We’re showing you how to make lettuce wraps because they’re a deliciously healthy solution when you’re cutting carbs or simply want something different for dinner.
Lettuce wraps are such a great way to eat lots of fresh vegetables and make a dish that’s still full of flavor. If you follow the guidelines below, you’ll be able to come up with a winning dish and unique combinations.
What Lettuce Should I Use for Lettuce Wraps?
Great question! Any green leafy lettuce with a lot of surface area and structure will work. You’re looking for something that’ll work as a way to hold all your toppings without falling apart.
Butterhead lettuce tends to be a favorite since it’s malleable enough to act almost like a tortilla without snapping when it’s bent. Other great lettuce options are iceberg, romaine, loose leaf lettuce, and escarole.
With some lettuces, the rib is very thick and can get in the way of being pliable. If you have big lettuce leaves, you can just cut off the rib and use the sides as two leaves.
Which Meats To Use
You can use just about anything for the protein. Shrimp, chicken, and ground meat are all great lean options, but you could also use a thinly cut steak to make your wraps a little more hearty.
If you want a vegetarian option, tofu or edamame would make a great base. Be sure to season the meats or other proteins well to ensure each layer of your wrap has a ton of flavor.
Which Vegetables Should You Use In Lettuce Wraps?
Crunchy vegetables are where you can get creative and make these wraps your own!
Shredded carrots and red cabbage are always a great option. You could also use bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, cucumber, peppers, radishes, onions… really anything. A great option is heading to the salad bar at your local grocery store and picking out pre-cut vegetables to get a lot of variety without too much waste (or time doing prep work).
What About Avocado?
We know avocado is a vegetable and so it should go in the above, but it really deserves it’s own category, don’t you think? This healthy fat tends to go great with any combination that you put on a wrap. Cut it into cubes or nice slices.
Which Herbs Work Well?
Herbs can make lettuce wraps really stand out. Something as simple as cilantro on top will change the whole flavor and add more depth to the wrap.
If you’re looking for Thai flavors, try Thai basil and mint. Chives work everywhere. Always. And, green onions are also great, even if they aren’t technically herbs.
What Sauce To Use On A Lettuce Wraps?
Here is where you can really make lettuce wraps your own. Lime juice on its own can be a great topping if you’re looking for something really simple.
Two other great options are sweet chili sauce or a peanut-based sauce. You can buy these already made at the grocery store, but a quick favorite peanut sauce can be made at home by whisking together peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, and sriracha. How much of each?
Start with a good dollop of peanut butter (1/2 cup or so) and then add dribbles of the rest until it gets to the exact salty, sweet, spicy place that you love. Finish it with a squeeze of lime and serve.
Serving Lettuce Wraps
You can serve something as simple as the sauce on the side with extra vegetables and spring or summer rolls, or even just rice to eat with the veggies that may have fallen from your wrap.Print
- 12 leaves of pliable lettuce, such as butter or romaine
- 12 – 16 oz. of cooked protein (such as chicken thigh, ground turkey, ground beef, or shrimp)
- 1 and ½ cups of julienned fresh vegetables (made up of carrot, cucumber, bell pepper, mushrooms)
- 1 cup of cooked grain (such as rice, farro, quinoa, rice noodles) (optional)
- ½ cup fresh herbs (such as basil, cilantro, parsley, chives, green onion)
- 1 cup cubed avocado
- ¼ cup sauce (such as sweet chili sauce, peanut sauce, hoisin, sour cream, or salsa)
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- Lay out your lettuce leaves on the plate. Add your cooked protein of choice.
- Add your fresh vegetables and grain (if using).
- Top with fresh herbs and avocado.
- Drizzle your sauce over your lettuce wrap fillings. Serve with a lime wedge to squeeze over top.
Nutrition information below uses the ingredients displayed in the photos above. Yours will vary.
This post originally appeared in May 2019 and was revised and republished in January 2023.