Black Bean Lettuce Wraps

November 4th, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Ever get tired of the same old, same old when it comes to lunches? Well, this post is for you then. Because today I made myself black bean lettuce wraps for lunch and they were delicious!


Easy to throw together with a few fridge and pantry staples, theses wraps are gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free but certainly not free of flavor. A pinch of chili powder adds some spice, a bit of cumin lends smokiness, and red bell pepper and celery give crunch. The black beans, of course, offer an excellent source of protein and fiber.

I have to admit: up until last spring I don’t think I’d ever tried a black bean. I always told myself I didn’t like them, so I just never cooked with them. One day I branched out and made a salsa type thing with just a few black beans stirred into it and I had my socks knocked off big time! I found myself picking through all the tomatoes just to get to those black beans. It was love at first bite. I have since enjoyed black beans several times a week in various forms and for different meals (even breakfast one time!). If you’ve never tried them or–like me–convinced yourself for some reason or another that you don’t like them, give them a shot. I hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

To make these wraps heartier, serve the black bean salad mixed with some shredded lettuce in a whole wheat or brown rice tortilla (whole wheat, of course, would make them not be gluten-free any more). You could also make it heartier by mixing it with some cooked brown rice or quinoa for a bean-and-grain salad. Feel free to add more chili powder if you like things extra spicy. For me, just a pinch was enough though.

If you packed the bean salad and the lettuce cups separately, this would make a good take-along lunch for traveling or the office. Just keep it chilled in a cooler or the fridge. When lunchtime arrives, take a few seconds to assemble the wraps and BOOM….you’ve got a delicious, easy, healthy lunch to give you some mid-day fuel.

This recipe only makes one serving, as it was just me eating it for lunch today. But it’s a pretty loose recipe and could easily be doubled or tripled—heck, even quadrupled.

Black Bean Lettuce Wraps

1/3-1/2 cup black beans

2 tbs. chopped red bell pepper

1 tbs. chopped red onion

1 small stalk celery, finely chopped

Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tsp. olive oil

1 tsp. white or red wine vinegar

Pinch each of chili powder, cumin, and dried oregano

Salt to taste

Boston lettuce leaf “cups,” for serving

Diced avocado, for garnish

Combine the beans, pepper, onion, celery, tomatoes, olive oil, and vinegar in a small bowl. Then add the seasonings and salt to taste. Spoon the salad into the lettuce cups and top with diced avocado. Enjoy!

(UPDATE 11/6: This post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays.)


  1. nlindroth said on November 5, 2009 at 3:41 am


  2. This is a great recipe – we love lettuce wraps. And black beans are always a great choice. :) I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos when I make lettuce wraps (never thought to use black beans…) instead of soy sauce and I love it.

    • simplysavory said on November 6, 2009 at 8:34 pm

      Mmm…Bragg’s sounds like an interesting way to jazz up lettuce wraps. I’ll have to give that a try sometime. Thanks for the idea!

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  • […] Main Course: Use bean balls instead of meatballs over your pasta; use lentils instead of ground beef.  Add whole or pureed beans to your pasta sauces for substance and texture. Look to other cultures that incorporate more beans and legumes in their main meals: Egyptian ful medames is a great main course, as is Ethiopian Lentil Stew.  A pita pocket stuffed with falafel is another delicious way to meet your protein and fiber needs for the day or wrap beans in lettuce leaves. […]

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