Lettuce Cups/ Lettuce Wraps

January 25, 2012mayurisjikoni
Blog post



What are Lettuce Cups/ Lettuce Wraps?

Fresh, crunchy, sweet, just enough saltiness, tangy, a wee bit chilli, aromatic. Wondering if I am practising my adjectives? Well, you would too if you had these delicious lettuce cups/ lettuce wraps. Lettuce Cups/ Lettuce Wraps is a great recipe when entertaining. Guests can build up their own lettuce cups or wraps with different fillings.

Basically, lettuce leaves are served topped with a dry filling and served with sauces. The lettuce cups or wraps make a healthier option to sandwiches with bread. However, initially they were served as a starter or appetizer mostly at Chinese Restaurants. These days lettuce cups or wraps have taken on different avatars. One can have a vegetarian or non vegetarian filling from any cuisine. They are served as a starter, appetizer, finger food or even as a healthy light meal option.

My First Experience

The first time I ever had lettuce cups was at a Chinese Restaurant in London. When the huge iceberg salad leaves were placed in front of me with the vegetarian filling of oyster mushrooms, I had no idea how to eat it! Luckily, my sister in law showed me and also made me comfortable by saying ‘let those fingers get all sticky with the sauces’. I thoroughly enjoyed the started and knew that I had to make this at home. We don’t lettuce cups or wraps at the Chinese Restaurant in Mombasa.


Goodness in Crunchy Leaves

Since I first made them at home, using basic ingredients like carrots, cucumber, onions, etc, I’ve tried so many different fillings. Lettuce Cups/ Lettuce Wraps make an excellent finger food to enjoy on TV nights. Sometimes, for hubby I’ve ordered chicken tikka and used that along with some salad ingredients.

Some Filling Ideas:

While my favorite is still making a light salad with corn, cucumber, carrot, cashew nuts , sesame seeds, etc and enjoying with a Chilli Honey Sauce or Dip and Chilli Sauce, there are so many other fillings you can use.

  • Make a dry tandoori like tandoori paneer, tandoori boneless chicken, tandoori mushrooms. Cut it up into smaller pieces. Serve with a mint yogurt dip. Mix the tandoori ingredients with chopped onion, cucumber, tomatoes, etc.
  • Have you tried a Chili Bean filling served with guacamole and simple tomato salsa?
  • How about chopped up falafel served with some hummus and salad of onion, tomato, olives and cucumber.
  • Use up leftover meat, fish, fritters, etc and serve with lettuce cups or wraps.
  • Use leftover rice to make a salad, serve with a chutney or dip.
  • Make small koftas. Use as a filling along with chopped salad. Serve with chutney.
  • Use roasted sweet potato, or potatoes with avocado, tomato, onion, etc. Serve with a light salad dressing.

Let your imagination run riot and make a filling of your choice. Serve with dips, sauces or chutneys.

What Type of Lettuce or Leaves to Use:

When Butterhead Lettuce was not available in my area I used or sometimes still use Iceberg Lettuce. However, if possible, I prefer using wither butterhead, Bibbs lettuce or romaine lettuce.Sometimes have used endives and Napa cabbage(chinese cabbage). Can also use big kale leaves and Chard leaves.

Sauces or Dips you can Use:

Sweet and Sour Sauce

Chilli Sauce

Peanut Sauce

Green Chutney

Garlic and Red Pepper Chutney

Coconut and Yogurt Dip


Some Starter Ideas:

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Vegetarian Bao Buns

Roasted Tomato & Ricotta Toast

Pav Bhaji Dip with Nachos

Chinese Bhel

Paneer and Naan Bites

Watermelon Bruschetta

Moong Dal and Spinach Handvo

Nachos and Mango Salsa

Mini Vada Pav

Amiri Khaman

Buttered Masala Sweet Corn

Crispy Okra

Baked Falafel by Renu


The Group Foodies_Redoing Old Posts, started by Renu helps the members to make an effort to update old posts. This group has helped me so far to focus on posts that need redoing. Lettuce cups/ Lettuce wraps is my all time favorite and finally got down to redoing the write up and photos, because of this group.

Updated on 29/04/2021. First Published on 25/01/2012

Ingredients For Lettuce Cups/ Lettuce Wraps:

  • Lettuce Leaves – must be fresh, big and crunchy. Best to soak lettuce leaves in Ice cold water for at least 30 minutes. I sometimes leave them in water and in the fridge till required.
  • Onion – chopped finely, preferably spring onion. However, if you don’t get that then use red, white or yellow onion.
  • Sweet Pepper – any colour, finely chopped.
  • Carrot – peeled and diced finely.
  • Cucumber – finely chopped.
  • Sweet Corn – steamed or boiled or canned.
  • Cashew Nuts – roasted and chopped.
  • Sesame Seeds – roasted.
  • Chilli Flakes – optional.
  • Honey or Plum Sauce – for the Sauce.
  • Vinegar – try and get rice vinegar. If you don’t have that then use a good quality white wine vinegar.
  • Sriracha Sauce – for the sauce.
  • Fresh Ginger – minced, for the sauce.
  • Sesame Oil – for the sauce.
  • Pepper Powder – for the sauce.
  • Salt – for the sauce.
  • Chilli Sauce – optional to serve along with the Chili Honey Sauce.



Fresh, crunchy, sweet, just enough saltiness, tangy, a wee bit chilli, aromatic. Lettuce Cups/ Lettuce Wraps is a wonderful party starter.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Light Meal, Starter
Cuisine Chinese, International
Servings 4


  • 8-12 Lettuce Leaves

Filling :

  • 3 tbsp onion finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp roasted cashewnuts roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped pepper any colour
  • 3 tbsp carrot grated or finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp cooked corn
  • 3 tbsp cucumber finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes optional

Chilli Honey Dressing :

  • ¼ tsp pepper powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp Sriracha sauce
  • ½ tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp honey/plum sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar/apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tsp soy sauce


  • Mix all the filling ingredients in a bowl.
  • Mix the ingredients for the dressing in another bowl.
  • Wash and wipe lettuce leaves.
  • Put the lettuce leaves in a plate or a bowl.
  • Your guests can help themselves by spooning a bit of the filling and dressing into the lettuce leaf. Fold and eat.


  • If the lettuce leaves are not crunchy, soak them for a while in ice cold water. Then drain out the water, pat dry the leaves with a clean cloth and serve.
  • Can add finely chopped green chilli instead of chilli flakes.
  • Don't add the sauce to the filling as it will become watery. 
  • Top the filling on the lettuce leaf with the sauce/sauces before eating.
Keyword Easy Lettuce Cups, Lettuce Wrap Recipe - Vegetarian

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A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email mayuri.ajay.patel62@gmail.com
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962





  • Archana

    May 4, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    5 stars
    Wow! I love the delicious and yum lettuce cups. Those leaves are really fresh and makes me want to pop them on my mouth.
    Lovely way of serving a starter, salad or even a light meal.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 4, 2021 at 2:22 pm

      Thanks Archana and yes we enjoy it as a light meal.

  • foodtrails25

    May 4, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    5 stars
    These lettuce cups looks so fresh and inviting, so perfect for hot summer days..also the honey chilli dressing sounds so lip smackingly delicious. Will definitely try it.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 4, 2021 at 7:16 pm

      Thank you so much Swaty and yes, its a perfect summer dish.

  • Kalyani

    May 4, 2021 at 4:20 pm

    5 stars
    I have a good vendor now who’s into agro farming.. will source lettuce from her and try this guilt free snack soon ! looks so delectable

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 4, 2021 at 7:13 pm

      Thank you Kalyani, you can also use normal iceberg lettuce and it tastes equally good.

  • Hem lata srivastava

    May 5, 2021 at 5:10 am

    5 stars
    Salad looks so refreshing, colourful and delicious.
    Cashew nuts and cucumber gives it nice crunch. Savings in my wish list.
    What can be used instead of sriracha sauce ?

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 5, 2021 at 4:33 pm

      Thank you so much Hem Lata, yes you can use Sriracha sauce, schezwan, any chilli sauce you like.

  • Jayashree T.Rao

    May 5, 2021 at 9:35 am

    5 stars
    I remember having something like this during my recent trip. I must make this one, hope I get lettuce here. Makes a good snack to binge, loved it.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 5, 2021 at 4:32 pm

      Thanks Jayashree, use normal iceberg lettuce as that too tastes good.

  • Jolly

    May 5, 2021 at 8:50 pm

    5 stars
    I love all of the ingredients you have used in this salad! It looks perfect for summer and ideal for a light dinner. loved the idea of lettuce cups.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 5, 2021 at 9:37 pm

      Thanks Jolly.

  • Preethicuisine

    May 10, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    5 stars
    Crunchy Lettuce cups with delicious filling is a gastronomic deight. So light and refreshing. I would love to have this anytime. Fabulous recipe.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 11, 2021 at 3:41 pm

      Thank you so much Preethi. Love the versatility of this recipe.

  • Seema Sriram

    May 13, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    5 stars
    With so many varieties of lettuce available, I love to have them. So refreshing and water-laden, they make the best holders for stuffing. Perfect summertime filling recipe here.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 13, 2021 at 10:14 pm

      Thanks Seema and you’re right, when I first made them years ago we only had iceberg lettuce and now with the variety it is so easy to keep on changing the recipe a bit.

  • Poonam Bachhav

    May 13, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    5 stars
    Lettuce cups with crunchy veggies and nuts with that flavorful honey chili dressing sounds oh so refreshing ! Perfct treat on a Summer afternoon!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 13, 2021 at 10:12 pm

      Thank you so much Poonam. And the best part is that you can use any kind of healthy filling.

  • Renu

    May 14, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    5 stars
    Just the recipe I need now for continuing my healthy eating habits. Such a delicious way to enjoy the lettuce loaded with veggies and nuts. I like the dressing with a hint of spice and a bit of sweetness from the honey. Just perfect

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 15, 2021 at 2:35 pm

      Thank you so much Renu that you find this recipe will fit into your healthy diet. Enjoy 🙂

  • Maria

    May 24, 2021 at 8:07 pm

    5 stars
    That’s such a fab idea for a starter or any time snack! I’m trying to cut calories from carbs in my diet and these wraps, with all the filling suggestions, are just the kind of dish I need to make my routine more fun.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 24, 2021 at 11:24 pm

      Thank you so much Maria, my sister in law adds chicken to the filling, so you can try that.

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