This chicken lettuce wraps recipe is a healthy (and keto-friendly) way to enjoy your meal. It comes with a homemade everything bagel seasoning and a delicious Greek yogurt sauce.
These chicken lettuce wraps are not your usual wraps which you probably know from PF Chang’s. But this doesn’t mean they’re not equally delicious! Not to mention they’re very healthy, low carb – that’s why they’re suitable for the people who follow a keto diet – and they can be also be made with turkey breast instead of shredded chicken breast or even beef.
The Mediterranean style of these lettuce wraps is expressed through the use of olive oil, sesame seeds, tomatoes, oregano and Greek yogurt. Olive oil adds some healthy fat to the lean chicken breast, and the the tomatoes add a lot of juiciness. In order to keep the tomatoes juicy, I always add them at the end.
The filling is also flavored with a few tablespoons of everything bagel seasoning (I have a homemade recipe at the end of this post but you can also use a store-bought one) and some Greek yogurt mixed with chopped fresh dill and garlic powder.
Though I haven’t included it here, I sometimes add a sliced avocado if I happen to have one sitting on my kitchen counter. As for the herbs, if you don’t like dill, try replacing it with parsley, cilantro or basil.
You may also know these stuffed lettuce leaves as lettuce cups. As mentioned at the start, the most famous chicken lettuce wraps are served at PF Chang’s restaurants. They contain ground chicken and veggies cooked in a savory (asian style) sauce and are served in cool lettuce leaves.
This is a PF Chang’s copycat recipe from damndelicious.net that’s super easy to make and tastes just as good as the restaurant version! For another Mediterranean style wrap with beef you can use the filling of these pita bread tacos (Pitacos).
How to make lettuce wraps with chicken or turkey
- First, pick some medium sized lettuce leaves, rinse them under running water and drain well.
- Then make the filling: cook the chicken in a pan until well-browned, then add the rest of the ingredients and cook for some minutes more. The chicken can be ground or thinly sliced (you can also use turkey). I personally prefer it thinly sliced because it has more bite and the filling manages to stay inside the wrap without falling out when you bite it.
- Make the yogurt sauce (just mix all the ingredients in a bowl)
- Fill the wraps with the chicken filling and some yogurt sauce and serve. For sturdier wraps use two lettuce leaves for each wrap.
What is the best lettuce for wraps?
My personal preference is butter lettuce, also called Boston or bibb lettuce. It is one of the most nutritious lettuces and its leaves are high in folate, iron, and potassium. Small romaine lettuce leaves are also nice, while iceberg lettuce is probably the crunchiest of all.
If you’re curious about the health benefits of the various lettuces you can read more in this article about the 12 healthiest lettuces and leafy greens and if you have any leftover lettuce, this lettuce, orange and mango salad will be a revelation once you try it!
How to you keep lettuce wraps crisp and fresh
Excess moisture can spoil leafy greens faster. That’s why I prefer to wrap them with some kitchen paper (it absorbs the extra moisture), put them inside plastic bags or airtight food containers and store them in the fridge. When I want to use them I take the quantity I want, rinse them well and let them drain completely.
The everything bagel seasoning for the wraps
You can use a store bought everything bagel seasoning if you don’t feel like making your own. A homemade one is probably cheaper and you can also adjust it to your liking. This recipe from scratch includes:
- sesame seeds
- dried onion flakes
- dried garlic powder
- Nigella seeds
- poppy seeds (or black sesame seeds, or both)
The sesame seeds can be whole or hulled (whole will have more fiber and nutrients). Whatever you choose, the flavor is best when they’re lightly toasted (you can toast them briefly on the stove or in the oven). I really love the taste and aroma of Nigella seeds (also known as black cumin seeds), so if you can find them please don’t omit them!
The Greek Yogurt sauce
This yogurt sauce adds some extra protein, freshness and creaminess to the lettuce wraps. The main ingredients are:
- Greek strained yogurt
- olive oil
- fresh lemon juice
- finely chopped fresh dill (or parsley or basil)dried garlic powder
As with my black garlic tzatziki (you can find the recipe in the Greek pork skewers post), Greek strained yogurt works best here because it will stay thick after adding the lemon juice and the olive oil.
If you use regular yogurt you may end up with some extra moisture on the bottom of the lettuce wraps (that’s not a bad thing though, it only means you have to be extra careful of the drippings).
Also, don’t forget that you can adjust the quantity of the garlic to your taste! The one teaspoon of garlic powder gives enough flavor and earthiness without being overwhelming but you can omit it completely, double it or even use minced fresh garlic cloves.
- 8 butter lettuce leaves from the middle of the lettuce
- 1 pound skinless chicken breast thinly sliced or ground
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and freshly grated pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons everything bagel seasoning
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 tablespoons thick tomato paste
- 1 heaped cup (160 grams) cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1/2 cup green onions or chives, chopped
- 1 cup Greek strained yogurt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3-4 teaspoons lemon juice
- a generous pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill (or basil or cilantro)
- 1 teaspoon dried garlic powder (or 1 garlic clove minced, for stronger taste)
- 5 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 4 teaspoons dried onion flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons Nigella seeds
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds (or black sesame seeds)
Prepare the lettuce: Pick the leaves that are about the same size, rinse them and let them drain very well.
Make the everything bagel seasoning: Transfer all the ingredients to a bowl and mix to combine.
Make the filling: Heat a large saucepan over high heat. Add the olive oil and the chicken and let it brown well without stirring (about 5 minutes). Then stir and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until all the juices are evaporated.
Reduce heat to medium/high and add the salt, the pepper, the oregano, the everything bagel seasoning and the bell pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes more or until the chicken is cooked through.
Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes and the green onions and cook for 1 more minute until warmed through (you want the tomatoes fresh and not cooked). Remove from the heat and set aside .
Prepare the Greek yogurt sauce: Transfer all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Taste and adjust the salt , the garlic and the lemon juice to your liking.
Make the chicken lettuce wraps: Spread some yogurt sauce on each wrap and top with a couple tablespoons of the chicken filling. Finish with a sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning and some chopped green onions or chives. Serve immediately.
- Serve immediately because the tomatoes will water out after a while.
- Lightly toasted whole sesame seeds work best because they have more flavor. You can toast them briefly in a saucepan or in the oven.
- You can add a splash (or two) of water to the yogurt sauce if you want it thinner.
- It’s easier to spread some yogurt sauce on each lettuce and then top with the chicken mixture. For prettier presentation I used the yogurt sauce on top.
- Buy more lettuce than you think you’ll need (you want to pick the best leaves and the ones with the same size). With the rest of the lettuce you can make a Nicoise salad or this lettuce, orange and mango salad. Dry the leaves very well before using them as wraps.
- Use double lettuce leaves for sturdier wraps.
- You can make more everything bagel seasoning (use tablespoons instead of teaspoons) and store it in an airtight jar for future use.
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