These healthy lettuce wraps are inspired by the PF Changs lettuce wraps recipe but are totally Whole30 compliant and paleo. Loaded with flavor and with lots of veggies, these easy healthy lettuce wraps are made with pork or chicken and are a great Whole30 dinner recipe. They’re filling yet light, totally healthy, and slightly sweet yet nutty and spicy.
We’d pile in the Jeep, the cool car with the windows that unzip, and head down the flat streets with palm trees on either side. Past the rocky hills in the shapes of monks praying or the humps of camels, towards PF Changs, the new Asian place with the funny crunchy noodles and the “lettuce wraps,” which were basically tacos you ate in leaves. We were celebrating a birthday or the first day of school or the last day of school or it was just too hot to cook and we’d already had Taco Bell twice that week.
We had a set order at PF Chang’s when I was little: their healthy lettuce wraps, wonton soup, honey chicken. Back then, I was 10 or so, living in Scottsdale, Arizona where it was hot as hell but still cold when you got out of the pool. It’s a dry heat, I learned later, experiencing the contrast first-hand as we settled into the jungle-like humidity of the American Southeast.
I didn’t know that PF Changs, the local Asian place back then, would expand across the country and take on permanent chain restaurant status. All I knew was that lettuce wraps were too cool and the servers made the dipping sauce and we were eating something so different and funky, and that right there, that might have been the moment I first started falling in love with foods from different cultures, like healthy lettuce wraps and Szechuan chicken, with different tastes and textures than I was used to, with something other than tuna noodle casserole or chicken soup chicken or ground beef and gravy over mashed potatoes.
And while I wouldn’t claim that that food was necessarily authentic back then, certainly not now, I’m still wild about those healthy lettuce wraps. The savory ground meat with crunchy water chestnuts and salty, spicy sauce work perfectly enveloped in the light, crisp lettuce cups. And with hardly any processed carbs to replace, I had to make a Whole30 version!
Why this recipe is so good
- These Whole30 lettuce wraps are loaded with flavor and full of veggies.
- They’re seasoned with naturally sweet coconut aminos, creamy almond butter, and nutty sesame oil. Sautéed with mushrooms, water chestnuts, and shredded carrots, they’re filling but light and will make you feel fantastic.
- These healthy lettuce wraps are totally Whole30 compliant, and they’re perfect to make when you’re tired of meatballs and eggs and chimichurri steak (IF THATS EVEN POSSIBLE).
- This recipe is so easy: sauté some stuff, pour some sauce over the stuff, and boom, done.
- These healthy lettuce wraps can be made easily with ground chicken instead of ground pork.
- Try diced shiitake or even white button mushrooms in place of the baby bellas.
- Make a vegan version: swap the ground meat for vegetarian crumbles. Meatless Monday win!
- Make these as your weekly meal prep: make the healthy lettuce wraps filling and pack them with crisp lettuce leaves. This Whole30 recipe is a reader meal prep fave!
- Make my Whole30 sriracha recipe for the ultimate lettuce wraps. It’s surprisingly easy and the flavor is out of this world.
- If you’re not on a Whole30 or paleo diet, swap the almond butter for peanut butter. This substitution gives these healthy lettuce wraps such a savory twist.
- These would also make an awesome potluck dish when you just happen to be on a Whole30: no one will know these healthy lettuce wraps are compliant. Win-win.
In a large skillet, sauté onion until they start to turn translucent. Add mushrooms and cook a few minutes, or until beginning to soften. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds.
Add the ground pork or ground chicken and brown, crumbling with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add shredded carrots.
In a small bowl, stir together coconut aminos, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, almond butter, ginger, and hot sauce; whisk until smooth. Pour over pork or chicken mixture and stir; add water chestnuts and green onions (minus reserved tablespoon). Cook 3-4 minutes or until well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.
In another small bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients. Spoon healthy lettuce wraps filling into lettuce cups and garnish with sliced green onions. Serve with dipping sauce.
Other recipes you’ll love:
- Egg Roll in a Bowl with Creamy Chili Sauce (Whole30, Paleo)
- Whole30 Sriracha
- Whole30 Bang Bang Shrimp
- Whole30 Thai Chicken Zoodle Bowl
Did you make and love this recipe? Give it your review below! ? And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 1 cup baby bella mushrooms minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound ground pork or ground chicken
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon Whole30 compliant hot sauce sriracha or sambal oelek if not on Whole30 (or make the homemade sriracha recipe in the notes)
- 8- ounce can water chestnuts diced
- 3 green onions thinly sliced, 1 tablespoon reserved
- 1 head Bibb lettuce leaves gently removed from stem
- sesame seeds
- thinly sliced green onions
- In a large skillet set over medium heat, heat olive oil. When the oil is hot, add onion and cook for about 3 minutes or until beginning to soften, then add mushrooms and cook 3 more minutes, or until onion is translucent and mushrooms are softening. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
- Add ground pork and cook until browned, crumbling with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add carrots and stir until starting to soften, about 3 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup coconut aminos, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar, almond butter, ginger, and hot sauce. Whisk until smooth then pour over meat mixture. Stir until combined, then add the chestnuts and green onions. Cook for 3-4 minutes then remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Make sauce: whisk together all sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- When ready to serve, spoon 3-4 tablespoons of the mixture into the center of a lettuce leaf and serve with sauce. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.
This recipe was originally published July 2017 but was updated with video, step by step photos, and tips in July 2018.