Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Good morning loves! I have another recipe to share, and it’s my favorite, ever! It’s from, which is where I get a lot of my recipes, and it’s delicious, easy, and only requires a few ingredients!
Now, I’ll admit: I wasn’t sure about lettuce wraps. I was skeptical they’d fill me up, but this recipe totally changed my mind! I hope you’ll give it a try!

Turkey Lettuce Recipe
Turkey Lettuce Recipe

{All photos by Lauren-Michelle of Ella Mae Studios}

You can prep and cook these Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps within 30 minutes and it’s great for girls on the go! You can make a batch of the filling, refrigerate it and when you get home from a long day at work (or wedding planning), pop it in the microwave for 45 seconds, and enjoy! 🙂

One thing I love about cooking healthy, is the exposure to new foods. I had never heard of Boston lettuce before attempting this recipe, and for a girl who loves lettuce, let me tell you: boston lettuce is the BOMB! (Yes, I just said “the bomb!” Lol. It’s that good!) It’s soft, tasty, and guess what? Only 7 calories per ONE full cup.

It’s pretty too, ay?


This recipe also introduced me to water chestnuts- they look like little potatoes but they’re made up of mostly water! (Calorie win!). I wasn’t sure I was going to like them, but they add a lot of substance to this dish and I think they’re part of the reason it’s so filling!


Also, meet hoisin and sweet chili – a match-mate in heaven!

The perfect mix of sweet and salty!


The  best part: this recipe is chock-full of healthiness!

 Here are the main ingredients, and why we should be devouring them:

  • Ginger- is a herb and is used as a spice and a medicine. The Huffington Post has a great article on the Health Benefits of Ginger. It’s known as nature’s cure-all!
  • Hoisin Sauce- A spicy sweet sauce made from soybeans, chiles, garlic and spices. It’ll add a punch of flavor to anything you’re cooking and it’s highly concentrated so you don’t need a lot!
  • Five Spice- is a blend of blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns, and according to Eating well, five-spice powder is also considered a cure-all miracle blend because it encompasses the five elements (sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, salty)! (Be warned: Five spice is stinky! When you cook the filling, consider opening a door to outside or turning on a fan!)
  • Water Chestnuts-  Cholestoral-free; gluten-free; and almost fat-free- a half a cup of water chestnuts contains only 0.1 g fat. They are said to contain detoxifying properties and lots of potassium! *Interesting fact: Chinese herbalists believe water chestnuts can help sweeten the breath.
  • Cilantro- I LOVE cilantro! It adds a lot of flavor and no added calories. I read this article from the Global Healing Center on all the health benefits. Did you know cilantro is said to have anti-anxiety effects!? So cool, right?

Another quick note: Hoisin and sweet chili sauce can be found in the international section at most supermarkets. Five spice is in the spices aisle, and boston lettuce is in the fresh produce section (usually near the other fresh lettuce). I buy the waterchestnuts in a can; not fresh or frozen, and they are also in the international section.

Mmmm! I’m totally making these this week! I hope you will too!

Let me know what you think!

Happy Tuesday friends 🙂

Five-Spice Turkey Lettuce Wraps via Eating Well

Recipe Type: Dinner

Cuisine: Chinese

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 30 mins

Serves: 4

Delicious healthy turkey lettuce wraps made with ginger, five spice, and water chestnuts.


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup instant brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, (see Note)
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder, (see Note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 heads Boston lettuce, leaves separated
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as cilantro, basil, mint and/or chives
  • 1 large carrot, shredded


  1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add rice; reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add turkey and ginger; cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until the turkey is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice, bell pepper, water chestnuts, broth, hoisin sauce, five-spice powder and salt; cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
  3. To serve, divide lettuce leaves among plates, spoon some of the turkey mixture into each leaf, top with herbs and carrot and roll into wraps.

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Leave a Comment


  1. Tiffany wrote:

    This looks very tasty. Not a big fan of water chestnuts, but I’m going to try them in this recipe.

    Posted 1.22.13 Reply
  2. Karlye wrote:

    I love, love, love these lettuce wraps! I cannot wait to make them sometime this week/weekend. My mouth is watering… I can taste their deliciousness already 🙂

    Posted 1.23.13 Reply