These Chicken Lettuce Wraps are easy, healthy, and better than P.F. Chang’s lettuce wraps! Tender ground chicken and veggies are cooked in an outrageously addictive, sweet-and-salty Asian sauce, then piled inside crisp lettuce cups.
Why You’ll Love This Lettuce Wraps Recipe
- It Uses Simple Ingredients. As with my vegetarian Lettuce Wraps, it was important to me that these wraps be made of simple ingredients that are easy to find at most grocery stores. You may even have all the ingredients in your kitchen right now!
- They’re Fancy Without Being Fussy. Just like my Asian Chicken Wraps, these easy lettuce wraps are flavorful without requiring hours of prep time. They can be made in the slow cooker or on the stovetop. Each option is equally as delicious, so choose whichever fits best with your schedule.
- The Leftovers Are a Dream. Like my Egg Roll in a Bowl, these lettuce wraps yield a generous portion of the filling, and any amount you don’t finish will last in the refrigerator for several days and can be frozen for several months. Simply grab some fresh lettuce leaves and you have a meal prep dream.
- They’re Healthier Than a Restaurant. As with all my stir fry recipes, these lettuce wraps have the same sweet crunch and addictive taste as the restaurant kind, but they’re so much better for you. Every spoonful provides double-duty servings of both protein and vegetables.
5 Star Review
“These were truly amazing! So delicious! They were a winner with the whole fam. “— Sarah —
How to Make Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Ground Chicken. Ground chicken is quick-cooking, mild, and it will soak up the flavor of the sauce without overpowering it. Perfect! Plus, it’s packed with filling protein.
- Hoisin + Soy Sauce. The sweet, sticky, salty, and umami base for our sauce. Think of hoisin as sweet Asian BBQ sauce (YUM!). I use low sodium soy sauce to keep the sodium levels lower.
- Rice Vinegar. It provides a touch of acidity to balance the sweetness of the hoisin and the saltiness of the soy sauce. It’s a staple in Asian-style recipes like this one. You can also use it in any of these recipes that use rice vinegar.
- Sesame Oil. A richly nutty and toasty counterpart to the sweetness in our sauce. This one is hard to swap; if you cook Asian food often (or aspire to), you’ll love having it on hand.
- Ginger + Garlic. Twin flavor bombs in Asian cooking. Fresh ginger is best but you can swap in one-third the amount of ground ginger in a pinch.
- Mushrooms + Grated Carrots. Even if you don’t like mushrooms, I highly doubt you will notice them here! They are chopped super small, and their flavor deepens the sauce without making it taste like mushrooms. Plus, the added veggies help make this dish more nutritious. Mushrooms bring antioxidants and vitamins, and carrots are packed with fiber.
- Red Pepper Flakes. Just a little for some heat.
- Water Chestnuts. The delicious “crunch” factor. They are mild but so worthwhile.
- Butter Lettuce. Butter lettuce is the best for lettuce wraps (bibb lettuce works well too). The leaves are tender and slightly sweet, making them the ideal vessel for our filling.
- Prepare the Lettuce Wrap Sauce. A liquid measuring cup works well for this.
- Brown the Chicken. Add the green onions, ginger, and garlic to the pan.
- Cook. Transfer all ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours.
- Serve. Scoop the mixture into the lettuce cups, and DIG IN!
- Beef Lettuce Wraps. Swap the ground chicken in this recipe for lean ground beef. The flavor will be different but still tasty.
- Pork Lettuce Wraps. Swap the ground chicken for ground pork. (Love pork in Asian recipes? Don’t miss my Pork Stir Fry with peanut butter.)
- Turkey Lettuce Wraps. Use ground turkey instead of ground chicken. This swap is nearly imperceptible.
- Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Since lettuce wrap recipes like this one are designed for cooking ground meat (versus a whole chicken breast), I’d recommend making this Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken or this Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken, then folding it into lettuce cups.
- To Store. Leftover filling can be stored in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Store your lettuce separately in an airtight container or ziptop bag in the refrigerator. I like to wrap my lettuce leaves in a dry paper towel or clean kitchen towel before placing them in the container/bag to help preserve their crunch.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm the filling in a large skillet on the stove over medium-low heat. You can also reheat this recipe in the microwave. Fill lettuce cups just before serving.
- To Freeze. You can freeze chicken lettuce wraps filling. Place leftover filling in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and serve with fresh lettuce cups.
Meal Prep Tip
Up to 1 day in advance, brown the meat as directed with the green onions, ginger, and garlic. Refrigerate the mixture in an airtight storage container until you’re ready to finish the recipe.
Leftover lettuce wrap filling is scrumptious served over rice or noodles for an easy meal. You can also turn leftovers into a salad by serving them over lettuce.
What to Serve With Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Salad. Salad goes well with chicken lettuce wraps. Asian Cabbage Salad and Asian Cucumber Salad would both be tasty.
- Veggies. Pair lettuce wraps with Roasted Frozen Broccoli, Air Fryer Green Beans, or Roasted Eggplant.
- Noodles. Vegetable Lo Mein would be delicious with lettuce wraps for dinner.
- Rice. Keep it simple with white rice or brown rice, or pair these lettuce wraps with Egg Fried Rice.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Slow Cooker. I love that it switches to “keep warm” at the end of the cooking time so my food rarely overcooks.
- Dutch Oven. This one is perfect for browning the meat and preparing lettuce wrap recipes on the stovetop.
- Measuring Spoons. These are easy to store and can go in the dishwasher.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Cook on Low. I do not recommend cooking Asian chicken lettuce wraps on high in the slow cooker. Low heat is the best option to ensure a tender, perfectly cooked filling.
- Don’t Overstuff. If you don’t mind filling slipping out of your lettuce, then feel free to stuff away! However, if you want to serve perfectly portioned, easy-to-eat lettuce wraps (think dinner party), then use less filling per lettuce cup.
- Keep Your Lettuce Separate. Refrigerate your lettuce separately to help it stay crisp. I wrap my lettuce leaves in a dry towel before placing them in the storage container to help preserve their crunch.
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce plus 1 tablespoon, use tamari to make gluten free
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds ground chicken breast
- 1 small bunch green onions thinly sliced, white/light green and dark green parts divided
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 8 ounces baby bella cremini mushrooms finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cup grated carrots from about 3 large carrots
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes reduce to 1/4 teaspoon or omit if sensitive to spice
- 2 (8-ounce) cans water chestnuts drained and finely chopped
- 2 heads butter lettuce
- Lightly coat a 5-quart or larger slow cooker with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, stir together the hoisin, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high. Add the chicken and brown the meat, breaking it into small pieces. Continue cooking until no longer pink, about 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the white and light green parts of the green onions, ginger, and garlic. Cook 30 additional seconds.
- Transfer the meat mixture to the slow cooker. Stir in the chopped mushrooms, carrots, red pepper flakes, and sauce. Cover and cook on LOW for 2 to 3 hours until the mixture is thickened and the chicken is ultra tender. (Do not be tempted to cook on HIGH, as the chicken will become tough.) Stir in the water chestnuts and green parts of the green onions.
- To serve, separate the butter lettuce leaves and fill with the chicken mixture. Enjoy hot.
- TO MAKE ON THE STOVETOP: Prepare the recipe through step 2 in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add the chopped mushrooms, carrots, red pepper flakes, and sauce. Reduce the heat to low and let cook until the chicken and mushrooms are very tender and the sauce has thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Check and stir periodically. Stir in the water chestnuts and green tops of the green onions. Enjoy!
- I do not recommend cooking this recipe on high in the slow cooker. The filling does best over low heat so that it becomes nice and tender.
- TO STORE: Leftover filling can be stored in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Store your lettuce separately in an airtight container or ziptop bag in the refrigerator. I like to wrap my lettuce leaves in a dry paper towel or clean kitchen towel before placing them in the container/bag to help preserve their crunch.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm the filling in a large skillet on the stove over medium-low heat. You can also reheat this recipe in the microwave. Fill lettuce cups just before serving.
- TO FREEZE: Place leftover filling in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and serve with fresh lettuce cups.
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Frequently Asked Questions
To ensure that this recipe is gluten free, carefully read the label of each of your specific ingredients. While the ingredients should all gluten free, some of the brands available at grocery stores (especially hoisin) may include gluten. Make sure to use brands that contain no gluten.
Yes! If you’d like to give these lettuce wraps a kick, you could add extra red pepper flakes or sriracha.
While there isn’t much information on the history of chicken lettuce wraps, many say they got their start in Southeast Asia thousands of years ago. Lettuce wraps served as a nutritious way to make food easier to eat.
This recipe is ready to enjoy as is, but you can certainly incorporate some toppings if you please. I think chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, or crispy chow mein noodles would be tasty options.