Whether you are looking for a main dish or delicious appetizer, look no further than these Asian turkey lettuce wraps. The entire recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes and gives the impression of a fancy dish that is actually a pretty low-fuss and healthy meal. Top it with the 5-ingredient peanut sauce for a veggie-packed dish that the whole family will gobble up!
Is it just me, or do foods that you can eat without utensils just taste better?
I mean, they are basically a salad- lettuce, ground turkey, carrots and peanut dressing.
Yet, serve them as a handheld and suddenly even those salad-averse might find themselves enjoying these healthy lettuce wraps.
While they might look intimidating and be something you reserve for ordering off a restaurant menu, with the fresh flavor in this easy recipe, you'll feel like a fabulous cook.
So let's make some Asian-inspired lettuce wraps!
And peanut sauce. You'll definitely want the peanut sauce.
- Lettuce- For best results, use sturdy lettuce leaves that can hold up to the weight of the filling.
- Avocado Oil- Another cooking oil such as olive oil can be used. Or use un-toasted sesame oil (toasted has too low of a smoke point).
- Ground Turkey- Ground chicken would also work.
- Garlic Powder- Use 4 cloves of freshly minced if preferred.
- Ground Ginger- You can use 1 tablespoon fresh ginger instead.
- Red Pepper Flakes- You can use ¼ teaspoon of hot sauce such as sriracha if needed.
- Fish Sauce- While the name may be off putting, it doesn't taste like fish- promise! It adds a salty, savory flavor that you don't want to leave out of this easy recipe.
- Sesame Oil- Toasted sesame oil adds the most robust flavor but un-toasted can be used if needed.
- Peanut Sauce:
- Peanut Butter- I typically use smooth natural style peanut butter but any type will work.
- Tamari or Soy Sauce- Coconut aminos can be substituted.
- Lime Juice- Rice vinegar can be used instead if needed but the flavor will differ slightly.
- Garlic Powder
- Ground Ginger
1. Prepare sauce. In a small bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the peanut sauce. Add the water 1-2 tablespoons at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
2. Cook ground meat. Brown the lean ground turkey, vegetables, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes in a skillet over medium-high heat until the meat is cooked through and vegetables are soft.
3. Add sauces. Remove from heat and stir in the fish sauce and sesame oil.
4. Assemble and serve. Scoop a bit of the turkey filling into the center of a butter lettuce leaf. Top with peanut sauce and enjoy. Repeat with remaining.
Leftovers and Storage
To Store: Store the ground turkey lettuce wraps mixture, the peanut sauce and the lettuce separately, each in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
To Freeze: The turkey mixture and peanut sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: Rewarm the turkey mixture in the microwave until heated through. Stir additional water into the peanut sauce and and serve in fresh lettuce cups.
Make It Your Own
Add More Veggies- At the same time as the carrots and onions are added, you can include up to 3 cups of additional chopped fresh vegetables such as:
- Mushrooms (shiitake is delicious in this!)
- Red Bell Peppers
- Crunchy Water Chestnuts (drained and chopped)
Make it Nut Free- This can be made allergy friendly by using almond butter (for a peanut free option) or sunflower seed butter (for a nut free option) in place of the peanut butter. Alternatively, you could serve it without the peanut sauce and use something else such as hoisin sauce.
Serve it as a Rice Bowl- For an easy meal (that's more portable, too), spoon the filling over a bowl of white or brown rice and top with chopped crisp lettuce, green onions, cilantro and peanut sauce
Garnish your lettuce wraps with:
- Sesame Seeds
- Chopped Fresh Cilantro
- Green Onions
- Toasted Peanuts
- Crispy Rice Noodles
And for a more filling meal, try serving it alongside some:
- Coconut Rice
- Chili Garlic Edamame
- Or check out this list of 33 Sides to Serve with Lettuce Wraps for more inspiration!
I prefer to use butter lettuce such as bibb lettuce for healthy turkey lettuce wraps since it has a mild flavor and is naturally cupped which is perfect for holding the filling.
However, iceberg or romaine lettuce also work quite well and I have definitely used them from time to time.
Ultimately, you can use whatever- some types just might make for messier eating, but that's part of the fun, right?
For an alternative to lettuce, you could also try serving it in Swiss chard leaves or rice paper.
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Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps
- 2 teaspoon avocado oil or another cooking oil
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 2 large carrots grated (about 1 and ½ cups)
- 1 small onion diced (about ½ cup)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 and ½ teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 and ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon tamari , soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoon water plus additional as needed
- 1 head butter lettuce or lettuce of choice
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 tablespoon green onions chopped
- ¼ cup roasted, unsalted peanuts chopped
- In a small bowl, whisk together all of the peanut sauce ingredients except for water for the peanut sauce until combined. Stir in water 1-2 tablespoons at a time until you have reached your desired consistency.
- Meanwhile, heat the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the turkey, carrots, onions and spices. Cook, stirring occasionally to crumble the turkey and combine the ingredients, until the meat is browned and the vegetables are starting to soften.
- Once the turkey mixture is cooked through, remove from heat and stir in the sesame oil and fish sauce.
- Serve, filling the center of a lettuce leaf and topping with cilantro, onions and peanut sauce, as desired.