How to Make Thai Lettuce WrapsAs the temps rise, I find myself gravitating to more salads and more light dishes like these amazing Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps. They are full of protein and healthy fats, which gives them satiating power, without any heavy carbs weighing you down. The magic of a good lettuce wrap is flavorful ingredients, a creamy sauce, and something crunchy (here, it’s the cabbage and sunflower seeds!).
Why this recipe works:
- The spicy chicken mixture packs a huge flavor punch! Shallots and ginger are prominent flavors in Thai cooking and give this dish an authentic flavor.
- Crunchy lettuce leaves, sweet mango, and bright cilantro give these tons of texture and visual appeal.
- A magical nut butter and coconut milk sauce, inspired by Thai peanut sauce. I make it with almond butter or sunflower seed butter, but use peanut butter if that’s more your style!
- If you love this dipping sauce as much as I do, you’re going to want to make a jar of it to our on all your salads — find the recipe for the “pourable” version here — Thai Almond Salad Dressing
The VERY Best Thai Lettuce Wrap Dipping SauceIf you like peanut sauce, this nut free version is for you! I fell in love with this sauce years ago, and now use it for a variety of Thai inspired recipes. It’s creamy and sweet from the coconut milk, and almond butter or sunflower seed butter give it a nutty flavor. It gets some zing from rice wine vinegar and lime juice, and some spice from sriracha. I use coconut aminos to keep this recipe soy free and make them Whole30 lettuce wraps. They are so satisfying because of the fresh burst of flavor!
How to Make Thai Chicken Lettuce WrapsStep 1: First, prepare the lettuce wrap dipping sauce by adding all the ingredients to a blender and processing until smooth. This can be done by hand, but the sauce doesn’t get as creamy. The sauce thickens when it’s chilled so if you make it ahead of time, just allow it to warm up gently and then stir it to make it more of a sauce again. Step 2: Prepare the spicy chicken mixture by first sautéing the shallots and ginger, and then adding the chicken, coconut aminos, salt and sriracha. Cook until the chicken is fully cooked, without drying out the mixture. Step 3: Prepare the lettuce wrap ingredients, including washing large lettuce leaves (butter lettuce and romaine work the best for these), slicing the mango, chopping the cabbage, and toasting almonds or sesame seeds to top them. I also sometimes use toasted cashews for topping. Step 4: For a fun family style dinner, set the lettuce leaves and all the fillings in separate bowls in the center of the table, and allow everyone to assemble their own lettuce wraps. Be sure to serve with lots of the spicy Thai dipping sauce!
Variations for Whole30 Lettuce WrapsMeal Prep these: Thai lettuce wraps are a great meal prep option. Once you have your chicken and sauce made, you can prep additional ingredients, like cutting bell peppers, mangos, and cabbage, or toasting sunflower and sesame seeds to sprinkle on top. When you’re ready for a meal, pull out the ingredients and fill some crisp lettuce leaves! If you’ve prepped these, the sauce will thicken when refrigerated. Allow the sauce to come back to room temperature and whisk it until it’s light and creamy again. Make these Nut Free: These are nut free is you use sunflower seed butter in the Thai lettuce wrap dipping sauce and top them with toasted sunflower seeds. Lower the Carbs: Make these Whole30 Lettuce Wraps low carb or keto by omitting the mango.
How to Serve Lettuce Wraps (or prep them for the week!)Once you have your chicken and sauce prepared, decide on your toppings! To top these, I suggest:
- Crunchy toasted sunflower seeds and sesame seeds (or almond or cashews, if a part of your diet!)
- Sweet slices of mango
- Crunch veggies, like purple cabbage, red pepper, or julienned carrots
- Cilantro, Thai basil, or green onions
Other Thai Inspired Recipes:
- Thai Noodles, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Thai Curry with Chicken, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Thai Spring Rolls, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Tom Kha Gai, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Thai Steak Salad Wraps, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Thai Chicken Pasta Salad, by Sunkissed Kitchen
Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps (Whole30)
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 1 cup red cabbage shredded
- 1 mango sliced
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds roasted, or sub cashews or almonds
- cilantro and Thai basil to garnish
- red chillis optional
Spicy Ginger Chicken
Thai Almond Sauce
- Prepare the chicken by heating sesame oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and adding ginger and shallots. Cook for 7-10 minutes, until very soft and fragrant.
- Add ground chicken, and brown. Add sea salt, coconut aminos, and chili sauce to taste.
- To make the SunButter sauce, add all ingredients to a blender, and process. You can also do it with a bowl and a small whisk, but it takes a while and it gets smoother in a blender. Chill the SunButter sauce until ready to use.
- To assemble the wraps, add cabbage, mango, and chicken, and then top with toasted seeds and herbs.
- Drizzle with spicy Thai SunButter sauce or serve on the side.