These Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps are packed with flavor and nutrition. It’s an easy gluten-free meal made in under 30 minutes with mostly pantry staples and a few fresh ingredients like ground chicken and fresh basil. Top with your favorite Asian-inspired spices, and you have a healthy and delicious meal the whole family will love.
Thai flavors are such a great way to spice up the weekend grind. My family loves anything with a Thai twist, and this easy chicken lettuce wrap recipe has become one of their favorite meals.
And I love it because it’s budget-friendly and can be on the dinner table in under 30 minutes.
Consider these a P.F. Chang’s lettuce wraps copycat found in the appetizer section on their menu. However, they are satisfying and filling enough to be a main meal. If they seem a little light for you, double the recipe to double up on the serving.
The Thai chicken lettuce wraps recipe starts with browning the ground chicken with aromatics like garlic, ginger, and sweet chili sauce. Scoop that hearty mixture into fresh lettuce leaves and top with your favorite Asian-inspired garnish like jalapenos, sesame seeds, green onions, and fragrant fresh basil. Big flavors with little effort.
I promise - you will not regret making these and watch them become your family favorite too.
Thai lettuce wraps are simple enough to become a weekly addition to the meal rotation. You can have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes using mostly pantry staples and a handful of fresh ingredients. Check out this simple ingredient list.
- Ground chicken - any ground meat will work. If ground chicken is not accessible, ground turkey is great. Ground pork is a great alternative too but may have more fat than poultry. You can also use this simple recipe with ground beef.
- Sesame oil - this is a pantry staple in Asian-inspired cooking, but you can use avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil in a pinch.
- Garlic - freshly minced garlic will give so much amazing flavor
- Ginger - another flavorful aromatic with bold flavor - excellent addition to create a perfect balance in the sauce.
- Thai sweet chili sauce - this is a flavorful sauce that is sweet and spicy and is one of the key ingredients in this recipe; however, you can make a quick blend using a 1-to-1 ratio of honey and hot sauce like sriracha as an alternative.
- Soy sauce - use tamari sauce to keep the wraps gluten-free
- Basil - fresh Thai basil is the best, but sweet basil also works. Thai basil has distinct purple stems and flowering buds in the center of the plant, and the leaves tend to be more aromatic than the sweet variety.
- Bibb lettuce leaves - also known as butter lettuce; it has bright green and tender leaves that are buttery soft, and they are the best for these wraps.
- Garnish - thinly sliced fresh jalapeno peppers or Thai chili peppers; additional basil, fresh cilantro, green onions, sesame seeds, crunchy peanuts, cashews, or almonds, sriracha sauce, and freshly squeezed lime juice
How to Make Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps
This simple recipe comes together quickly in four steps. The printable recipe is in the recipe card for your convenience.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and saute for a minute. Add ground chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or spatula until it is thoroughly cooked, approximately 7 minutes.
Add grated ginger, sweet chili sauce, tamari sauce (or soy sauce), and water. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to a light simmer. Cook until the sauce thickens.
While chicken cooks, chiffonade (thinly cut) basil into thin strips. Reserve a little basil for garnish and add the rest to the chicken. Mix to combine.
Serve the chicken filling in washed and dried lettuce cups. Garnish with your favorite toppings.
This delicious recipe can easily be modified to satisfy personal taste preferences and meet the needs of dietary constraints. Healthy Thai chicken lettuce wraps are naturally gluten- and dairy-free, but you can make minor tweaks to accommodate any healing diet.
- Whole30: sub coconut aminos for tamari sauce and omit sweet Thai chili sauce
- Paleo: sub coconut aminos for tamari sauce and use a compliant no-sugar-added sweet chili sauce.
- Keto: sub coconut aminos for tamari or soy sauce and use sugar-free, low carb sweet chili sauce or omit completely. You may add a little sriracha for a hint of spice and flavor.
Chicken and other poultry meats must be cooked thoroughly to avoid food-borne illnesses. You’ll know ground chicken is cooked through when the liquid from the chicken runs clear, not pink, and the meat is firm and pale.
This simple chicken recipe comes together quickly and easily. But a few helpful tips may help as you make this recipe.
- Prep the leaves first: For the best flavor, prepare the Bibb lettuce leaves first. Separate them from the core, wash, and dry them in a salad spinner. Then, spread them out on a paper towel to ensure they are completely dry when adding the chicken mixture.
- Meal prep idea: Make the ground chicken over the weekend and store it in the refrigerator to serve during the week. This alleviates the stress of serving a nourishing dinner on busy weeknights because all you need to do is prep the lettuce leaves.
- Scoop with a measuring cup: To get consistent and even chicken filling, scoop it with a 1-cup measuring cup and transfer it into the crisp lettuce. This is especially convenient if you are logging in your food intake.
Thai basil lettuce wraps will not keep fresh for a long time when served in the leaves because the leaves will begin to soften and wilt. To extend storage life, wait to transfer the chicken to the leaves until ready to serve. Store the prepared Thai basil chicken mixture in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days in the refrigerator, and keep the lettuce separate.
To reheat Thai chicken, gently warm it in a small covered saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat it in a microwave for 30-60 seconds.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I use instead of Thai sweet chili sauce?
Thai sweet chili sauce is just that - it’s a sauce made with chilis and notes of sweetness. You can use equal parts of hot sauce like Sriracha and honey for a quick replacement. Another sweet chili sauce substitute is any chili sauce with your favorite sweetener. Maple syrup, plum sauce, or honey are all great options.
Can I use chicken breast instead of ground chicken in lettuce wraps?
Yes, you can use chicken breasts in Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces and cook on the stovetop like the ground chicken. Follow the rest of the recipe as written. Additionally, you can do the same with rotisserie chicken or another cooked chicken. Just toss it with the same flavors and cook gently on medium-high heat until the sauce is thickened and everything is combined.
Serve the Thai chicken mixture in Bibb lettuce leaves. It’s best to wash and dry the lettuce before so they are fully dry when it’s time to stuff them. Top with your favorite Thai-inspired toppings like fresh hot peppers, reserved basil, fresh lime juice, sriracha, and almonds.
You can eat them with your hands or make a light salad and eat with a fork and knife. Because it’s packed with fiber from the leaves and protein in the chicken, there is no need to make a side salad. These wraps are excellent as is!
Thai lettuce wraps are a great recipe for something flavorful, easy, and healthy. It’s rich in immune-boosting ingredients like garlic and ginger, and the chicken is a lean source of protein.
Furthermore, this recipe can easily be adapted to meet your dietary needs. A serving of Thai chicken wraps has a whopping 22 grams of protein and only 300 calories. It’s a great option for something satisfying and tasty.
Need More Chicken Dinner Recipes to Get You Through The Week?
- Chicken Pho
- Instant Pot Orange Chicken
- Chicken Curry
- Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice
- Spicy Blood Orange Chicken
Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ cup Thai sweet chili sauce
- ¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup chopped basil
- Bibb lettuce leaves
- lime wedges for serving
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook a few minutes. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook breaking up with a wooden spoon until chicken is cooked about 7 minutes.
- Add ginger, sweet chili sauce, tamari and water. Bring to a light boil then reduce to simmer. Cook until sauce thickens a bit. Add chopped basil.
- Serve in lettuce cups. Top with peppers, lime wedges, more basil, almonds and sriracha if desired.
Delicious and so easy!
These were delicious! I made them for an appetizer for game night! They reminded me of the ones from Cheesecake Factory.
Holy mama, these flavor combinations are SO wonderful! Thank you for making eating healthier super tasty!
This was over the top delicious! The only thing we changed was using coconut aminos instead of tamari and it was perfectly seasoned. We topped it with a little sriracha and the whole family enjoyed it. Will definitely make again!
I love the PF Chang appetizer wraps - it's what I get every time! I have been looking for a way to replicate them and this recipe was it! These had all the flavor that I love and they were easy to make - double bonus!
These were so much better than the ones I've gotten at a local Asian restaurant! I'll be making them at home from now on.