Serve them family-style......or keep them all for yourself! This easy Chicken Lettuce Wraps Recipe puts a healthy spin on the wildly popular restaurant sharable, and it comes together in under an hour. The filling is packed with chopped crunchy veggies then mixed with a multi-faceted flavorful sauce, therefore creating a light yet oh-so-satisfying dish.
Why I love this recipe (let me count the ways...)
This chicken lettuce wrap recipe is a great way to pivot from traditional tortillas, flour wraps or even bread. Not only does the lettuce add a refreshing crunch to the recipe, but it makes the wraps less filling.....so you can enjoy more of them (genius, right?)
Secondly, this recipe is customizable (as you will see from the ingredients list, just below.) You can easily experiment with different vegetables, sauce components or even varieties of lettuce to create a variation that suits your taste buds.
Finally, if (and I mean IF) you have any remaining, the filling keeps well for several days and reheats easily for a fantastic leftover lunch.
I know this because I ate this exact leftover lunch today. And it was indeed fantastic.
Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe Ingredients
Chicken Filling and Assembly Ingredients
- Ground Chicken: I used a pre-packed mixture of ground chicken breast, but you can also use thighs or a combination of the two.
- Shiitake Mushrooms: Shiitakes can generally be found with the other mushroom varietals in your produce section, but you can substitute creminis ("baby bellas") or button mushrooms for easier to find or less expensive options.
- Water Chestnuts: Found in the Asian foods section of your grocery store. I prefer the whole varietal as opposed to sliced, so I can cut them into nice chunks for texture!
- Fresh Ginger: Adds a slightly spicy kick to the filling. Peel using a carrot peeler or a paring knife before chopping. You can substitute 1 heaping teaspoon ground ginger for the fresh in this recipe.
- Grated Carrots: I used a box grater for this recipe, but you can also use the grating function on your food processor.
- Peanuts: Optional in this recipe! If allergies are a concern and you still want the nut component, use chopped almonds.
- Scallions: These are a component of the sauce as well as a garnish.
- Butter Lettuce: Feel free to substitute green leaf lettuce, Boston or even romaine if you can't find the butter lettuce varietal.
- Olive Oil: Interchangeable with vegetable oil or canola oil
Most of these ingredients can be located in the Asian foods section of your grocery store. Don't worry if you can't find one or two of them, or if you need to substitute where indicated. The sauce will still taste complex and flavorful!!
- Hoisin Sauce: Hoisin sauce is a thick, fragrant sauce commonly used in Chinese cuisine as a glaze, for stir fry, or for sauces. It is dark, thick and sweet and salty in taste.
- Soy Sauce: Low sodium preferred, as there are already other salty aspects to the sauce.
- Sherry: Found with the vinegars in most grocery stores. Substitute a white cooking wine here!
- Oyster Sauce: Oyster sauce is a thick, syrupy sauce used in Chinese cuisine. Although it doesn't taste like fish as the name would indicate, it is made from oyster extract. Like Hoisin sauce, its taste is a mixture of sweet and salty.
- Rice Vinegar: Unseasoned, if possible. Substitute red or white wine vinegar here.
- Lime Juice
- Sriracha: A generous pinch of crushed red pepper is a good substitute here!
- Dark Sesame Oil
- Garlic: Although fresh garlic is preferred, you can substitute 1 tsp ground garlic
- Cornstarch: Helps to slightly thicken the sauce upon cooking.
How to Make Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Step by Step Photos
- Start out by prepping your veggies for the chicken mixture. Chop the water chestnuts, shiitakes and fresh ginger and then grate the carrot.
2. Next, add the veggies to the ground chicken in a medium bowl and mix well. Feel free to use clean, slightly wet hands here, as that is sometimes easier than a spoon.
3. Add all of the ingredients for the sauce to a bowl and whisk to blend.
4. Pour 3/4 of the sauce over the chicken mixture, stirring to blend. After that, let the mixture rest to marinate for 15 minutes.
5. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Next, add the chicken mixture and sauté until cooked through, 8-10 minutes.
6. Transfer the filling to a bowl. Arrange the bowl on a table or platter alongside butter lettuce leave, extra sauce, peanuts and scallions. Scoop the filling into the lettuce cups, garnish and serve hot.
Common questions about this Chicken Lettuce Wraps Recipe
Feel free to use any type of lettuce that has sturdy, larger leaves to hold the filling without falling apart or tearing. Butter, Boston, romaine, and green leaf lettuce are all good options.
No, if you can't find them all or want to cut back on ingredients, I would suggest omitting either the Hoisin OR the oyster sauce, as they have somewhat similar flavor profiles. You can also leave of the Sriracha if you're not a fan of spice!
Yes! You can use ground turkey, pork or even beef. You can also use chopped or diced chicken breast/thighs. For a vegetarian option, you can substitute a firm tofu.
Yes, once cooked, you can cover and store the lettuce wrap filling the refrigerator for up to three days. When ready to serve, reheat the mixture in the microwave or stovetop in a skillet.
Absolutely! This is a great recipe option for those following a keto or a low-carb diet. The chicken is high protein and the vegetables are a great source of fiber.
Watch this short video to see the lettuce wraps come together!
Looking for some more recipes with a healthier twist? Here are some of my favorites!
- Spinach Salad with Maple Dijon Dressing
- Whole Wheat Banana Huckleberry Muffins
- Baked Blueberry Oatmeal
Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps Recipe
- 1 large skillet
- 2 medium mixing bowls
- 1 whisk
- 5 oz shiitake mushrooms
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
- 8 oz can water chestnuts
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1-1/2 pounds ground chicken
- 1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce low sodium
- 1/4 cup dry Sherry
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar unseasoned
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
- 1 tbsp dark sesame oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 scallions minced
Cooking and Assembly
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup peanuts chopped, optional
- Butter lettuce leaves
- Additional minced scallions
- Trim stems and finely chop the shiitake mushrooms. Drain and finely chop the water chestnuts.
- In a medium bow, combine mushrooms, water chestnuts, ginger, carrots and ground chicken.
- In a second medium bowl, whisk all ingredients for the sauce.
- Add 3/4 of the sauce to the chicken mixture, stirring well to blend. Let marinate 15 minutes.
Cook and Assemble
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken mixture and cook 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until chicken has cooked through and vegetables have softened. Add half the peanuts (if using) and cook 2 minutes more.
- Scoop filling into butter lettuce leaves. Sprinkle with additional peanuts and scallions and drizzle with extra sauce. Serve hot.
...and i thought Miami is hot!.. Never been to LV on summer. Was there last winter (Jan), weather was pleasant during the day, and cold at night. Anyways, I like the cilantro-lime combo here... must have been a lovely meal.
I love cilantro-lime anything, and I've been working on a pilaf for a while - it just needs a little tweaking.
I have a surprise for you on my blog; please stop by!
I can really sympathize with you on the heat, here in Phoenix... perhaps we should take advantage of the cement's frying-ablities and stop using so much electricity in the house? 🙂
I love this dish btw, southwestern flare on an Asian-american classic