Spicy Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

A quick and easy meal that doesn’t skimp on flavor! This is one of our go-to meals because it checks all the boxes — ✓ easy, ✓ healthy, ✓ flavorful, ✓ fun, and ✓ flexible. If you’re looking for a staple recipe that you can modify on the fly, Spicy Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps is the perfect fit.

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chicken lettuce wraps on a white plate

Where are my “gimme quick and easy” peeps?

You had me at quick and easy with these Spicy Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps. I love the idea of taking time to prepare a meal.

You know what I’m talking about, the lazy Saturday night with a glass of wine, good conversation, and music in the background kind of time.

Truth is that I rarely have that kind of time but that doesn’t mean I want to default to ordering pizza.  That’s where this recipe comes in. You could do this every night of the week and feel like you’re eating something different.

Here’s what I love most about this recipe:

  • Fast (especially if you use a food processor to do your chopping!)
  • Lots of flavor for those taste buds
  • Versatile (it’s a clean out your fridge kind of versatile — any protein, any veg, any sauce, any flavor direction)
  • Can be vegetarian or vegan — swap chicken for tofu or a Beyond Meat plant based protein
  • Most importantly, it’s soooo easy

HERE’S A QUICK INGREDIENT LIST

Pick from the options below to make the combo that makes your taste buds sing.

Protein Choices — pick one

  • Chicken
  • Steak
  • Fish — salmon is perfect
  • Shrimp
  • Shredded pork
  • Tofu
  • Beyond Meat
  • Lentils
  • Beans

Wrap Options —

  • Bibb Lettuce — my fav
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Bell Pepper cups — okay, not a ‘wrap’ per se but still an option

Filler Options — pick 3 or more

How much time ya got? Really, anything and everything is an option in these lettuce wraps, but here are a few of my favorites.

  • Bell Peppers
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Dice jalapenos
  • Red Onion, green onions
  • Pickled Onions
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Cilantro
  • Butternut squash strips
  • Raddish
  • Mushrooms
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Jicama
  • Avocado
  • Bacon
  • Mango

Sauces & Condiments — don’t go too crazy here, pick one base flavor and compliment it with one or two more

  • Sweet Thai Chili Sauce
  • Barbecue Sauce
  • Taco seasoning
  • Chipotle mayo
  • Lemon, garlic and olive oil
  • Sriracha
  • Teriyaki Glaze
  • Plum sauce
  • Buffalo sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Dill sauce
  • Curry
  • Chimichurri
  • Lime
  • Jerk seasoning

Always add a little crunch factor — 

  • If you’re going with Asian flavors, I’m a fan of crushed cashews or peanuts
  • Wontons
  • Crispy onions, you know the kind that go on green bean casserole
  • Crushed corn chips
  • Diced pickles

As you can see, you’ve got a ton of options. For this recipe, I’m sticking with the Asian flavors.

pinterest image of lettuce wrap ingredients

HOW TO MAKE SPICY ASIAN CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS

There are really only 3 steps to making this meal.

  1. Prep the veggies.
  2. Pick or prepare the sauce.
  3. Cook the protein.

To prep, the veggies, bust out your food processor. It will go so much faster especially if you are using a lot of veggies.

For the sauce, you can go with premade sauce or make your own. Remember, this is an easy and flexible meal. Do what fits into your schedule.

A couple of sauces you can buy that would work for this rendition would be a premade teriyaki sauce, chili sauce, or hoisin sauce.

If you want to make your own sauce, this Sweet Thai Chili Sauce.

Same thing for the protein. You can prepare your protein or you can buy it ready-made. We usually pan-sear the chicken but have also picked up a rotisserie chicken in a pinch.

Here’s a great recipe for pan-searing chicken breasts.

The rest is really up to the person who is assembling their lettuce wraps!

vegetables on a tray

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Q: What other lettuce choices are there?

A: Really, any lettuce that will ‘wrap’. You can use romaine or iceberg. If you don’t have that, turn it into a salad. Super easy to chop up the veggies and lettuce, toss in the protein and sauce and call it a day.

Q: How much sauce do I need to use for each wrap?

A: Start with a little bit. Just a drizzle. The goal is to give it a hint of sauce not drown it. What makes this so refreshing is that you can taste all the veggies and protein. Plus, if you’re doing a wrap you don’t want it too saucy or you’ll end up wearing it not eating it!

Q: How long do the cut-up vegetables last?

A: About 3 days. Once the veggies are cut up they begin to lose their water and get soggy.

PAIRINGS AND VARIATIONS

Wine

Considering that we are “Vine” + Plate, let’s talk wine.

If you’re using this recipe, Spicy Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps, you’ll want a crisp white or rosé. I’m partial to Sauvignon Blanc, an unoaked Chardonnay or even a dry Reisling or Chenin Blanc. The spice plays nicely with the crisp, dry features of the wines.

Beer

You’ll want to follow some of the same taste profiles with beer. A light wheat beer, blonde ale, or a pilsner would be wonderful with this.

Side Dishes or Other Accompaniments

Honestly, as written, I don’t usually add anything else to it. But you could add a side of fried rice or steamed dumplings.

lettuce wraps on a plate

Spicy Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

vineandplate
A quick and easy meal that doesn't skimp on flavor! This is one of our go-to meals because it checks all the boxes -- ✓ easy, ✓ healthy, ✓ flavorful, ✓ fun, and ✓ flexible. If you're looking for a staple recipe that you can modify on the fly, Spicy Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps is the perfect fit.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 27 mins
Total Time 37 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 servings

Equipment

  • Food Processor
  • Frying pan
  • Serving Bowls, utensils

Ingredients
  

Vegetables

  • 1 head Bibb Lettuce
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 cup Shredded cabbage blend -- napa, green and purple
  • ¼ cup Shredded carrot
  • ½ cup Bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch Cilantro
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 2 Limes

Protein

  • 3 Skinless Chicken Breasts

Spices, Sauces, Toppings

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil to pan-sear the chicken
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch granulated garlic
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • ½ cup Thai chili sauce or hoisin sauce
  • ¼ cup crushed peanuts or cashews

Instructions
 

Protein

  • Heat the olive oil on medium heat in the frying pan or cast-iron skillet.
  • Trim and butterfly your chicken breasts. Using a sharp knife, cut them in half. Try to make them uniform in thickness so they cook evenly.
  • Sprinkle with the salt, garlic, pepper blend on both sides.
  • Add the chicken to the heated pan and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the cooked side of the chicken looks golden brown. It's okay to have a little sear on the chicken, that's where the flavor is developed.
  • Turn the chicken and cook the other side for 4-5 minutes, until that side is golden brown. You have to check the chicken as you are cooking because it all depends on the thickness of the chicken, and how hot your pan is.
    The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165°.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and let it rest on a plate covered for 10 minutes. While the chicken is resting, move on to prepping the vegetables.
  • Chop or shred the chicken. Set aside.

Vegetables

  • Prep your vegetables by washing, drying, shredding, slicing, or chopping your vegetables.
  • Mince the jalapeno, unless you love spice then you can just slice it.
  • Slice the lime into small wedges to squeeze over the top when the wraps are filled.

Sauces and Toppings

  • Roughly chop the peanuts. You can also put the whole peanuts in a sealed bag and use a wooden spoon to break up the peanuts.
  • Heat your sauces in a small pan and then put in a bowl or squeeze bottle for easy topping.
    Once you have your veggies chopped, chicken prepared, and, sauces ready, set everything out family style so people can assemble as they want.
Keyword Pan Seared Chicken, Thai, vegetables

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