FoodLink - Purdue Extension

Fiesta Lettuce Wraps and Pepper Boats

Using sweet peppers and lettuce for wraps is a fun way to increase vegetables on the plate. Lettuce leaves and mini peppers are perfect for a build-your-own Southwestern meal or as appetizers.

Recipe adapted from What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl website and Produce for Better Health Foundation.

15 min
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Servings: 4


6 sweet, mini sweet peppers
8 lettuce leaves
cup instant brown rice (dry)
pound tilapia filets (fresh or frozen-thawed)
teaspoons southwest chipotle seasoning (no sodium)
tablespoons canola oil (divided)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 limes (divided)
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
For the salsa fresca
1/2 cup yellow corn (frozen or canned, no-salt added)
1 medium tomato
1 small onion
clove garlic (minced)
1 jalapeño pepper (minced)
1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Slice peppers in half vertically — watch a video for pepper-cutting tips. Arrange lettuce and 8 pepper halves on a serving platter.

  2. Cook brown rice according to package directions.

  3. To make salsa fresca, dice remaining pepper halves, tomato, and onion. Mix with corn, garlic, jalapeño pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

  4. Sprinkle both sides of tilapia filets with southwest chipotle seasoning.

  5. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish to pan, and cook for 3 minutes on each side (cook fish until it is opaque, 145°F). Flake with a fork and place in a serving dish.

  6. When rice is done, stir in remaining 1/2 tablesppon canola oil, juice from one lime, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cut remaining lime into wedges.

  7. To serve, set out pepper-lettuce platter, rice, fish, salsa fresca, sour cream, and lime, and let diners build their own boats and wraps.