THAI TURKEY LETTUCE WRAPS
Who else loves Thai food? These Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps are one of those meals we have on repeat because they’re so delicious and satisfying! I just love the savory turkey, fresh veggies, and crunchy peanuts. Not to mention, the peanut sauce is “lick-the-plate” good! These Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps are dairy-free, gluten-free, and high in protein. For a vegan version, try crumbled tempeh or meatless crumbles instead of turkey.
Did you know? Current research shows that high protein diets are superior to low protein diets when it comes to fat loss and muscle building (source). No matter what your goal, most benefits for body composition and overall health are seen between the range of 0.6-1.2 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass.
Anyway, back to these wraps! If using meat, look for lean ground turkey (or chicken) that’s “naturally raised,” “organic,” or at the very least “free of antibiotics.” “Naturally raised” means that the birds were not administered hormones or antibiotics, and were fed a vegetarian diet (not other bird parts). Don’t be deceived by the labels “natural” or “all natural” – these just mean the end product is minimally processed and doesn’t contain artificial flavorings, colorings, or preservatives.
“Organic” poultry must be naturally raised and free range (having access to pasture). Their feed must also be certified organic – free of GMOs, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers. If you can’t afford organic poultry, I still recommend avoiding poultry (and other meats) raised with antibiotics. Animals raised with antibiotics either were sick themselves, or in crammed, unsanitary quarters with other sick animals. Not to mention, traces of antibiotics may still be present in the end product, which may impair our own immune function.
To prepare the turkey, I browned the turkey with a one tablespoon each fresh minced garlic and ginger. Feel free to substitute one teaspoon dry ginger and garlic powder if that’s all you have! I also got the idea from Sweet Peas and Saffron to add some Thai red curry paste to the turkey, and it was the best decision! Sooo flavorful!
The peanut sauce requires only three ingredients: creamy natural peanut butter (can use cashew butter if allergic to peanuts), reduced sodium soy sauce (use coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari sauce for gluten-free), and sweet chili sauce.
I always thought sweet chili sauce was “unhealthy” but it’s actually just sugar, pickled red chili, garlic, salt, and xanthan gym. Nothing toxic or artificial there! I suppose if you’re completely avoiding sugar you could make your own sweet chili using granulated stevia or erythritol – but at 40 calories per tablespoon, it’s not bad. You could also substitute 3 tbsp. honey, 1 tbsp. rice vinegar and some red chili flakes.
I sometimes add quinoa for healthy carbs, but that’s optional (my husband refuses to eat quinoa and calls it “spider butts” LOL). I also added some chopped matchstick carrots, green onions, and red peppers for a little color and crunch. I bet water chestnuts or bamboo shoots would be yummy in these, too!
For the lettuce wraps, you can use any kind of lettuce, but I personally love the smooth taste of bib or butter lettuce. Romaine lettuce tends to be a little more bitter, but honestly, you don’t really notice what kind of lettuce you’re eating because the filling is so darn good!
Here’s the printable recipe for these Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps. I hope you’ll rate and/or comment below if you try it 😉
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Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps
- 2 lbs. 93% lean ground turkey* or ground chicken, crumbled tempeh, meatless crumbles
- 1 tbsp. (3 cloves) fresh garlic* minced
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger minced
- 2 tbsp. Thai red curry paste optional, but recommended
- 1 cup carrots shredded
- 1 cup red bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup green onions sliced thin
Thai peanut sauce:
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter*
- 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce*
- 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce* or coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari
- 24 large lettuce leaves butter lettuce, bib, boston, or romaine
- 6 tsp. chopped peanuts, for topping optional
*See above for substitutions.
- Cook ground turkey in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking into small crumbles with a spatula. You can use a little cooking spray if needed.
- While turkey is cooking (about 7-10 minutes), combine peanut butter, sweet chili sauce, and soy sauce or coconut aminos for the peanut sauce. Set aside.
- Next, add garlic, ginger, and curry paste to turkey. Cook over medium until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add carrots, bell pepper, and green onion; cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.
- Now, you can either add sauce directly to the meat or drizzle on top. I did a little of both!
- Divide mixture evenly between six meal prep containers. Separate washed lettuce leaves into baggies with four leaves each.
- When ready to eat, fill each lettuce leaf and top with chopped peanuts and additional peanut sauce if desired.
- Leftovers will keep in the fridge up to one week in airtight containers (just keep the turkey and lettuce separate).
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