This versatile recipe for Easy Peasy Lettuce Wraps is great for busy weeknights – it’s a healthy crowd-pleaser that comes together in less than 30 minutes!
If you’re looking for an easy, healthy recipe to make for dinner this week, these lettuce wraps are your answer! This dish comes together quickly and can be easily adapted depending on your family’s taste. Use any type of protein you like – even shrimp or tofu – and adjust the jalapeño and sambal oelek to suit your preferred level of spice. This is one of my favorite Asian-inspired recipes on the site, right up there with my Cashew Shrimp and Easy Weeknight Stir-Fry. Add it to your meal plan this week!
Why This Recipe Works
- It comes together in less than 30 minutes, making it perfect for any busy weeknight.
- You can use any protein you like – ground turkey, ground beef, shrimp or tofu!
- It’s a healthy choice, with all food groups covered in one dish.
- It holds up well. Make the filling up to two days in advance and just reheat and serve with the lettuce wraps when ready!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Ground turkey or protein of choice – I love using ground turkey as the protein in this dish, but you can easily substitute whatever you prefer, like ground chicken, beef, or even chopped up shrimp or tofu.
Sesame oil – This adds great depth of flavor to the dish. You can find it in the Asian section of your grocery store or online here.
Maple syrup – This might sound like an odd addition to an Asian dish, but it does a fantastic job of balancing out the spiciness from the jalapeño (if using) and the sambal oelek.
Sambal oelek – Otherwise known as chili garlic paste, this adds a nice spice to your lettuce wraps. Feel free to cut back on the amount or omit the paste completely if you or your family aren’t fans of spice. You can also find this in the Asian section of the grocery store, or online here.
Hoisin – This is the main flavoring ingredient in these wraps, so don’t skip it! My favorite brand is Lee Kum Kee, which you can find at many grocery stores or online here.
Water chestnuts – Don’t worry, these aren’t as hard to find as you think! They’re available at most grocers with a decent Asian section. They’re also shelf-stable, which means you can stock up and keep some extra cans in your pantry. If you can’t find them at the store, you can also buy them here.
Green onions – Don’t omit these! They add the perfect flavor to your lettuce wraps.
Lettuce – Be sure to find a head of lettuce that has leaves with good structure. You want to be able to wrap up your filling in them like tacos.
Cashews – These are another seemingly minor ingredient that should not be missed! Toasting the cashews before stirring them in also adds an extra depth of flavor that you don’t want to skip.
This dish is so easy to make it’s practically a one-pot meal!
First, you’ll want to brown your protein in a skillet using your choice of oil (I prefer avocado or coconut). Once the protein has gotten a good head start browning, add the garlic, jalapeños (if using), hoisin, sesame oil, sambal oelek and maple syrup and stir. Let this all simmer and meld for a few minutes.
The next step is to add in the water chestnuts and green onions.
Finally, stir in the cashews.
Now all that’s left is to scoop the delicious filling you’ve made into your lettuce cups!
The possibilities are endless! I usually use ground turkey, but you can also use ground chicken, ground beef, ground bison, chopped shrimp or tofu.
Yes, you can make the filling for your lettuce wraps up to two days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Just scoop into your lettuce cups when ready to serve.
Of course. Just omit the jalapeño and either reduce or completely omit the sambal oelek.
More Easy Dinner Recipes You’ll Love
This incredible Loaded Greek Skillet…
This Mango Shrimp Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette that’s just bursting with flavor…
These summer-y Lobster Roll Lettuce Wraps with Brioche Crumbles…
Or this Healthy Shrimp and Poblano Enchilada Quinoa Bake.
Tried this recipe and loved it?? Be sure to leave a comment and five-star rating in the recipe card below!
Easy Peasy Lettuce Wraps
For the filling:
- 2 tablespoons coconut or avocado oil
- 1 pound ground turkey or any other ground, chopped or minced protein of your choice
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 jalapeño, minced optional
- 1/2 cup hoisin
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1-2 tablespoons sambal oelek depending on your spice preference
- 1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped both green and white parts
- 3/4 cup unsalted cashews, toasted and chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- Anything else that sounds good! (More jalapeño, chopped tomato, avocado, etc.)
- Large romaine or butter lettuce leaves
- Heat oil in large, deep skillet or wok (if you have one.) Add ground meat (or tofu) and stir until just starting to brown. Add garlic and jalapeño (if using); continue to stir until all meat is lightly browned and garlic and jalapenos become fragrant.
- Add hoisin, sesame oil, sambal oelek and maple syrup, stir until combined.
- Stir in water chestnuts and green onions, let simmer for a few minutes to let everything meld together.
- Right before serving, stir in toasted cashews. Garnish with cilantro (and anything else your heart desires.)
- Serve with lettuce leaves.
- Feel free to use any protein you prefer in this recipe: ground turkey, ground chicken, ground beef or bison, or even shrimp or tofu.
- Adjust the level of spice to your liking by omitting the jalapeño and adjusting the amount of sambal oelek.
- You can make the filling for the lettuce wraps up to two days in advance and store it covered in the refrigerator.
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