We eat tacos all the time. Since I was little, corn tortillas have been the refrigerator staple that ensured dinner would be amazing and doable. And, while we eat corn tortillas as the base for all our taco needs, I also like serving up my filling and fixings in lettuce cup tacos. Everyone raved about them at my weeknight whole greains class, where this bulgur recipe gets whole grains in as the filling not the wrapper. It’s a game-changer. I have a hunch you will add it to your meatless meal short list.
If you’re not already cooking bulgur or it’s not part of your weeknight quick idea arsenal, what are you waiting for? Bulgur recipes exist outside of its most popular recipe: tabbouleh. If you’re gluten-free, bulgur isn’t, but try swapping in millet or quinoa instead.
There’s not a lot of prep involved in making lettuce cup tacos. The other toppings are up to you but we like a collection of bowls with chopped tomatoes, cubed avocado, shredded cheddar, several dollops of Greek yogurt (or sour cream), pickled jalapeno slices, and salsa or hot sauce.
You can make the lettuce cup tacos with bulgur recipe filling a day before and then just heat it up, making it a ringer for summer parties and gatherings held outside. When I began thinking about how I wanted the filling to taste, texture was huge! And, as always, I’m concerned with trying to get in ample protein.
Rather than rely just on walnut meat (delightful and easy: process in a food processor until coarsely chopped and resembling ground meat), I loved the idea and texture of the nuts combined with chewy bulgur. So, you could call this duo a power ballad band because together they really up the protein possibility in these meatless lettuce cup tacos.
Tex-Mex Lettuce Cup Tacos Bulgur Recipe
- 1 cup red or golden bulgur (coarse)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder (or, add 1/2 tsp more chili powder)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon smoky paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon liquid aminos
- 1 head butter lettuce (lettuce shells pulled from head, rinsed + patted dry)
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Chopped tomatoes
- Cubed avocado
- Pickled jalapeno sliced
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Toast walnuts for about 7 minutes or until aromatic.
- Bring vegetable broth and bulgur to a boil. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix together taco spice. Coarsely chop walnuts in a food processor or with a knife until they resemble ground meat or the size of the bulgur.
- In a warm skillet, warm oil over medium heat. Stir in and temper taco spice until clumpy and aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste, water, vinegar, and liquid aminos, stirring to combine. Turn heat to medium low. Fold in bulgur and walnuts. Season to taste. Warm for 3 minutes, infusing sauce into nutty grains.
Assemble Lettuce Cup Tacos
- Scoop 1/4 cup warm taco nutty grain meat into each lettuce cup. Top with yogurt, cheese, tomatoes, avocado, and jalapeno. Serve with salsa if desired.