Lettuce Leaf Tacos With All The Trimmings

Image of lettuce leaf tacos

If you can’t bear the idea of tacos without tortillas or crispy shells, look away now but this low carb, low-fat version isn’t just for dieters. It’s a lovely, fresh way of eating Mexican-style food and doesn’t compromise on flavour. If you’re still not convinced, mix it up and offer taco shells and warmed tortillas in addition to the lettuce leaves, but we honestly didn’t miss their presence.

Prepare to be amazed: this is an extremely healthy recipe. I know, not usually my modus operandi. The only real fat in it is the small amount used to cook the chicken. Well, ok, plus that in the yoghurt (but think of the calcium) and the avocado (monounsaturated fat, the good kind, plus around 20 vitamins and minerals). It’s also a good way of making two chicken breasts stretch to four people. More to the point, it’s delicious.

You can add and subtract with the various salsas and trimmings although I love the traffic light colours and the varying textures and flavours, from crunchy and creamy to sharp and sweet. Vegetarians could omit the chicken and add a bowl of crumbled feta.

Lettuce Leaf Tacos With All The Trimmings

Image of Lettuce Leaf Tacos

Ingredients for the chicken:

2 skinless boneless chicken breasts

1/2 to 1 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

The juice and zest of 1 lime

1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and crushed

2-3 tomatoes, grated and skins discarded

Salt and pepper

1 Cos lettuce, to serve

Images of salsas and trimmings

For the pepper and tomato salsa:

1 red pepper, de-seeded and diced

300g tomatoes, de-seeded

1 small red onion, chopped

Lime juice, to taste

Salt and pepper

A handful of roughly chopped coriander

For the sweetcorn salsa:

1 x 326g tin of sweetcorn

1 large medium-hot red chilli, de-seeded and sliced

Lime juice, to taste

Salt and pepper

For the guacamole:

2 ripe avocados, peeled, de-stoned and roughly mashed

1 stick of celery, strings removed, finely chopped

Yet more lime juice

Salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, to taste

For the yoghurt:

About 250ml Greek yoghurt (low-fat if you like)

1-2 fat cloves of garlic, crushed

A good pinch of salt


Mix the marinade ingredients for the chicken. Cut the chicken into strips across the grain and put it all in a sealable plastic bag. Massage the marinade into the chicken and place in the fridge overnight or for at least four hours.

Image of marinated chicken in a bag

Just before you want to eat, make the salsas. Chop and mix the ingredients for each, place in bowls and garnish with fresh coriander. It may sound weird to put celery in guacamole but (thanks for the tip, big sis) it works.

Break the leaves off the lettuce, leaving them whole, and arrange on a plate.

Image of lettuce leaves

Put a griddle pan or heavy-based frying pan on a high heat and brush with oil. Drain the chicken and pat dry on kitchen roll.

Fry the chicken in batches until it’s golden brown and cooked through.

Image of chicken cooking

Put everything on the table and let people fill their own lettuce leaf tacos.

Messy but good and great for a family supper.  

4 thoughts on “Lettuce Leaf Tacos With All The Trimmings

  1. How did you know that I should watch the white carbs at the moment? Never did I crave a taco more! That is a pretty interesting guacamole, celery in it is totally new to me and must be tried immediately (well, Tuesday). N xx

    • Oops, you just caught me scoffing a cheese sarnie, John, which does nothing for my dieting credentials. But honestly, I think these are really tasty (the tacos, not the sammiches). 🙂

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