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Chipotle Black Bean Lettuce Wraps

Chipotle Black Bean Lettuce Wraps | A Couple CooksChipotle Black Bean Lettuce Wraps | A Couple CooksChipotle Black Bean Lettuce Wraps | A Couple CooksChipotle Black Bean Lettuce Wraps | A Couple CooksChipotle Black Bean Lettuce Wraps | A Couple CooksChipotle Black Bean Lettuce Wraps | A Couple Cooks    Cinco - 017

As much as we love cooking together as a couple, we’re at our happiest cooking with or for other people. There’s something about chatting away while chopping veggies that just feels right. The past few years, we’ve involved friends in our cooking process for A Couple Cooks, inviting them over to cook, taste test, hang out while we shoot (and if they’re lucky, hand-model), and finally, eat — though it’s usually cold by that time! Adding community to our cooking process and sharing it with others makes it many times more enjoyable.

Our friend Russell has participated in a few cooking and shooting sessions with us (here’s his hand), and he claims he’s our “biggest fan” — though we’d argue it’s the reverse. He’s an engineer, a runner, and a passionate cook who’s always whipping up something new, always healthy and many times vegetarian. We joked a while back about him contributing a recipe to our blog, and several weeks later, he cooked it with us in our kitchen. This guy delivers.

These are Russell’s lettuce wraps, and it would be no exaggeration to say these are one of the best lettuce wraps I’ve tried. The combination of guacamole, spicy chipotle black beans, and mango salsa is an explosion of flavor and textures. For a lettuce wrap, they’re surprisingly filling, and you can’t beat the health factor: full of nutrients and accommodating for many diets (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy free). While it did take a bit of time in the kitchen to put together all the components, it was time well spent. It’s a great option for a dinner with friends, or just a night in —  perhaps to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

Thanks to Russell for the delicious recipe; we are so grateful to have you in our lives!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chipotle Black Bean Lettuce Wraps
If desired, serve with homemade tortilla chips. Note: Use 1 red onion and 1 bunch cilantro for the mango salsa, guacamole, and lettuce wraps combined.
Serves: 4
What You Need
  • Mango salsa
  • Guacamole
  • ½ large red onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 ½ cups corn (frozen or fresh)
  • 15-ounce can black beans
  • 7-ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (1 pepper + 1½ tablespoons adobo sauce; omit the pepper if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 2 heads Bibb lettuce
What To Do
  1. Make the mango salsa and guacamole.
  2. Dice ½ red onion and 1 green pepper; place them in a bowl with 1 ½ cup corn. Drain and rinse 1 can black beans. Mince 1 chipotle chili pepper (if using).
  3. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add red onion, green pepper, and corn, and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add black beans and 1 teaspoon each oregano, cumin, paprika, liquid smoke, and kosher salt, and a few grinds fresh ground pepper. Add ¾ cup water and let simmer until water cooks down, about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, remove the lettuce leaves and wash and dry the lettuce.
  5. To serve, spread guacamole on a lettuce leaf, then top with black bean filling and mango salsa.


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  • Reply
    May 1, 2015 at 4:52 am

    These sound super tasty and fresh. I love the idea of the combination of the spicy beans with the brightness of your mango salsa and the creamy guacamole. So good.

  • Reply
    May 1, 2015 at 10:17 am

    These look so vibrant and fresh, perfect for Cinco de Mayo! And that mango salsa, I would probably eat that whole bowl. Beautiful and colorful, the way food should be! :)

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    May 1, 2015 at 10:33 am

    This looks like the perfect summer meal! So healthy and yummy.

  • Reply
    Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth
    May 1, 2015 at 10:41 am

    It’s definitely more fun to cook with friends. And thanks to Russell for contributing a beautiful, healthy dish!

  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    May 1, 2015 at 10:53 am

    I’m usually a regular taco kind of gal, but these look so perfect that I think they need to be a regular in my rotation! I love when friends contribute, tell Russell his recipe looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Sydney | Modern Granola
    May 1, 2015 at 11:31 am

    This looks so tasty! Great idea using liquid smoke. That flavor will really take those beans over the top! This is perfect Cinco de Mayo party food!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    I have been on a mango kick lately, so this is right up my alley! Thanks for sharing!!

    XO – Sarah

  • Reply
    Nina at FocusedonFit.com
    May 3, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Wow! I love lettuce wraps and these look amazing. Something that’s traditionally an Asian dish, you’ve make Mexican, which is fab, because Mexican food is traditionally so unhealthy….love it!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life
    May 3, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    Cooking for others is always the best part of the meal :) I know these will be popular with our next bunch of dinner guests, or to cheer up my weekday lunchboxes. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    judee@ Gluten Free A-Z Blog
    May 6, 2015 at 9:58 am

    As a gluten free vegetarian, I am always looking for tasty fillings for a lettuce wrap. This one looks delicious. I wish I had friends to cook with… sounds like fun.

  • Reply
    May 21, 2015 at 12:13 am

    These look amazing and its such a good idea. Perfect for any one who is gluten free :)

  • Reply
    Russell's Mom
    May 26, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    That’s my boy! I don’t take credit for his culinary prowess:)

  • Reply
    July 13, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    I have fresh peaches on hand, so tonight I did a mash-up of the corn and black beans from this recipe with the peach salsa from your Black Bean and Quinoa Bowl with Peach Salsa, and threw some cubed avocado into the mix for a simpler alternative to the guac. Wow! My mouth is so happy this evening, and I’m SO looking forward to leftovers tomorrow for lunch! Thanks for keeping the great recipes comin’!

  • Reply
    Elyse H.
    February 19, 2016 at 10:22 am

    I’ve had a case of the winter blues lately and then I stumbled across this recipe on your blog. It looked so colorful and tasty, I couldn’t pass it up. My husband and I made it for dinner last night and OH MY GOODNESS!! Absolutely delicious! The homemade guacamole and mango salsa are such great additions as well. Thanks for pulling me out of my winter blues with this fun recipe!

  • Reply
    Lisa Henderson
    April 2, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    This is so very delicious!! Loved it! I did not have any mango, but I had a new recipe from Runners World mag for a strawberry salsa and substituted this for the mango salsa. It was divine! The mango salsa would have been delicious too. I will try it next time since I will be making these tacos frequently! Thank you for the recipe.

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