The moment we turned 16, my high school friends and I used our newfound freedom (and the ability to borrow our parents’ cars) to meet for dinner at a certain favorite Asian restaurant chain. We felt very adult and fancy, especially when we split an order of Lettuce Wraps. Tender ground chicken cooked in an outrageously addictive, sweet-and-salty Asian sauce, then piled inside crisp lettuce cups, this famous restaurant appetizer has since become one of my favorite healthy dinner inspirations.

Healthy Asian lettuce wraps with ground chicken or ground turkey, green onions, and fresh veggies

I first wrote about the arrival of the aforementioned illustrious Asian restaurant chain in my Kansas hometown (and the love affair with Asian lettuce wraps that it sparked), back when I shared this recipe for copycat P.F. Chang’s Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps. My love for them hasn’t dwindled in the slightest. 

As it turns out, you also share my lettuce wrap love! The vegetarian version is still one of the most popular on my site, and today’s chicken version has earned a similar set of stellar reviews.

P.F. Chang’s lettuce wraps are made of less accessible ingredients that I’m not as likely to have around, like mirin and shiitake mushrooms.

When I set out to create a copycat version, it was important to me that they be made with simple ingredients that are easy to find at most grocery stores. You may even have all the ingredients in your kitchen right now!

These healthy lettuce wraps are fancy without being fussy and flavorful without requiring hours of work. 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.

Whether you’re looking for a simple recipe that will impress anyone you serve it to, an easy weeknight dinner with wholesome ingredients, or a nutritious stand-in for your weekly takeout order, these Asian lettuce wraps are for you.

Three lettuce cups filled with ground meat, veggies, and an Asian sauce

Asian Lettuce Wraps—A Healthy Recipe Love Story

These Thai chicken lettuce wraps have the same sweet crunch and addictive taste as my original vegetarian recipe, but they’re made with ground chicken instead of tofu.

They also offer a few other advantages over the original.

  1. Crock Pot. This recipe is made in the slow cooker so you have maximum flexibility. Prep it now, then go about your business. In a few hours, dinner is ready to serve.
  2. Scalability. While I love my vegetarian lettuce wraps, a comment I frequently received was that they were gone in a single evening.

While a clean plate is the most sincere of compliments for any home cook, as a lover of meal prep (and anytime I can cook once and eat more than once), I also recognize the benefit of having leftovers.

Today’s recipe for healthy Asian lettuce wraps yields a more generous portion of the filling. Any amount you don’t finish tonight will last in the refrigerator for several days and can be frozen for several months, making them a meal prep dream.

How to Make Lettuce Wraps

What makes this recipe special is its blend of nuanced flavors and textures, along with a well-balanced incorporation of healthy food groups. Every spoonful provides double-duty servings of both protein and vegetables. 

From the “Why can I not stop eating this???” tasty sauce, to the crunch of the water chestnuts, the ingredients blend together beautifully. Every bite delivers.

The Ingredients

  • 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!). If you aren’t able to use soy sauce, you could try tamari or coconut aminos instead. 
  • Rice Vinegar. It provides a touch of acid to balance the sweetness of the hoisin and 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 Vitamin-B, and carrots are packed with Vitamin-A. 
  • Red Pepper Flakes. Just a little for some heat.
  • Water Chestnuts. The delicious “crunch” factor. They are mild but oh so worthwhile.
  • Butter Lettuce. Butter lettuce is the kind of lettuce used for lettuce wraps. The leaves are tender and slightly sweet, making them the ideal vessel for our filling. The inner hearts of romaine lettuce also work well. Need another option? You can use iceberg lettuce for lettuce wraps, if that’s what you have on hand.

The Directions

  1. Combine the sauce ingredients.
  2. Brown the chicken in large skillet. Add the green onion, ginger, and garlic.
  3. Place the mixture in the slow cooker, and stir in the vegetables, red pepper flakes, and sauce. Cook on LOW for 2 to 3 hours. Add the water chestnuts and remaining green onions.
  4. Scoop the mixture into the lettuce cups, and DIG IN!

A slow cooker filled with ground chicken and vegetables for making lettuce wraps

Recipe Adaptations

  • Beef Lettuce Wraps. Swap the ground chicken in this recipe for lean ground beef. The flavor will be different but still tasty.
  • Turkey Lettuce Wraps. Use ground turkey instead of ground chicken. This swap is nearly imperceptible.
  • Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Since this recipe is designed for cooking ground meat (versus a whole chicken breast), instead I’d recommend making this Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken or this Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken, then folding it into lettuce cups.
  • To Make Vegetarian. See my recipe for Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps (linked above). Please note this recipe is made on the stovetop only and would not translate to the slow cooker, as the tofu would overcook.

How to Store, Reheat, and Freeze Lettuce Wraps

  • 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.

What to Serve with Lettuce Wraps

Since these lettuce wraps offer both protein and veggies in a single serving (like this Egg Roll in a Bowl recipe), we enjoyed them as a standalone dinner. If you want to serve them with a side dish, here are a few ideas:

  • Rice. Serve them with brown rice or quinoa, and you’ll hit every food group in a single meal.
  • Veggies. Add even more vegetables by pairing these wraps with a side of Roasted Frozen Broccoli.
  • Salad. A crisp, flavorful salad like this Asian Cabbage Salad would be tasty. I’ve also mixed the lettuce wrap filling with romaine for an easy salad.

Want to get really wild? Take a note from my “I work from home and anything in the fridge is fair game for lunch” book. Try this healthy lettuce wrap filling mixed with scrambled eggs and a few extra shots of soy sauce. SO GOOD!

More Healthy Versions of Takeout Favorites

Three healthy Asian lettuce wraps on a serving board

Recommended Tools to Make Asian Lettuce Wraps

  • Programmable 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 the recipe on the stovetop.
  • Measuring Spoons. These are easy to store and can go in the dishwasher.

Whether you’re new to lettuce wraps or consider yourself a lettuce wrap connoisseur, I hope you’ll give this tasty recipe a try! If you do, please let me know what you think in the comments below. I love hearing from you.

Healthy Crockpot Asian Lettuce Wraps with ground chicken or ground turkey, green onions, and fresh veggies. BETTER THAN PF CHANG’S! This fresh, healthy slow cooker recipe is so easy to make and the sauce is so flavorful and not too spicy. Serve with lettuce cups or rice for a delish low carb meal.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

4.85 from 20 votes
Healthy Crockpot Asian Lettuce Wraps with ground chicken or ground turkey, green onions, and fresh veggies. Better than PF Chang's! This fresh, healthy slow cooker recipe is easy to make, and the sauce is so flavorful and not too spicy. Serve with lettuce cups or rice for a delicious meal.

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 10 mins
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins

Servings: 8 cups

Ingredients
  

  • 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 cans water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped (8 ounce cans) drained and finely chopped
  • 2 heads butter lettuce

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  • TO MAKE ON THE STOVETOP: Prepare the recipe through step 2 in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven. 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 8), about 1 cup fillingCalories: 247kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 28gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 60mgFiber: 2gSugar: 10g

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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74 Comments

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  1. I LOVE lettuce wraps and my husband does, too.  I didn’t think about adding water chestnuts at the end and suppose they keep their crunch better that way.  I usually sprinkle chopped peanuts or sliced almonds at the end.  I like that flavor and crunch.  This will be my go-to wrap recipe.  Thank you!

  2. Ooo…lettuce wraps are always welcome in my house. Especially with asian flavors! These look amazing!

  3. I have made your veg Asian lettuce wraps many times and am VERY excited about this version – particularly the scale part of it. Thanks for another great recipe for me to add into my regular mix, Erin!

  4. These Asian lettuce wraps look ahhmazing!! Love that you used the crock pot to make the filling. It’s perfect for lunch or dinner meal prep! So versatile in either the lettuce wraps, over rice or in a salad! WINNING!! 5 stars

  5. The flavor in these was amazing! Husband could not stop saying how good they were. Unfortunately I forgot to add the water chestnuts and scallions at the end. We had half of it left so I put them all in there. Looking forward to leftovers :)5 stars

  6. Made these for dinner tonight. Super yummy, of course! I thought the sauce would thicken and become a little stickier, but they were still delicious. Another one of your awesome recipes to add to my weeknight menus! Your blog has really added a lot of new yummy meals to our boring staples. Thanks so much!!!5 stars

    1. Jess, I’m thrilled to hear you’ve found some new favorite recipes, and I’m glad you enjoyed this one too. Thanks so much for taking the time to share this review!

  7. These look so amazing! I’m going to try these tonight! Could I make a bit more sauce separately to drizzle on top or should it only be cooked in with the slow cooker?

    1. Caitlyn, you’d be fine to make it separately or you can increase the amount that’s in the slow cooker. Totally up to you!

      1. Erin,
        I had the same question I like things to have more sauce then normal so do you think it would be ok to just double the liquids?

  8. Just found your recipe and it sounds amazing. Definitely going to try it. I had a question though. I like mushrooms, but my boyfriend is allergic, would omitting them change the flavor too much? If so, I’ll just make it for me, myself, and I. ;)

    1. Hi Jennifer! I want to update my prior comment—-I do think the mushrooms add some key flavor to this. THAT SAID, it would still be tasty without, just different. You might try adding a little Worcestershire sauce to recreate the umami, earthy flavor of mushrooms. That way you can both enjoy it!

  9. Thanks Erin! I wondered if it would change it, especially since they’re baby bella’s. I may try it with worchester sauce, but he may just be on his own too. Lol. ;)

  10. I made this tonight. It smells very good but the ingredients were very dry. There wasnt hardly any liquid to cook with. To keep it from burning, I cooked it for only an hour or so. It needed some other form of liquid besides the little bit of sauce mixture that was suppose to cook the meat and thicken. There was nothing there2 stars

    1. Billie, I am sorry to hear this! Other readers have tried it and had success. Could some of the liquid be missing from the sauce or did you use extra chicken or omit the mushrooms, which let off liquid too? Regardless, I know it’s disappointing to try a recipe and not have it it turn out, so I’m sorry that was the case here.

  11. Hi, could I  use ginger paste instead of fresh ginger ?  If so how much paste what are use ?  this looks absolutely delicious !

    1. Susan, do you mean the kind that comes refrigerated or frozen (so it’s fresh but pre-ground?). If yes, that’s totally fine! Follow the substitution amount on your package.

  12. ME OH MY! I made these lettuce wraps yesterday and they were DELICIOUS! I omitted the water chestnuts and the ginger but I did add sriracha at the very end, right before devouring my delicious lettuce wraps. Thank you for the great recipe! I love love love it!5 stars

  13. Hello! This recipe sounds amazing! I’d like to prepare it for a larger crowd. How would you recommend adjusting the recipe with 10 pounds of chicken? 

    1. Hi Diane! I’ve never more than doubled the recipe, so it’d be an experiment to do 5 times the recipe for 10 pounds. You’ll definitely need more than one pan and should cook it in batches to make sure that everything can saute properly/evenly.

  14. My family really loved this dish! I even got a dad joke out of it, “are you sure you’re not Chinese or something?” Terrible I know, but delicious and will definitely make again and again!5 stars

  15. This sounds like a perfect light dinner option. I would like to make for a work event that would be about 4 pm -but work all day too – how would you recommend cooking for that situation? Also would like to double recipe? 

    1. Hi Virginia, I’d recommend making the filling ahead and then warming it up for your work event and setting out the lettuce cups separately. I think doubling the recipe should work fine! I hope you enjoy!

  16. I had something similar in AZ last week and I can’t wait to try these. They look and the ingredients sound delicious. :-)

  17. My family and I liked this recipe very much. I made it over the stove rather than crock pot, simmered it for about 20 minutes, added a cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce. Since chicken is very bland, there is a lot of sodium in the hoisin sauce and “low sodium” soy sauce to balance out the other ingredients. A plus is the amount of vegies in the recipe, making it a little healthier. Fresh water chestnuts would be great, but if not available, use a chopped up jicama. Jicama has more crunch and freshness than canned water chestnuts. Overall tasty recipe, makes a large amount for company dinner appetizer.5 stars

  18. Erin, these were fabulous!  Again, another well made recipe.  I brought these to work for my office staff and were quickly gobbled up. I love lettuce wraps but absolutely hate ginger. Instead of buying ginger to chop up, since I could never imagine myself buying ginger EVER, I used the ground ginger in the squeeze bottle. That way I can use in other stir fry recipes where it isn’t over bearing. One word of caution with this…….there wasn’t enough!  Cannot imagine that I’m saying this. If anyone is going to use the ginger paste then much more needs to be used. They were simple to make and the ease of the recipe yielded a great healthy success (minus not enough ginger on my own behalf). Thank you again for another fabulous recipe that I will make again. 5 stars

    1. Thank you SO much for leaving this kind review, Diane! I’m glad this recipe was a success for you and your office staff!

  19. Hi Erin, planning on making this for my daughter’s former college roommates gathering. I doesn’t say how many this recipe makes or how many it feeds. Please advise, there will be 7 people.

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Paula! This recipe yields 8 cups of filling, and a serving is about 1 cup of filling. This recipe should yield enough for 8 people, but you could always double the recipe if you’d like extra. I hope this helps and that everyone enjoys it!

      1. Thanks Erin – I did it 1 1/2 times, we had plenty (even some yummy leftovers). It was a HUGE success, a definite keeper & you now have 7 new fans!!

  20. Hi Erin, I love your blog! This recipe looks so tempting. Are you able to provide nutrition information for the sodium content? Thanks!

    1. Hi Becky! Sodium content can vary so much based on the brands of ingredients used. I recommend using an online calculator like MyFitnessPal, which you can customize based on the ingredients you have to get a more accurate number. I hope this helps!

  21. These were truly amazing! So delicious! They were a winner with the whole fam. We switched to iceberg lettuce, it made a better vehicle in my opinion than the butter lettuce and had better flavor. My sauce never thickened up, though. Any ideas to help with that?? 5 stars

    1. Hi Sarah! Did you add anything that might’ve let off excess liquid during cooking? Next time, you could try adding a cornstarch slurry to help further thicken the sauce. I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe!

  22. Awesome, As always :D I did this as a one pot recipe by sauteeing in the instant pot and using its slow cook option. So happy!5 stars

    1. Hi Donna! I haven’t tried the recipe this way, but ground turkey meat should work fine. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

      1. This was delish! However, I should have drained the meat first. A bit watery compared to others. I will be making these again. Thank you.5 stars

  23. Easy to make, tasted wonderful! We served with brown rice and avocado. Great healthy meal! Thanks for sharing. 5 stars

  24. These are by far one of my absolute favorite things to make and it’s the only way that I will eat leftover chicken! I just add the mixture over lettuce cold the next and you have a perfect lunch!5 stars

  25. This looks so good! Lettuce wraps are such a great way to reduce carb intake but still get lots of good nutrients!

  26. Thank you so much for this recipe! It was really easy, I did most of the chopping in the food processor. This is definitely going in all our meal plans from now on.5 stars

  27. AMAZING!!!
    I’ve made these a few times now and this recipe by far is the best!
    I don’t use mushrooms only because I don’t like them.  I also fry some rice noodles which makes it feel like that famous restaurant, only better!  Thank you thank you for sharing such an amazing recipe!5 stars