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Chicken lettuce wraps are a healthy, 30-minute dinner that always hits the spot! Juicy ground chicken and shiitake mushrooms are cooked in a sweet and tangy sauce, wrapped in crisp lettuce, and served with a side of fluffy rice.

Plate of lettuce wraps with ground chicken, mushrooms, and water chestnuts.
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Chicken lettuce wraps are one of my favorite things to make at home because they’re so easy and so flavorful. There is absolutely no need to go to the restaurant to buy these. You don’t get nearly enough for the markup that you pay and, quite frankly, I think the homemade ones taste even better!

It all starts with a bunch of crisp lettuce, which is then filled with ground chicken, shiitake mushrooms, water chestnuts, and a sweet, tangy sauce made from brown sugar and soy sauce. Every bite is packed with flavor and great texture!

A lot of times lettuce wraps are listed on menus as appetizers, but this chicken lettuce wraps recipe is the perfect weeknight meal. It’s guaranteed to fill you up and put a smile on your face… especially if you serve it with scallion pancakes!

(If you’re looking for more Chinese takeout recipes that you can make at home, try these salt and pepper chicken wings, this chicken and broccoli, or this honey sesame chicken.)

Lettuce wraps with ground chicken, mushrooms, and water chestnuts.

Why You’ll Love These Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce wraps are constantly on the menu at my house. Here’s why I think you’ll love them, too:

  • Super flavorful. The ground chicken and mushrooms are cooked in a sauce made with sweet brown sugar, tangy rice vinegar, and salty soy sauce. It may be a simple combination, but it’s all kinds of bold and delicious!
  • Adaptable and healthy. You can control how much of what goes into this recipe (i.e.: salt content) and you can also make and eat as many lettuce leaves as you need. :) (I do, however, still highly recommend serving this with a side of white rice to make it really feel like a meal!)
  • Quick. This dinner comes together in 30 minutes total, making it a great choice for busy weeknights!
Ingredients for chicken lettuce wraps.

What You’ll Need

Let’s talk ingredients! There aren’t too many to round up for today (check out the recipe card for exact amounts):

For the Sauce

  • Soy Sauce – Low-sodium soy sauce is my go-to, but you can use the regular version if you like.
  • Dark Brown Sugar – This gives the sauce a nice depth of flavor.
  • Rice Vinegar – Adding in rice vinegar cuts the sweetness just a tad.

For the Wraps

  • Onion – I like to use chopped white onion for these wraps.
  • Garlic – Freshly minced garlic is the best for this recipe.
  • Water Chestnuts – This is my favorite ingredient to use because I love the crunch and texture!
  • Shiitake Mushrooms – You could try using portobello mushrooms instead if you don’t have shiitake mushrooms.
  • Ground Chicken – Ground turkey or ground pork also work if you prefer one of those.
  • Bibb Lettuce Cups – These are the best kind of lettuce to hold your chicken mixture in, but you can use baby romaine leaves too.

How to Make Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This lettuce wraps recipe is a breeze to whip together! Here’s a brief overview of the steps (the full set of directions can also be found in the recipe card below):

  • Make the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
  • Cook the water chestnuts and mushrooms. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the sesame oil and vegetable oil. Once hot, add the onion, garlic, water chestnuts, and shiitake mushrooms. Cook the veggies until tender and warmed through (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the chicken and the sauce. Add the cooked ground chicken to the skillet then pour the sauce all over the entire mixture. Stir to combine. Let everything cook together for 3-5 minutes.
  • Assemble the lettuce wraps. Serve hot in the bibb lettuce cups and with a side of white rice, if desired.
Ground chicken and mushrooms wrapped in a lettuce leaf.

Tips & Recipe Variations

See how easy it is to make this lettuce wrap recipe? I do have a few more tips that make it even easier, though:

  • Use a food processor instead of chopping the ingredients. To finely chop the ingredients fast, you can pulse them in a food processor. Don’t overdo it, just blend so that you get roughly chopped pieces.
  • Water chestnut substitutions. If you can’t find water chestnuts, don’t worry. You can omit them since they don’t add flavor – they are merely there for texture and crunch! However, a reader mentioned that she substituted bamboo shoots, so that is an alternative too.
  • Make this meal ahead. This is a great dish to make ahead of time for meal prep. Just prepare everything as directed up until the assembly step, and then store the lettuce and the meat/mushrooms mixture separately in airtight containers in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of lettuce is best for lettuce wraps?

I recommend using Bibb lettuce, another butter lettuce, or baby romaine lettuce for this recipe. Basically, you just want a sturdy lettuce that will be able to hold the meat without falling apart.

How do I keep the lettuce crisp?

The best way to keep lettuce crisp is to soak it in cold water. You can also do this if your lettuce has wilted a little bit (15-30 minutes should be good).

How do I cut lettuce for lettuce wraps?

Start by cutting the bottom off of the head of lettuce. Then, simply peel the lettuce leafs apart, wash them and dry them, and assemble your wraps!

Chicken lettuce wraps with water chestnuts, ground chicken, and shiitake mushrooms.

What Goes With Lettuce Wraps?

Not sure what to serve with these chicken lettuce wraps? Here are a couple of ideas:

Chicken lettuce wraps garnished with green onions.

How to Store

Lettuce wraps are pretty easy to store, so they make for fabulous leftovers:

  • To store. Keep your lettuce leaves and the chicken/mushroom mixture in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • To reheat. Simply heat up the chicken on the stovetop over medium heat, and then add everything to a fresh lettuce leaf.

More Chinese Takeout Recipes

These classic Chinese takeout recipes are so easy to make from the comfort of your own kitchen!

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5 from 1 vote

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chicken lettuce wraps are a super easy weeknight meal that comes together in 30 minutes! Made with juicy ground chicken, tender mushrooms, a sweet and tangy sauce, and crisp lettuce.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

For the sauce

  • 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar

For the rest of the dish

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon (1 tablespoons) sesame oil
  • ½ white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounce (227 g) can of water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • ½ cup (113 g) reconstituted shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
  • ½ pound (227 g) cooked ground chicken
  • Bibb lettuce cups

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the sesame oil and vegetable oil. Once hot, add the onion, garlic, water chestnuts, and shiitake mushrooms. Cook the veggies until tender and warmed through, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the cooked ground chicken to the skillet then pour the sauce all over the entire mixture. Stir to combine. Let cook together for 3-5 minutes.
  • Serve hot in the bibb lettuce cups and with a side of white rice, if desired.

Video

Notes

  • To finely chop the ingredients fast, you can pulse them in a food processor. Don’t overdo it but just so you get roughly chopped pieces.
  • To store. Keep your lettuce leaves and the chicken/mushroom mixture in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • To reheat. Simply heat up the chicken on the stovetop over medium heat, and then add everything to a fresh lettuce leaf.

Nutrition

Serving: 1wrap, Calories: 179kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 11g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 9g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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51 Comments

  1. The last time I made these decided to use shredded lettuce and make them “bowls” game changer! They are delicious and a time saver!!

  2. These are bitchin. For me personally, I prefer to make the filling and mix it up with rice, instead of doing a lettuce wrap. Maybe next time I’ll serve it with broccoli slaw for some fresh crunch. But SO GOOD

  3. Made these and LOVED them. I added in some chili garlic sauce for spice and they were off the charts delicious. I will be adding these in to my regular meal schedule.

  4. I made these over the weekend and WOW they are amazing! I’ve made so many “copycat” lettuce wrap recipes and I’ve always been disappointed but these were perfect and so simple! Followed the recipe exactly but as a dipping sauce used Trader Joe’s Gyoza sauce. Can’t wait to make these again and again :)