packed with protein, healthy fats and fiber. Everything you need for a healthy weeknight dinner!
Lentils offer a satisfying base for this taco filling. Choose brown or green lentils for the best texture. They soften up nicely but don't turn to mush. Walnuts add crunch and more staying power for these lettuce wraps. And finally, mushrooms bring the perfect meaty texture.
This filling mixture has a seriously meaty consistency, but way more flavor than ground meat. Have meat-lovers at your dinner table?
You can sauté some ground pork, turkey or beef to fill their lettuce cups. Don't be surprised if you see them stealing your vegan filling when you're not looking!
Sautéed onions and jalapeños also help build the deep flavor of this vegan lentil-walnut filling. We spiced up our taco filling with Mexican spices. A dash of chili powder, smoked paprika and cumin. Feel free to add more spice if you like!
Once you've cooked up your vegan taco filling, assembly couldn't be simpler. You can make a big family-style taco platter, like we did. That's easiest when everyone's pretty much eating the same thing. They can grab a lettuce wrap straight from the platter.
Or, you can put all of the fixings out for everyone to assemble their own. Even though this recipe is fast and easy, it can still be a fun event for the whole family. That's best for serving a picky crowd, or a group of both vegans, vegetarians and carnivores.
We like topping these taco lettuce wraps with fresh cilantro, and of course, some thinly sliced avocado. Guacamole would be delicious, too! We finish ours off with pickled red onion and a squeeze of lime juice for extra acidity and brightness.
If you're looking for even more topping inspiration, we've got it. You could dollop your lettuce wraps with sour cream. Here's an easy recipe for vegan sour cream from Cookie and Kate. It's made with cashews!
Quick pickles are another great topping for tacos of any kind - especially pickled jalapeños and onions. Check out our guide to quick pickling and learn how to pickle just about anything!
More vegan weeknight dinners
If you make these vegan taco lettuce wraps, we’d love for you to leave a comment and rating below! We also love to see your creations on Instagram – tag us at @crowded_kitchen so we can see what you’ve been cooking.Print
Vegan Taco Lettuce Wraps
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 Servings 1x
- Diet: Vegan
These vegan taco lettuce wraps are fresh and crunchy with a Mexican-spiced filling of mushrooms, lentils and walnuts. They make an easy and healthy weeknight dinner.
- ½ cup lentils, cooked according to package directions (about 1 cup cooked)
- 3 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 tbsp jalapeño, minced
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped small
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- ½ cup raw, unsalted walnuts, chopped
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp cumin
- 1 head of butter lettuce, washed and patted dry
- ½ pint cherry tomatoes, halved widthwise
- 1 small avocado, thinly sliced
- Cilantro for garnish
- Lime wedges for garnish
- ¼ cup pickled onions for garnish, optional
- Pickled jalapeño slices for garnish, optional
- Cook lentils according to package directions in salted water with 1 tablespoon olive oil. When finished cooking, set aside.
- Melt the butter in medium sauté pan over medium heat.
- Add the onion and jalapeño and cook for 5-6 minutes, until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring a few times, until softened (about 5-8 minutes).
- Add the cooked lentils, cilantro, lime juice, walnuts, salt, chili powder, and paprika. Stir to combine thoroughly. Cook for 15 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring several times.
- Pull the lettuce leaves from the head, wash and pat dry with a clean dish towel. Lay them flat on a work surface or plates.
- Fill each lettuce cup with lentil filling and top with tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, and pickled onions or jalapeños, if using. Enjoy!
For your non-vegan family members, cook ½ - ¾ lb. of ground turkey, chicken or pork and serve in lettuce wrap topped with mushroom and lentil mixture.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 397
- Sugar: 6.3 g
- Sodium: 239.9 mg
- Fat: 27.5 g
- Saturated Fat: 8.2 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 34.2 g
- Fiber: 11 g
- Protein: 11.9 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: vegan lettuce wraps
Great meat like texture! Made this today but would certainly add more spice next time. I think next time will double the jalapeño and add more chili powder. The flavor was a bit mild for my taste.
Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
These sound like my kind of tacos! Love the combo of lentils + mushrooms in there.