Spicy Cashew Lettuce Wraps

Spicy Cashew Lettuce Wraps

A sale on lettuce at our local winter farmer’s market a few weeks ago ($1.50 per head!) made us wonder — what to do with lettuce other than a salad?  The first thing that came to mind was lettuce wraps – so we thought we’d give them a try.

We were feeling adventurous, so we thought we’d go for it and incorporate the one “vegetarian” ingredient we rarely work with. Yes, tofu. Some of you may cringe in disgust at the thought, but it actually can be quite delicious, when cooked properly. Without seasoning it’s pretty rubbery and tasteless, but combined with the right flavors it’s spot on — especially here in a spicy, crunchy lettuce wrap.

The cooking method for the tofu is quite easy and just involves sauteing it with some soy sauce, chili powder, and Sriracha. It’s a good beginner tofu recipe, if you’re looking to give it a try. We added some cashews for protein and loaded up on rice, which make the wraps a bit more filling.

Thanks to Eden Farms for the delicious lettuce!


Spicy Cashew Lettuce Wraps

1 Star (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 3 to 4


*If serving as a main item for 4 hungry eaters, you may want to double this recipe..


  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 1 package tofu (organic, if possible)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup cashew halves
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (Sriracha)
  • 2 carrots
  • Several small heads of young lettuce


  1. Cook 2 cups brown rice, according to the package instructions or use our Instant Pot method.
  2. Drain the tofu by wrapping it in a paper towel, placing it on a plate, and covering it with a heavy object for 5 minutes or more.
  3. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the tofu and it break down it into very small pieces with a spatula. Sauté for about 15 minutes, until brown.
  4. Add 1 cup frozen corn and stir for a few minutes until most of the liquid has cooked out of the tofu. Add 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1/2 cup cashew halves, and stir to combine. Add 3 tablespoons soy sauce and ½ teaspoon hot sauce (Sriracha) and stir until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
  5. Meanwhile, peel and grate 2 carrots. Wash and remove the lettuce leaves.
  6. To serve, place rice, tofu cashew mixture, and grated carrots within a lettuce leaf, and roll up the leaf.


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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    March 24, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Simple, but brilliant.Lettuce wraps will be great for my 5:2 fast days.

    I was doing a peanutty noodle dish last night. Got my tofu out to marinate, only to realise I had picked up silken tofu by mistake. So disappointed!

    • Reply
      March 24, 2013 at 7:19 pm

      Oh no, that is unfortunate! Do you need something to do with the silken tofu? We actually have a recipe for chocolate chili tofu pudding that is pretty delicious, which I just thought of. Good luck and let us know if you try these out!

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    March 24, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Mmm this is so fabulous!!

  • Reply
    Natosha Zachary
    March 24, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    We love lettuce wraps and can’t wait to try these. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Ooo this looks delicious! I would have never thought to cook tofu this way, but this flavor combo sounds irresistible, and you can’t beat the health factor!!

  • Reply
    Courtney Jones
    March 24, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    These sound delicious! I’m not a huge fan of tofu, but I think I’d love it in this dish. What a great idea. Yum!

  • Reply
    March 25, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    These wraps sounds so simple and fresh! I bet they would make an amazing make-as-you-eat box lunch. :)

  • Reply
    March 30, 2013 at 9:04 am

    I’ve been eating everything in lettuce wraps lately. It just feels quintessentially spring to me, so this recipe is perfect! And I love your simple tofu cooking method here. It really can be a thing of beauty when you treat it right.

    • Reply
      April 3, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      Yum, us too about lettuce wraps! And I can only imagine how beautiful your lettuce wraps would be! :)

  • Reply
    March 30, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Josiah and I made these tonight…DELICIOUS! Only key point is to make sure your soy sauce is gluten free! Most isn’t…but it does exist! I have recently had to go gluten free and didn’t realize this at first.

    • Reply
      April 3, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      Oh, so glad you enjoyed them! I didn’t realize you had gone gluten-free – wow! We should chat more :)

  • Reply
    May 29, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    These look amazing!! What else can I serve with these?

    • Reply
      June 1, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      Depends on what kind of meal you’re having! For a simple lunch you could cut up some whole wheat pita bread to serve alongside, or try a few different vegetable sides (maybe some fresh veggies tossed with a little olive oil and lemon).

  • Reply
    June 26, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    A whole TBSP of chili powder?

    • Reply
      June 26, 2013 at 9:57 pm


  • Reply
    January 2, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    I had some sriacha pineapple pork lettuce wraps at pei wei and they were super awesome. So I added some pineapple to this and it had similar taste. Really good stuff :)

    • Reply
      January 2, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      Yes! You really need to start your own blog :)

  • Reply
    May 25, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    This was sooooo delicious. I used Braggs Liquid Amino in place of soy sauce. And added a little graded ginger to the tofu while it cooked. Very, very good. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  • Reply
    Sarah | Well and Full
    July 1, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Seriously craving this right now…. I’m always down for anything spicy, but today is really hot and muggy so the lettuce wraps would be really refreshing!!

  • Reply
    October 22, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Hi! Sorry for the new comment on the old post, but do remember which texture of tofu you used for this (firm, extra firm, etc?) Thank you!

    • Reply
      October 22, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      Hi! Firm or extra form would be best :-)

  • Reply
    April 17, 2016 at 8:35 am

    This is one of my favorite tofu recipes. I’ve made this multiple times, but never as a lettuce wrap. I prepare the tofu filling and serve over a bed of greens with the shredded carrots for a delicious salad. Thank you!

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