web analytics
Kalyn's Kitchen

Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling (Video)

Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling are a delicious low-carb and gluten-free dinner idea that’s also fun to eat!

PIN Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey to try them later!

Watch the video to see if you want to make
Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling!



Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling top photo

I vividly remember when I first had lettuce wraps, at a Chinese restaurant in Salt Lake where a friend named Mike was hip enough to order them even though they weren’t on the menu. This was about 20 years ago; now lettuce wraps like these Asian Lettuce Cups (or wraps) with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling are somewhat mainstream, and made with lean ground turkey like this, they make a wonderfully low-carb and gluten-free dinner option. And you can easily adapt them to use ground beef for Keto or use gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos for gluten-free or Paleo.

This dish with spicy meat eaten inside pieces of lettuce can be called lettuce wraps or lettuce cups, but I like to pile up the lettuce cup with lots of filling rather than wrapping it, so I’m calling them lettuce cups.

Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling process shots collage

Steps for Making Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling:

(Scroll down for complete recipe, including nutritional information.)

  1. Start with finely minced red onion (or shallots), garlic, and ginger, which are sauteed in oil before the meat is added.
  2. Then add ground turkey, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, and a touch of fish sauce and saute until the meat is well done and infused with all the other flavors.
  3. While the ground turkey was cooking, I used the bowl attachment of my Immersion Blender (affiliate link) to finely chop about half a bunch of fresh cilantro. If it was summer and I had herbs from my garden, I might have chopped some fresh mint to garnish the lettuce cups.
  4. Add the chopped cilantro to the cooked meat mixture and cook a few minutes more.
  5. Cut out the core from a head of Boston lettuce, butter lettuce, or even iceberg lettuce, wash the lettuce and spin dry, and you’re ready to eat!

Make it a Low-Carb Meal:

You could make a meal out of these lettuce wraps, but if you want a heartier dinner, Chinese Cucumber Salad would be a good side dish for a low-carb meal.

More Tasty Recipes for Lettuce Wraps:

The BEST Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Lettuce Wraps ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
15+ Low-Carb and Keto Wraps with Lettuce, Collards, and Cabbage ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
The BEST Instant Pot Lettuce Wraps ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker

Weekend Food Prep:

Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling have been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling

Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling would make a delicious and fun-to-eat meal!


  • 1 T peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 T minced red onion or shallots
  • 2 T minced garlic (I used minced garlic from a jar but fresh garlic would be even better)
  • 2 T grated ginger root
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
  • 4 T soy sauce (see notes)
  • 1 T Chile Garlic Sauce (or slightly more if you like spicy foods)
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce (probably optional, although I like fish sauce!)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (see notes)
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts (optional, especially for braces wearers!)
  • 1 large head or 2 small heads lettuce (see notes)


  1. Chop onion and set aside.
  2. Peel ginger root, then grate with the large side of a cheese grater.
  3. Then chop garlic if using fresh garlic.
  4. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan.
  5. Add onion and saute about 2 minutes.
  6. Then add garlic and ginger root and saute about one minute more.
  7. Add ground turkey to frying pan (with a bit more oil if needed) and break apart and spread out with turner.
  8. Then add soy sauce, Chile Garlic Sauce (affiliate link), and fish sauce.
  9. Cook until the turkey is brown and crumbling apart, and the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
  10. While turkey cooks, wash and chop fresh cilantro to make 1 cup.
  11. Remove the core end from lettuce, separate leaves, and wash in salad spinner and spin dry (or wash under running water and dry with paper towels.)
  12. Chop peanuts and put in small bowl to serve at the table.
  13. When turkey is done, add chopped cilantro and cook 1-2 minutes more.
  14. Serve filling and lettuce leaves in separate bowls, with chopped peanuts in another small bowl.
  15. Each person takes a lettuce leaf, fills with desired amount of turkey mixture, adds chopped peanuts, and then eats the mixture from the lettuce cup. I fold the lettuce cup over when I eat it,   so it’s kind of taco-shaped, but some people like to wrap the lettuce clear around the filling.


Use Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (affiliate link) if needed. If you're not a cilantro fan, I'd use thinly sliced green onion. Boston Lettuce or Butter lettuce, but you can also substitute Iceberg Lettuce for this.Recipe adapted from California Sol Food.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 337Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4.4gUnsaturated Fat: 13.3gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 850mgCarbohydrates: 6.7gFiber: 1.6gSugar: 2gProtein: 34g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
With lean ground turkey and other low-carb ingredients, Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling are a perfect dinner option for any phase of the South Beach Diet or other low-carb eating plans. If you use gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce this can easily be suitable for gluten-free or Paleo/Whole 30 eaters. For Keto, you might want to use higher-fat ground beef, which will still be delicious in this recipe.

Find More Recipes Like This One:

Use Lettuce Wraps to see more recipes like this one! Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Pinterest image of Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    145 Comments on “Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling (Video)”

  1. Sofia, so glad you enjoyed them! I love the idea of lemongrass as an addition.

  2. These were so delicious! I used to make Asian lettuce wraps a lot before going on SBD, but my old favorite recipe relied on a lot of hoisin sauce (way too high in sugar), so I hadn't made them in quite a while. This version is better than my old favorite! I love the addition of cilantro and fish sauce. The filling has a very complex, satisfying flavor.

    Next time, I think I might add a little bit of minced fresh lemongrass.

  3. This looks yummy! I am just wondering, when you write "T" on the recipe, do you mean tablespoon?

  4. Ahh, I see. Thanks so much!

  5. Diana you could leave out the cilantro, but I would not use sesame oil to cook the meat. (It's my understanding that sesame oil is used as a flavoring oil and not actually for cooking things in.) You can use any type of neutral flavored oil such as canola or grapeseed oil though if you don't have peanut oil.

  6. These look fab! What do you think of subbing sesame oil for the peanut/conola oil? Will it change the flavor? I also have to nix the cilantro too.

    Great Blog! Thanks!

  7. Figs, Bay, Wine, how fun, hope you enjoy!

  8. Oh WOW. As son as the shops open I'm heading out for some lettuce and ground turkey. I forgot all about these. They used to be one of my absolute favorite things to order in restaurants. Thank you Kalyn!!!

  9. Rachel, so glad you liked them, and good tip about the sesame oil!

  10. I just made these and my (non south beach) husband and I devoured them for lunch! I didn't have fish sauce so I used about a Tablespoon of Sesame Oil and it was still delicious. These wraps make phase one much easier. Thanks!

  11. Becki, that does sound good!

  12. This has become one of my family's favorite recipes. The other night we had a little of the filling left over, and I tossed it together with some leftover whole wheat spaghetti noodles for a sort of Phase 2 lo mein for lunch the next day. It was great!

  13. CJ, glad you liked it. Great idea to use water chestnuts!

  14. To die for… absolutely loved this recipe and have shared it with many… I substituted the peanuts for some water chestnuts and tasted great!

  15. Kitty, thanks! Glad you liked them.

  16. These are just great!! Made them in about 15 minutes as I had all the ingredients on hand and tried a sample before I serve for dinner tonight! I had to hold myself back from just having a "snack". Really great…keep up the great blog!

  17. I've had pork lettuce tacos cooked for me by a chinese friend, your recipe is darn close – thank you! They are cooking as I type! The only thing she had in hers as well was chopped bamboo shoots….

  18. Hi Kalyn! Thank you so much for this recipe. I have made it several times and I actually dream about it in between the times I get to enjoy it. I use the exact ingredients you suggested. I am not one to measure my ingredients, I just eyeball it and double the garlic. You are wonderful and I can't wait to try more of your recipes!! Mar*

  19. I would just make the recipe without the cilantro, unless there's another herb you're especially fond of that goes well with Asian flavors.