Happy Monday, friends! I’ve had it in my head to make lettuce wraps for a while now but I’ve finally gotten around to it. I had lettuce wraps at The Cheesecake Factory of all places not long ago and honestly really liked them so I figured I should make my own version.
While my inspiration for this is the version I had at The Cheesecake Factory, the similarities end at the use of lettuce, honestly. I wanted to use up what I had in the freezer (ground turkey) and, after doing some research, I saw some sauces that others had made for their lettuce wraps that I really wanted to experiment with!
I also, as usual, focused on what I like and what I was going to want to eat all week. A lot of recipes out there call for water chestnuts but those just aren’t my thing so I skipped them. I also LOVE beansprouts and carrots so those are my toppings of choice, both for the flavors and also the crunch. And, so many recipes I saw didn’t flavor the ground meat they used at all and I saw that as a missed opportunity – why have any element be flavorless? That and I really wanted to use my Chinese five spice again, if I’m totally honest.
If using this for dinner, storage is a breeze because it’s not needed – serve immediately and enjoy!
If using this for meal prep, the storage is mostly straightforward. The prepped veg toppings, sauce, and cooked ground turkey can be stored in separate, airtight containers. If you’re worried about your carrots losing their crunch, store them in some cold water and you’ll be in great shape, although I found this wasn’t entirely necessary.
The real trick is keeping the lettuce fresh and amazing all week long. I recommend buying the little head of lettuce that’s still got it’s roots. It’s a bit more expensive, but I thought it was worth it. If you don’t think it’s worth it, I feel like a head of ice burg would be a good option. either way, I would store it in the fridge and, if you’re packing your lunch in the morning, grab the lettuce you’ll want that day and store in a bag with a paper towel to absorb any liquid and you’ll be in great shape until lunch time!
Y’all know I love recipes that are customizable and this might be the ultimate customizable meal – every element can be changed up!
- the meat – just about anything you’ve got can be used here! Any ground meat will work but non-ground meat can be cooked and sliced to fit in your lettuce wraps
- the seasonings – while I took this in an Asian direction, you can do whatever you’d like! Use taco seasoning and make a texmex version, or whatever spice blend you’ve got hanging around
- the sauce – depending on the seasonings you used, find a sauce that goes well! for the texmex idea, a tomatillo salsa would be so fun, but the sky is the limit as long as the flavors all meld well!
- the toppings – use what you’ve got and what you like! Do water chestnuts sound good to you ? Throw them in! Maybe some crunchy nuts? Do it! Raid your pantry and see what you’ve got that would complement the seasoning and sauce you’re using
That’s it! This one is so fun and so tasty, I’m excited to eat it all week 🙂
These lettuce wraps are a quick, easy meal prep or dinner for the whole family! They're delicious as-is or so easy to customize to you and your family's tastes.
for the meat
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp Chinese five spice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 1/2" piece of finger, minced or grated
for the sauce
- 5 Tbsp hoisin
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp siracha
- 1 tsp honey
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- bean sprouts
- carrots, cut into matchsticks
- green onions, thinly sliced
- cook the meat: in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. add the ground meat in a single layer, pressing down into the hot pan. let cook for several minutes until the bottom of the meat is browned. add the garlic, ginger, spices and crumble the meat and continue cooking until it's cooked through, an additional ___ minutes
- make the sauce: in a small bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients. taste and adjust as needed
- prep the veg: clean all of the toppings. slice the green onions and, using a peeler, make thin strips of the carrots. set aside
- enjoy! If using for meal prep, store all of the elements separately. When ready to eat, place some of the meat, sauce, and toppings on a lettuce leaf and enjoy!
- For storage tips, see the Storage section above
- For other flavoring ideas, see the Variations section above