Fiesta Quinoa Lettuce Boats, Vegan and Gluten-Free

The best recipe for Fiesta Quinoa Lettuce Boats

Since Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner, I thought I would share some of my favorite fiesta themed recipes!  Today’s recipe includes my recipe for fiesta quinoa, which is one of my most shared recipes yet!  I simply added it to romaine lettuce and topped with avocado for an easy to prepare appetizer for any Cinco de Mayo party…Fiesta Quinoa Lettuce Boats!

These lettuce boats are light, fresh and have a pinch of spice!  In the summer months I keep a batch of fiesta quinoa ready in the refrigerator, it makes a great side or can be eaten as a meal on its own.

fiesta quinoa lettuce boats vegan gluten free recipe

Fiesta Quinoa Lettuce Boats

The best recipe for Fiesta Quinoa Lettuce Boats
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Gluten Free, Vegan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 172kcal
Cost $


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup cucumber diced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper diced
  • ¼ cup red onion diced
  • 3 scallions chopped
  • 1 cup corn frozen, fresh or canned
  • 1 can 15 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10 cherry tomatoes halved
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 avocado thinly sliced
  • 2 heads of Romaine lettuce
How many Ounces Are in a Cup?
How many Grams are in a Cup?


  • Bring water to a boil, add quinoa, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until all water is absorbed and l quinoa is soft and fluffy. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
  • Once quinoa is cooled, add all ingredients except avocado and romaine lettuce, stir until well combined. Adjust flavors as needed. Refrigerate to let flavors marinate.
  • To assemble boats, add a scoop of quinoa to the center of a romaine lettuce leaf and top with sliced avocado. Enjoy 🙂


 Fun Fact:  Do you love or hate cilantro?
If you hate cilantro, it’s not your fault…you were born that way!  Some people are genetically predisposed to not liking cilantro.  They have the OR6A2 gene, making them very sensitive to the aldehyde chemical found in cilantro.  These aldehyde chemicals are the same substances found in soap, therefore making cilantro taste like soap!  Yuck 🙂
If this is you, I apologize for adding so much cilantro to my recipes 🙂


Calories: 172kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 354mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1206IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
Cristina C. RD LDN

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