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two lettuce leaves filled with browned chicken and veggies and topped with hot sauce

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

These Chicken Lettuce Wraps are incredible! Make them for a crowd or make and freeze for later. So easy and yummy!

Yield: 8 appetizer servings; 4 main dish servings 1x
Prep: 15 minutesCook: 25 minutesTotal: 40 minutes


  • 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:

  1. 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.)
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.

© Author: Rachel Tiemeyer
Cuisine: Asian Method: Stove Top