Asian lettuce cups are a light and healthy dish that is perfect for lunch or dinner. They’re easy to make, full of flavor, and packed with protein! This recipe is an updated version of the classic P.F Chang’s healthy chicken lettuce wraps that swap out all the oils and sodium for healthier ingredients like fresh herbs and spices. Marinated and cooked ground chicken is nestled into buttery lettuce cups, then topped with peanuts, green onion, and sriracha for extra heat.
Healthy Asian chicken lettuce wraps with toppings
Ever since trying the lettuce wraps at P.F. Chang’s, I have become addicted to the amazing flavors packed into every bite. And, since I am always looking for a light, fresh and easy recipes to make for dinner, I just KNEW I needed to recreate this at home – with a twist.
The ground chicken is marinated in a sweet and savory blend of sauces and spices, then quickly cooked. Then it’s scooped into butter lettuce cups for a crunchy texture and extra health benefits. Topped with peanuts, green onion, and sriracha for an extra kick of flavor.
These Asian lettuce cups check off all the boxes!
Here’s a bit more about what I used to make these healthy chicken lettuce wraps:
- Ground Chicken: To make the protein filling, I used one pound of ground chicken. Make sure to cook it until it’s cooked through and not pink.
- Water Chestnuts: Water chestnuts bring a crunchy texture to ground chicken. Make sure to drain them before adding to the mixture. Dice up 1/2 cup of them.
- Garlic and Onions: Garlic gives the chicken lettuce wraps an extra kick of flavor. I used 2 cloves, minced. A bit of onion adds a subtle layer of sweetness to the chicken. I used 1/4 cup of diced yellow onion. You can also use a white onion if you can’t find yellow onions.
- Ginger: Fresh ginger adds a hint of warm spice to the chicken. I used 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger. No fresh ginger? That’s okay! Use ginger paste instead.
- Olive Oil: To make sure the chicken doesn’t stick to the pan, use a tablespoon of olive oil.
- Soy Sauce: Soy sauce adds umami and saltiness to the filling. I like to use 1/4 cup of low-sodium soy sauce. If you are gluten-free, use tamari or coconut aminos.
- Marinade Sauces: A medley of sesame oil, sriracha, rice vinegar, and honey makes up a sweet and tangy marinade. Make sure to whisk all the sauces together before adding them to the chicken mixture. These sauces are key for creating a tasty wrap!
- Green Onions: Thinly sliced green onions are a great pop of color and flavor in the lettuce wraps. I used 1/4 cup of thinly sliced green onions. Slice more for toppings.
- Lettuce: Serving the wraps in butter lettuce cups makes them extra crunchy and delicious! If you can’t find butter lettuce, you can also use iceberg lettuce or green leaf lettuce.
To take this recipe to the next level, here are some topping ideas:
- Green Onions
Kitchen tools required
Here’s a bit more information about what I used to make these Asian lettuce wraps.
- Large saucepan
- Medium bowl
For measuring, you will need 1/2 cup, 1/4 cup, 1 tablespoon, and 1 teaspoon.
How to make healthy chicken lettuce wraps
Start by heating up some olive oil in a large saucepan. Once it’s hot, add in some diced onion and cook until it’s mostly done. Then, add in some minced garlic and ginger and cook for one more minute before adding in some ground chicken.
Cook the chicken until it’s almost completely done, and then it’s time to move on to the sauce.
In a separate bowl, whisk together some sesame oil, sriracha, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and honey. Once your sauce is mixed up, add it to the chicken and reduce the heat to let it simmer.
Then, add in some diced green onion and water chestnuts and let the sauce thicken up for about 5 minutes.
Finally, wash and dry some butter lettuce leaves, and scoop about 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture onto each one. Garnish with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!
This recipe is sure to become a family favorite in no time.
Below are some common lettuce wraps questions. Don’t see the answer you’re looking for? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post!
What are some other toppings I can add to these chicken lettuce wraps?
These chicken lettuce wraps are delicious as-is, but if you want to add something else, try adding:
- Red bell peppers (sliced thinly)
- Sweet chili sauce
Do I have to use ground chicken?
No, you can use any type of ground meat that you’d like. I personally enjoy the flavor that ground chicken gives these wraps, but feel free to switch it up and try something new!
Try swapping ground chicken out for ground pork or turkey.
What are water chestnuts?
Water chestnuts are a crunchy vegetable that’s usually found canned in most grocery stores. They add a subtle sweetness and crunch to the filling of these chicken lettuce wraps, but if you don’t have any on hand, feel free to leave them out.
What kind of lettuce wrap sauce can I serve for dipping?
A delicious dipping sauce can really take these wraps to the next level. Try mixing together a blend of hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and rice vinegar for a sweet-savory combo that pairs perfectly with these wraps.
You can put together this peanut sauce recipe to give these chicken lettuce wraps an extra kick.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can definitely prep the chicken mixture a day in advance and store it in an airtight container. You can put the lettuce wraps together when you are ready to eat them!
These chicken lettuce wraps are best served immediately. If you have any leftovers, store the ground chicken in a separate airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy!
Can I freeze these Asian lettuce wraps?
Yes, these wraps are freezer friendly. Prepare the ground chicken mixture according to the instructions and let cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container. Place in the freezer for up to three months!
When you’re ready to enjoy them, thaw them overnight in the fridge and then reheat them in a saucepan over medium heat until heated through.
Enjoy these delicious and healthy chicken lettuce wraps on their own or as part of a larger meal!
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
Here are some of my favorite Asian recipes you should make next. Enjoy!
- Grilled Asian Salmon with Coconut Rice
- Asian-Inspired Turkey Meatballs with Peanut Sauce
- Spicy Peanut Tempeh
- Healthy Cashew Chicken
- Cashew Crunch Salad with Sesame Dressing
- 1lb ground chicken
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tbsp ginger paste/fresh ginger
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (coconut aminos for GF)
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion, more for topping
- 1/2 cup diced water chestnuts
- 1 large head of butter lettuce
*peanuts, sriracha, green onion for topping*
- In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil. Add onion and saute until mostly cooked.
- Add in garlic and ginger for one minute, then add in ground chicken.
- Allow chicken to cook almost all the way through, and while chicken is cooking prepare sauce.
- In a bowl, whisk together sesame oil, sriracha, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and honey.
- Add in the sauce to the chicken and reduce heat to let simmer.
- Stir in diced green onion and water chestnuts and allow sauce to thicken.
- Once thickened (about 5 minutes), remove from heat.
- Wash and dry butter lettuce leaves.
- Add about 1/3 cup chicken mixture to each butter leaf and add toppings.
- Store remainder in fridge for up to five days.
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