Saturday, August 24, 2013

Taco Lettuce Wraps with Creamy Mexican Dressing

I really enjoy lettuce wraps. I feel like I am doing something good for myself when I make them. Then there is the cold and hot combo thing I love. But the star of this recipe is the Creamy Mexican Dressing. I mean let's face it, everyone can make tacos and serve it in lettuce. But this dressing makes it special. This is my version of the house dressing they serve at most Mexican restaurants. It is creamy, sweet and works great with all the spicy flavors of Mexican food. My friends love this stuff. Some order it to dip their chips in, some mix it with their salsa and then dip in their chips. I have just always loved it on puffy tacos and taco salads. I searched on line for years for a recipe. Then one day we went to lunch with our new receptionist and I remarked I would love to know how to make this. She said, "I know how to make it. It is just mayo, milk, sugar and paprika." That simple! No measurements but this was all I needed to give it a try. It is so simple to make and you can adjust the ingredients to your taste. This is the amounts I use most often. It reminds me of the dressing at one of my favorite restaurants. I have seen other recipes that make a 1/2 gallon of dressing. They add garlic powder and cayenne pepper. I tried adding a little to my recipe and it overpowered the dressing. So I leave it out. Maybe if I ever need a 1/2 gallon I will try it again. I am just so happy to be able to make this dressing my way and share it with you. It is definitely the finishing touch on my Taco Lettuce Wraps.

Taco Lettuce Wraps with Creamy Mexican Dressing
Serves 4


1 lb lean ground beef

1 packet or recipe of Taco Seasoning (click here for recipe)
1 head green leaf lettuce, washed and dried
1/2 cup 2% sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 (2.25 oz) can sliced black olives
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Creamy Mexican Dressing (recipe below)
Baked tortilla chips, crushed


Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium high heat. Add taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water. Simmer until all water is absorbed. Turn off heat.

Place two lettuce leaves on a plate. Place a spoon of beef in the center of each leaf. Top with cheese, tomatoes, olives, green onions and cilantro. To serve drizzle with Creamy Mexican Dressing and garnish with tortilla chips.

Creamy Mexican Dressing
aka “El Chico Dressing” or “House Dressing”
Makes 1/2 cup


1/4 cup light mayonnaise 

1/4 cup milk 
2 tsp. sugar 
1 tsp. paprika (sweet) 
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste


Mix all ingredients with a wire whisk and refrigerate. Taste after 2 hours and make any additions to taste. Return to refrigerator until serving.

Serve on taco salads or tacos. This dressing is also good as a dip for tortilla chips.

Note: Be sure to use a sweet paprika. I have used paprika that was not labeled hot but was hotter than normal and 1 tsp is too much. If you use hot or smoke paprika start adding paprika a little at a time tasting as you go.

Looking for more Lettuce Wraps. Try these recipes:

Linking to:
Life on Lakeshore Drive: Bouquet of Talent Link Party
Jam Hands: Recipe Sharing Monday
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
This Gal Cooks: Marvelous Mondays
Love Bakes Good Cakes: All My Bloggy Friends
Anyonita's Nibbles: Tasty Tuesdays
Tumbleweed Contessa: What'd you do this weekend?
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday
The Lazy Gastronome: Taco Tuesday


  1. Homemade dressing just tastes so much better to me - and I love the taco lettuce wraps :) Found you via See You In the Gumbo!

  2. Taco lettuce wraps sound great. I like the homemade dressing. Thanks for coming by What'd You Do This Weekend? Come back after. I love to talk "food"!

    Wishes for tasty dishes,
    Linda. @ Tumbleweed Contessa

  3. I love condiments and creamy ones top my list. I just can;t help it! This dressing sounds really good for tacos--in lettuce or shells. Thank you for stopping in this week!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have had a great weekend and have a fabulous week.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  5. Wow - taco lettuce wraps! I love it - Thanks for sharing on the Taco Tuesday link up!


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