Apr 1, 2016
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Craving Asian chicken lettuce cups from your favorite restaurant? Look no further than this recipe!
You’ll love the combination of sweet and tangy, Asian-inspired flavors in these healthy chicken lettuce cups. The perfectly cooked chicken and crunchy veggies encased in crisp lettuce… mouth-watering!
Healthy Chicken Lettuce Cups
These honey chicken lettuce cups are a one-meal wonder packed with a sweet-savory chicken filling in a crisp lettuce cup. It’s the perfect thing to make when you want to keep it light but don’t feel up for a salad.
If you want to kick the flavors up a notch, serve them with the spicy peanut sauce from my Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups. The combination is gold.
Best Lettuce to Use for Lettuce Cups
Both Iceberg and Butter lettuce are great options for lettuce cups; their outer leaves are fan-shaped and sturdy enough to hold a lot of ingredients.
They make the perfect vessel for delicious fillings and create the experience of a hand-held meal you can enjoy for a light dinner or a low-carb lunch.
Making the Lettuce Bowl
To create the lettuce bowl or cup, you’ll want to double up on the lettuce leaves for a sturdier base.
But first, carefully remove each large outer leaf, so they don’t tear. Once the leaves are separated, gently rinse them with water and pat dry.
When ready to serve, I recommend stacking one leaf on top of another to create a sturdier cup.
One of my easy tips to help lettuce last longer is to refrigerate the leaves in a paper towel-lined container. The paper towels absorb excess moisture and help the lettuce stay crisp.
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Honey Chicken Lettuce Wrap Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make these honey chicken lettuce wraps happen:
- Honey: sweetens the stir-fry sauce.
- Soy sauce: adds delicious savory flavor.
- Rice vinegar: balances out the honey and soy sauce.
- Sesame oil: a fragrant oil that adds toasted sesame flavor.
- Olive oil: to cook the veggies.
- Onion: gets tender and golden brown.
- Garlic: cooked with the onions.
- Ground chicken: the perfect texture for lettuce cups. Easily swapped out for ground turkey.
- Carrots: shredded and cooked with chicken and sauce.
- Purple cabbage: adds crunchy texture and volume.
- Bean sprouts: a common veggie in Asian recipes. It adds volume and can be found in the fresh produce section.
- Honey roasted peanuts: a sweet and salty topping that makes every bite even better. *Omit these if you’re allergic.
- Lettuce: use Iceberg or Butter lettuce leaves to create the perfect lettuce cup you can fill with delicious honey chicken.
How to Make Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Grab those ingredients, a large skillet, and let’s make these healthy chicken lettuce cups :
- Make the sauce
Whisk the honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil in a small bowl.
- Sauté some onions
Heat the oil in a large skillet and sauté the onions until they turn golden. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
- Stir in the chicken
Add the ground chicken and shredded carrots to the onions and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, breaking up the meat as you go.
- Add the sauce
Pour the sauce over the chicken mixture and stir to combine. Cover with the skillet lid and simmer for 3 minutes before topping with the bean sprouts, chopped cabbage, and roasted peanuts. Cover for an additional 3 minutes.
Place one lettuce leaf on top of another to create a “cup”. Fill each with the chicken and veggie mixture, and enjoy!
See how to make this recipe from start to finish in this short video:
What do You Serve with Honey Chicken Lettuce Cups
These honey chicken lettuce cups are on the light side, so here are a couple of side-dish ideas to balance out this meal and make it a keeper:
- Oven Roasted Carrots
- Roasted Butternut Squash Cubes
- Cooked rice
- Fresh pineapple
- Steamed edamame
More Lettuce Cup Variations
I’ve found lettuce cups to be a delicious way to enjoy our favorite taco and sandwich fillings while keeping the meal low-carb. Once you make these chicken lettuce cups, give these recipes a try:
Honey Chicken Lettuce Cups
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 1 ½ pounds ground chicken or turkey
- ½ cup carrots shredded
- ½ cup shredded purple cabbage shredded
- ½ cup bean sprouts
- ⅓ cup honey-roasted peanuts
- Iceberg or Butter lettuce leaves for serving
- Whisk the honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until they turn golden and translucent about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
- To the soft onions, add the ground chicken and shredded carrots. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spatula as you go.
- Pour the sauce over the cooked chicken mixture and stir to combine. Cover the skillet with the lid, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Remove the lid and top with the mixture with the bean sprouts, chopped cabbage, and roasted peanuts. Cover for an additional 3 minutes.
- Scoop mixture into lettuce cups and serve.
I love Asian inspired food and this chicken wraps are soooo good! I can eat them without the guilt! Thanks for you healthy recipes Laura!!
Hi Laura. These sound great! Any idea what the calorie count on these would be per serving?Cheers! Jodyj
Hi Jody, I don’t calculate calories in my recipes since I focus on teaching people to cook with fresh and real ingredients. That said, a serving of these has: 310cal/23g protein/13g carbs. Enjoy!
Would any other nut make a good substitute?
the peanuts are optional and you can most definitely leave out. Enjoy!
I made it WITH peanuts and I love it but I had a difficult time with the butter lettuce leaves. Romaine would be better we it’s thicker. After a couple of them we took the rest of the filling and made fried rice!
I’m glad you enjoyed it and thank you for the feedback on the butter lettuce. I will add a note. I typically double the leaves but I completely understand where you’re coming from!
Hi Laura! I would LOVE to make these, but my little guy can’t have sesame or peanuts. Any suggestions? Will they work omitting these ingredients? Thanks so much! I love your recipes 🙂
Hi Kelly! I would suggest omitting the peanuts from the recipe for sure. The sesame oil adds a lot of flavor and without it it’s different. It’s not going to come out wrong but just different. Enjoy!
We thought these needed a lot more sauce – double, or maybe triple, the sauce. And some green onions would be a nice finishing touch 🙂 The carrots & cabbage went over well and we might increase those next time.
Hubby said this would also be good in a wonton taco (I guess Applebees has those on their menu). Not sure how to make wontons into a taco shape, but you could put the wantons in a muffin tin and make wonton bowls.
So glad you liked them! They aren’t “saucy” since that would drip out of the lettuce cup. If you serve the over rice, definitely double the sauce ingredients. Thank you for trying them!
Made these tonight and the whole family loved them! Added some bean thread noodles for fun. Thanks Laura!
I”m so glad they were a success!
This looks delicious but it seems that some of the directions for the Honey chicken letteus cups might be for another recipe? I would love to make them but can’t seem to figure out what steps to take.
Hey Samantha, everything should be good now!