If you're looking for a light and flavorful meal that packs a punch of flavor and is a perfect quick meal, then these Asian Lettuce Wraps with Beef are for you! The ground beef is perfectly seasoned and wrapped in a crunchy lettuce leaf for a truly delicious meal that you'll love. Plus, keto lettuce wraps are ready in less than 30 minutes, so you can enjoy them in no time!
This easy recipe features flavorful ingredients, and it's both low-carb and gluten-free, making it a great option for those following the keto or Trim Healthy Mama diets.
I decided to enlist the help of my husband to write up this post because beef is more of his choice of meat than mine. He loves my Java London Broil Recipe for the Grill and my Beef and Broccoli Recipe.
But then he puts a line in like this, "Whenever I travel, I look forward to trying the different flavors of food and spices native to where I am. These beef lettuce wraps take me right back to the open food market in South Korea".
We've never been to South Korea. And I'll be surprised if we ever do go. We have six kids and, although someday we will be empty nesters with the possibility of traveling, he hates to fly. And South Korea is on the other side of the world from New Jersey. Let's stick to real life, honey.
So, I've gone back and rewrote this keto lettuce wraps recipe to have more tips and less fiction.
Ground beef - Any type you like is fine.
Sesame oil - This gives the best flavor but olive oil or coconut oil can also work.
Onion - Finely chopped works best.
Soy sauce - This is where a lot of the Asian flavor comes in.
Brown sugar substitute - I like to use a brown sugar sweetener such as the ones by Swerve or Lakanto.
Chili garlic sauce - Chili garlic sauce is made out of chili peppers, garlic, and some other spices. Check for added sugar. You only need a tiny bit so if there is minimal added sugar I wouldn't worry.
Ginger paste - If you prefer use finely chopped fresh ginger.
Minced garlic - Garlic powder can be subbed in a pinch
Cashews - Peanuts work as well. Or mix in a little peanut butter for nutty flavor.
Green leaf lettuce leaves - Soft pliable varieties work best.
Salt and pepper - You can just add these to taste. You will get some saltiness from the soy so you probably won't need much salt.
Green onions - To garnish.
How to Make Keto Lettuce Wraps
I hope you enjoy low-carb lettuce wraps as much as I do. It is a great healthy and delicious meal that I am sure you and your family will love.
Step One: Saute the onions in a large pan. You want them to be translucent and slightly browned.
Step Two: Brown the ground beef.
Expert Tip: A great tool to use when browning ground meat is a potato masher. It can both stir and break up the ground beef as it cooks.
Step Three: Add soy sauce, seasonings, and then cashews.
Seasonings - Feel free to season the meat mixture with additional garlic, fresh ginger, sriracha, and/or lime juice
Toppings - Try topping these with scallions, water chestnuts, and/or chopped tomato.
Mix-ins - Chopped bell pepper, roasted garlic cloves, cauliflower rice, and/or shredded cabbage
Meat - If you like ground chicken, ground pork can be subbed for ground beef. You can also use chopped chicken thighs to make Asian chicken lettuce wraps.
Salad - You can just chop the lettuce and put the cooked beef on top to make a salad instead of a wrap.
Paleo - Sub in coconut aminos for the soy.
Gluten-free - Tamari is a type of soy sauce that is usually gluten-free.
Sauce - We love to serve these with extra keto teriyaki sauce. A tip is to drizzle the sauce on top last after your wrap is filled. This helps to reduce the amount of sauce and juice that will drip out of the lettuce wrap and trickle down your chin. But I recommend having a napkin ready just in case.
What type of lettuce for lettuce wraps?
A common question that I hear is “what is the best lettuce for lettuce wraps”. I personally enjoy butter lettuce or iceberg lettuce, it gives you a larger wrap to hold all your ingredients as you eat. The firm spine on lettuce like romaine lettuce makes it more difficult to roll up your lettuce cup.
Can I make keto lettuce wraps spicy?
In our house, my husband is the only one that appreciates a seriously spicy meal. I typically lean to the mild side when I cook for the family, but I will provide some extra Asian hot sauce on the side that he can add if he wants to crank up the heat a little more.
Can I Use Chicken in these Asian Lettuce Wraps? What about Ground Turkey? Or Pork?
Absolutely! Feel free to switch out the beef for your meat of choice. You can even make these vegetarian by swapping in some mild chopped vegetables such as zucchini.
Try an Asian Lettuce Wraps buffet
If you are throwing a party or entertaining, lettuce wraps fit every diet. Besides being low carb and keto, they are delicious. Just provide some choices of sauces and dressing and your gluten-free friends can stay true to their lifestyle.
Let everyone build their own keto lettuce wraps. You can provide different proteins, different toppings as well as different seasonings. There is something about “build your own” that we all love. To make it more of a complete meal serve this with Keto Wonton Soup.
- 1 ½ lb ground beef
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
- ½ onion chopped
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar substitute such as Swerve brown
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- ½ teaspoon ginger paste
- 2 teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ cup chopped cashews
- green leaf lettuce leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped green onions for garnish
- Heat up ½ tablespoon of sesame oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the chopped onion to the heated skillet, and cook until softened and starting to brown.
- Mix in the ground beef, and cook until the beef is completely browned.
- Stir in the soy sauce, Swerve brown sugar substitute, chili garlic sauce, ginger paste, and minced garlic. Stir to combine well.
- Continue to cook down the mixture, lowering the heat to medium until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Mix in the chopped cashews, and remove the skillet from the heat.
- Let the mixture cool for a few minutes, and then add spoonfuls of the beef mixture to the green leaf lettuce cups, and top with freshly chopped green onions before serving.
Originally Published April 9, 2019. Revised and Republished December 16, 2022.