Chicken and Pine Nut Lettuce Wraps

All day I’ve been walking around trying to find the words to adequately describe the yumminess of these chicken and pine nut lettuce wraps, so that you’ll drop whatever you’re doing and make them right away.

Should I stress the crunch of the water chestnuts, celery and pine nuts, the tender chicken and that light but zingy, brown sauce?

Or wax poetic on the oh so appealing yin yang of the hot filling contrasting those cool, soft, butter lettuce leaves.

Or maybe chatter about how much more fun it is to eat food wrapped up in little pouches. 


Then again, I could just say that they come together easily and are a great way to eat light and healthy as we move into the spring and summer. (or maybe I should take a nap because my brain is definitely on overdrive).

So, after all that, did any of it work? Are you out driving to the store right now to pick up what you need? If so, don’t answer. I don’t want to be the cause of any accidents!! Please!

How about I just simply say that wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, I hope you’re seriously considering whipping these up asap because I know that you are going to ❤️ them!


Chicken and Pine Nut Lettuce Wraps

Makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes


For the sauce

  • 4 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 5-6 scallions, thinly sliced

  • 5-6 garlic cloves minced

For the filling

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • About a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1/2 medium red onion, minced

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped finely

  • 1 small can whole water chestnuts, drained and chopped

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts

  • Butter or iceberg lettuce leaves for serving

The Recipe

1. To make the sauce: Whisk all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

2. To make the filling: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and let cook for a 2-3 minutes, before stirring. Then let chicken cook for another few minutes until entirely cooked through, stirring now and then. Transfer to a plate or bowl and set aside.

3. In the same skillet add the onion, celery, water chestnuts and sauce and cook, stirring often for about 3-4 minutes, until the onion begins to soften. Use a slotted spoon to add the chicken back into the pan so that as little as possible of the liquid released from the chicken gets added back into the pan. Add in the pine nuts as well and stir to mix everything together. Let cook for several minutes, until the sauce has cooked down considerably and evaporated and everything is heated through.

4. Place lettuce leaves on a plate and top with spoonfuls of the hot mixture. Serve immediately.


Note: Recipe adapted from At Home with Natalie by Natalie Morales. I tinkered a lot with this. Doubled the amount of stir-fry sauce and used more veggies and pine nuts. Also cut the cilantro and ginger because I’m not a fan.

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