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Inspired by P.F. Chang’s recipe, these Chicken Lettuce Wraps are a hit with all ages! Easy to make, filled with good-for-you ingredients, and easy to freeze.
About This Recipe
My inspiration for this recipe came years ago after having P.F. Chang’s Lettuce Wraps which are divine!
I wondered if I could make them just a little healthier by adding in more veggies and replacing the rice sticks with brown rice. The result was a comparable (dare I say even better) recipe that friends, family, and our readers have now been making for 12+ years!
Featured 5-Star Review
“So easy! Great flavor. Spice it up to your liking. Light, fast dinner. Any lettuce you prefer will work. One of my favorite go-to meals.”
This is not a hard recipe, but it does involve quite a few ingredients that make up the delectable sauce. That’s why it’s a good idea to make a double batch to freeze one for later (see instructions below).
- Lettuce – You’ll want one with large leaves, like iceberg, Romaine, Boston Bibb, or butter leaf.
- Ground chicken – I like to use the leanest cut, but it’s up to you.
- Yellow onion
- Ginger – Either a fresh ginger knob or ginger paste.
- Soy sauce – For gluten-free, use Tamari gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos.
- Hoisin sauce – Look for an all-natural version like Wok Mei (which also happens to be gluten-free).
- Rice wine vinegar – This should be the unseasoned version.
- Sesame oil
- Sriracha chili hot sauce – Or substitute any hot sauce.
- Water chestnuts
- Green onions
- Shredded carrots and cabbage – Use coleslaw mix as a shortcut.
Then, when you’re ready to serve it, you can also add in some brown rice, chopped peanuts, and extra sliced green onion to the wraps.
Step-by-Step Tutorial: Making Lettuce Wraps
Here’s the 30,000 foot view of how this recipe comes together each step of the way.
Brown the Ground Chicken and Set Aside
Saute the Onions
Combine and Simmer Rest of Sauce Ingredients
Stir in Chicken and Veggies
Simmer Until Filling Mixture Is Done
Set out the filling in a bowl along with lettuce leaves, brown rice, chopped peanuts, and more sliced green onions on the side.
Each individual can personalize their lettuce wrap with whatever they want in it. Wrap it up like a taco, prepare to get messy, and enjoy!
Or you can prefill each wrap and set them out on a platter.
How to Freeze as a Meal Kit
For years, my freezer club made this recipe for one another because it was dubbed a “home run” freezer meal. Here’s how to make a batch for later.
Freeze For Later: Make the filling according to Steps 1-4 and let it cool completely. Store tightly and freeze in a freezer meal bag or container. You can also freeze cooked rice and chopped peanuts along with the meal.
Prepare From Frozen: When ready to serve, thaw the meal completely (here’s how to thaw chicken). Then, warm up the filling over low heat on stove, in microwave, or in the crockpot. If it’s dry, add a splash of chicken broth or water. Serve according to Step 5 in the recipe below.
Take a peek at all 70 recipes on our round-up of healthy freezer meals.
How to Use Leftover Filling
Now here’s a fun idea. If you have leftovers or a family member who isn’t into the whole lettuce leaf thing, then try using the filling to make Asian Chicken Wraps.
Wrap up the chicken and veggie filling, a little lettuce, brown rice, and some chopped peanuts in a whole grain tortilla for a delicious meal. You can offer both lettuce leaves and tortillas when serving to a crowd.
Yes! You can freeze the filling to use later. Make the filling and let it cool completely. Store tightly and freeze in a freezer meal bag or container. You can also freeze cooked rice and chopped peanuts along with the meal.
You can make small changes to make this recipe gluten-free. In place of soy sauce, use Tamari gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos. Make sure your hoisin sauce is gluten-free.
These healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps are easy to make (almost foolproof!) and full of healthy ingredients for the most part. Enjoy!
Did you make this? Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram at @thrivinghome so we can see your creations and cheer you on!
- 16 Boston Bibb, butter leaf, or Romaine lettuce leaves
- 1 lb lean ground chicken (sub: ground turkey or beef)
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
- 1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger (or ginger paste)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
- 1/2 cup all-natural hoisin sauce (check the ingredients to make sure they are recognizable)
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 4 teaspoons sesame oil
- Sriracha chili hot sauce, to taste (sub: any hot sauce)
- 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
- 1/2 bunch green onions, sliced
- 1 cup shredded carrots (sub: 1 cup coleslaw mix)
- 1 cup shredded cabbage (sub: 1 cup coleslaw mix)
- Optional for serving: 2 cups cooked brown rice, chopped peanuts, more sliced green onions
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Make It Now:
- Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not to tear them. Set aside. (Tip: Also, make sure you’ve prepped all your veggies according to the ingredient list above, so they are ready and waiting.)
- In a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground chicken in 1 tablespoon of oil, stirring often. Drain, and set aside to cool.
- Saute the yellow onion in the same pan until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and hot sauce to the onions, stir, and let simmer 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions, shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, and browned chicken, and continue cooking until the green onions, carrots, and cabbage begin to wilt, about 3-4 minutes. If mixture seems too dry, add a little more hoisin sauce and/or soy sauce to taste (but be cautious so it doesn’t get too salty). Add in water if the mixture gets too salty. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
- To serve, spoon a portion of rice (optional) and the meat mixture into a lettuce leaf. Top with chopped peanuts, more green onions, and more hot sauce, if desired. Wrap the lettuce around the meat like a burrito. Prepare to get messy and enjoy!
Freeze For Later: Follow Steps 1-4. Let the veggie/meat mixture completely cool. Store tightly in a freezer meal bag or container.
Prepare From Frozen: When ready to serve, thaw veggie/meat mixture completely. Warm up over low heat on stove, in microwave, or in the crockpot. If it’s dry, add a splash of chicken broth or water. Serve according to Step 5.
Gluten-Free Version: In place of soy sauce, use Tamari gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos. Make sure your hoisin sauce is gluten-free.
Crock Pot Instructions: In large pan, saute the chicken and onions in cooking oil over medium-high heat until cooked through. Add chicken/onion mixture to slow cooker insert, along with the rest of the ingredients (garlic through cabbage), except the lettuce and rice. Cook on LOW for 2-3 hours. Serve as directed.
Instant Pot Instructions: Using the saute setting, saute the chicken and onions in the oil until the chicken is done and the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Press Cancel. Stir in the ginger, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, hot sauce, water chestnuts, green onions, shredded carrots, and shredded cabbage to the onions. Cook at high pressure for 3 minutes and quick release the pressure. Follow Step 5.