Beef Lettuce Wraps

5 from 50 votes

These tasty beef lettuce wraps are simple to make and ready to serve in less than 10 minutes. Loaded with flavor, they are a great appetizer!

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This delicious appetizer is super quick and easy to make and is loaded with bold flavors. These Beef lettuce wraps are made with ground beef and are high in protein and low carb, inspired by the Asian lettuce cups.

Round plate with four butter lettuce pieces topped with the ground beef mixture
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Ingredients to make lettuce wraps

  • Ground beef: I like to use lean ground beef that is grass fed, but you can also make this with ground chicken or even plant-based grounds.
  • Onion: I used a white onion, but red or yellow or green onions will also work well.
  • Water chestnuts: These add a great flavor and texture to the beef mixture and it’s a popular addition for some added crunch. You can also consider adding some green peppers.
  • Sauce ingredients: Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, peanut butter, garlic and ginger. Feel free to use my recipe below or buy pre-made sauce to make it quicker.
  • To serve: Green onions, crushed peanuts and bib or butter lettuce leaves.
Ingredients to make the recipe

How to make Beef lettuce wraps

  • Add the ground beef and onions to a frying pan with a little oil.
  • Cook until the beef has browned and the onions have softened.
  • Add in the water chestnuts and sauce.
  • Give it a good mix and simmer until the sauce thickens.
  • Serve in the lettuce leaves with toppings.
Process shots to show how to make the ground beef mixture

Tips for making lettuce wraps

  1. Use a sturdy wide lettuce for serving. The most popular kinds are butter lettuce, bib lettuce and iceberg lettuce. Romaine lettuce doesn’t work as well since it’s harder to stuff and grab.
  2. Chop up everything finely. From the onions and water chestnuts to the peanuts and green onions, the smaller sizes will help incorporate all the flavor and give it the uniform texture. Be sure to also break up any large ground beef chunks.
  3. Cook the beef until it is well browned before adding the sauce. This will make the beef more flavorful when served. And this way you can drain any excess fat from the beef if there is any before adding the sauce.
  4. Serve the wraps straight away so that the lettuce doesn’t wilt. Or you can also serve it DIY style so that everyone can assemble their own beef lettuce wraps.

Frequently asked questions

Can you make lettuce wraps ahead of time?

The wraps are best served as soon as they are made. You can make the beef mixture two to three days ahead. Let it cool and transfer it to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. You can then gently warm it on the stovetop to serve.

How do you serve lettuce wraps?

These Asian wraps are great served as they are as an appetizer along with other similar appetizers like my Vietnamese Spring Rolls. On their own, they also make for a wonderful low carb meal which you can beef with with added vegetables like mushrooms and green peppers.

What toppings can you use?

I finished these wraps with some chopped green onion and crushed peanuts for texture. If you like, you could also add a sauce like sriracha.

Asian lettuce wraps serve with peanuts and green onions

More Asian inspired recipes

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Beef Lettuce Wraps

These tasty beef lettuce wraps are simple to make and ready to serve in less than 10 minutes. Loaded with flavor, they are a great appetizer!
5 from 50 votes
Servings 6 servings
Course Appetizer
Calories 234
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion minced
  • 8- ounce can water chestnuts drained and minced

For the Sauce

To Serve

  • Green onions thinly sliced
  • Crushed peanuts
  • Butter lettuce or bib lettuce or iceberg lettuce


  • In a small bowl, add the sauce ingredients, and whisk until well combined.
  • Heat the oil on medium heat in a medium size frying pan. Add the ground beef and the onions and cook until the beef is browned and the onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in the water chestnuts and the sauce, and simmer on low heat until the sauce thickens, and everything is heated through, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Serve on butter lettuce or iceberg lettuce topped with green onions and crushed peanuts, if desired.


Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container, with the beef mixture and lettuce separate. The recipe will last about 3-4 days in the fridge.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
  • Ground beef: You can substitute ground turkey or ground chicken
  • Soy Sauce: If you have a soy allergy, try tamari sauce, or liquid aminos, and you can’t tell the difference in taste.
  • Hoisin Sauce: If you’re looking for a gluten free alternative, try teriyaki sauce or just more peanut butter.
  • Peanut Butter: If you have a peanut allergy, you can substitute any nut butter or seed butter.


Calories: 234kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 533mg, Potassium: 462mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 920IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 28mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine Asian
Course: Appetizer

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Recipe Rating


  1. What a healthy feeding , more enjoying with the kind of recipes shared . Loving different type of cuisines .Am from Eastern Africa . Kenya , all your recipes are marvelous would try them one by one following your steps in preparing them. Keep up the good work .

  2. This recipe is AMAZING! I used sunbutter instead of peanut butter due to my nut allergy. I also used ground turkey. It’s super easy and delicious. The sweet, savory, and slightly tangy sauce made it even better! Can’t wait to make it again! Thanks Yumna!