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Healthy chicken lettuce wraps are a favorite at P.F Chang’s. This appetizer features deeply-savory Asian-American flavors. Enjoy P.F. Chang’s signature dish at home at half the cost. Make this easy copycat recipe in 20 minutes!
In house, P.F. Chang’s uses Iceberg lettuce for their Asian lettuce wraps. We don’t fault them for this. Iceberg lettuce is a cost-effective option for restaurants. Higher-quality lettuces are more expensive.
But because we’re making these at home we can go for the good stuff: butter lettuce (AKA Boston or Bibb lettuce). Not only does it have more nutrients than Iceberg lettuce, its silky texture almost melts in your mouth.
It’s easy to further customize this lettuce wraps recipe to suit individual preferences. You can add a little spice for some heat, add minced veggies to the meat mixture, use shallots instead of onion, or leave off the garnishes.
Some copycat recipes for P.F. Chang’s chicken lettuce wraps use diced chicken thighs. But after experimenting with the filling, I found that ground chicken, a combination of white and dark meat, makes this low-carb recipe so much tastier. Also: ground chicken is leaner and cooks quicker.
For additional texture, add a base layer of crispy puffy rice sticks to the lettuce leaves before spooning on the chicken mixture. Or spread on a layer of sticky rice instead. You might choose to enjoy these healthy chicken lettuce wraps with juicy wedges of lime and extra lettuce cups.
This easy appetizer can also be served as a main dish. To make it a meal, serve lettuce wraps with brown or white rice, or with Chinese steamed buns.
INGREDIENT SHOPPING LIST
It’s easy to assemble P.F. Chang’s chicken lettuce wraps with a few Asian ingredients plus other common items easily found at any supermarket.
At the store, look for Asian ingredients in the international aisle or in the aisle where they shelve all the different types of sauces and condiments. Jars of sesame seeds are usually located with the spices.
- HOISIN SAUCE: Adds a sweet smoky flavor that’s unique to P.F. Chang’s signature lettuce wraps recipe. Don’t skip it!
- SOY SAUCE: If desired, you can opt for a low-sodium soy sauce.
- RICE WINE VINEGAR: Adds a sweetness and acidity to the recipe.
- SRIRACHA: Adds a tangy-sweet spice to the sauce, but you control the amount of heat.
- CORNSTARCH: This thickens the sauce so it can coat the chicken well.
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- TOASTED SESAME OIL: Adds a beautiful nutty flavor while keeping the chicken from sticking to the pan.
- GROUND CHICKEN: This is a lean protein that’s lighter in fat and calories compared to ground beef or pork. It’s mild flavor is a blank palette for the infusion of delicious Asian flavors in these chicken lettuce wraps.
- YELLOW ONION: This is a general cooking onion.
- GARLIC: Adds rustic earthiness to the mixture.
- GINGER: Adds earthiness and bite to this Asian recipe. Don’t skip it!
- WATER CHESTNUTS: This ingredient adds crunch to the lettuce wraps.
- GREEN ONIONS: This produce is a classic Asian garnish. It add freshness and a pop of color to the finished dish.
- BUTTER LETTUCE: Its wide hearty leaves have a soft silky texture. It also has a milder flavor than other types of lettuce.
- SESAME SEEDS: This classic Asian garnish gives these savory chicken lettuce wraps a restaurant-style look. But you can skip them if desired.
OPTIONAL: MAIFUN RICE STICKS (Thai vermicelli rice noodles). Pan fry them in oil until puffed and crisp. The chicken lettuce wraps served at P.F. Chang’s restaurants include crunchy rice noodles. But depending on where you live, this ingredient may not be readily available. So it’s listed as optional.
EASY INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS
Missing an ingredient for these P.F. Chang’s chicken lettuce wraps? Don’t put on your shoes and head to the market. Instead, head to your fridge or pantry. Check for these easy ingredient swaps.
It’s convenient and money-saving to use ingredients you already have on hand! Especially during stay-at-home times.
- RICE VINEGAR: Substitute with white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar.
- SRIRACHA: Use Frank Red Hot (cayenne pepper sauce), or try a mix of chili paste and honey.
- GROUND CHICKEN: Sub with diced (skinless/boneless) chicken breasts or thighs. Or try ground turkey, pork or beef. If using beef, drain off excess fat before adding the sauce. You can also use tofu instead of chicken.
- SESAME OIL: Use olive oil.
- YELLOW ONION: Use shallots instead.
- FRESH GARLIC: Use garlic power.
- WATER CHESTNUTS: Sub with bamboo shoots, canned baby corn, or cashews. Other options: celery, carrots, red peppers, or mushrooms.
RECIPE PREP: In a small bowl, whisk together the 5 cooking sauce ingredients. Set the bowl aside. Later, if the cornstarch has settled to the bottom of the bowl, whisk again to incorporate.
- STEP 1: Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is fragrant, add the ground chicken and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink.
- STEP 2: Add chopped yellow onion, garlic, and ginger. Sauté 3 to 4 minutes more, or until the onions are soft and tender. Add prepared cooking sauce to the pan. Stir until the chicken is evenly coated in the sauce. Cook 1 minute more. If the sauce thickens too quickly, thin it out with 1/4 cup water.
- STEP 3: Add water chestnuts and green onions to the pan. Toss briefly to combine. Remove pan from heat.
- STEP 4: Remove root/core from butter lettuce. Rinse leaves under cold water until clean. Pat dry between paper towels. Each leaf will be used as a lettuce cup. Spoon chicken mixture into the lettuce cups, like filling taco shells. Garnish lettuce wraps with green onions and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
These are the most commonly asked questions when making P.F. Chang’s chicken lettuce wraps, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.
Butter lettuce (AKA Boston or Bibb lettuce) is the best type for wraps. If you can’t find it at the market, choose a sturdy lettuce that can support the filling and is hearty enough to handle warm heavy ingredients without becoming limp. Long broad leaves make excellent lettuce cups. Try the outer leaves from Iceberg lettuce, or use Little Gem or romaine.
Fry up some Maifun rice sticks (angel hair “Thai vermicelli rice noodles”) Arrange a handful of these fried puffy noodles in the center of each lettuce leaf. Then spoon chicken filling on top. These crisp crunchy noodles are an easy way to add texture to lettuce wraps.
Add 2 tablespoons oyster sauce to the cooking sauce recipe. It will offset the sweetness of the other ingredients.
Use a thick leafy green with a large surface area. If planning to transport your lettuce wrap or refrigerate it for later, give it more support by wrapping it tightly in parchment paper.
When stored in an airtight container and refrigerated, leftover filling for chicken lettuce wraps will stay fresh for up to 3 days.
This quick tutorial for reheating was provided by P.F. Chang’s social channel. Transfer the chicken filling to a pan on stovetop. Warm 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat. For a slightly crispy texture, add a bit of oil to the pan. Spoon heated filling into a crisp lettuce cup.
Serve lettuce wraps with your favorite Asian-American sides like egg rolls, fried wontons, steamed pork buns, or an Asian-style soup.
MORE ASIAN RECIPES TO MAKE ASAP
If you’re salivating over these P.F. Chang’s chicken lettuce wraps, just wait until you see these other Asian-American recipes! Print out your favorites or pin them to Pinterest so you’ll have them for later.
- Cream Cheese Wontons
- Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Crab Rangoon
- Teriyaki Chicken Skewers
- Chinese Chicken Salad
- Asian Salad Dressing
- Wonton Soup
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Everyone who’s tried this appetizer says it’s just like (or even better than) the chicken lettuce wraps at P.F. Chang’s restaurant. Comments included a preference for butter lettuce cups versus those made from Iceberg lettuce.
If you agree these healthy lettuce wraps are super tasty, give them a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero. Share it with a friend.Print
These (copycat) P.F. Chang’s chicken lettuce wraps are a healthy, savory party appetizer. Serve them at Game Day gatherings. You can make them a meal by serving along with rice or wonton soup.
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sriracha, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1/4 cup finely-diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 teaspoons freshly-grated ginger
- 1 8–ounce can water chestnuts, drained and diced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced (plus extra for garnishing)
- 2 heads butter lettuce, for serving
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, for garnishing
OPTIONAL: 1 8.8-ounce package Maifun rice sticks (or Thai vermicelli rice noodles), pan fried in oil until puffed and crispy. Add them to the lettuce cups before spooning on the chicken filling.
RECIPE PREP: Remove the root/core from the butter lettuce. Rinse leaves under cold running water until clean. Pat dry between paper towels. Each leaf will be used as a lettuce cup.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the 5 cooking sauce ingredients: hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sriracha to taste. Set the bowl aside. Later, if the cornstarch has settled to the bottom of the bowl, whisk again to incorporate.
- Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is fragrant, add the ground chicken and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink.
- Add chopped yellow onion, garlic, and ginger. Sauté 3 to 4 minutes more, or until the onions are soft and tender. Add prepared cooking sauce to the pan. Stir until the chicken is evenly coated in the sauce. Cook 1 minute more. If the sauce thickens too quickly, thin it out with 1/4 cup water.
- Add water chestnuts and green onions to the pan. Toss briefly to combine. Remove pan from heat.
- Spoon chicken mixture into the prepared lettuce cups, like filling taco shells. Garnish each lettuce wrap with sliced green onions and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
HOW TO TAMP DOWN SWEETNESS IN THE COOKING SAUCE: Add 2 tablespoons oyster sauce to offset the sweetness of the other ingredients.
IF TASTE OF GINGER IS TOO STRONG: Add a bit of brown sugar to tamp it down.
HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT LEFTOVERS: Transfer leftover filling to an airtight container and refrigerate. It will stay fresh up to 3 days. To reheat, add filling to a skillet on stovetop. Warm 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat. For a slightly crispy texture, add a bit of oil to the pan. Spoon heated filling into a crisp lettuce cup.
- Prep Time: 15 Minutes
- Cook Time: 10 Minutes
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Asian-American
Keywords: Chicken Lettuce Wraps, P.F. Chang’s Lettuce Wraps, P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps
P.F. CHANG’S CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS > YOUR THOUGHTS
What do you think of this homemade version of P.F. Chang’s chicken lettuce wraps? Will you be adding in a layer of crispy, crunchy rice sticks? Join the conversation about this healthy recipe in the comments below.