Spicy Vegan Lettuce Wraps

Simple, healthy recipes that work every time!

These delicious and healthy vegan lettuce wraps have a spicy filling full of plant based proteins: brown rice, spiced tofu, and cashews.

Vegan Lettuce Wraps | Healthy 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 are some lettuce recipes that are not salad?  The first thing that came to mind was vegan lettuce wraps – so we thought we’d give them a try. And they turned out to be an incredibly tasty dinner recipe! Keep reading for how to make these healthy vegan lettuce wraps.

How to make vegan lettuce wraps

Lettuce wraps are interesting because if you make them vegan or vegetarian, you have to load on the plant based proteins to make them filling. (Wondering how to get protein as a vegetarian or as a vegan?) For this recipe, we combined a bunch of plant based proteins to make a filling that’s extra (yes) filling. We’ve got brown rice as a whole grain, cashews as a nut, and then tofu as a soy protein. Alex and I don’t eat a ton of tofu, but we’ve found that 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 vegan lettuce wraps.

The cooking method for the tofu is quite easy and just involves sauteing it with some soy sauce, chili powder, and Sriracha. Then throw in some frozen corn and cashews, and it’s got an interesting texture that contrasts well with the brown rice. It’s a good beginner tofu recipe, if you’re looking to give it a try. You could also serve these vegan lettuce wraps with our Best Tahini Sauce, to add a creamy element. Either way, they’re over the top delicious!

Vegan Lettuce Wraps | Healthy lettuce wraps | Instant pot rice
Instant Pot rice is quicker than stovetop and hands off

Looking for vegan recipes?

Outside of our healthy vegan lettuce wraps, we have hundreds of other vegan recipes! Here are some of our favorites:

This recipe is…

These healthy vegan lettuce wraps are vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

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Spicy Vegan Lettuce Wraps


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 1x

Description

These delicious and healthy vegan lettuce wraps have a spicy filling full of plant based proteins: brown rice, spiced tofu, and cashews.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 1 package organic tofu
  • 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
  • 3 small heads lettuce (or 1 large)
  • Best Tahini Sauce, Cashew Cream, or Cilantro Sauce, to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook the brown rice, according to the package instructions or use our Instant Pot method. When its done, season the rice with some kosher salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
  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 the 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 the frozen corn and stir for a few minutes until most of the liquid has cooked out of the tofu. Add the chili powder and cashew halves, and stir to combine. Add the soy sauce and hot sauce and stir until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
  5. Meanwhile, peel and grate the carrots (we use this Handheld Julienne Peeler). Wash and dry the lettuce leaves.
  6. To serve, place rice, tofu cashew mixture, and grated carrots within a lettuce leaf, and roll up the leaf.

Notes

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

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan Lettuce Wraps, Healthy Lettuce Wraps

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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.

22 Comments

  • Reply
    Jacqueline
    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
      Sonja
      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
    Terra
    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
    Eileen
    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
    Laura
    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
      Sonja
      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
    Angie
    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
      Sonja
      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
    Koo
    May 29, 2013 at 8:16 pm

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

    • Reply
      Sonja
      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
    Carole
    June 26, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    A whole TBSP of chili powder?

    • Reply
      Alex
      June 26, 2013 at 9:57 pm

      Yep!

  • Reply
    Russell
    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
      Alex
      January 2, 2014 at 8:50 pm

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

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    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
    Tara
    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
      Alex
      October 22, 2015 at 8:50 pm

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

  • Reply
    Meg
    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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