Chicken Lettuce Wraps

$12.94 recipe / $3.23 serving
by Marsha - Budget Bytes
4.59 from 12 votes
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Of all the small plate recipes, one of the easiest to prepare and one of my personal favorites is Chicken Lettuce Wraps. The crisp lettuce leaves hold a saucy ground chicken and vegetable mixture and every bite is full of freshness and bold flavor! If you love to make Asian-inspired recipes as much as I do, then you might already have a lot of these ingredients at home, which makes this recipe simple, easy to prepare, and satisfying in every bite!

Overhead shot of chicken lettuce wraps with a small bowl of chopped peanuts and a small bowl of peanut lime dressing served on the side.

Ingredients Needed For Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This recipe includes 3 simple elements: a sauce, the chicken and vegetable filling and a dressing drizzled on top. The dressing is optional, but highly recommended :)

  • Ground Chicken – ground chicken is a very lean meat with not a lot of fat, but it comes to life with this delicious sauce poured on top. You can easily sub the chicken for ground turkey or ground pork if you prefer.
  • Vegetables – I kept things simple with some chopped water chestnuts and a diced red bell pepper. You can find the water chestnuts usually in the International food aisle.
  • The Sauce – the sauce is the star of the show in these lettuce wraps! It’s made with a simple mixture of asian sauces, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and a little bit of fresh ginger and garlic.
  • Peanut Lime Dressing – when you order chicken lettuce wraps in a restaurant it’s often served with a dipping sauce, but we decided to pair ours with a half portion of our fav creamy Peanut Lime Dressing! You only need a little bit drizzled on each lettuce wrap and it adds great depth of flavor to these tasty wraps.

What Lettuce Is Best For Lettuce Wraps?

You can use a variety of different types of lettuce for chicken lettuce wraps including bibb lettuce, butter lettuce, green leaf lettuce or even romaine lettuce. We opted for these cute iceberg lettuce boats that we caught on sale, and the chicken filling fits perfectly inside each one. Bibb lettuce will wrap nicely around the filling and looks beautiful plated, but it can also be on the pricier side.

Ingredient Substitutions

I love recipes that you can easily customize with ingredients you already have in your fridge or pantry. Here are few suggestions:

  • Ground turkey – ground turkey also works well in these lettuce wraps. It’s leaner than beef and tastes great with the sauce! Just make sure you buy 93% lean ground turkey and not ground turkey breast which has almost zero fat in it. You definitely don’t want to make that mistake.
  • Vegetables – you can easily add or swap out the vegetables with some of your own favorites like diced onions, green bell peppers, or chopped baby bella mushrooms. Just make sure to dice them up into smaller bite size pieces so they fit nicely in the lettuce wraps.
  • Dressing & Toppings – we paired these lettuce wraps with our creamy peanut lime dressing, which worked beautifully, a few green onions and peanuts for extra texture; but feel free to skip the dressing and top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds or a little sriracha if you wanna add some spice!
Very close up shot of chicken lettuce wraps being drizzled with peanut lime dressing.

What to Serve With Chicken Lettuce Wraps

You can have chicken lettuce wraps as an appetizer or your main dish, but they also taste great paired with some coconut rice, a quick & easy vegetable lo mein, sesame cucumber salad, crispy rice noodles, or this simple cold peanut noodle salad. The noodle salad uses the same sweet & tangy peanut lime dressing so you can easily just make a full batch of the dressing and drizzle it on both!

How To Store Leftovers

If you’re lucky enough to have any leftovers, be sure to store the chicken filling and the lettuce separately. You can store the chicken filling in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Then store any extra lettuce in a food storage bag in the fridge for up to 4 days as well.

Side angle shot of chicken lettuce wraps
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Chicken Lettuce Wraps

4.59 from 12 votes
These Chicken Lettuce Wraps are full of freshness and bold flavor, easy to prepare, and satisfying in every bite!
Overhead shot of chicken lettuce wraps with bowls of chopped peanuts, chopped green onions and peanut lime dressing on the side.
Servings 4 3 lettuce wraps each
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 30 minutes

Ingredients

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce ($0.42)
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.14)
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar ($0.10)
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil ($0.30)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger ($0.60)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
  • 1 lb ground chicken ($4.49)
  • 1 red bell pepper ($1.25)
  • 8 oz canned water chestnuts, drained ($1.69)
  • 2 green onions ($0.22)
  • 1/4 cup peanuts ($0.12)
  • 12 lettuce leaves ($2.20)

Peanut Lime Dressing

  • 1.5 Tbsp natural style peanut butter ($0.11)
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.02)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • 1/4 tsp fresh grated ginger ($0.05)
  • 1 medium lime, juiced (1 Tbsp juice) ($0.50)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce ($0.04)
  • 2 Tbsp neutral oil ($0.41)

Instructions 

  • First, make the sauce for the chicken lettuce wraps. In a small bowl combine the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, fresh grated ginger and minced garlic. Set the sauce aside.
  • Next chop the red bell pepper and water chestnuts into similar size pieces. Then slice the green onions and give the peanuts a rough chop. Set veggies and nuts aside.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the cooking oil. Once oil is heated, add the ground chicken, crumble and cook until browned.
  • Add the red bell pepper and water chestnuts to the skillet. Saute for two minutes.
  • Pour the prepared sauce mixture into the skillet and mix well. Cook for two more minutes to allow the sauce to soak into the chicken and vegetables. Remove from the heat and top with green onions and chopped peanuts.
  • Next, make the peanut lime dressing. In a small bowl combine the natural style peanut butter, brown sugar, minced garlic clove, freshly grated ginger, 1 Tbsp of lime juice, soy sauce, and the neutral oil. Whisk or stir together well and set aside.
  • Serve 1/3 cup of the chicken and vegetable mixture inside each lettuce wrap and drizzle a little of the peanut lime dressing on top. Enjoy!

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Nutrition

Serving: 3lettuce wrapsCalories: 496kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 27gFat: 32gSodium: 966mgFiber: 6g
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How To Make Chicken Lettuce Wraps – Step By Step Photos

Overhead shot of a bowl of asian sauce mixture.

Start by making the sauce for the chicken. In a small bowl mix 1/4 cup hoisin sauce, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger, and 2 garlic cloves minced. Stir well and set aside.

Chopped bell pepper, water chestnuts, green onions and peanuts on a wood cutting board.

Dice one red bell pepper. Drain and dice one 8oz. can of water chestnuts. Slice 2 green onions and give the peanuts a rough chop. Set these ingredients to the side.

Cooked ground chicken in a large stainless steel skillet.

Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once oil is hot, add 1 lb ground chicken, crumble, and cook until browned.

Cooked ground chicken with red bell pepper and water chestnuts.

Mix in diced bell pepper and water chestnuts into the skillet and saute for 2 minutes.

Asian sauce mixture being poured over cooked chicken and vegetables.

Pour the sauce mixture into the skillet and mix well. Continue to cook and stir for 2 minutes.

Finished chicken and vegetables with green onions and chopped peanuts sprinkled on top.

Remove from heat and add 2 sliced green onions and 1/4 cup chopped peanuts. Feel free to reserve some of the green onions and peanuts to add on top of the individual lettuce wraps.

Overhead close up shot of peanut lime dressing.

Next, make the peanut dressing. In a small bowl combine 1.5 Tbsp natural style peanut butter, 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/4 tsp grated fresh ginger, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1 tsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp neutral oil. Mix well.

Chicken and vegetable filling being added to chicken lettuce wraps.

Serve chicken filling inside lettuce with a drizzle of the peanut lime dressing and enjoy!

close up shot of chicken lettuce wraps with peanut lime dressing being drizzled on top.

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  1. Hi there! My partner and I found this recipe to be delicious! I meal prepped it for my lunch by storing chopped lettuce in a ziplock, and the peanuts separately to avoid them getting soggy. Thank you guys for the wonderful recipes.

    I wanted to ask, do you think this recipe would freeze okay? Obviously without the lettuce & nuts in it. If not, how long do you think it’d be okay in the fridge?

    Thank you!

    1. You should be able to freeze the chicken mixture just fine! It really depends on your freezer but you should be able to freeze it for a couple of months.

  2. This is SO GOOD!! Making again tonight! I like to add a little pinch of fresh cilantro and some red pepper flake on top!

  3. I made this a couple weeks ago and can’t stop thinking about it. This was so good! It was flavorful and light. This will be perfect for summer nights too! I didn’t mind the extra sauciness since it made the leftovers even better.

  4. Added 8 oz mushrooms and turned out fabulous, not too much sauce at all! Would definitely make again! Would maybe make a double batch of the peanut sauce? Didn’t have green onions but would definitely add to the dish.

  5. Yummy but like some of the other comments say hard to eat. I also had a lot of liquid with the meat and the sauce mixture didn’t help this.

  6. Very tasty! We kept eating it all after we ran out lettuce. Super fast and easy! I will definitely be making again

    1. I didn’t have a problem with too much liquid in the pan like some other reviewers are saying, but I also added a whole carrot sliced and chopped thin which may have absorbed more of it. I also let it sit for maybe 20 minutes off the heat which probably helped as well. No problem with the lettuce breaking, probably because it wasn’t steaming hot when I served it for lunch. Finished with cilantro as well as the green onions. Dressing was a little sweet for me, I’d either cut the sugar or substitute with coconut sugar next time. All in all enjoyed it.

  7. I really didn’t think I’d be into this sort of recipe. It’s not like anything I normally make, but it was fantastic! Less added sugar than other recipes of its kind, yummy flavor, felt fresh and crunchy. The sauce really popped.

  8. Wonderful recipe! I have used an Asian lettuce wraps recipe from Martha Stewart in the past and remember so I took some things from her recipe too. I used 1 pound of both ground chicken and pork, shredded 3 carrots, and served it along rice (I think she mixed hers in). Everything else I used from here. It was a great summer time meal.

  9. I made this for dinner tonight. They were super easy to cook and taste amazing! I’m not a fan of how lettuce wraps break so made them as a bowl. I placed three of the lettuce leaves in the bowl, then spooned the meat on top. It’s a great light meal that’s really filling. Definitely making this again

  10. I tried these and they were pretty easy to cook, just not to serve. I wish there were more tips on how to get the lettuce boat to not fall apart while eating it! (I’m also bad at tearing lettuce off the head, so that didn’t help.)

    1. Haha, I feel ya there! If you like the flavor but now how messy they are to eat, you could always serve them salad-style! Just chop up the lettuce and spoon the meat mixture over top, then use a fork to eat. :)

  11. Hi Beth, Just made this tonight and it was delicious! Also wanted to point out that the part where we need to add the garlic and ginger to the meat is missing from the instructions. Really appreciate all that you do!!

    1. Hi Shannon, the garlic and ginger for the meat portion is added to the sauce. The sauce ingredients are listed in the very first step of the recipe card and the step-by-step instructions. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  12. The instructions for this are unclear – eg: “one lime” is listed in the dressing ingredients, but the instructions on the recipe card exclude reference to the lime completely, and don’t really even provide guidance on dressing assembly. Also…lime juice? The whole lime? I can intuit that she means juice of one lime, but the recipe card does not make this clear. Instructions also state to chop the veggies into the same size, but provides no indication of what size that should be. The illustrated steps help, but it should align with the written instructions and one should not need to read through both to make a fairly straightforward recipe. I see that this is a new contributor to the site so there may be a learning curve. At the end of the day it tasted fine and we figured it out, but just wasn’t up to the standard I’m used to for this site.

  13. We had this tonight and it was delicious! Added a bit of sambal to the cooking sauce for spice and served with coconut rice. A note on the recipe write up- the actual recipe card doesn’t include the instructions for making the peanut sauce, though thankfully the step-by-step does. I assumed you meant “the juice of one lime” and no zest or anything else there. It’s really helpful for me to have an amount listed for lime juice. I had a quite big one and stopped to taste after juicing half of it. Definitely was enough. I very well might have not thought about that and ended up with too much if I was more in a rush. But it was a delightful meal – I’m looking forward to the leftovers!

    1. Ah, good catch! Thank you so much for letting us know. We’ll fix that ASAP. :)