Salsa Chicken Lettuce Tacos

One of my favorite Mexican restaurants now offers their famous tacos nestled in a large lettuce leaf instead of a tortilla. I was amazed at how much I enjoyed them served that way; I didn’t miss the tortilla at all. So I’ve started experimenting with the idea at home.

Shredded chicken tacos in lettuce shells instead of tortillas.
Salsa Chicken Lettuce Tacos (Protein Style!)
Recipe for chicken simmered in salsa, then shredded and served in lettuce leaf tacos, Sonoran style and protein style. Low carb.


  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce chopped
  • 3-4 cups broth vegetable or chicken (enough to submerge the chicken)
  • 1 1/2 cups of your favorite salsa or taco sauce. I like La Victoria Salsa Brava Hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. Maggi Seasoning Sauce or Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried oregano preferably Mexican
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup light Mexican shredded cheese
  • 1 head of iceberg or butter lettuce washed and separated into leaf cups


  • Spray a large dutch oven heated to high with cooking oil. Add the chicken and brown on each side for a minute or two.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for 1 hour covered, stirring occasionally. Remove cover and cook for another hour or until almost all of the liquid is absorbed. Add a little water if the liquid absorbs too quickly - the long cooking time is what makes the chicken so tender. Shred the chicken while still in the pot using two big forks. Continue to simmer until all of the rest of the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Spoon into leaf cups, top with yogurt, cilantro, cheese and more salsa.
    Photo of salsa chicken tacos served in lettuce instead of tortillas


I modified this recipe from one from the cookbook, Knack Mexican Recipes by Chelsie Kenyon that I did did the food photography for. 

Cuisine Mexican, Sonoran
Keyword sonoran recipe, Taste of Tucson recipe, Tucson Sonora recipe

Here’s another version, this time from the top – without cheese.

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