These Whole30 lettuce wraps are the best PF Changs lettuce wraps recipe. Loaded with flavor and with lots of veggies, these Whole30 lettuce wraps are a great Whole30 dinner recipe. You’ll love these paleo lettuce wraps because they’re filling yet light, totally healthy, and slightly sweet yet nutty and spicy. So good! My favorite PF Changs lettuce wraps recipe, for sure.
We’d pile in the Jeep, the cool car with the windows that unzip, and head down the flat streets with palm trees on either side. Past the rocky hills in the shapes of monks praying or the humps of camels, towards the new Asian place with the funny crunchy noodles and the tacos you ate in leaves. We were celebrating a birthday or the first day of school or the last day of school or it was just too hot to cook and we’d already had Taco Bell twice that week.
We had a set order at PF Chang’s when I was little: lettuce wraps, wonton soup, honey chicken. Back then, I was 10 or so, living in Scottsdale, Arizona where it was hot as hell but still cold when you got out of the pool. It’s a dry heat, I learned later, experiencing the contrast first-hand as we settled into the jungle-like humidity of the American Southeast.
But back then, I was 10 years old, aspiring to a personal style worthy of Clarissa Explains It All, drawing cartoons in my composition books, and publishing lifestyle magazines to my broad readership (Demographically diverse, at least, with a 40-year-old woman, 45 year-old-man, and 8-year-old girl all subscribing. The fact that their subscriptions were delivered free of charge thanks to a mom, dad, and little sister discount is irrelevant.). I devoured all things lifestyle and culture, obsessing over sushi, trying to learn all the words to Ricky Martin’s latest (only?) album, and then dancing with vegetarianism, a vegan kids’ cookbook delivered to my doorstep from Amazon dot com (Who?), folded into sunflower-speckled wrapping paper.
I didn’t know that PF Changs, the local Asian place back then, would expand across the country and take on permanent chain restaurant status. All I knew was that lettuce wraps were too cool and the servers made the dipping sauce and we were eating something so different and funky, and that right there, that might have been the moment I first started falling in love with foods from different cultures, with different tastes and textures than I was used to, with something other than tuna noodle casserole or chicken soup chicken or ground beef andgravy over mashed potatoes.
And while I wouldn’t claim that that food was necessarily authentic back then, certainly not now, I’m still wild about those lettuce wraps. The savory ground meat with crunchy water chestnuts and salty, spicy sauce work perfectly enveloped in the light, crisp lettuce cups. And with hardly any processed carbs to replace, I had to make a Whole30 version!
These Whole30 lettuce wraps are loaded with flavor and full of veggies. They’re seasoned with naturally sweet coconut aminos, creamy almond butter, and nutty sesame oil. Sautéed with mushrooms, water chestnuts, and shredded carrots, they’re filled but light and will make you feel fantastic. Totally Whole30 compliant, they’re perfect to make when you’re tired of meatballs and eggs and chimichurri steak (IF THATS EVEN POSSIBLE). And here’s how you make them: sauté some stuff, pour some sauce over the stuff, and boom, done.
1head Bibb lettuce, leaves gently removed from stem
1 1/2teaspoonssesame oil
1teaspoonrice wine vinegar
Compliant hot sauce to taste
1tablespoongreen onions from above ingredients
black sesame seeds
thinly sliced green onions
In a large skillet set over medium heat, heat olive oil. When the oil is hot, add onion and cook for about 3 minutes or until beginning to soften, then add mushrooms and cook 3 more minutes, or until onion is translucent and mushrooms are softening. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
Add ground pork and cook until browned, crumbling with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add carrots and stir until starting to soften, about 3 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup coconut aminos, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar, almond butter, ginger, and hot sauce. Whisk until smooth then pour over meat mixture. Stir until combined, then add the chestnuts and green onions. Cook for 3-4 minutes then remove from the heat.
Make sauce: whisk together all sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
When ready to serve, spoon 3-4 tablespoons of the mixture into the center of a lettuce leaf and serve with sauce.