Mexican Lettuce Cups

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Let’s see, it’s Tuesday. Okay, yesterday was Tuesday, but at this point in quarantine life are we even keeping track? Either way, it’s one week until Cinco de Mayo. So that can only mean one thing…Tacos! Today I’m sharing my recipe for taco meat that I’ve been making for years. It’s a one pan combination of the best of the best… taco seasoning, beans, tomatoes, and cilantro. I even sneak a few handfuls of spinach in there because why not? Actually, it’s a trick a learned from watching my girl, Giada. It seems like a lot of spinach to start but by the time it all wilts down the kids don’t even realize that they’re getting a serving of greens. Hey, you’ve gotta get it in where you can, right?! The trick is to chop it into small enough pieces so that when it wilts it will blend in with the cilantro.

You can use the meat mixture in a variety of ways so it’s a great base for a numberĀ of your favorite Mexican dishes. Tostadas, burritos, nachos, taco salad, etc. You can even use it to top a baked sweet potato, yum!

Let the countdown to Cinco officially commence…

xo Alex

Mexican Lettuce Cups


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1/2 c diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 c diced green bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 can pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes I used muir glen salt free fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1-2 c chopped spinach
  • 2 tbsp minced cilantro

For the taco seasoning

  • 2 tbsp chile powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne optional


  • Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat.
  • Add ground turkey, onion, red and green bell peppers. Cook for 4-6 minutes or until ground turkey is browned.
  • Add taco seasoning, mix well to combine.
  • Add entire can of tomatoes including the juice. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add black beans and pinto beans. Mix well and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes or until beans are warmed thru. Taste and season with additional teaspoon of salt if desired.
  • Add spinach, stir to combine. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until spinach has wilted.
  • Remove from heat, sprinkle with cilantro and squeeze of fresh lime juice if desired.
  • To build the tacos spoon the meat mixture into lettuce cups and immediately top with cheese so the heat of the meat will melt the cheese.
  • Serve with your choice of additional toppings (see serving suggestions)


Serving Suggestions
Tortillas or Lettuce Cups
Grated Cheddar Cheese
Sliced Radish
Pickled Onions
Sour Creme or Creme Fraiche
and of courseĀ Guacamole...always, ALWAYS, GUACAMOLE!
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