This post for simple gluten-free mushroom and chicken lettuce wraps contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
I love Asian food, but it can be a hard food to find gluten free. And even if you do find good, gluten-free Asian food, you might not find all your favorite menu items on the gluten-free menu.
Case in point is chicken lettuce wraps.
Many Asian restaurants offer them, but most do not offer a gluten-free version.
Additionally, chicken lettuce wraps can be meat-heavy, and I’m always looking for ways to infuse my meals with less meat and more vegetables for several reasons.
First, meat is expensive, and my grocery bills are sky-high these days. I like meat, and so does my family, so I try to make one package of meat last for two meals.
Related Reading: 10 Tips to Eating Gluten-Free Frugally
Second, meat is a highly acidic food and can be tough for a damaged digestive system to comfortably digest. I found that when I eat less meat, my digestive system didn’t have to work as hard. I feel better when I eat less meat.
Related Reading: How I Put Celiac Disease Into Remission and Healed My Body
Third, meat is not sustainable to eat in the quantities we eat it today. It damages the planet, not to mention the animal welfare that comes into question just to satisfy a meat-heavy diet. If we can eat less meat and put more plants on our plate, we’ll all be doing our part to lesson the burden placed on our planet just to satisfy our meat cravings.
Related Reading: The Most Important Documentary You’ll Ever Watch
My gluten-free chicken lettuce wraps are veggie-forward, meaning vegetables are at the center of this dish, not meat. However, even though they contain less meat, you’ll still taste that savory meat taste you crave.
Ingredients for Veggie-Forward Lettuce Wraps
To make these veggie-forward gluten-free chicken lettuce wraps, you’ll need a few ingredients.
First, you’ll need two ground up boneless, skinless chicken thighs. You can use your food processor to pulse the thighs into small pieces. Do not overgrind.
Notice how I used two small chicken thighs (about six ounces total) to feed my family of four. Usually I would dedicate one or more thighs per person, but this is a veggie-forward recipe, so I only used a little meat.
You’ll also need mushrooms to complete the “meat” portion of the filling. I used portobello mushrooms (although you could use any mushroom you have on hand). I used a full 16 ounce package, which I ground in my food processor using the pulse setting (do not overmix; you do not want a mushroom paste).
The chicken and mushrooms, together, will make the “meat” of this dish.
Because these are veggie-forward lettuce wraps, you’ll also want to dice a medium yellow onion, a whole red bell pepper, as well as mince 2-6 garlic cloves (depending on how garlicky you like it), and about a teaspoon of fresh ginger, more to taste.
To make the sauce for the dish, you’ll need gluten-free soy sauce or tamari (coconut aminos work well too), rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, and some sriracha or hot sauce.
Of course, since these are lettuce wraps, you’ll also need lettuce cups. I used a head of iceberg lettuce and gently tried to unravel the cups. You could use any lettuce you desire as the cups, or simply serve over white or brown rice and call it a day.
How to Make the “Meat” Filling
First you’ll heat a little vegetable oil in a pan, then add your onion. After 1-2 minutes, add the ground chicken and continue to cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger and mix. Cook for one minute until garlic is fragrant.
Add ground mushrooms and cook until the liquid from the mushrooms cooks off, about 5-7 minutes.
Then add the red pepper and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
While the mixture is cooking, prepare your sauce. Combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sriracha hot sauce, sesame oil, and chili garlic sauce in a small bowl, then add the mixture to your chicken-mushroom mixture.
Mix well and cook for another minute. Your lettuce wrap filling is now ready for eating.
Add the filling into each lettuce cup or atop rice and enjoy. Top with sesame seeds and/or chopped green onions, optional.
What Do You Think?
My son won’t knowingly eat mushrooms, even though I sneak them into everything. I served it to him. He inspected the ingredients and then began to eat it, telling me how much he liked it and asking me to make it again.
Even after he ate the whole thing, I still refused to tell him that it contained a ton of mushrooms. He doesn’t need to know. All he needs to know is he liked it.
I think you will find the filling spicy yet sweet. You can add more or less spice by adjusting how much hot sauce and chili garlic sauce you add.
I like serving the mixture over rice, this way the rice soaks up any extra juices left behind and the dish become a bit more filling too.
This veggie-forward mushroom and chicken lettuce wrap recipe feeds 4-6 people. Again, serve with rice to bulk up the recipe and make it more filling.
Eat Less Meat, Not Meatless
Eating less meat and more veggies is something we strive to do at the Good For You Gluten Free house. It helps me save money on groceries, and makes me feel better too. My tummy feels full, but not bloated and stuffed.
And best of all, I have extra four leftover chicken thighs (as they came in a package of six) so I plan to make my chicken and dumpling soup tomorrow night. No need to go meatless when you can eat less meat at each meal.
Mushroom & Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- 1 Tbsp avocado oil or other vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 6 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs ground in food processor using pulse setting
- 16 ounces portobello mushrooms ground in food processor using pulse setting
- 3 garlic cloves minced (add more garlic for enhanced flavor)
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger add more for enhanced flavor
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 2 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp sriracha or hot sauce of choice
- 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce separated into cups
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds optional
- 1 green onion chopped, optional
- Heat vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes until softened.
- Add ground chicken and cook until no longer pink, about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and ginger and continue to cook for 1 minute.
- Add mushrooms to mixture and cook for 5-6 minutes until the mushroom liquid cooks off. Add red bell pepper and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.
- While mixture is cooking, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha, chili garlic sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Mix together and set aside.
- Lower heat to medium and add sauce mixture. Stir until well combined and heated throughout, about 1 minute. Add mixture to 4-6 lettuce cups, top with sesame seeds (optional) and/or chopped green onions (optional), and serve.