Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Published Jan 18, 2016•Updated Jun 01, 2023
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps are light, fresh, and packed with flavor. Filled with crunchy veggies and peanuts, they’re just messy enough to add some fun to dinner.
When in doubt about dinner, ground turkey lettuce wraps are always a winning choice. They’re a DIY dinner that is healthy enough for any night of the week and so much fun to just set out all of the ingredients and let everyone assemble their own right at the table.
Perhaps best of all, the ingredients list is short and sweet!
Ingredients for Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps
- Ground Turkey – A lean ground turkey works just fine here since the sauce adds richness and flavor. Any ground meat will work in its place, and these are great with tofu too!
- Low-Sodium Soy Sauce – To build savory flavor in the sauce.
- Hoisin Sauce – Look for this sweet, flavorful sauce in the International aisle. This is a key ingredient in the flavor of the sauce, so don’t skip it.
- Honey – Not only balances the sweet-savory flavor of the sauce, but it helps to give the sauce a sticky texture that coats the filling.
- Rice Vinegar – For tangy, tart flavor. Use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar if you don’t keep rice vinegar on hand.
- Ginger – Don’t skip the ginger – it adds SO much flavor. I keep the frozen variety on hand from Trader Joe’s for times when I’m in a rush.
- Cornstarch – For thickening the sauce.
- Red Bell Peppers and Water Chesnuts – I love these additions for adding crunchy texture. You can also mix it up and add chopped carrots or even zucchini – just be sure to cook them until they’re tender before adding the ground turkey. You can skip the water chesnuts if they’re not something you keep around or love the flavor of.
- Green Onions and Lime Juice – For adding flavor and color.
- Roasted Peanuts – Sprinkle on top for maximum crunch!
What type of lettuce should I use?
Boston, Bibb, and butter lettuce have soft, buttery leaves that wrap easily around filling and still have a nice, fresh crisp texture. Romaine and iceberg lettuce leaves have the most crunch but are a bit more difficult to fold into wraps.
- Boston, Bibb, and butter lettuce – Look for small heads of these lettuce varieties with leaves that are dense, bright green, and don’t look limp. (It’s what I used for the photos in this post.)
- Romaine lettuce – Look for hearts of romaine with the outer leaves intact and showing no sign of browning.
- Iceberg lettuce – Look for light green, firm heads of lettuce, that are fairly small (the outer leaves can be too large to use for wraps). Separate the leaves carefully to prevent tearing them.
How to Make Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps (hint, it’s so easy!)
- Separate and wash the lettuce leaves.
- Make the filling. Saute bell peppers and ground turkey in oil until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour the sauce over the top and stir in the water chesnuts (these add some great crunch!). Simmer to let the flavors come together.
- Stir green onions and lime juice into the filling to add some extra flavor.
- Assemble the lettuce wraps. At the dinner table, fill the lettuce leaves with ground turkey filling and top them with peanuts.
Make Ahead / Storage
As great as lettuce wraps are for a quick weeknight dinner, they are also great to make ahead. With everything prepped ahead, you can literally have dinner on the table in 5 minutes flat.
- Cook the filling ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Separate and wash the leaves. Dry them very well (using a salad spinner or patting them dry using clean dish towels). Store between paper towels in an airtight container to prevent any moisture from collecting. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To serve, just reheat the filling in the microwave.
More Easy Asian Recipes
- Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Asian Chopped Salad with Sweet Sesame Vinaigrette
- Lemongrass Chicken
- Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry
- Tofu Stir-Fry with Asparagus and Cashews
Favorite Tools for Asian-Inspired Recipes
- Joyce Chen Carbon Steel Wok – This affordable wok is the only one I use. I’ve had it for 10+ years and the only care it needs is to be washed out, dried well, and rubbed with oil before storing.
- Wok Spatula – This spatula fits perfectly around the curved edges of a wok.
- Splatter Screen – Perfect for keeping your stovetop (reasonably) clean.
Pin this now to save it for laterPin It Now
Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps Recipe
- Mixing Bowl
- Wok or skillet
For the Sauce:
- 6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or Tamari
- 2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons minced or grated fresh ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
For the Lettuce Cups:
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water chestnuts, rinsed, drained and finely chopped
- 3 stalks green onions, finely chopped
- 8 leaves lettuce (Boston Bibb or the outer leaves of a head of Iceberg)
- 1/3 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- In a small mixing bowl (or a mason jar with a lid), combine all ingredients for the sauce. Whisk or shake until smooth and evenly combined. (Sauce can be made up to a week ahead.)
- Heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and when it begins to shimmer, add the bell peppers and saute until tender, about 3 minutes.
- Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking it apart until nearly cooked through, about 5 minutes
- Pour the sauce over the turkey and bring it to a simmer. Whisk together the water and the cornstarch and stir it into the sauce.
- Continue simmering the turkey until the sauce is very thick and coats the turkey, 5 to 7 minutes more.
- Move the pan off the heat and stir in the water chesnuts, chopped green onions and the juice of half of the lime wedges (save the rest to serve on the side of the lettuce wraps so you can add more lime juice at the table).
- Set filling, lettuce cups, peanuts, and lime wedges on the table so that everyone can assemble their own wraps.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.