15 Low-carb lettuce wrap recipes

Cutting back on carbs can be tough - what do you have with your burger in place of a bun? How about those Mexican tacos you love to cook at the weekends? There's a great, easy substitute for carb-laden baked goods, and it comes in the form of the humble lettuce leaf.

Yes, it's true that lettuce can be boring, but turn your favourite sandwich or burger into a hearty, healthy lettuce wrap and we promise you, you'll never look at a lettuce leaf in the same way again! What's more, lettuce cups or wraps make great party food or a meal to share with friends - just serve everything up and let people add fillings and wrap them up; fun and good for you. We recommend using Little Gem or Round Lettuce leaves for these wraps - depending on your tastes and what's available on your weekly shop - as these have the best flavour and texture. Even if you're not cutting back on carbs or carb-cycling, these 15 wrap recipes are fun to make and tasty, so give them a try!

#1. Teriyaki Salmon Lettuce Wraps

Two of our favourite things, together in one super-healthy lettuce wrap - salmon and teriyaki sauce! This is a great way to use up salmon steaks and an alternative to boring baked or pan fried salmon fillets; which are a great source of omega-3 (it keeps your brain in tip-top shape!) Make your own easy teriyaki marinade with soy sauce, mirin (rice wine vinegar), sugar, garlic and ginger - get the recipe here.

#2. Healthy Beef Lettuce Tacos

Replace crunchy or soft taco shells with lettuce 'shells' and enjoy all the deliciousness of tacos with fewer carbs! You can easily sub minced turkey or pork for the beef - turkey is a great lean source of protein and also contains tryptophan, which can help to promote a great night's sleep. For a healthier option, skip the cheese and include toppings such as diced red pepper and creamy avocado, packed with good fats, instead.

Image credit: Insidekarenskitchen.com

#3. Bang Bang Chicken Cups

An Expertrain favourite, these are super-simple to make and ideal to whip up for lunch or a light dinner. The peanut sauce keeps for several days in a covered container in the fridge. If you're packing these to take to work, take the sauce separately and assemble the wraps just before you eat. Packed with protein and plenty of veggies - this is a great way to introduce your kids to healthy eating!

#4. Paleo Tuna Avocado Lettuce Cups

We love a no-mayo paleo-friendly tuna salad recipe, and this one uses one of our favourite things ever - avocado! It's creamy, packed with good fats and omega-3s and plenty of flavour from the green olives and anchovies. In fact, this is good just eaten alone, but paired with the lettuce it's really fresh and delicious.

Image credit: Thehealthyfoodie.com

#5. Bacon, Radish and Avocado Lettuce Wraps

Couldn't be simpler really, wash your lettuce leaves, smoosh your avocado and spread it on there (we like to use a squeeze of lime juice and maybe even a sprinkle of chilli flakes), top with sliced radish and crispy bacon and enjoy! Great for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

#6. Veggie Cabbage Wraps with Grilled Tofu

One to whip up for your veggie friends, this is actually so delicious you may find yourself enjoying it even if meat is usually your thing! The spicy peanut sauce is a winner and adds bags of flavour, whilst with cabbage, carrots, peppers and cucumbers, you're well on your way towards five-a-day. This is a gluten-free, vegan recipe too!

Image credit: ahouseinthehills.com

#7. Cheeseburger Lettuce Wraps

Next time you're craving a burger, skip the takeaway and bin the buns (actually, don't buy the buns in the first place - we're not into food waste!) This recipe is pretty simple; protein-packed minced beef burgers with cheese and iceberg lettuce wraps in place of carb-laden burger buns. Yum!

#8. PF Chang's Chicken Lettuce Cups

Craving sweet, salty, spicy Chinese takeaway? Hmmm, us too! Indulge your craving not by ordering in Chinese, but by making these lettuce wraps at home; you can pick up most of the ingredients on your weekly shop. Trust us, it's well worth spending the extra bit of time to prepare these as they're so yummy - and chicken is a great, lean source of protein.

Image credit: Theculinarylife.com

#9. Ahi Tuna Protein Wraps

This tuna lettuce wrap recipe includes its own healthy homemade tartare sauce - so you know exactly what's going into your dressing! Instead of lettuce, this recipe uses cabbage wraps, and pan-seared tuna steaks (use ahi tuna if you can get it) are a grat alternative to salmon, if you're trying to eat more fish.

#10. Smoked Mackerel Lettuce Wraps

Although this recipe calls for smoked trout, we prefer to use smoked mackerel, as it's more readily available. You could use any ready-cooked smoked fish of your choice though. The delicious Thai-style pickle with fish sauce and lime juice adds bags of flavour to fresh veggies, making this a light, healthy lunch or dinner option.

Image credit: Bonappetit.com

#11. Veggie Mexican Quinoa Lettuce Cups

Did someone say Mexican food? Sweet potatoes, black beans, quinoa, avocado and a yummy lime and coriander dip makes these lettuce cups THE BOMB! We're already a bit obsessed with sweet potatoes - they're packed with vitamin A for gorgeous skin and healthy vision, and with the addition of heart-healthy avocados and plenty of protein and fibre from the quinoa and black beans, this is one of our favourite recipes of the summer!

#12. Curried Salmon Burger Wraps with Goats Cheese and Crispy Sweet Potato Straws

If you're looking for an excuse to put sweet potato fries in your lettuce wrap, this recipe from Half Baked Harvest is it. A super-healthy, omega-3-packed salmon burger with a hint of spice, crumbled goat's cheese and sweet potato straws makes this dish amazingly tasty and really good for you too. Make a double batch of burgers and enjoy one for lunch the next day too - sorted!

Image credit: Halfbakedharvest.com

#13. Vegan Lettuce Wraps with Quinoa, Edamame and Soy-Garlic Chilli Sauce

This light, fresh lettuce wrap recipe is ideal for those days when it's too hot to cook. Even kids love filling and wrapping these with the sweet and garlicky mixture - we love the sauce! Quinoa is loaded with protein, so even though this is light, it will leave you feeling satisfied all evening.

#14. Raw Vegan Collard Wraps

Ok, so this has to be one of the healthiest recipes on our list. Packed with raw ingredients, this vegan wrap is ideal to take to work for a light-yet-super-nutritious lunch. With avocado, red pepper (loaded with vitamin C), raw pecans, alfalfa sprouts, tamari, garlic and heart-healthy olive oil, you'll have the energy you need for a productive afternoon at the office!

Image credit: Avocadopesto.com

#15. Vietnamese Prawn, Avocado and Nuoc Cham Lettuce Cups

There's just something about Vietnamese food that's really light and fresh-tasting, and these lettuce cups are no exception. Prawns are nutritious and low in fat, avocado has to be the greatest addition to a lettuce cup ever and the Nuoc Cham sauce is divine. Nuoc Cham is a traditional Vietnamese condiment or dressing, made with sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, chilli, garlic and water - it's used as commonly in Vietnam as we use ketchup here in the UK. The recipe also includes daikon, or radishes, which, according to Ayurvedic medicine, can draw toxins out of the body, eliminating free radicals which can cause cancer. Did we mention this recipe is yummy?


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Author By Paula Beaton
Date On 7th Jul 2015 at 12:35
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