There are a few constants in life. And the one big question that we’ll always ask ourselves with a mixture of excitement and bewilderment is this: What’s for lunch? Every day, until the end of time. Though we’re all motivated by different things, I know that if I’ve got a healthy and delicious lunch lined up, I’m sure to plow through my work a lot faster. That’s where these lettuce wrap recipes come in handy. I can stay focused and productive without worrying about rushing to get a meal together or ordering takeout between meetings when lunch hour hits.
Lettuce wraps are the underrated lunch you didn’t know you needed. I realize that the idea of lettuce may not excite you as much as let’s say, sourdough bread. But stick with me. Lettuce is the perfect blank canvas to let your main ingredients take center stage. It will enhance the flavor in whatever filling you choose, plus, lettuce wraps are one of the easiest meal prep ideas around. Just have your filling ready to go, put it together, and boom—you’ve got a meal in under five minutes.
Not only is lettuce the most versatile canvas for your protein, taco fillings, or sautéed veggies, but it also won’t weigh you down. We’ve rounded up some of our absolute favorite lettuce wrap recipes that will have your healthy lunches (and dinners!) covered. From juicy burgers to delicious fish “tacos” to some flavorful veggie options—these are amazing dishes that will bring your WFH or in-office lunch to the next level. Just remember, when it comes to lettuce wraps, there are no rules. So get those creative juices flowing and top your greens with whatever sounds tasty!
Featured image by Hannah Zahner.
How To Choose the Best Lettuce for Wraps
When it comes to crafting a perfectly crisp bite of balanced goodness, not all lettuce is created equal. You definitely want to use something that won’t get soggy quickly and make a mess. Nothing is worse than trying to corral a handful of lettuce wrap detritus! Opt for lettuces like romaine, iceberg, butter, and even collard greens.
I find that collard greens are the sturdiest of all the aforementioned lettuces, but they are slightly more bitter than you might be used to when eaten raw. Butter lettuce and romaine have a size advantage, the leaves can be easily molded to fit your filling, and they have a nice crisp bite. Iceberg is always a solid pick, but often lean in favor of the others since they have a bit more nutritional value.
Try One of These Options for Your Next Lettuce Wrap:
- Butter Lettuce
- Collard Greens
- Iceberg Lettuce
- Gem Lettuce
- Romaine Lettuce
- Savoy Cabbage
- Bib Lettuce
Vegetarian Lettuce Wrap Recipes
Take heart: Veggie lettuce wrap recipes do not have to be lacking in protein! These flavorful and hearty wraps are so satisfying and filling that you’ll have all the energy and brainpower you need to get through the rest of the day.
Mexican Quinoa Salad Cups With Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing From Minimalist Baker
Why We Love It: These vegan and gluten-free Mexican salad cups come together in 30 minutes and are healthy, flavorful, and yield enough leftovers for an entire week of lunches. They’re loaded with fiber, protein, and healthy fats—the ideal lunch situation.
Hero Ingredient: The cilantro lime dressing adds a cool creaminess minus the dairy, keeping it light and fresh.
Get the recipe for Mexican Quinoa Salad Cups With Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing.
Curried Tofu Wraps From Bon Appétit
Why We Love It: As a tofu-obsessed eater, these wraps really hit the spot. They’re insanely flavorful, easy to make, nutritious, and a delight to eat. Collard greens are the perfect grain-free pick for ensuring these stay wrapped up tight.
Hero Ingredient: Store-bought curry paste keeps this recipe full of complex and exciting flavor without requiring additional labor. Just be sure to test the spice levels before you using since they can vary.
Get the recipe for Curried Tofu Wraps.
Honey Sriracha Tempeh Spring Rolls
Why We Love It: The tempeh gets marinated in a sriracha-based sauce, so that creamy avocado, sweet mango, and refreshing cucumber balance everything out. Plus, this recipe uses rice to make things a little more substantial than your typical lettuce wrap recipes. You’ll want to keep these in your weekly lunch rotation.
Hero Ingredient: Don’t knock tempeh until you try it. Everything it touches turns to gold—this recipe included.
Get the recipe for Honey Sriracha Tempeh Spring Rolls.
Thai Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Lettuce Wraps From Cupful of Kale
Why We Love It: Chock full of roasted sweet potato, cauliflower, and crumbled tofu and dressed in a creamy peanut sauce, this is definitely one of my favorite veggie lettuce wrap recipes. They’re tasty, fresh, and loaded with wholesome ingredients to leave you feeling full for hours.
Hero Ingredient: The sauce cannot be topped.
Get the recipe for Thai Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Lettuce Wraps.
Avocado Chickpea Salad Wraps by The First Mess
Why We Love It: This avocado chickpea salad is packed with protein and healthy fats, making it a good lunchtime choice when you’re craving something more substantial. It’s basically the same concept as egg salad, so be careful not to smoosh those chickpeas too much! You’ll want to keep them bigger for some texture.
Hero Ingredient: Capers sneak in the mix and bring a salty, briny note to each delicious bite.
Get the recipe for Avocado Chickpea Salad Wraps.
Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipes
Chicken is the perfect go-to when you’re craving animal protein but still want to keep your meal fairly light. It’s a neutral flavor that you can easily add to any of our veggie options without overpowering other flavors. Craving Asian, Mexican, or burger vibes? These chicken lettuce wrap recipes have it all.
Chicken Burger Lettuce Wraps
Why We Love It: It’s basically the healthier version of your favorite burger, so what’s not to love? Lean ground chicken, bibb lettuce, and Asian-inspired herbs and spices kick it all up a notch and add a burst of freshness.
Hero Ingredient: Curry powder gives these wraps an Asian-inspired flair that can’t be beat.
Get the recipe for Chicken Burger Lettuce Wraps.
Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Cups From The Defined Dish
Why We Love It: These Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Cups couldn’t be easier to throw together, are full of fresh, crisp, and tasty flavors, and are Whole30-compliant.
Hero Ingredient: You can use sweet basil, but Thai basil gives your lettuce cups something a little extra special.
Get the recipe for Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Cups.
Chipotle Chicken Lettuce Wraps From What’s Gaby Cooking
Why We Love It: This lettuce wrap recipe is fun to eat, easy to throw together, and ultra-healthy. It’s light, bright, flavorful, and (thanks to chipotles in adobo) a little smoky. Don’t be put off by the marinade time, you can meal prep them in advance or throw them together in the morning so they’re ready to go when lunch rolls around.
Hero Ingredient: The mango avocado slaw is the unexpected twist that makes these chicken lettuce wraps next-level good.
Get the recipe for Chipotle Chicken Lettuce Wraps.
Easy Rotisserie Chicken Lettuce Cups With Peanut Sauce From The Defined Dish
Why We Love It: There are two things that stand out to me most in this recipe: the ease of using rotisserie chicken and the choice of radicchio. Regarding the chicken, you can use store-bought (yay!) rotisserie chicken to win the easy meal prep game. Additionally, radicchio is sturdy enough to hold as many toppings as you fancy and brings a slightly bitter flavor that truly makes this dish shine.
Hero Ingredient: The peanut sauce is perfectly balanced and packs a nice contrast to the radicchio.
Get the recipe for Easy Rotisserie Chicken Lettuce Cups With Peanut Sauce.
Mediterranean Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
Why We Love It: Not only is the Mediterranean Diet the healthiest diet in the world, but these lettuce wraps are all-around delectable. They’re filled with grilled chicken, olives, capers, cucumber, and more to make a filling meal any time of day.
Hero Ingredient: You just can’t beat those salty capers.
Get the recipe for Mediterranean Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps.
Hoisin Chicken Cabbage Tacos
Why We Love It: These Hoisin Chicken Cabbage Tacos are so tasty you’ll not only be adding them to your lunch rotation, but want to whip them up for your next dinner party as well. Savory, full of flavor, and oh-so-tasty (and good for you, too!).
Hero Ingredient: Camille is partial to the savoy cabbage leaves in this recipe—they hold together way better than iceberg so you can stuff your tacos full of filling and not worry about them falling apart on you. Her trick is to blanch the leaves before serving so it’s easier to chew and less bitter.
Get the recipe for Hoisin Chicken Cabbage Tacos.
Greek Goddess Chicken Lettuce Wraps From Half-Baked Harvest
Why We Love It: The chicken is spiced perfectly in this beautifully colorful dish. It’s topped with a delicious pistachio basil goddess sauce that adds a bit of zest and brightness.
Hero Ingredient: Pita bread! If you’re looking to add some carbs to your meal, pita bread is the perfect “bowl” for your lettuce wraps and makes it even easier to stuff them to the brim without falling apart.
Get the recipe for Greek Goddess Chicken Lettuce Wraps.
Seafood Lettuce Wrap Recipes
Another great lean protein idea for your upcoming lettuce wrap is to go with some shrimp or fish. It’s a great mid-day protein that fills you up, is bursting with nutrients, and tastes like a party. Get your fill of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins like D, B2, calcium, and minerals like iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. You can’t beat that!
Sambal Shrimp Lettuce Wraps From Bon Appétit
Why We Love It: If you’re a shrimp lover, then you won’t want to miss out on these insanely flavorful lettuce wraps. You can get the shrimp already frozen and sans tails, or buy them fresh with tails on if you prefer.
Hero Ingredient: Hot chili paste gives the shrimp a serious flavor explosion.
Get the recipe for Sambal Shrimp Lettuce Wraps.
Salmon Lettuce Wraps With Cucumber, Jicama, and Ginger From Simply Recipes
Why We Love It: Craving something light and cool? Check out these Salmon Lettuce Wraps. You can use leftover salmon from another dish, or make it fresh with a salt and ginger rub and then poach it in lemon-infused salted water. Top it with jicama, cucumber, cilantro, onion, ginger, lime, and mint with some avocado slices. Yum!
Hero Ingredient: It was a toss-up between the jicama and ginger, but ultimately, the jicama reigns supreme. Crisp, earthy, delicious, and insanely refreshing.
Get the recipe for Salmon Lettuce Wraps With Cucumber, Jicama, and Ginger.
Fish Tacos With Salsa Verde in Lettuce Wraps From Cooks with Cocktails
Why We Love It: Few things beat a fish taco, whether you’re using Mahi Mahi, halibut, cod, or your fish of choice. It’s great both grilled or pan-fried and doesn’t get too mushy or crumbly. It’s so easy to make and yet feels like a celebratory meal. Who doesn’t want that kind of pick-me-up in the middle of a workday?
Hero Ingredient: The salsa verde sauce is irresistible.
Get the recipe for Fish Tacos With Salsa Verde in Lettuce Wraps.
Pork and Beef Lettuce Wrap Recipes
Need a more substantial protein? These pork and beef lettuce wraps satisfy. They’re flavorful, healthy, hearty, and insanely satisfying. Get your fill with these absolutely can’t-miss wraps.
Lemongrass Pork Patties With Vietnamese Dipping Sauce From Epicurious
Why We Love It: It’s got all the Bánh mì flavor with all the veggies included. Think of it as a hearty spring roll. You can pre-make these patties and freeze them so they are ready to go on demand or make them fresh and enjoy them for a few consecutive meals. Either way, you’re guaranteed to have a lovely lunch.
Hero Ingredient: The funky, salty, sour, sweet dipping sauce.
Get the recipe for Lemongrass Pork Patties With Vietnamese Dipping Sauce.
Thai Steak Lettuce Cups From Modern Proper
Why We Love It: Skirt steak is marinated in all kinds of acidic goodness and seared to perfection to give these lettuce cups a nice meaty element. Combined with crisp veggies and butter lettuce and you’ve got the perfect weekday lunch.
Hero Ingredient: Top with a handful of cilantro or mint to take things to the next level.
Get the recipe for Thai Steak Lettuce Cups.
Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps From Iowa Girl Eats
Why We Love It: These gluten-free lettuce wraps come together in just 15 minutes and are made with ground beef and kitchen staples you probably already have stocked in your pantry and fridge. The delicious bulgogi flavors make a perfect savory and sweet combo that is almost too good to be true.
Hero Ingredient: Tamari! The taste is just too good.
Get the recipe for Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps.
BLT Lettuce Wraps With Avocado Ranch From How Sweet Eats
Why We Love It: The combo of bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes is a trifecta of fresh and hearty flavor. There’s something about it that’s nostalgic, indulgent, and satisfying all at once. These lettuce wraps bring all of that and more to the table with crispy bacon, juicy cherry tomatoes, and an avocado ranch you’ll want to smear on everything in sight.
Hero Ingredient: As I said, that avocado ranch is almost dangerously good.
Get the recipe for BLT Lettuce Wraps With Avocado Ranch.
Honey Beef Lettuce Wraps From La Creme de la Crumb
Why We Love It: These wraps couldn’t be easier to make and take only 20 minutes. They’re loaded with flavor and easily customizable depending on your personal preferences. The base uses beef, mushrooms, carrots, and water chestnuts that are sautéed in a skillet with a bit of sesame oil.
Hero Ingredient: Water chestnuts are always an unexpected delight.
Get the recipe for Honey Beef Lettuce Wraps.
This post was originally published on April 21, 2020, and has since been updated.