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For a light and healthy take on taco Tuesday, try these delicious black bean lettuce wrap ‘tacos’ loaded with spiced black beans, corn, avocado, tomato, and lime! A quick, easy, & healthy protein-dense, delicious, 15-minute appetizer or main!

completed Vegan Black Bean Lettuce Wraps against a white surface

Fresh and Healthy 15-Minute Veggie Lettuce Wraps

For those days when you’re craving tacos but want something lighter and healthier, lettuce wraps/lettuce cups are a must-try! By swapping out the tortilla for fresh, crisp lettuce, you still get all the same delicious flavors of the fillings, but with fewer carbs, calories, and no ‘heavy’ tummy feeling. Not to mention these vegan black bean lettuce wrap tacos are a breeze to prepare!

While we’ve already shared recipes for tofu lettuce wraps (and jackfruit lettuce cups), this version is soy-free, focusing entirely on pulses and vegetables like black beans, corn, tomatoes, and avocado. The result is vegan lettuce tacos that require minimal effort and prep but are loaded with nutrients.

Best of all, like regular vegan black bean tacos, these vegan taco lettuce wraps are easy to adapt and add to, fairly meal prep friendly, and still wonderfully cheap, satisfying, and delicious. They’re gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, vegetarian, and vegan, too!

The Ingredients and Substitutions

These veggie tacos with black beans make for a pantry-friendly meal, requiring under a dozen ingredients.

ingredients for Vegan Black Bean Lettuce Wraps measured out against a white surface
  • Romaine lettuce: For these taco lettuce wraps, we used Romaine lettuce, but keep reading for more options.
  • Black beans: We use canned black beans (regular or low sodium). Other beans, like pinto beans, kidney beans, or chickpeas, would also work.
  • Corn: Use canned or frozen corn.
  • Seasonings: We used a simple combination of three seasonings for these lettuce wraps. Add as much or little as you’d like.
    • Cumin
    • Chili powder
    • Cayenne pepper

Alternatively, you may use a pre-mixed taco seasoning, added to taste.

  • Soy sauce: To add depth and salty flavor. Use salt instead if preferred.
  • Vegetables: We use grape tomatoes and avocado (or guacamole) for additional freshness, flavor, and texture to the vegetable lettuce wraps.
  • Salsa: We like to use restaurant-style salsa, but fresh chunky versions like Pico de Gallo or even a sweet pineapple or mango salsa will also work.
  • To garnish: Cilantro and lime juice (served as lime wedges) are our favorite options.

What is The Best Lettuce For Lettuce Wraps?

There are several options to choose from based on the size, look, and texture of the lettuce wraps/cups you plan to make. For example:

  • Romaine lettuce: These smaller, crisp leaves are perfect for making taco-style lettuce cups but would be fairly tricky to make into actual ‘wraps’ because of the lack of softer leaf area.
  • Little Gem: Similar to Romaine lettuce, but even shorter and rounder, these work well as little ‘mini’ vegan taco lettuce wraps.
  • Butter lettuce: (Boston/Bibb lettuce) These small, soft leaves can be used for tacos and wraps, with their smaller size making them great for appetizers and light bites.
  • Iceberg lettuce: Iceberg is excellent for larger lettuce cups/wraps and is very popular for lettuce wraps. However, its crunchiness also means it isn’t super flexible, making it better for cups than a full wrap.

What Else Could I Add To Vegan Lettuce Wraps?

Whether you’re looking to focus on adding more nutrients, flavors, textures, etc., here are some of our favorite optional add-ins for these lettuce wraps.

  • TVP: If you want to make more of a classic ‘ground beef’ taco filling, add some textured soy protein or your favorite vegan mince alternative with a splash of vegetable broth and more of the spice.

For this version, reduce the beans to just one can and use between 1 ½-2 cups of the TVP. Alternatively, use 1 12oz package of firm tofu, crumbled.

  • Hot sauce: To drizzle over the lettuce tacos when serving for extra heat.
  • Oregano: To add to taste.
  • Smoked paprika: Added to taste.
  • Quinoa/Rice: Enjoy heartier vegetarian lettuce wraps with cooked (optionally flavored, like Mexican rice) grains. Use cauliflower rice for a lower-carb option.
  • Sweet potato: Add ½-inch roasted sweet potato cubes for a subtle sweetness and extra heartiness.
  • Vegetables: Thinly sliced and sautéed, like
    • Bell pepper
    • Mushrooms
  • Red onion: Finely diced and raw for some ‘bite’.
  • Water chestnuts: While they’re not always super budget-friendly, if you have some in your pantry, they’ll add extra crunch to the vegan lettuce wraps.
  • Vegan cheese: Use a strong-flavored cheese alternative, like a vegan shredded cheddar or feta.
  • Vegan sour cream: To drizzle over the vegan black bean taco lettuce wraps.
  • Pickles: Pickled jalapeños or red onions work best with lettuce wraps.

For more aromatic flavor, you might like to prepare the beans and corn as we have in this Southwestern lettuce wraps.

How to Make Black Bean Lettuce Wraps?

Just a bit of chopping and heating are all that is required to pull together these simple, delicious, and nutritious veggie lettuce wraps in just 15 minutes!

  • 1) First, transfer the contents of the cans of beans (liquid, too) to a saucepan and heat over medium heat until warmed through.
process shot of adding beans to a pan
  • 2) Meanwhile, cube the avocado, quarter the tomatoes, and rinse and pull apart 12 romaine lettuce leaves similar in size.
ingredients for Vegan Black Bean Lettuce Wraps measured out against a white surface

Note that the closer to the center of the head of lettuce, the crunchier the leaves.

  • 3) Then, drain the liquid from the beans and return them to the saucepan. Add the soy sauce and all the seasonings to taste. Stir well and cook until heated through.

If you’re using frozen corn, you can either add it directly to the bean mixture to thaw and heat OR cook them separately in some boiling water to simmer until warmed.

  • 4) Assemble the black bean veggie lettuce wrap tacos by loading them with the black beans, corn, tomatoes, and diced avocado. Finally, drizzle with the salsa and optionally sprinkle with some cilantro and fresh lime juice — Enjoy!

Top Recipe Tips and Notes

  • Adjust the bean texture: If you prefer a semi-mashed consistency, wait until the beans are cooked and seasoned. Keep aside the cooking liquid, then use a potato masher to mash them to your desired consistency. Add back in a little of the liquid if needed.
  • Get creative: This healthy lettuce wrap recipe makes for a great ‘clear out the fridge’ meal, so use what you have on hand.
  • To serve a crowd: Pile the various fillings on a large platter in the middle with the lettuce on a separate plate and allow your family/guests to prepare their own veggie lettuce wraps.

FAQs

Can I use this filling in corn tortillas?

Absolutely. The combination of seasoned black beans and corn makes for a delicious and nutritious vegan taco combination.

Are black bean lettuce wraps healthy?

These vegan lettuce wraps are extremely healthy. Not only do black beans provide a whopping 15 grams of protein per cup, but they contain several other vitamins and minerals, boosted further with the addition of sweetcorn, grape tomatoes, avocado, and romaine lettuce. The combination is loaded with healthy fats, protein, complex carbohydrates, and plenty of micronutrients.

Why are my lettuce wraps soggy?

First, make sure to thoroughly dry the lettuce after washing it. Second, if you add the beans to the lettuce while they’re warm, they’ll cause the lettuce to wilt if not eaten fairly quickly.

completed Vegan Black Bean Lettuce Wraps against a white surface

Serving Recommendations

Enjoy these easy lettuce wraps alone (or with your favorite dipping sauce) for a light and healthy lunch, or make a heartier meal with the addition of:

Note that any leftover fillings will also work within rice bowls, burritos and burrito bowls, regular corn tacos, or a delicious salad.

Make-Ahead and Storage Instructions

These black bean lettuce wraps are great for enjoying throughout the week as you can prepare the black bean filling 3-4 days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. You can also pre-rinse and separate the lettuce leaves, storing them in an airtight container lined with paper towels.

Once assembled, we prefer to enjoy the taco lettuce wraps immediately. However, leftovers will store in airtight containers in the fridge for an extra day or two (minus the avocado and cilantro) if the beans aren’t warm when added to the lettuce.

You can freeze the black beans for several months and reheat them either in the microwave or on the stovetop.

More Vegan Taco Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Vegan Black Bean Lettuce Wraps

5 from 47 votes
Prep: 8 mins
Cook: 3 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
For a light and healthy take on taco Tuesday, try these delicious black bean lettuce wrap ‘tacos’ loaded with spiced black beans, corn, avocado, tomato, and lime! A quick, easy, & healthy protein-dense, delicious, 15-minute appetizer or main!

Ingredients 

  • 2-3 heads of romaine
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans of black beans
  • ½ teaspoon of soy sauce
  • Cayenne to taste
  • Chili powder to taste
  • Cumin to taste
  • 1 cup of corn kernels
  • 24 grape tomatoes quartered
  • 1 avocado cubed
  • 1 cup of salsa
  • Lime as garnish (optional)
  • Cilantro as garnish (optional)

Instructions 

  • For the shell, pull apart 12 leaves from heads of romaine (pull out the ones near the center, if you want the crunchiest).
  • For black beans: Cook in their juice in a saucepan over medium heat for a few minutes. Drain and return to the saucepan. Add soy sauce, cayenne, chili powder, and cumin to taste. Stir and reheat until heated through.
  • For frozen corn, if using: In a saucepan, bring a little layer of water to a boil. Add about a half a bag of frozen corn. Put a lid on it and simmer until warmed.
  • Layer romaine leaves with black beans, then corn, then tomatoes, then avocado chunks. Drizzle salsa, lime, and cilantro on top (if using) and serve.

Notes

  • Adjust the bean texture: If you prefer a semi-mashed consistency, wait until the beans are cooked and seasoned. Keep aside the cooking liquid, then use a potato masher to mash them to your desired consistency. Add back in a little of the liquid if needed.
  • Get creative: This healthy lettuce wrap recipe makes for a great ‘clear out the fridge’ meal, so use what you have on hand.
  • To serve a crowd: Pile the various fillings on a large platter in the middle with the lettuce on a separate plate and allow your family/guests to prepare their own veggie lettuce wraps.

Nutrition

Calories: 287kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 13gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 563mgPotassium: 1099mgFiber: 16gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1456IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 66mgIron: 3mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Course: Lunch
Cuisine: American
Method: Stovetop
Diet: Vegan
Keywords: avocado, bean recipes, beans, black bean recipes, gf, gluten free, gluten free chocolate bread, glutenfree, plant-based, raw recipes, raw tacos, salsa, taco tuesday, tacos, veggie tacos
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Miranda Rivera

Cooking vegan meals brings such excitement and richness to my life! The simple things in life are so beautiful to me. I love meeting new people. Welcome to my plant-based journey!

More about Miranda Rivera

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