Enjoy these Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps in under 30 minutes – for a healthy, flavorful low-carb wrap! Choose the protein of your choice (chicken breast, ground chicken or turkey, etc.) and load it up with a savory sauce and cashew nuts piled up into fresh crispy lettuce – way better and healthier than any restaurant!!
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Chicken lettuce wraps are on the menu of most restaurants these days. Truth is I never order them anymore because of the price. Even more truth – we rarely eat out except for sushi. That’s what happens when you learn how to cook.
Instead when I get a craving for takeout, I make dishes like chicken tacos (including ground chicken tacos and buffalo chicken tacos), tostadas, and – for those days, I want something lighter- these healthy lettuce wraps with low fat chicken or turkey. Combine the meat with cashews (always!), firm veggies I have on hand, and a fair amount of delicious healthy sauce for a simple low-carb lunch or dinner.
This chicken lettuce wraps recipe beats any restaurant’s menu. Flavorful, crunchy and saucy low carb dinner or appetizer. It can be prepared ahead and served with a side like quinoa, rice, or even a baked potato for extra hungry people like my husband.
Once you make these easy chicken lettuce wraps, you will stop eating out too!
Ingredients for Lettuce Wraps
To make teriyaki chicken lettuce wraps you need simple ingredients you probably have on hand already. I swear I cook with same 30 ingredients over and over.
- Chicken breasts or thighs, or ground chicken or ground turkey
- 1 head of lettuce
- Firm veggies like zucchini and bell pepper – You could also use cooked veggie leftovers, like grilled zucchini.
- Onion, garlic, ginger and green onion
- Soy sauce, maple syrup, vinegar and cornstarch
Don’t feel intimidated if you are missing something. Just use what you have on hand (and those veggies starting to go a little wrinkly in the back of the fridge!)
Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps Sauce
When it comes to Asian dishes like beef stir fry, chicken stir fry and teriyaki chicken, I always make my own sauce. I never buy pre-made sauces because they are loaded with sugar, sodium and preservatives. They are the worst of all processed foods!
All there is to a healthy Asian sauce is:
- Cold water so cornstarch dissolves.
- Soy sauce or liquid aminos.
- Any sweetener like maple syrup, honey, agave, sugar etc.
- Any light colour vinegar like rice vinegar or just white or white wine vinegar.
- Cornstarch or arrowroot powder or none. Not the end of the world.
What Kind of Lettuce Works?
The best lettuce choices for cashew chicken lettuce wraps:
- Iceberg lettuce – It is what PF Chang’s serves their ground chicken lettuce wraps in. It is not my favorite for a few reasons. Its leaves are hard to separate and I find them tasteless and watery. It is also hard to find organic and you know me and my Dirty Dozen.:)
- Romaine lettuce – It is the same lettuce you use for making Caesar salad. It is often sold in plastic bags, hearts only. Super easy to separate and buy organic. Romaine leaves are also sturdy which are perfect for holding the filling. I don’t love the longboat look though.
- Butter lettuce – Also known as Boston bibb lettuce is my favorite. It has soft texture paired with sweet taste and pretty round shape. Easy to separate and you might need to stack a few leaves on top of each other. It is not always available and can be pricey off season but I still buy it for lettuce wraps.:)
I feel like the butter lettuce I grabbed (pictured) had leaves a bit too small. But hey, it worked and was locally grown.
How to Make Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Make sure all ingredients are ready before cooking. It is kind of like stir fry situation.
- Toast cashews first and set aside.
- Cook onion, garlic and ginger for 1 minute. Then add chicken and cook for 10 minutes.
- Whisk sauce ingredients in a bowl and to the skillet with chicken. Also add zucchini and bell pepper at the same time—Cook for 1 minute.
- To assemble chicken lettuce wraps, use 2-3 stacked lettuce leaves and spoon desired amount of filling on top.
Tips for Best Lettuce Wraps
- Make sure chicken and veggies are diced and minced where required.
- If you don’t have cashews use almonds or skip. I did not like the taste of walnuts.
- Use well pre-heated skillet.
How to Store
Chicken lettuce wraps taste best fresh. Obviously, because of the nature of my job where I cook dinner at lunchtime, I just reheat filling in the skillet before dinner. I place skillet in the fridge, remove straight to the stove and voila. Saves washing dishes.
You can refrigerate filling for up to 3 days.
What I also like to do is to separate, wash and dry leaves from entire head of lettuce. Then I wrap them in a linen towel. And it kind of will be moist from the leaves because it’s impossible to dry lettuce completely. And it’s perfect. You can refrigerate lettuce this way for up to 3 days too. When it’s time to eat, healthy dinner becomes easy-peasy.
This Asian lettuce wraps recipe is perfect for a low-carb dinner. I stack 2-4 layers of leaves to load up on fiber and avoid late night hunger.
However, they can also be served as a light main alongside several sides for those particularly hungry (my husband, for sure!). In that case, I suggest serving these lettuce wraps alongside dishes like:
- Rice: You can serve the chicken lettuce wraps over a bed of brown rice or add even more flavor to the meal through the likes of this rice and beans.
- Quinoa: Like this Instant Pot quinoa, Mediterranean quinoa salad, or quinoa tabbouleh salad.
- Cauli Rice: Alternatively, you can serve the wraps with another low-carb alternative in the form of cauliflower rice; Cauliflower fried rice, Thai cauli rice, and cilantro lime cauliflower rice are all delicious options!
- Roasted veggies: Like this roasted sweet potatoes, asparagus, or brussels sprouts.
It’s perfect for a hot summer day or equally amazing at a winter Super Bowl party.
Kids love-love the filling in warm flour tortilla. Just heat tortilla in a cast-iron skillet until bubbles appear on each side. Your teenagers will be kissing you “Good night, mom!”.
Hope you enjoy these healthy chicken lettuce wraps! And I would love to hear below how much you enjoy them:)
More Healthy Chicken Recipes
- Healthy chicken stir fry
- Thai chicken curry
- Healthy chicken salad
- Grilled chicken salad
- Healthy chicken alfredo
- Healthy chicken pot pie
- Thai chicken salad
You might also want to browse through my complete list of 30-minute meals!
Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- 1.5 lbs chicken breast diced
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 inch knob ginger minced
- 1 small zucchini diced
- 1 small bell pepper diced
- 1 cup cashews coarsely chopped
- 2 green onion sprigs chopped
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 2 tbsp soy sauce I used aminos
- 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 head of butter iceberg or Romaine lettuce, leaves separated
- 1 tbsp avocado or any oil for frying
- Make sure all ingredients are chopped and ready.
- Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat and add cashews. Pan fry until toasted, stirring constantly. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Return skillet to medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion, garlic and ginger; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add chicken and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Right before chicken is done cooking, in a small bowl add cold water, soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar and cornstarch; whisk with a fork. Add to the chicken long with zucchini and bell pepper; cook for 1 minute or until sauce has thickened. Stir in cashews and green onions.
Store: Refrigerate filling in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat on a skillet before assembling lettuce wraps. You can also refrigerate washed lettuce leaves wrapped in linen towel for up to 3 days.
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