Turkey Lettuce Wraps


Who doesn’t love free things? I’ve gone out of my way for free bumper stickers before and I don’t even own a car. (You can imagine the junk I’ve amassed over the years.)

Well, this free item will certainly not go to waste. I received 32 ounces of lettuce from Pebble Beach Food & Wine as a lovely parting gift after Sunday’s Grand Tasting event. Hey, I’ll take it. Food is expensive here in California. And this is organic lettuce too. Ooh la la, I know.

With my leafy bounty in mind, I decided to make turkey lettuce wraps.

The great thing about this dish is you can throw in whatever you like. The recipe calls for onions and water chestnuts but I can see grated carrots, water sprouts or peas as good mix-ins too. I used ground turkey to make it healthier and next time, I’ll try it with tofu. This was a super easy dinner to whip up and I served it with some steamed vegetables but rice or some kind of soup would also work well.

Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Recipe adapted from CDKitchen.com
Makes 4-6 Servings


  • 16 Boston, bibb or butter lettuce leaves
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 – 1 1/4 pound ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced 
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce 
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons Asian chili garlic sauce, depending on taste (can substitute with red pepper flakes)
  • 1 8 ounce can of sliced water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped
  • 2 – 3 green onions, sliced, including the white
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • cilantro (optional)

*Rinse lettuce leaves, keeping them whole. Set aside to drain.
*Bring a large pan to medium-high heat. Drizzle the pan with a neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable, and sauté onions for 4-5 minutes, or until soft and translucent.
*Add ground turkey and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, stirring often to break up the meat.
*Add garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce and chili sauce. Stir all together and cook until turkey crumbles and is no longer pink.
*Add water chestnuts and green onions. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until green onions begin to wilt.
*Turn off heat. Stir in sesame oil. Top with cilantro if using.
*To serve, arrange lettuce on a plate and spoon in turkey mixture.

I served mine with sweet chili sauce from Trader Joe’s. Enjoy!

Note: The original recipe calls for cooking the ground turkey first but I prefer to cook the onions first so they have time to caramelize.  Also, while the turkey and onions were cooking, I drained some of the fat from the pan before adding the other ingredients. Feel free to do the same. 


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