30-Minute Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps

from 4 votes

Toss the takeout menus in favor of a 5-star recipe for 30-Minute Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

Top down view of 30-Minute Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Something magical happens when soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and lime juice all come together into a caramel-like sticky, sweet and savory sauce. Just add thinly ground chicken to soak up all that flavor, and a short sauté in a hot pan later and you’ll be tossing those takeout menus for good. Welcome to the takeout-fakeout party, Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps!

Various sized bowls containing diced red onion, oil, ground chicken, minced garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, spinach and sliced scallions

I’m one of those “if lettuce wraps are on the menu, I’m ordering them” kinda restaurant patrons. From the fancy to the budget-friendly, I’ve lettuce-wrapped my way across the spectrum.

While ground chicken is a popular filling, this recipe would work just as well with ground turkey (which is often easier to find) or ground pork.

Large sauté pan with cooked ground chicken

Keep it simple with just a few additional wrap fillings, from chilled cucumber slices or julienned carrots to shredded purple cabbage and toasted sesame seeds. Fill ’em, wrap ’em, eat ’em. And then repeat.

Ready to complete your takeout-fakeout feast? Don’t miss Baked Orange Chicken, Chicken Egg Rolls, Sweet and Sour Cucumber Noodles, and more!

Spread of Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps and sliced veggies

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Main Course

Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Toss the takeout menus in favor of a fast and fresh recipe for Chinese chicken lettuce wraps starring a sweet and tangy marinade.
Author: Kelly Senyei
4.75 from 4 votes
Top down view of 30-Minute Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings


For the sauce:

  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce 
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes (optional)

For the lettuce wraps:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots 
  • 1 pound ground chicken or turkey  
  • 1 (8-oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped 
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves 
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/3 cup toasted peanuts or cashews, chopped 
  • Lettuce leaves and chopped veggies, for serving


Make the sauce:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar and crushed red chili flakes (optional). Set the sauce aside.

Make the lettuce wraps:

  • In a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat, add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. 
  • Add the shallots and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. 
  • Add the ground chicken and using a spatula, break it apart into pieces. Continue cooking until it is cooked through and no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes. 
  • Stir in the water chestnuts then stir in the sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. 
  • Remove the mixture from the heat then stir in the cilantro and scallions and taste and season it with salt and pepper. 
  • Divide the chicken mixture among the lettuce cups then garnish with chopped nuts and serve. 
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


Calories: 373kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 98mg, Sodium: 1074mg, Potassium: 810mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 25g, Vitamin A: 408IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 53mg, Iron: 2mg


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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.

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4.75 from 4 votes (1 rating without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    This was very delicious and also a saving grace for dinner for us two nights ago. Perhaps annoying, but also possibly helpful disclaimer for anyone else who is working with bare cupboards and a near empty fridge, I had to sub ginger paste for fresh, and was fresh out of scallions, water chestnuts and enough fresh lettuce leaves for wraps (sigh)… I served this over brown rice. Though missing components and lacking color and texture it STILL was tasty and very satisfying. Thanks just for inspiration to rescue dinner and we look forward to having it again with the full ingredient list!

  2. 5 stars
    It was delicious, very flavorful…easy to make…next time I think I would use more chicken. It had leftover sauce.
    That said, my family says this is a keeper!

    1. Hi Frances! I’ve never made a keto-friendly version of this sauce so I’m not sure what substitutes you’d need to make.