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Thai Lentil and Quinoa Lettuce Cups
with mango and cucumber salsa

Active: 30 minTotal: 30 min

In Thailand, larb is the name for a super simple dish of finely chopped protein sauteed with a bit of seasoning and tossed with fresh herbs and lime juice. We've given this vegetarian version a Cook Smarts twist by using lentils and quinoa and serving it in lettuce cups.
Smarts: As you can imagine, in Thailand this dish is usually very spicy, so don't hesitate to add extra red pepper flakes or hot sauce if you'd like to serve it that way.



Thai Lentil and Quinoa Lettuce Cups:
  • Quinoa, uncooked - 3/4 cup
  • Stock, any type - 1 1/2 cups
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
  • Soy sauce, low-sodium - 3 Tbsp
  • Sugar - 1/4 tsp
  • Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/2 tsp
  • Mint, fresh - 6 leaves, finely chopped
  • Cilantro - 1/4 cup, finely chopped
  • Limes - 1, wedges
  • Lettuce, butterhead - 12 leaves, sub iceberg
  • Water - 1 Tbsp
  • Cornstarch - 1 tsp
  • Lentils, pre-cooked - 2 cups (look for canned or vacuum-packed pre-cooked lentils)
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Peanuts - 1/4 cup
  • Hot sauce (opt) - for serving
Mango and Cucumber Salsa:
  • Cucumbers - 8 oz, diced
  • Mangos - 2, diced
  • Vinegar, rice - 1 tsp

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. Quinoa - (Skip if made ahead for Monday.) Combine quinoa with stock in a saucepan. Add some salt. Bring to a boil covered. Lower heat, keep covered, and cook until liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make sauce - Chop garlic. Combine garlic, soy sauce, sugar, and red pepper flakes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Mint / Cilantro / Limes / Lettuce - Prep as directed. Combine mint and cilantro. Store limes and lettuce separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  4. Cucumbers / Mangos - Prep as directed.
  5. Make slurry - Whisk together water and cornstarch.
  6. Lentils - If using canned lentils, drain.


  1. Combine cucumbers, mangos, and vinegar.
  2. Heat a wok or large skillet with oil over medium-high heat. Add sauce and bring to a simmer. Give cornstarch slurry a stir and add to sauce. Simmer for 1 minute to let sauce thicken slightly.
  3. Stir in lentils and quinoa.
  4. Remove lentils / quinoa from heat and stir in mint and cilantro. Squeeze half the lime wedges over top.
  5. Assemble lettuce cups by filling lettuce leaves with lentils / quinoa, peanuts, and hot sauce (if using). Squeeze extra lime wedges over top. Serve mango cucumber salsa on the side or spoon some onto lettuce cups if you’d like. Enjoy!

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This meal has 43 reviews

Love these

By: Sara
Posted: Jan 06, 2020
Diet: Original

Really good! I'd suggest adding just a little bit of salt to the mango/cucumber salad. Didn't have butterhead, used romaine instead (ended up being like canoes instead). Tasted amazing!

By: Javier
Posted: Dec 24, 2019
Diet: Original

Bomb! Added a lot of spice and just put it on a bed of chopped lettuce because I didn't want to bother with cups. Yum!

By: Sif
Posted: Oct 13, 2019
Diet: Gluten-free

Made with veggie grounds to make vegetarian. It was great, though I think the vegetarian version with lentils would have been just as good (and probably more nutritious).

By: Jenn
Posted: Aug 24, 2019
Diet: Original

Easy and kiddos loved

By: Patti
Posted: Aug 01, 2019
Diet: Original

Easy and tasty. would add more mint and maybe try ground turkey next time, as well as in a bowl as a salad. Loved the peach salsa on top.

By: Christine
Posted: Jul 28, 2019
Diet: Gluten-free