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14 Lettuce Wrap Recipes Packed With Flavor

Wrap beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, tuna, and even oysters in leaves for these easy appetizers.

Photo by Caitlin Bensel / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Ali Ramee
Photo by Caitlin Bensel / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Ali Ramee

From bibb and romaine to Boston and iceberg, lettuce can be a light, crisp vehicle for all kinds of fillings. These fresh lettuce wrap recipes make for convenient, crowd pleasing, passed hors d'oeuvres, and we'd argue you could scoop most leftovers into green leaves for a refreshing, repurposed lunch. Spanning fragrant, spicy, and tropical, these handheld treats are filled with flavor. Here's our lineup of lettuce wrap recipes, cabbage included.

Pickled Shrimp-and-Field Pea Lettuce Wraps

Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Christine Keely
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

F&W editor in chief Hunter Lewis uses a broth spiked with Old Bay Seasoning, fennel seeds, and red pepper to flavor field peas and shrimp before giving them a quick soak in a lemon-sherry vinaigrette.

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Pearl Balls

<p>Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Thom Driver</p>

Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

Sticky rice, succulent pork, pungent leeks, and zippy ginger come together in tender mini meatballs that are extra fun to eat when they're swaddled in crisp romaine and dipped in soy sauce, pickled ginger, and rehydrated mustard powder.

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Musubi Lettuce Wraps with Pineapple Salsa

Photo by Caitlin Bensel / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Ali Ramee
Photo by Caitlin Bensel / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Ali Ramee

Musubi, the beloved Hawaiian snack made of Spam, sushi rice, and nori, happens to be a perfect party appetizer. In this version, sticky, sweet ham replaces the Spam, and is topped with a vibrant pineapple salsa.

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Fresh Tuna and Butter Lettuce Wraps with Yuzu Ponzu

© David Malosh
© David Malosh

Cradle sushi-grade ahi tuna and sesame mung bean noodles in butter lettuce leaves with jalapeño, Sriracha, and cilantro for a crowd-pleasing appetizer from chef Emeril Lagasse.

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Lettuce Wraps with Dried Oysters

© DL Acken
© DL Acken

Combine mushrooms, stir-fried ground pork, sausage, and fragrant ginger and shallots in these one-hour lettuce cups.

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Pork Larb Lettuce Wrap

© Seth Smoot
© Seth Smoot

Larb, which means "chopped up" in Thai, is a minced meat salad made from virtually any protein — pork, chicken, beef, duck, or fish. At once spicy, salty, and tangy, this traditional northern Thai salad is loaded with fragrant fresh herbs.

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Chicken Meatballs in Lettuce Wraps

© Frances Janisch
© Frances Janisch

Cookbook author Jennifer Joyce's clever and approachable party recipes are these chicken meatballs with a heavenly sticky glaze from rolling in sugar before baking. Boston lettuce, cucumber, lemongrass, cilantro, and shallots contribute flavor and texture.

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Grilled Meatballs with Mint and Za'atar

© Iain Bagwell. Food styling by Simon Andrews.
© Iain Bagwell. Food styling by Simon Andrews.

Pass crisp lettuce leaves and tangy yogurt with these cumin-spiced patties and assemble them at the table.

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Ground Pork Lettuce Wraps

© Con Poulos
© Con Poulos

Butcher Tom Mylan developed this recipe from one of his favorite Thai restaurant orders: larb (or laab), an irresistible appetizer of ground meat spiked with chiles, lime juice, and fish sauce that's served with lettuce leaves for wrapping.

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Lemongrass Meatballs

Abby Hocking
Abby Hocking

Top Chef judge Gail Simmons serves pork meatballs with lemongrass, a few dashes of fish sauce, and tons of fresh herbs for salty brightness.

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Spicy Chicken Salad Cups

© Petrina Tinslay
© Petrina Tinslay

Recipe developer Melissa Rubel Jacobson reinvents chicken salad with store-bought rotisserie chicken, a kick from chile sauce and toasted sesame oil, and crunch from water chestnuts.

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Grilled Beef Rolls with Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce

© Petrina Tinslay
© Petrina Tinslay

For these Vietnamese-style grilled-beef rolls — bo la lot — chef and TV host Andrew Zimmern wraps flavorful ground sirloin in briny grape leaves and serves them with lettuce leaves and a sweet, spicy, tangy dipping sauce.

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Korean-Style Chicken Wraps

© Raymond Hom
© Raymond Hom

This Korean-inspired dish combines grilled chicken thighs with hoisin sauce, honey, soy, ginger, chili garlic sauce, and more in lettuce leaves.

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Spicy Ginger Pork in Lettuce Leaves

© Ryan Robert Miller
© Ryan Robert Miller

New Zealand TV chef and journalist Annabel Langbein serves piles of lettuce leaves with bowls of chopped pork for a make-your-own-salad-cup recipe inspired by Cantonese restaurants in Hong Kong.

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