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Cumin Lamb Lettuce Cups
with Szechuan green beans

Active: 35 min Total: 35 min
Cumin and lamb give a Middle Eastern twist to traditional Chinese lettuce cups. Paired with some spicy green beans, the flavors of this dinner will transport you to another world.


Cumin Lamb Lettuce Cups:
  • Garlic - 3 cloves , minced
  • Ground lamb - 1 lb
  • Cumin - 1 Tbsp + 1/2 Tbsp
  • Bragg's / coconut aminos - 2 Tbsp
  • Hot or chili sauce (opt - choose your favorite) - 2 tsp
  • Lettuce, romaine (sub green leaf or iceberg) - 8 leaves
  • Green onions - 2 stalks , chopped
  • Onions - 1 , diced
  • Bell peppers, green - 1 , diced
  • Pine nuts - 1 oz
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
Szechuan Green Beans:
  • Garlic - 2 cloves , minced
  • Green beans - 1 1/2 lbs , ends trimmed
  • Bragg's / coconut aminos - 2 Tbsp
  • Chili-garlic sauce - 1 tsp (sub any hot sauce)
  • Mirin - 1 tsp (sub other cooking wine or skip)
  • Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp


  1. Garlic (for lamb and green beans) - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
  2. Marinate lamb - Mix ground lamb with garlic (just the lamb portion), first part of cumin, aminos, and hot / chili sauce (if using). Marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 day. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
  3. Lettuce - Peel off leaves for lettuce cups (2 / serving). (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  4. Green beans - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  5. Green onions / Onions / Green peppers - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
  6. Green bean Szechuan sauce - Mix together garlic (green beans' portion), aminos, hot / chili sauce, and mirin. (Can be done anytime ahead)

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  1. Heat a wok over medium-high heat for green beans. Add cooking oil (green beans’ portion) and then green beans to heated oil. Saute for 10 to 12 minutes, until browned and blistered. Finish with Szechuan sauce and remove from heat. Season to taste with more salt and / or hot sauce.
  2. While green beans cook, heat a skillet or saute pan over medium heat for lamb. Add pine nuts and toast until golden for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  3. Return pan to medium-high heat and add oil and then green onions (you can reserve some of the chopped green parts for garnish), onions, and green peppers to heated oil with a sprinkle of salt. Saute for ~4 minutes, until aromatics are tender.
  4. Next add ground lamb and brown for 5 to 7 minutes, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and toss with second part of cumin. Season to taste with more salt as needed.
  5. Divide lamb into lettuce cups and garnish with pine nuts (and green onions if you saved some). Enjoy with green beans on the side.



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