Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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I can’t get enough of these Asian chicken lettuce wraps. They’re a satisfying yet light bite of umami-flavored minced chicken, crisp vegetables, and tender lettuce leaves. It’s my version of PF Chang’s chicken lettuce wraps, but homemade and healthier!

Asian chicken lettuce wraps on a plate.
Photo: Gayle McLeod

Why You’ll Love These Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I’m a big fan of Chinese takeout made at home — just check out my kung pao chicken, shrimp fried rice, and chicken stir-fry. One-pan meals are my specialty! But these chicken lettuce wraps are next level (aka they’re bursting with flavor), and I’m certain you’ll devour them as quickly as I do. Here’s why you’ll love the recipe:

  • It’s a healthier take on a restaurant classic. I’m a big proponent of home cooking because you know the exact ingredients going into your meal. And this easy chicken recipe uses fresh ingredients and high-quality pantry staples — all with the same great flavor as you would enjoy in a Chinese restaurant. 
  • It’s the tastiest 30-minute dinner. I mention a lot of “favorite” 30-minute dinners on my website, but this one steals the spotlight every time I make it. It’s healthy all-around, quick to make, and the sauce has incredible depth to it.
  • It’s naturally gluten-free. It can be difficult grabbing Asian take-out if you’re celiac or gluten-free like me. But a quick swap of regular soy sauce for tamari soy sauce makes this recipe 100% gluten-free and safe! 
Ingredients for chicken lettuce wraps.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wrap Ingredients

  • For the sauce: A mix of tamari soy sauce, blackstrap molasses (the best flavor enhancer), toasted sesame oil, white wine vinegar, and almond butter. It’s salty and nutty with hints of umami — just so satisfying. 
  • For the chicken mixture: You’ll need ground chicken, minced garlic, onion, ginger, water chestnuts, and green onions. Don’t skimp on any of these ingredients as they help to add lots of flavor and crispy crunchy textures!
  • To complete the wrap: Grab a bundle of butter leaf lettuce — my favorite for making any lettuce wrap. But if you can’t find that, you can also use Romaine, iceberg, or any other lettuce. 

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

Mixing sauce in a bowl.

How To Make Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Make the sauce. In a mixing bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients and set this aside for later. 

Cook the chicken and aromatics. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add the ground chicken and cook until browned, making sure to break up the chicken with a spatula as it cooks. Then, add the onion, garlic, and ginger to the chicken and cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer, or until the onion starts to become translucent.

Cooked minced meat with vegetables in a pan.

Add the sauce. Pour the sauce on top of the chicken mixture and stir until well combined. Add the water chestnuts and green onions, and stir everything together, then season with black pepper to your liking. Your house is going to be smelling so good after this!

Serve and assemble. You can serve these already assembled with a large spoonful of the chicken mixture onto each butter leaf lettuce. Or you can place the chicken mixture, lettuce leaves, and any other toppings you’d like in separate bowls for a build-you-own type of dinner. See more topping ideas below. 

Assembling chicken lettuce wraps.

Serving Suggestions

  • Add a few more toppings such as mung bean sprouts or chopped toasted peanuts for added crunch, extra sliced green onion, or a small dollop of chili oil for a slight kick. 
  • Make it an even more filling meal by adding a small spoonful of rice with the minced meat on top of each wrap. 
  • Serve the chicken mixture over rice with a fried egg on top and a side of garlic ginger bok choy, almost like a classic minced meat Chinese dish!

Ingredient Substitutions

  • You can swap the ground chicken for ground beef, ground pork, or ground turkey instead.
  • If you’re soy-free you can use coconut aminos instead.
  • If you don’t have blackstrap molasses, you can try using maple syrup instead. But the flavor won’t be as rich in umami goodness. 
  • If you don’t have almond butter, you can use other types of nut butter such as peanut butter or cashew butter. And yes, you can use seed butter as well! 
Chicken lettuce wraps on a white plate.

More Asian-Inspired Dinners

I hope you love these chicken lettuce wraps as much as I do! If you make the recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out in the comment box below. Your review will help other readers in the community.

A white plate of chicken lettuce wraps.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

4.99 from 53 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

These easy Asian chicken lettuce wraps are a version of PF Chang’s chicken lettuce wraps, but homemade and healthier! Watch the video below to see how I make this in my kitchen.

Video

Ingredients 
 

Sauce

Lettuce Wraps

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • ½ large onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts (whole or sliced), drained and diced
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 head butter lettuce, leaves removed and washed
  • optional: mung bean sprouts

Instructions 

  • Make the sauce. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, almond butter, molasses, vinegar, and sesame oil. Set aside.
    Whisking a chicken sauce in a bowl.
  • Cook the chicken. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add the ground chicken and cook until browned, making sure to break up the chicken with a spatula as it cooks.
    Cooking ground chicken in a pan.
  • Add the aromatics. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger to the chicken and cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer, or until the onion starts to become translucent.
    Cooking ground chicken with onion in a pan.
  • Add the sauce. Pour the sauce on top of the chicken and stir until well combined. Add the water chestnuts and green onions, then stir everything together. Season with black pepper.
    Cooking minced meat mixture for lettuce wraps.
  • To serve. Place a large spoonful of chicken mixture onto a butter lettuce leaf. If you'd like, you can top with mung bean sprouts for added crunch.
    A plate of Asian chicken lettuce wraps.

Lisa’s Tips

Storage Tips
  • To store for the week: Store the minced meat and lettuce leaves in separate containers. They will last for 3 to 4 days in the fridge.
  • To freeze for later: You can freeze the minced meat for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Then, just let it thaw overnight in the fridge when ready to enjoy and reheat in the microwave.
More Tips

Nutrition

Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 1339mg | Potassium: 1039mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1440IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

This post was original published April 2016, but updated to include new photos and a video. 

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




123 Comments

  1. This was very tasty! I had coconut aminos on hand, so that is what I used. Next time, I will look for larger lettuce leaves, as the butter lettuce was small, that or we’ll try not to over-fill! 😊
    I wouldn’t change anything else! Thank you for all of your delicious recipes!! Since I stumbled across your meal prep videos a couple of months ago, this has opened up a whole new resource for healthy meals!! I now have your cookbook as well!

  2. I make lettuce wraps very similar to this for my family, but the sauce made this!!! I had a bit of trouble blending the almond butter into the sauce. Next time, I’ll use an immersion blender to ensure the sauce is fully blended before I add it. I also added the bean sprouts you suggested for extra crunch. Delicious!5 stars

    1. Hi Jennifer – I’m thrilled you loved the sauce. I agree, it really does make the recipe! Enjoy!

  3. These lettuce wraps are fantastic!! Made them today for a friend that came to visit and she gave them two thumbs up as well. Super simple to make and they have great flavor. Your recipes never disappoint! Thank you! :)5 stars

  4. YUM! So good and so easy. Will be making this one on repeat! Happened to have all the ingredients on hand besides the water chestnuts, so skipped those but will add next time. Thanks Lisa for another amazing recipe!5 stars

  5. Love this recipe! Makes the list of recipes everyone in the family will eat. We also add toasted pine nuts to chicken mix at the end similar to a dish at our favorite local Japanese restaurant. Thank you Lisa! As usual your recipes do not disappoint.5 stars

  6. The best lettuce wrap recipe I have ever tried. My family loved the food last night. I made Cabbage slaw and German potatoes on the side to go with it. These were your recipes as well. Thank you! 5 stars all the way ⭐️5 stars

  7. This was delicious. I’ve been looking for an achievable larb type recipe and found this via your email last week.
    My partner who always adds salt to everything I make didn’t add salt! What?!? And he really liked it (he did opt to not use lettuce to wrap it, he just used a spoon)! I replaced the molasses with maple syrup and even used low sodium soy sauce. What a great dish – I really liked the crunch of the water chestnuts.5 stars

    1. Hi Audrey – Perfect timing! I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe. And yes, the water chesnuts are a must for delicious texture.

  8. This was so yummy! I switched out the soy sauce for coconut aminos. Such great flavor! Ended up using the leftovers the next day over brown rice!4 stars

  9. So glad I found your blog – have found so many good recipes on it, and in your cookbook. This one was so easy to put together, and had great flavor. Thanks!!!

  10. If I don’t have any dietary restrictions, could I sub regular soy sauce for the Tamari? Or would it affect the flavour? I have regular soy sauce and don’t want to buy the Tamari if I don’t have to!

  11. This was yummy, I did sub out the molasses for pure maple syrup as that’s what I had on hand :) Thanks for sharing!5 stars