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Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Lime Drench

14 reviews / 4.9 average

These lettuce wraps are a SUMMER DREAM. Mountains of crumbled-crisp ground chicken, fluffy quinoa, and/or rice for added satisfaction, and garlicky gingery sautéed veggies in crisp butter lettuce leaves.

It’s that time again, friends, where we forego all utensils and just stuff lettuce wraps with mountains of crumbled-crisp ground chicken, fluffy quinoa, and/or rice for added satisfaction, and some other garlicky gingery sauteed veggies into crisp butter lettuce leaves and have at it with our hands.

Then we absolutely d-r-e-n-c-h these wraps with a flavor-packed sweet/punchy/limey sauce, maybe a thwap of spicy mayo, and make A REAL NIGHT OF IT.


In This Post: Everything You Need To Know

Ingredients in bowls for the recipe.

What Goes In These Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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These lettuce wraps are the perfect way to use up any veg you have hanging around or any CSA or home garden abundance you may have later this summer so we wanted to put it at the top of your noggin. Oh, and you might just start a personal contest to see how many things you can cover in lime drench.

Our favorite combo for the filling was:

  • ground chicken (could use ground pork, too!)
  • carrot + zucchini (but feel free to swap out/add other veggies you may have!)
  • quinoa/rice blend for a little more oomph (we kept it easy here with a pre-cooked packet of it)

All of it gets sautéed and zuzhed around with a bunch of garlic and ginger and green onion, a little swizzle of soy sauce, so it really packs a flavor punch!

The dreamy lime drench is only a jar-shake away! Like all great sauciness. The lime drench inspo came from a cookbook called The Perfect Blend by Tess Masters (affiliate link). And a drench it is – you’ll need the juice of about 5-6 limes! Then some other yums, like, soy sauce, sesame oil, a little brown sugar, and let’s just keep that garlic/ginger party going, shall we?

Endless Options For Fillings

Okay, there is definitely room for fun and flexibility here if your fridge/pantry/heart is telling a different story than the ingredients listed here. You can mix up the meat choice, give ground pork or ground turkey a whirl. The added veggies can obviously be swipped and swapped as you please.

We love a grain add-in just so everything feels a little more satisfying, but if you’re not feeling the quinoa/rice blend, you could certainly add in just white or brown rice only, or omit completely!

We’ve also tried a mushroom & walnut version that made for a really good for a vegetarian option. You could try a tofu crumble as well, which we’ve use in other yummeroo lettuce wraps like these guys.

Lettuce For Lettuce Wraps: Let’s Talk

Not all lettuce is created equal when it comes to lettuce wraps. You definitely want something that will keep a little crunch for A+ texture benefit and not just wilt when the warm ingredients hit it. You also want something a little more sturdy that will hold its shape, so you don’t pile all that deliciousness in, drench it on up, and then it all just kinda plops out the bottom. You also don’t want it to have too strong or a naturally bitter taste.

Some lettuces that work best:

  1. Butter Lettuce. Our absolute fave! Especially if you can find a head of living butter lettuce. Also known as Boston or bibb lettuce, it has big rounded leaves that are sturdy but still pliable, making it ideal for filling and wrapping. The taste is also mild and well…buttery! A perfect compliment.
  2. Leaf lettuce. Also a great option and either green or red would work. It’s fairly easy to find and it has broad leaves that will still hold a little crunch once filled. Trim the stems off to get nice rounded leaves for wraps.
  3. Romaine. The leaves are more narrow so it’s really more of a boat situation, less of a wrap, but they have a nice crunch! But because that crunch is so nice, it also means these leaves can snap more easily on you. Oh no, filling-plop!

Maybe you want to get a little adventurous and do some swiss chard or savoy cabbage or collard greens? The world is yours!

How To Make Spicy Mayo

If you are not already a part of Club Spicy Mayo, please consider becoming a member today! Here’s how you apply:

  • mix half a cup of mayo with a few tablespoons of sriracha

There! You’re in! Now proceed to make everything you eat even better by using it.

It’s of course not *required* on these lettuce wraps, but it is very appreciated, you know? Really gives it a special bit of heat and creaminess that is unbeatable. Here are some other fave uses for spicy mayo:

What Else To Lime Drench (Yes It’s a Verb)

AN ACTUAL VERB. Which means you must go forth and do this. We’ve definitely given it a whirl as a super tangy salad dressing for a simple spring mix. But maybe you want to brush it over some grilled chicken or fish or veggies? Could this be a great taco sprinkle? Will it up your rice or noodle bowl game?! Do you just need to add a little tang to whatever you’re eating? So much flavor, it seems a shame to not start dreaming and scheming with it.

Comment or tag us over on instagram to let us know what you are lime drenching! We really, really want to know. #operationlimedrench

Chicken lettuce wraps set on a table with spicy mayo on top

Here’s to a summer full of sun on our faces, joy in our bones, and plenty of handheld eats.

Lettuce Wraps: Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make these vegetarian?

Replace the chicken/pork with crumbled tofu! You can see this recipe for how to do it. Another option is to just do rice and veggies, and a crumbled mushroom-walnut texture is great, too.

What kind of lettuce is best for lettuce wraps?

Our recommendation is butter lettuce – preferably buying it as a head of lettuce. It has large leaves, is pliable, and has the perfect buttery flavor. This is often called “Living Lettuce” with the root still attached. Remove the leaves, give them a quick rinse, pat dry, and you’re ready to wrap.

How spicy is spicy mayo?

It’s a choose your own adventure! We usually do 1/2 cup mayo with 2-3 tablespoons of sriracha, but if you prefer more or less heat, all you have to do is increase or decrease the amount of sriracha to taste. And if you add too much, just add more mayo until you find your perfect level of spice.

Source Notes: The lime drench portion of this recipe was inspired by some very delicious lettuce wraps featured in The Perfect Blend by Tess Masters (affiliate link). Thank you Tess for teaching us to lime drench! A dream!

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Spoon ladeling lime sauce on the chicken lettuce cups on a plate.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Lime Drench


  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Makes enough for about 8 lettuce wraps, or 4 servings

Description

These lettuce wraps are a SUMMER DREAM. Mountains of crumbled-crisp ground chicken, fluffy quinoa, and/or rice for added satisfaction, and garlicky gingery sautéed veggies in crisp butter lettuce leaves.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Lettuce Wraps and Filling

  • 1 lb. ground chicken or pork (I prefer chicken)
  • 1 inch piece ginger, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 3 green onions, sliced (white and green parts)
  • 1 zucchini, diced (optional)
  • 1 carrot, diced (optional)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup cooked brown rice and/or quinoa (see notes)
  • lettuce (leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, or romaine can all work)
  • spicy mayo (1/2 cup mayo + 2-3 tablespoons sriracha)

Lime Drench

  • juice of 56 limes (totaling 1/3 to 1/2 cup lime juice)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 12 tablespoon brown sugar (more lime juice = more sugar)
  • a teeny bit of your grated garlic and ginger from the filling prep

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, brown the chicken with a little bit of olive oil until fully cooked and crumbled. 
  2. Set aside a little of your grated garlic and ginger for the lime drench. While the chicken is cooking, shake your lime drench ingredients in a jar.
  3. Add the remaining garlic and ginger, green onions, zucchini, and carrots to the chicken in the skillet. Sauté for 5-10 minutes until the vegetables have softened and are very aromatic. (The chicken doesn’t have a lot of fat, so I often add an extra drizzle of oil, or soy sauce or even a bit of water to pull the flavor from the bottom of the pan.)
  4. Add the rice and quinoa to the filling. Cook until softened and heated through. Season to taste.
  5. Fill your lettuce cups with the filling, pour the lime drench over it, and top with a little thwap of spicy mayo. Voila! So many vegetables and SO MUCH FLAVOR. 

Equipment

Notes

Cooked rice and quinoa: I often use just a cup or so of the precooked packages like Seeds of Change (affiliate link) – and it’s optional to add this in, but I like it because it makes the lettuce wraps feel more satisfying since it adds a carb element to the mix.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian-inspired

Keywords: lettuce wraps, lime juice, ground chicken, healthy recipe, dinner recipe,

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29 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Libby

    I jumped all over these as soon as the recipe was posted this morning. Should’ve watched the video to learn 1) to put a splash of soy sauce in the chicken mixture, and 2) that the spicy mayo is a topping, NOT part of what you put in the chicken mixture.
    That said, I made the mistakes and it was STILL delicious. We put ours on Jasmine rice because it’s what we had, and I’ve made notes on my own recipe to make it correctly in the future. The lime sauce is tangy and fresh tasting – a really great summer flavor. I also topped our rice bowls with Furikake seasoning, which just added to the flavor.






  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love this healthy unique combination of low-fat healthy chicken inside lettuce. Lettuce is one of many cruciferous vegetables that help people lose weight and flush unhealthy estrogen levels from their body, helping them to also remove heavy layers of fat from their stomachs. I can only imagine how delicious this tastes. 🙂

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Holly

    Hey guys, I have toasted sesame oil and cold pressed regular sesame oil. Which one are you calling for here? Thanks!






  4. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sarah

    Can I give these 10 stars?? They were so delicious! We made them with crumbled tofu and extra zucchini instead of chicken. I could put that lime drench on just about anything, so yummy! Thank you for another winner!






    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      So awesome that it worked out with tofu and zucchini! Thanks so much for the comment!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I loved that there were a good amount of veggies in with the chicken for texture and flavor. Also that lime soy sauce was so good!






    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      So glad you enjoyed the wraps, Scarlet! Thanks so much for the comment!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Liz Ross

    I made these for dinner tonightand they were so, so delicious! I will make these over and over!






  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Samantha

    I made this for dinner today and it was the most delicious new recipe I’ve tried in a while!! The flavors were incredible!! I added some veggies that needed to be used up. I didn’t have sirracha so I just mixed some chili powder with Mayo. I wish I took a picture, but it was eaten too quickly. Even my picky eater loved it and had seconds. Thank you!!






  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I tried the exact same steps.! for the first 3 tries I got busted.! didn’t feel any taste.! It was bad experience. for me, but after some tries, I got this.! Thanks for sharing such an amazing recipe.

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kim

    I’m going to make these this week. Are these good for a full meal or do I make a side dish too? And if so, what are some good options?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      These would be great as an appetizer or a main dish! If making as a main dish, you could pair it with a salad (like an Asian slaw) or rice!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Madison

    I really like the filling with the addition of vegetables but the lime drench was a little off for me. I felt like the filling lacked flavor but the lime drench didn’t add enough. I think it could’ve been the sesame oil? Next time I will cook the filling in the oil and soy sauce and just add fresh lime juice to the top.






  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Lisa

    This recipe was super easy and delicious. The lime drench is amazing. It gives a nice light and refreshing taste. As an additional topping, I added chopped cilantro, chopped Chili-lime flavor cashews and toasted sesame seeds for added crunch






  12. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sarajo

    We made these and they were so delicious! We added a diced jalepeno to the meat mixture (pork in our case) and some Thai chili pepper to the sauce. We did decide they were MUCH easier to eat as a lettuce bowl instead of as a wrap so we did that with the leftovers. Oh, and we subbed fish sauce for half the soy sauce. 🙂

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Hilary

    I made these last night for my family. And they were a hit. I admittedly had to bribe my VERY PICKY youngest but she actually ate and enjoyed these and she doesn’t like much food so that is high praise. Love how flavorful these are and they’re pretty quick to make too.

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kate

    Soooo refreshing and zippy. A perfect easy summer dinner. It was so good even our toddler wanted to eat hers with the lettuce wrap!






  15. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Christina R

    Great recipe! The lime drench was so, so tasty. Both my husband and I gobbled this up for dinner. I love how you can adapt the recipe based on the veggies in your fridge… for example, I used green onions, a carrot, a yellow squash (instead of zucchini), and I also threw in one jalapeño and two mini sweet peppers cause I thought it would taste good! Major win. Thanks POY for making me feel like a great cook 🙂






  16. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Lauren

    These were fantastic and so easy! The only thing I did differently was shredded the carrot and zucchini just for personal texture preference. Everyone loved them! Thank you.






  17. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Denise

    Wow these are so good! Made a few modifications for ease – I used 2lbs of chicken and no quinoa, minced jarred ginger and I added all the Lime sauce to the pan near the end of cooking the chicken and veggies. My husband and daughter chose to eat theirs as a bowl on top of rice, I ate mine as wraps. This will be a recipe I repeat.






  18. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Mandie

    I knew this would be good, but it was AMAZING! The lime drench really is life. Thanks for another winner!






  19. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Ashley

    I made this for dinner and it was so yummy and flavorful! I used pork and
    a bag of shredded carrots for the vegetables. Also topped with chopped peanuts for extra crunch! I love your idea of adding the brown rice/quinoa mix to make the lettuce wraps more filling. I also really appreciate that it was easy to prep and quick!






  20. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Andrea Franko

    This was excellent. The lime drench is 1000% worth the effort. I cooked the meat and veg ahead of time and meal prepped this in bowls atop salad greens. So delicious, a new fav!