Chicken Lettuce Cups

5 from 22 votes

This is a healthier version of a popular restaurant recipe for Chicken Lettuce Cups. It's loaded with vegetables for added nutrition and full of flavor!

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These healthy chicken lettuce cups are full of flavor and topped with a homemade peanut sauce. Fun to eat, these lettuce wraps are kid friendly and so quick and easy to make!

Final dish prepared for the Chicken Lettuce Cups with the chicken mixture inside the butter lettuce

What I love about these Chicken Lettuce Cups is that they are loaded with savory stir-fry chicken and colorful veggies – a low-carb easy weekday meal. Or if you’re having guests over, they work great as an appetizer, like they’re served at most restaurants! Best part about this recipe? It’s really fun to eat! I mean, who doesn’t love eating with their hands?

My kids do for sure. I tell them it’s like an Asian taco, and they eat so much more than they would if the chicken and vegetables were served over rice. I think this recipe is a great way to introduce new flavors to your munchkins if they haven’t had much variety before. The other great thing is this recipe sneaks in tons of vegetables because they are all small diced and hidden under that beautiful golden brown marinade. Totally intended and totally works with my kids!

Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I think we’ve all been to P.F. Chang’s at least once and enjoyed their Chicken Lettuce Cups. And, I think we’ve all come home and thought I wonder how they make them. Well, I sure did and I’ve been making a variation of them for a few years now. And I don’t think these are quite the same but they are definitely inspired by the restaurant version. And guess what, they are definitely healthier that the restaurant version!

How to Make Chicken Lettuce Cups

Start by chopping up all the vegetables you’ll use in the recipe. I know some people are weirded out by the texture of mushrooms, so you can definitely leave that out. I like using them because it bulks up the chicken mixture without adding too much cholesterol or fat to the dish. I chose to use mushrooms, carrots, celery and red peppers today. You can use any or all or none!

Vegetables to add to the chicken lettuce cups including celery, carrots, red peppers and mushrooms

Here’s all those chopped vegetables along with ground chicken, ginger, garlic, diced onions, and sliced green onions. You can literally cook everything together at once as I’m doing here, or start with the chicken and then add the veges.

Large pan with all the ingredients inside chopped and ready to be cooked. Includes ground chicken, carrots, mushrooms, onions, green onions, red pepper, celery, ginger and garlic.

Next we make the sauce – possibly (actually not possibly, truly) the best part of this recipe. I’ve see a lot of sauces that use hoisin, but sometimes it can be hard to find, so instead I make mine with more basic pantry ingredients like peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar and a little spice factor from the sriracha. Because I use fresh ginger chunks, I blend mine in a small blender, but a whisk works perfect fine too. If you use ground ginger, it’s not necessary.

Collage of two images. On the left are the ingredients to make the sauce including soy sauce, peanut butter, rice vinegar, ginger and sriracha. On the left are the ingredients all blended

Now I mix the sauce with the chicken mixture. But I like to leave a little for serving later. Some of us like it extra saucey!

Cooked chicken and vegetables mixture with the sauce ready to be served

Then it’s basically an Asian taco party! You can add as much of the chicken mixture as you’d like, then add more sauce, some peanuts, extra green onions or other toppings you might like too.

Large plate with 3 butter lettuce and the chicken mixture inside the butter lettuce. On the side are the condiments for serving the chicken lettuce cups including the sauce, peanuts and green onions

Tips to Make Chicken Lettuce Cups

  • Dice the vegetables small. This is a great way to blend (hide {wink, wink} the vegetables well with the ground chicken. But it’s also great way to make sure that every bite is filled with all the textures and flavors of the dish. I chopped everything by hand this time, but you can also use a food processor to chop them!
  • Use fresh ginger in the sauce. So much of the flavor of this dish (and many Asian dishes) comes from the fresh ginger used, so if possible don’t use ground ginger. Get the fresh stuff and use a small blender or food processor to really blend the ginger well to make the sauce. I promise it makes it so amazing!
  • Pick the right lettuce. It’s not fun if the lettuce is falling apart. So I recommend using something that is wide, sturdy and can hold a good amount of the chicken mixture. Many restaurants use iceberg lettuce, which works really well. I also like to use bib lettuce or butter lettuce, pictured below. Whichever one you use, cut off the bottom white part and the leaves will just fall apart, ready to be washed and served.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you serve with lettuce cups?

A few of these wraps are filling enough and tasty enough for a main meal. Howevr if you are looking for something more substantial, you can serve them with Bulgur Pilaf, fried rice or noodles.

Can you make these healthy chicken lettuce wraps ahead of time?

The easiest part of the recipe to prepare in advance is the sauce. Just store it in the fridge when complete and it will be ready for the recipe. I would also recommend chopping the vegetables in advance, which can be a tedious part of this recipe if you choose to use all the vegetables I chose.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container, with the chicken mixture and lettuce separate. The recipe will last about 3-4 days in the fridge.

Plate of butter lettuce an small bowl of extra sauce set aside for serving

Now when you crave these popular restaurant chicken lettuce cups, you can whip these up at home for a healthier version that tastes just as good…maybe even better! It’s a low-carb, high protein, extra high fun meal that everyone will love!

Close up shot of the final dish prepared for the Chicken Lettuce Cups with the chicken mixture inside the butter lettuce

If you’re looking for other low carb, high protein and veggie meal options, you should try:

Taco Stuffed Peppers

Spaghetti Squash Stuffed Lasagna

Broccoli Pizza Crust (Low Carb & Gluten-Free)

Low-Carb Grilled Eggplant Parmesan

I hope you love this healthy-ish feelgood Chicken Lettuce Cups recipe. If you make it, please leave me a comment telling me how you like it, or use hashtag #feelgoodfoodie on Instagram so I can see your recreations

Chicken Lettuce Cups

This is a healthier version of a popular restaurant recipe for Chicken Lettuce Cups. It’s loaded with vegetables for added nutrition and full of flavor!
5 from 22 votes
Servings 6 servings
Course Appetizer
Calories 234
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms diced
  • 3-4 carrots diced
  • 1/4 red pepper diced
  • 2-3 celery stalks diced
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha optional
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
  • 1 head butter lettuce for serving
  • Peanuts for serving

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add the chicken, onions, ginger, garlic and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the chicken is browned, stirring frequently to break down the chicken, about 10 minutes.
  • Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce. If you’re using fresh ginger, I recommend blending in the blender to make sure the sauce is smooth without any chunks of ginger.
  • Transfer the sauce to the skillet (leaving about ¼ cup for serving, if desired) and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to make sure the chicken mixture is well coated by the sauce.
  • To serve, scoop the chicken mixture on to the lettuce. Add peanuts, extra sauce and extra green onions, if desired.

Video

Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container, with the chicken mixture and lettuce separate. The recipe will last about 3-4 days in the fridge.
Make Ahead: The easiest part of the recipe to prepare in advance is the sauce. Just store it in the fridge when complete and it will be ready for the recipe. I would also recommend chopping the vegetables in advance, which can be a tedious part of this recipe if you choose to use all the vegetables I chose.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
  • Ground chicken: You can substitute ground turkey, ground beef or even small diced chicken breasts for the ground chicken!
  • Vegetables: All the vegetables are optional. You can omit any or all of them or substitute with your favorites. 
  • Soy Sauce: If you have a soy allergy, try tamari sauce, or liquid aminos, and you can’t tell the difference in taste.
  • Peanut Butter: If you have a peanut allergy, you can substitute any nut butter or seed butter.

Nutrition

Serving: 3lettuce cups, Calories: 234kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 65mg, Sodium: 488mg, Potassium: 755mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 6250IU, Vitamin C: 13.3mg, Calcium: 42mg, Iron: 1.5mg

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

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Final dish prepared for the Chicken Lettuce Cups with the chicken mixture inside the butter lettuce

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Comments

  1. Followed this recipe as is and it was absolutely delicious! My son and I loved it! I can’t cook worth a damn but your recipes have upped my cooking game 😆 thank you!

  2. Tried this recipe out a few days ago and it was a hit! I switched out the peanut butter for SunButter and I added a tbsp more of rice vinegar and a tbsp more of soy sauce to make the sauce less thick. This recipe will definitely be a regular!