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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.
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.
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.
Tips for making lettuce wraps
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
More Asian inspired recipes
- Chicken Lettuce Cups
- Asian Cauliflower Rice
- Asian Noodle Salad
- Chicken Lo Mein
- Asian Chicken Salad
- Chicken Teriyaki Bowl
If you’ve tried this feel good Beef Lettuce Wraps recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
Beef Lettuce Wraps
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion minced
- 8- ounce can water chestnuts drained and minced
For the Sauce
- 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.
- 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.