Skip Nav

Vegetarian Lettuce Cup Tacos

These Low-Carb Tacos Are Brimming With Good-For-You Protein

The following post was originally featured on Delish Knowledge and written by Alex Caspero, who is part of POPSUGAR Select Fitness.

Taco time! I'm combining two of my favorite foods in one simple, healthy dinner: tempeh tacos + lettuce wraps.

The first time I made these, we polished off the entire pan standing over the stove. With our mouths full of food, BL and I both looked at each other and said, "why don't we eat lettuce wraps more often?"

Well, these have been in a regular rotation ever since.

If you haven't tried tempeh before, these taco wraps are the perfect first recipe to try with. I know I say this often, but tempeh is one of the few vegetarian meat substitutes that BL just loves. He will tolerate tofu, but he loves tempeh. Crumbled and seasoned, it tastes like ground meat but better. You get the benefits of protein without the cholesterol or saturated fat. I've got a whole primer on how to cook with tempeh, so start there if you need more recipes and cooking tips!

Tempeh is a fermented cake made from whole soybeans, which makes it easier to digest than other plant-based proteins (like beans and lentils!). I get mine at Trader Joe's but you can also find it at Whole Foods and similar grocery stores near the tofu. Or, you can make it!

I call for steaming the tempeh here before crumbling to take away any bitter taste, but I've also been known to skip this step when I'm in a rush. It's a not necessary but recommended tip. If you've got the time, do it. However, don't fret if you need to get dinner on the table without waiting for water to boil.

From there, this dish comes together in just 10 minutes. Add the tempeh, beans, corn, and salsa. Season as you would tacos then serve in lettuce cups! Top with your favorites and this plant-based, high-protein dinner is served.

Taco Lettuce Wraps

From Delish Knowledge


Vegan Taco Lettuce Wraps! High-protein, lower-calorie tacos! Spicy tempeh and black bean taco meat wrapped inside crispy lettuce leaves with creamy avocado.

Vegetarian Lettuce Cup Tacos


  1. 8 ounces tempeh
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 tablespoon taco seasoning (or make your own)
    1 cup salsa
    1 4-ounce can green chilis
    1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 cup organic frozen corn, thawed
    1 tablespoon hot sauce (like Tapatio — optional for more kick)
    1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
    1 head iceburg lettuce, halved and leaves separated
    1 avocado, diced
    Additional toppings, as desired


  1. Bring a pot of water fitted with a steamer basket to a boil. Add the tempeh to the basket, cover, and steam for 15 minutes. While this step is optional, it will help reduce any bitterness in the tempeh.
  2. Remove the tempeh and finely chop.
  3. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
  4. Add the tempeh and sauté for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Add in the salsa, chilis, black beans, frozen corn, and taco seasoning. Stir to combine and cook for another 3-4 minutes until combined and heated through.
  6. Place the filling in a bowl and serve with iceburg lettuce leaves, diced avocado, and preferred toppings!
Image Source: Delish Knowledge
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds