These flavorful cashew chicken lettuce wraps are BURSTING with flavor and they only take 30 minutes to make!
so Filling & SO good
A month or so back I made these cashew chicken lettuce wraps and they were perfect for lunch. Light, relatively healthy and surprisingly filling! While they were definitely one of the more “involved” lunches I’ve made in a while, they were so worth it!
This recipe is delicious as-is, but totally customizable if you prefer subbing or ditching ingredients. I prefer the crunch of the celery, water chestnuts, cashews and carrots, the tenderness of the chicken, the earthiness of the mushrooms/oyster sauce, and the spice of the chili paste. Everything works together so well!
Again, it will still taste delicious if you omit one or a few things. I really wanted to add fried rice noodles (you know those white crispy strings that they serve a the Cheesecake Factory), but alas, I didn’t have the time to do that… maybe next time. If you give these lettuce wraps a try, let me know!
Making Cashew Lettuce Wraps
CHICKEN. In a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook throughout.
FILLING. Add celery, chestnuts, mushrooms and garlic, cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce and chili paste, mix to combine. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
ASSEMBLE. Scoop warm mixture into the lettuce leaves, top with carrot, cashews and green onion. Serve immediately.
Note. I highly recommend letting the filling sit for a good 5 minutes before you fill the lettuce leaves. Butter lettuce is pretty fragile, much less hearty than romaine. You don’t want it to wilt or rip from the heat and have everything fall out. I like to save the garnish prep for that time. Wash the lettuce, dry it, grab the cashews, julienne the carrots and cut the green onion.
Tips, Variations + Storing Info
Other ways to serve this chicken:
- Over rice
- With noodles
- Served with steamed vegetables
- Use low-sodium soy sauce
- Make it spicier by topping the lettuce wraps with a few dashes of sriracha.
- Add more of a crunch by topping it with chow mein noodles
STORE the lettuce separate from the cashew chicken, but keep both in airtight containers in the fridge. Reheat the chicken in the microwave and spoon it into the lettuce like normal.
To make ahead of time, rinse the lettuce and tear the individual leaves ahead of time. The filling tastes best when it is freshly made!
For Other healthy lunch ideas:
Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps Recipe
- 1 tbsp. olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 lb. chicken breasts - cut into 1/2-inch pieces OR 1 lb. ground chicken
- 1 stalk celery - thinly sliced
- 1/2 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts, coarsely chopped
- 4 shitake mushrooms - thinly sliced (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves - minced
- 1/2- inch ginger - peeled and finely grated*
- 1/4 c. low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. sesame oil
- 2 tbsp. oyster sauce
- 1 tsp. chili paste - like Sambal Oelek, 1 tbsp. for spicy chicken
- 1 head butter lettuce
- 1 carrot - julienned and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 c. roasted and lightly salted cashews
- 2 green onions - green part only, cut on the bias
- In a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook throughout.
- Add celery, chestnuts, mushrooms and garlic, cook until tender, about 4 minutes.
- Add ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce and chili paste, mix to combine. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Scoop warm mixture into the lettuce leaves, top with carrot, cashews and green onion. Serve immediately.