Asian Lettuce Wraps & Lemon Buttercream Cupcakes

Love, love, love, lettuce wraps.

This recipe makes a double batch. However, there are only two of us, so if you have a large family of 4 or more, the entire recipe will be perfect. We eat about half and I freeze the other half for another dinner or lunch.

Lettuce wraps are also great for an appetizer party. My aunt puts the meat in a crockpot and just places the lettuce cups next to it. Everyone can serve themselves.

Did you know that PF Chang’s has gluten-free lettuce wraps? They have an entire gluten-free menu if you’re interested. Make sure when you order that you double-check that the condiments they bring to the table are also gluten-free.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

*This recipe is adapted from my aunt, Judy Zumeks’ recipe.

14 Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Thighs (sounds like a lot but they are small – you can also use ground turkey or pork)

1 Green Bell Pepper, finely diced (I had green, you can also use red, yellow, or orange)

4 Garlic Cloves, minced

2 Tablespoons Freshly Grated Ginger

1 Jalapeno, seeds removed and diced

4 Green Onions, thinly sliced

1 8oz Can Water Chestnuts, drained and chopped

ย 8 Tablespoons Sweet Chili Sauce

3 Tablespoons Fish Sauce (make sure it’s gluten-free)

3 Tablespoons Sesame Oil

7 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (I use gluten-free Tamari sauce)

3 Tablespoons Sriracha Sauce

4 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, chopped

Olive Oil

Iceberg Lettuce (or any type of lettuce you like, I like the iceberg because it’s firm and crisp)

In two batches, place the chicken thighs in a food processor and pulse until “ground”. ย I thought I had ground turkey in the freezer but I did not, so this is what I settled with and I am so happy I did! It’s incredibly easy to “grind” and less expensive than buying organic ground meat. I will never buy ground chicken, turkey, or pork again.

Place the ground meat (both batches) in a bowl and add the bell pepper, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, and green onions.

Stir to combine. Drizzle the olive oil in a large skillet and heat on medium-high. Add the chicken mixture and cook until meat is done. It will turn a pale color, don’t cook it until it is browned, the garlic will burn and the chicken will be tough. Once the chicken is done, add the chili sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, sriracha, water chestnuts, and cilantro. Stir to combine and simmer for 10 minutes.

This meal was incredibly easy so right after dinner I even had time to make my Lemon Buttercream Cupcakesย for dessert. (Of which my husband and I ate 3 each and then were so loaded up on sugar we couldn’t sleep. Two is perfect…three might have been just one too many. But they were so good!)

24 Comments on “Asian Lettuce Wraps & Lemon Buttercream Cupcakes

  1. This does sound like the perfect filling for a lettuce wrap. A little heat but not enough to make your guests reach for the water. And those cupcakes look soo good! I really do agree with you about grinding my own meats. It’s one extra step but the results are so much better and you know exactly what you’re cooking with.


  2. Yummy!
    And guess what, I have a large family of 4 or more… yay! ๐Ÿ™‚ It looks like a great recipe, is going to my list. And those cupcakes… ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Oh.. we adore PF Chang’s and I found and made of version of lettuce wraps a few months back and forgot to blog, lol! I love your recipe, I don’t believe mine would have been gluten free either, so this is awesome! Those cupcakes.. wow.. they are soo pretty!!! Lemony flavor would be so good after the wraps:)


  4. I love those little lettuce wraps in their perfect wee dish, I will make these, they look easy and tasty, two very important criteria.. i hope you have had a great week.. almost friday!! c


  5. Your lettuce cups look amazing. I love the list of ingredients. These must be full of crunch and flavour. Great how you made your own mince xx


  6. I want to make this for a shower but want to use ground turkey instead. How many pounds and how many people does the recipe feed for the lettuce wraps?


    • Well, my aunt made them for a party and put the meat in a small crockpot with lettuce leaves on the side. There were at least 20 people at the party but she had all kinds of other food choices as well. My husband and I eat probably at least half if itโ€™s a main course. So I would say if itโ€™s going to be the main dish at your shower, I would at least double it. (It also freezes very well ahead of time!) I canโ€™t even begin to guess the weightโ€ฆ.chicken thighs are smallโ€ฆ I think ground turkey would also work well, but I like to use the chicken thighs because they stay very moist. Chicken breast would dry out, Iโ€™m not sure about turkey. Hope this was helpful! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for stopping by and I hope you love the recipe as much as we do! ~ April


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  9. Hi! I’m wondering what the equivalent amount of ground beef would be in replace of the chicken?

    I just recently found out I’m gluten free, lactose intolerant, as well as having an intolerance to several fruits/veggies/spices/sugars/sweets! Luckily, the majority of your ingredients are okay!

    Thank you in advance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Joanna!

      I would say about 2 lbs of ground beef would work well. You could also use pork if you can tolerate it.

      Well, I’m sorry to hear you’ve joined the ranks of those of us with multiple food allergies! Thankfully, there’s a lot of great ideas and recipes through Pinterest and by many bloggers with a passion to share what works for them. A common thing that causes multiple food allergies is Candida overgrowth and leaky gut syndrome. If the doc you’re seeing now hasn’t addressed that already, it would be worth your while to do some research about those two things. Than you so much for stopping by and commenting! ๐Ÿ™‚


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  12. What can be used in place of sesame oil? My son is allergic to sesame seeds so we avoid all things sesame. Thank you! And is tamari soy free in addition to the GF? Thank you!

    We are having to 180 our lives with wheat, soy, milk, egg, corn, shrimp, walnut and sesame seed allergies. To say it is a challenge is a pure understatement ๐Ÿ˜‚ especially for a family of 6, soon to be 7


    • Tamari sauce is not soy free. I would recommend coconut aminos which can also typically be found in the asian part of the food isle. It doesn’t have the same bite and flavor as soy sauce or tamari sauce but it is a nice substitute for both. I use it often in my stir fry’s and other asian cooking and love it. Sesame oil provides a very strong flavor to a dish so it’s difficult to replace. But if you don’t mind losing that flavor, then you could use any oil you like. Avocado oil would work well because it can stand up to the heat. Hope this helps!


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