Black Bean, Corn, and Roasted Red Pepper Lettuce Cups

Looking for a one-bowl, no-cook, no-fuss recipe that’s easy enough for lunch but elegant enough for a dinner party? For these tasty vegan lettuce cups, all you have to do here is combine the filling ingredients, then rinse and trim a bunch of romaine lettuce hearts, and you’re ready to go. The easiest way to serve these lettuce cups is to pile the filling in the middle of a platter, surround it with romaine, and let everyone make their own, but you can also pack the filling and romaine in separate containers and take them with you as a light work lunch or fun picnic side.

By Carla Christian, RD, LD,


  • 2 cups frozen roasted corn, thawed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1½ cups cooked)
  • 1 mango, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup jarred roasted red bell peppers, chopped
  • ¼ cup coarsely snipped fresh cilantro
  • 1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded (if desired) and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12–16 leaves from romaine lettuce hearts
  • ½ avocado, diced


  • Combine the corn, beans, mango, tomatoes, bell peppers, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, chili powder, and lime zest and juice in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spoon the bean mixture onto the romaine hearts, and top with the avocado.

Comments (21)

(5 from 12 votes)

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Hello, I cannot eat corn and was wondering what would be a good substitute. Usually I would just leave it out but 2 cups seems too significant to leave out! Thank you

Sally Parkinson

How about trying potato,quinoa rice or another bean like pinto? You could do a mix of these Not sure how cauliflower would taste, but you could try it

Marc Reinhard

Fantastic dinner for a 93 degree day, very refreshing, will definitely make again.

Sheri Aquilino

Absolutely delicious It’s great on top of salad too

Cheryl Kuhta-Sutter

Please include the nutrition information with all your recipes. This information is vital to have available for people to make healthy choices. I am very surprised that this information was not included since a dietitian posted it.

Marla Fulton

Most of us following a whole food plant-based diet are not concerned w this since it’s an inherently healthy way of eating. Low fat. High fiber. Super-nutrition from PLANTS!!

Rhonda Davis

Exactly! Some people have particular health issues and have to watch intake of certain vitamins and minerals. Ask any kidney patient!


I also would like the nutrition at the recipes. Even eating whole food plant-based, there are different conditions that people have that require this knowledge.

Trina Thames



Sweet, spicy and works great as a salad or a wrap.

Rosemary Baxter

So pleased to have found you


Delicious Agreed. When someone has come up with a recipe and perfected it for you, the onus is on you to do the spadework and take responsibility for your own health by choosing to make it or not.

Denver Hayes

I worked in the garden a bit late and needed a quick supper. This went together quickly, and I had all the ingredients. I do not like a lot of chili powder so I decreased the amount to 1 teaspoon and that was enough. The mango added taste and texture.

Denver Hayes

I was working late in the garden and needed a quick supper. This was quick and it tasted really good. I do not usually like chili powder so I decreased the amount in the recipe to 1 teaspoon. I was very tasty and the mango added extra taste and texture.


I 100% agree with Ellen. They have prepared many delicious recipes for us free of charge--our part is to be thankful and choose whether to try the recipe or not.

Louiselle Paquin

I totally agree with J. I know that whole plant based diet is the best for diabetes. I also know that present guidelines ask for calculations. Why not provide the info and so, comforting diabetics? You could save lives.

Becky Michaels

This recipe is exactly what I needed! It was so simple to throw together, not too spicy and just a hint of sweetness from the mango. Everything was lovely and fresh and I have to stop myself from having more and more servings! You can figure out your own math, but from our ingredients, each cup was only 68 calories! Omg, hallelujah. ;) Thanks for a great vegetarian recipe. I'll be hanging onto it.


Why don't you guys provide nutrition info for these recipes? As a type 1 diabetic I need to know carbs and fiber per serving for a recipe. Otherwise its a extra step I don't have time for.


Why do you feel it’s up to THEM to provide you with the information that YOU need? After they test, perfect, cook, photograph, edit, write & share the recipe, maybe it’s an extra step THEY don’t have time for...

Brooke Bennett

We have chosen not to include nutritional information for our recipes as we would not encourage nutrient tallying and calorie counting, which we believe can create more problems than they solve. The general guideline to follow is that, with a whole-food, plant-based diet, you can eat until comfortably satiated. The higher water and fiber content of whole plant-based foods allows our bodies to more accurately gauge how much food we need to eat. Whole plant foods contain all the essential nutrients (with the exception of Vitamin B12), and in proportions that are more consistent with human needs than animal-based or processed foods. However, we do understand that certain medical conditions do require knowing specific nutrient information, so for those instances we recommend entering our recipes into online nutritional software:


I agree with you. I like looking at nutritional info. And as the mom of a type 1 diabetic, I understand how hard it can be for teens to navigate carb totals and make the best food choices they can. (While injecting insulin every time you eat.). Some people have never loved someone with a serious health condition, so they are ignorant of the difficulties that they face daily. Bless their hearts.

About the Author

Headshot of Carla Christian, RD, LD

About the Author

Carla Christian, RD, LD

Carla Christian received her associate’s degree in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute of America in 2006 and her bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Michigan State University in 2009. She finished her dietetic internship from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2010 and is a former chef in the Better Homes and Gardens® Test Kitchen. Find her on LinkedIn. Photo by Jason Donnelly.

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