15 Delicious Lettuce-Wrap Ideas

Admin Featured, Gluten and Gluten Free, Paleo and Primal 40 Comments


When you go from a diet filled with bread, pitas, tortillas and wraps to one that eliminates processed foods (and even all grains for many of us who follow a paleo or primal type of diet), you’re often left wondering what the heck to eat.

I used to be the Queen of Sandwiches.

Yes, folks, I made a MEAN sandwich in my day. And I am not about to sit down and count myself out when it comes to enjoying my food in the slightest. In fact, I enjoy lettuce wraps even MORE now than I enjoyed sandwiches because I don’t feel like a bloated and uncomfortable mess who needs to run to the bathroom after eating them. Yes, really. TMI? Perhaps, but I am sure some of you reading this are experiencing some similar issues and possibly not attributing it to that seemingly innocuous sandwich you just ate. Drop the bread and see how you feel. My guess is that you’ll feel a LOT better.

Below is a gallery of 15 ways I like to enjoy lettuce wraps.

Some are more creative than others, but I don’t really ever get bored making them as I tend to find random extra ingredients here or there to throw into the wrap. They are fresh and crunchy every time and it’s always fun to eat them. I’ve become quite the expert at wrapping them like a mini burrito to keep any potential juice from dripping out. There’s a LOT more variety I could be adding to the mix here, but hey, I like what I like so I don’t sweat it much.

You can click the links or thumbnails below and you’ll be taken to a page showing a large image from which you’ll just need to click back to return to this page. Sorry that this isn’t a super-slick presentation, but currently this is the easiest thing that WordPress offers for a gallery!

#1: Lamb with Avocado, Onion & Cilantro Lettuce Wraps.
#2: Homemade Pork Chorizo with Avocado & Chives Lettuce Wraps.
#3: Beef, Tomatoes, Avocado & Raw Sauerkraut Lettuce Boats.
#4: Beef, Red Bell Peppers, Avocado & Hot Sauce Lettuce Boats.
#5: Shrimp, Avocado, Cilantro & Lime Juice Lettuce Tacos.
#6: Burger with Bacon, Cole Slaw & Tomato Lettuce Wrap.
#7: Lamb, Fresh Figs, Chives & Raw Sauerkraut Lettuce Boats.
#8: Scrambled Eggs, Smoked Salmon & Chives Lettuce Wraps.
#9: Lamb Burgers, Cilantro Pesto, Onion & Raw Sauerkraut Lettuce Wraps.
#10: Road Wrap! Turkey & Guacamole (Trader Joe’s) Lettuce Wraps.
#11: Lamb, Cucumber, Yellow Peppers & Lime Juice Lettuce Wraps.
#12: Beef, Avocado, Shallots, Cilantro & Lime Juice Lettuce Tacos.
#13: Lamb, cooked onions, raw onions, cilantro & Hot Sauce Lettuce Tacos.
#14: Lamb, Avocado, Tomato, Cilantro & Hot Sauce Lettuce Tacos.
#15: BLT- Bacon, Tomato & Onion Lettuce Wraps.

What’s your favorite thing to wrap in lettuce?


To see more of what I’m eating, check out my Camera+ photo gallery.

Enjoy & be well!
Diane Sanfilippo
BS, Certified Nutrition Educator, C.H.E.K. Holistic Lifestyle Coach
San Francisco Nutritionist & Paleo Nutritionist serving the Bay Area and beyond via phone & Skype consultations.

Author of “The Practical Paleo Nutrition Guide Book.”
An 80-Page eBook guide to making a Paleo diet easy! Filled with tips, tricks, meal planning tools and recipes.

“Bacon is rad. Gluten is bad.” Sport it on a T-shirt.

  • http://cookingcleverlywithbeverly.blogspot.com Beverly

    These look awesome!

    • Eat2Bee Healthy

      Yummy!! I am planning to read Rob’s book while I am camping the week of the ALC ride in 2 weeks. I am thinking about going this direction w/ my diet too. Love all the great recipe ideas!! Ciao – Chrissy

      • http://www.balancedbites.com admin

        Hey girl!

        Yes, great read :) Let me know what you think and how it’s going. You may also want to check out “The Primal Blueprint” by Mark Sisson.

        • Eat2Bee Healthy

          Oh great idea! I was wondering about his book too. I will pick it up to take w/ me too. Definitely will check back w/ you in a couple of weeks. I just shared a link to your blog to my friends. I love your site!!

          • http://www.balancedbites.com admin

            Thanks :) I appreciate that!

          • http://www.wise-habits.com Carole

            Thanks to you I have been experimenting with lettuce wraps now that we are gluten- and bread-free. What is your favorite type of lettuce to use? Most of your photos look like Romaine. I starting using chard leaves this last month while available (in Oregon) at the farmer’s market, blanching them first to make them more pliable. Tasty!

          • http://www.balancedbites.com admin

            I use romaine and butter lettuce mostly – sometimes red or green-leaf… whatever looks good! :)

          • kelly hawes

            The ONLY thing I missed about not having bread was BLT’S …even hubby likes the lettuce wraps. Well…lets face it he will enjoy anything with bacon!

  • http://fastlifeslowlife.wordpress.com Beth

    What cut of lamb do you use in your wraps? I’ve been wanting to try more lamb, but am so unfamiliar with it.

    • http://www.balancedbites.com admin

      I actually use lamb stew meat and season it and then sear it VERY quickly. My dad taught me that you can either cook stew meat for a really long time or very quickly and it will be tender. I LOVE cooking quickly so that’s what I use if I’m not using ground meat. :)

      • http://fastlifeslowlife.wordpress.com Beth

        Thanks. Great cooking tip as well. Going to add lamb stew meat to my next MSF box!

        • http://www.balancedbites.com admin


      • barb

        hey – could you do a post on quickly cooking stew meat? does it work for beef as well as lamb? – i have some in my csa box and its just too hot for stew.

        • http://www.balancedbites.com admin

          I just season it then sear it. If you cook it quickly it stays tender. Then I let it rest before cutting into small chunks/cubes that are 1/2″ or so in size.

  • http://dana.dccrossfit.com/ Dana

    Cool! We’re making lamb meatballs for dinner tonight and have some beautiful local lettuce … inspired now to do lamb meatball lettuce wraps, thank you!

  • sarena

    great post thanks.

  • http://www.twitter.com/perfect_enough Kristi Stevens

    Thanks SO much for posting this. Lettuce wraps are my personal favorite, but I’d run out of ideas for what to fill them with… I was getting bored. You saved me! Thanks again!

    • http://www.balancedbites.com admin

      Awesome! Let me know what you make!

  • susan

    thanks a bunch for these recipes, they sound great. i stopped eating bread a few years ago and have gotten in too much of a rut for lunch with just having a salad with some protein. these recipes will definitely expand my lunch repertoire! i want to try all of them!

    • http://www.balancedbites.com admin

      I love wrapping stuff in lettuce- it feels FUN and we can eat it with our hands like sandwiches… I feel you!

  • http://www.s-kakes.blogspot.com Sandra @creativebug

    I need to “get over” sandwiches too, golly, I love me a sammich. This might get me there! Great post – can’t wait to try THEM ALL! :)

  • http://humbleboserver.net Christopher

    I’m usually too lazy to wrap big pieces of lettuce with stuff inside it. So I just chop it all up and make a big ass salad.

    But I love the ingredients. You’re the best Diane!

  • Bob Pain

    Hey I saw in one of your photos you have homemade chorizo. What recipe do you use for that?

  • http://www.imakalya.com ImaKalya

    You really made me hungry!

    • Warren

      Since I used to love a good messy cheese-steak I’ll get shaved rib eye (cook it and set aside)then do strips of onion, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, and italian seasoning untill it all gets a bit of caramelization. Toss with the steak and wrap in green leaf. No Cheese right now but if you do dairy then some fresh mozzerela or good cheddar melted in is awesome.
      Ive seen a lot of raw recipies using collard leaves as wraps for burritos. Do you think we should be eating uncooked collards? Blanched?

      • http://www.healthyeatingstartshere.com Irene @ H.E.S.H.

        Great blog! I haven’t try using lettuce as a wrapper for food but I’m very curious how it will taste. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.culinarycavegirl.blogspot.com Amanda
  • http://www.marathonjohn.com John

    Great ideas! I just used butter lettuce for the first time and it was great! Beef, cilantro, jalapeno “tacos”. Thanks!

  • Stacey

    I know this isn’t lettuce-wrap related, but have you ever looked into making dosas as a type of “bread” for wraps? Most dosas are made with soaked/fermented lentils instead of grains (though many recipes include rice, which I know some paleo people don’t eat), and can be a good source of protein to go with your meal.

    I personally prefer pesarattu, which is a dosa made from mung beans (makes the dosa a nice green color). I finely chop chiles to cook in the batter, and I fill the dosa with leftover curries or with some grilled veggies and home made cheese (I’m a vegetarian who’s trying to go paleo, and I have an Indian boyfriend. My diet tends to deviate from the norm).

    • Adriane Munger

      i’m so interested in this…i looked up a recipe and it looks complex and names ingredients that i don’t know how to get. Do you have any recipes, advice or tips?!? i love Indian food and would love to make it “paleo” for my family

  • Becca

    Oh man…what a lifesaver. Although I had been all over your blog, I hadn’t read this one yet, thinking it would be a ‘duh’ page…but I forgot about it.

    Last night I made a cilantro lime shrimp dish, that was apparently intended to be eaten alone but I kept thinking it would be so much better in a wrap with avocado on it, but couldn’t think of a substitute for a tortilla.

    Yeah..I’m the one going “DUH!!” right now!

  • http://www.barincorayan.blogspot.com Brenda A

    Thank you so much for doing this! I do miss me some good sandwiches, and cannot wait to try some of these out!

  • Grace

    Lamb is so unpopular in North America compared to Europe, the Middle East and Australia/NZ. I wish it was more loved – it’s SO delicious!

    Thanks for these great ideas and the endless resources you supply.

    I have to say, your website and products are visually VERY appealing, which keeps me coming back too! :)

  • Becka

    I feel like a dummy for not making a hamburger/lettuce wrap before now – just had my first one and it was AMAZING. I remembered how you always say these wraps are your “go-to” quick meal when I saw a container of live butter lettuce in the grocery store, and so I bought it. I cooked the hamburger in turmeric, cinnamon and salt. So, so tasty.

  • http://www.morewithlessmom.com/ Melissa French

    I have linked to this post here: Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Food and Snacks http://www.morewithlessmom.com/index.php/2013/06/03/frugal-road-trip-with-kids-food-and-snacks/

  • http://www.morewithlessmom.com/ Melissa French

    I have linked to this post here: Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Food and Snacks http://www.morewithlessmom.com/index.php/2013/06/03/frugal-road-trip-with-kids-food-and-snacks/

  • Matthew Azzaro

    My fiance and I have made many different types of Paleo/Primal/whatever wraps. We were quickly hooked, but hated how flimsy most lettuces are. Try making a taco wrap, and it either busts through the lettuce or drips out the end. Recently we have converted.. to cabbage! Savoy cabbage is our current favorite. It’s much sturdier than lettuce, and holds up nicely to heat and liquids. I like the taste of lettuce a little better, but cabbage is just SO much easier, I think we’ll stick with it. Or.. a lettuce leaf within a cabbage leaf? Always thinking… :)

    Love your podcasts, blog + books, Diane!

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