The dinner solution to HANGRY and LIGHT. Fast, loaded with flavor and better than takeout any day, These chicken lettuce wraps make eating healthy simple especially because you know what's in it!
I love lettuce wraps. Actually, I love what goes inside lettuce wraps. The lettuce is just a low-calorie vehicle for what's inside. And speaking of the lettuce, I am not a fan of "hot" lettuce so I typically use the coldest, most crisp lettuce I can find. That's usually lowly iceberg which frankly gets a bad wrap because it has little nutritional value. But you can't have a wedge salad without iceberg and like I said, it's a vehicle for the "stuff."
The only thing that might be a little difficult to find with this recipe is the ground chicken. If you like your butcher and they'll grind your chicken breasts fresh, by all means do that. Otherwise, a package from the store is totally great. One other disclaimer: make sure you wash your hands frequently before and after handling the chicken. There's my PSA on that. For the rest of the ingredients, while it's a lengthy list, once you buy them, you'll use them over and over because you'll be craving this ALOT. And I do have a cheater version of the recipe below if you want to go that route as well.
Heat a skillet with a little olive oil and swirl it around. Brown your chicken until it loses the pink color. Meanwhile, mix all the sauce ingredients up (or if you're using the cheater version, you'll skip this step).
After the chicken is browned, pour the sauce over and simmer the chicken in the sauce for a few minutes until thickened. The filling can be made ahead at this point and refrigerated.
My other favorite thing to serve with this is sauteed mushrooms and onions. It adds a hit of meaty umami that takes the dish to another level. You could even add your favorite pepper because it definitely benefits from a hit of heat.
Make sure your lettuce is all washed and ready and your condiments like the Avocado Cilantro Everything Sauce, more fresh cilantro, cut limes, crushed red pepper and peanuts are ready to go because as soon as these are ready, your group will be clamoring for them.
Load up the lettuce and top with your choice of toppings. Oh yeah - we sometimes skip the lettuce and eat them as bowls with roasted broccoli and edamame. So good!
Let me know in the comments if you try them!
For a few. Make recipe as is or follow the simpler version below
For a crowd. Increase chicken and sauce ingredients by about 1.5 for every two people.
Use Trader Joe's Soyaki Sauce (along with the peanut butter and cornstarch) as a substitute for most of the sauce ingredients listed before the chicken. The flavors aren't as layered but it takes up a lot less room in your fridge, saves time and money!
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Chicken Lettuce Wraps
For the Sauce
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce, low sodium is best
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoon peanut butter, *keep if using simple version
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced, plus a little more
- Simple Version: substitute 1 cup of Trader Joe's Soyaki sauce for all the above ingredients except peanut butter
For the Chicken
- 1 tablespoon canola or peanut oil
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 3 green onion, white and green sliced
- crushed red pepper , optional
- 3 oz crimini mushrooms , (optional)sliced or chopped. can use portobello as well.
- 1-3 tsp cornstarch , see note below
- water or beef broth, if needed
- fresh cilantro, chopped
- jalapenos, chopped or sliced to preference
- Avocado Cilantro Everything Sauce, recipe on site
- whole iceberg lettuce leaves, washed and dried
- Combine soy sauce and the next five ingredients. Lightly whisk to incorporate together in a small bowl or measuring cup. Note: If using simple version: mix only peanut butter in with the Soyaki Sauce and skip to step #3.
- Heat a med-large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and once heated, add chicken spreading out evenly over the surface of the pan.
- Cook chicken until browned, about 10 minutes. Drain any grease or excess water from the pan if needed. Add green onions along with a pinch of crushed red pepper if using. Saute until the onions turn bright green.
- Add sauce mix (or Soyaki Sauce, if using) and simmer gently for about 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
- If using mushrooms, add them into the skillet. See below.
- Assemble the wraps by taking a piece of lettuce and adding about ¼-1/2 cup of meat mixture to wrap. Garnish with favorite toppings listed above.
For Mushrooms (Optional)
- Heat 1 T canola oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add sliced or chopped mushrooms to the pan and saute' until browned about two minutes. Remove mushrooms from pan to a plate and set aside until ready to add them to the dish.