Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe

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4 Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps on counter with a bowl of Cashew Chicken and Carrot filling on left and sauce on right.

Get ready for your tastebuds to start singing with this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe that’s such a fun and flavorful dinner! Ground Chicken, Carrots, scallions, and cashews give a meaty and crunch texture. The ginger, garlic, sesame oil, sweet chili sauce, sriracha, and Soy Sauce are a harmonious blend of BIG flavor!  Rice bulks up and rounds out this meal.

MAKE-AHEAD MEALS FOR BUSY FAMILIES

This is one of those fantastic recipes that you can make 100% ahead of time, reheat in just a few minutes, and enjoy quickly on busy weeknights!  Not only that, but it’s a fun dinner that you can eat with your hands.  Dinners that come together in 20-30 minutes on the weekend can save you hours of agony during the weekdays.  That’s because with you are under the gun at the end of a busy day and the kids are screaming they are starving, let’s face it, things take longer.  Right?  So dinners like this one are my go-to.  I also love my make-ahead Black Bean Taco Bowls or Korean Beef Taco Bowls.  Or how about Easy Tex Mex Unstuffed Peppers with Ground Chicken or even this Easy One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake with Zucchini.  These are just a few!  

Want more tips for making busy family dinners easier?  Click here for my Free Printable 5 Simple Steps to Easy Family Dinners!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For this recipe, the sauce is easily made in a blender.  All ingredients are added and blended into a smooth and creamy sauce. You could also use a food processor for this, such as this mini food processor.

You will also need a small pot to cook the sauce and a medium pot with lid for the rice.

Finally, to cook the veggies and chicken, you need a large skillet/frying pan. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning. 

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR YOUR CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAP RECIPE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below) 

As mentioned earlier, you can make this entire recipe ahead!  But if you’re splitting up some tasks for the weekend and finishing the cooking on the night you enjoy this, then here are the steps.

First, prep the lettuce and cashews.  Cut the end of the Romaine lettuce head off so that the leaves are loose. Rinse the leaves and dry off with a towel. Chop the Cashews.

Cashews chopped on cutting board for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe
Next, make the sauce in a blender. Peel and rough chop the garlic and ginger. Add these plus the rest of the sauce ingredients to the blender. Blend until no large bits. Pour into a small sauce pot and bring up to a simmer on Medium heat, stirring constantly as it starts to thicken, 2-3 minutes. Once thickened, turn off the heat and let sit or store in the fridge.

You can also prep the carrots and the scallions ahead, but I like to prep them while the rice and chicken are cooking (see below).

COOK YOUR RICE, CASHEW CHICKEN, AND VEGGIES  

Get the rice cooking first and then start the chicken.  Preheat a large frying pan/skillet on High Heat and cook the ground chicken according to the instructions.  It takes about 10 minutes.  During the last minute, add the chopped cashews. Transfer the chicken and cashews to a plate.

Ground chicken cooking in a pan for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe

While the chicken cooks, peel the carrots; cut into 2 inch long matchsticks. Slice a tablespoon of scallion green tops for garnish. Cut remaining scallions in 1 inch pieces.

Carrot sticks cut on cutting board with knife for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe Scallions cut on cutting board with knife for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe

To the same pan used for the chicken, add ½ tablespoon olive oil, carrots and scallions. Cook for 3-4 minutes stirring often. Add back the Cashew Chicken and HALF of the sauce. Stir and cook for 2-3 min.

Carrot sticks and scallions cooking in a pan for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe

Cashew Ground Chicken and carrots cooked in a pan for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe
Spoon some cashew chicken into the lettuce leaves, drizzle a little sauce, and garnish with the sliced scallions. 

RECIPE FAQS

Can I freeze the chicken filling?

Yes, you can freeze the chicken, carrot, and scallion filling in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 5 months.  I do want to note that while the chicken will thaw and reheat with a perfect texture, the carrots will not be the same.  The carrots will absorb the moisture and when they thaw and reheat will become a bit mushy.  That said, if you know in advance you are making this to freeze it, then simply cook your carrots only slightly so that they still have quite a crunch to them.  This will help prevent them from getting too mushy.  

How can I make this vegetarian?

Yes!  You can substitute the ground chicken with any of the following proteins: extra firm tofu, lentils, black or white beans, chickpeas, quinoa, or any combination of these.  You could also replace with more veggies, such as mushrooms, red pepper, zucchini, or any combination of these.  

What can I serve with this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe?

I created this recipe to be a complete meal including protein, vegetables, and grain.  So, you really don’t need anything else with it.  However, if you have an extra hungry group or a larger crowd to feed, then Asian Sesame Slaw is a delicious complimentary side dish for this.   

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

4 Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps on counter with a bowl of Cashew Chicken and Carrot filling on left and sauce on right.

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe

This Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe is such a fun and flavorful dinner! Ground Chicken, Carrots, scallions, and cashews give a meaty and crunch texture. The ginger, garlic, sesame oil, sweet chili sauce, sriracha, and Soy Sauce are a harmonious blend of BIG flavor! Rice bulks up and rounds out this meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Keyword cashew chicken, chicken, gluten free, healthy dinner, lettuce wraps
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tablespoons Ginger, fresh (about 1 inch of the root)
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Sesame Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 tablespoons Cornstarch

Other

  • 1 pound Ground Chicken, white meat
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil ½ for chicken, ½ for veggies
  • 1/2 cup Roasted Cashews, Unsalted
  • 6 Scallions
  • 2 Carrots, large
  • 2 heads Romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup White Long Grain Rice, uncooked

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. PREP LETTUCE & CASHEWS. Cut the end of the Romaine lettuce head off so that the leaves are loose. Rinse the leaves and dry off with a towel. Chop the Cashews.

    Cashews chopped on cutting board for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe
  2. MAKE SAUCE. Make the sauce in a blender. Peel and rough chop the garlic and ginger. Add these plus the rest of the sauce ingredients (sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha, water, cornstarch) to the blender. Blend until no large bits. Pour into a small sauce pot and bring up to a simmer on Medium heat, stirring constantly as it starts to thicken, 2-3 minutes. Once thickened, turn off the heat and let sit or store in the fridge.

Cooking Steps

  1. COOK RICE. In a medium pot with a lid, add the Rice to 2 cups of water with a pinch of salt and bring up to a boil. Turn the water down to a low simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and leave covered until ready to serve or transfer to the fridge to cool and reheat later.

  2. COOK CHICKEN. While the rice is cooking, Preheat a large frying pan/skillet on High Heat. Add ½ tablespoon of olive oil and the ground chicken, breaking it up and spread into a single layer. Let sit to sear for 5 minutes. Once the bottom is browned, stir and cook for another 4-5 minutes. During the last minute, add the chopped cashews. Transfer the chicken and cashews to a plate.

    Ground chicken cooking in a pan for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe
  3. PREP VEGGIES. While the chicken cooks, peel the carrots; cut into 2 inch long matchsticks. Slice a tablespoon of scallion green tops for garnish. Cut remaining scallions in 1 inch pieces.

    Carrot sticks cut on cutting board with knife for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe
  4. COOK VEGGIES. To the same pan used for the chicken, add ½ tablespoon olive oil, carrots and scallions. Cook for 3-4 minutes stirring often. Add back the Cashew Chicken and HALF of the sauce. Stir and cook for 2-3 min.

    Cashew Ground Chicken and carrots cooked in a pan for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe
  5. Spoon some cashew chicken into the lettuce leaves, drizzle a little sauce, and garnish with the sliced scallions. Enjoy!
    4 Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps on counter with a bowl of Cashew Chicken and Carrot filling on left and sauce on right.

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