Chicken lime lettuce wraps are a quick and easy weeknight meal or fun appetizer, made in 10 minutes using precooked rotisserie style chicken.
So, you’ve got just an hour in between dance class for one child and basketball for another. Or you’ve just gotten home from a day of shopping and errands and have 45 minutes before you need to leave for an evening engagement. We’ve all been there, and it’s tempting at these times to just go through a drive-through or slap together peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Here’s where having a couple of go-to 10 to 15 minute recipes can save your sanity, help you eat healthier, and enjoy your meals even in limited time. Menu planning is your friend here too, since you can mark the days where you’ll have limited time and plan your quickest, easiest meals. Keep packets of cooked chicken, beans, and ground meat in the freezer, and keep the fridge stocked with vegetables and you can quickly plan lots of meals, even if you don’t have ‘freezer meals’ all ready to go.
One of our favorite ways to use cooked chicken and vegetables, in particular, is making chicken lime lettuce wraps. I love the ease, freshness, and flavor of lettuce wraps – they are a quick meal that can be changed up fairly easily. Plus if you’ve got lots of garden to use up (it’s either feast or famine with garden lettuce!) it’s a great alternative to salads, since you can only eat so much, right?
I’ve tried all kinds of lettuce wraps over the years and this quickly became our favorite for a couple of reasons:
- they use precooked chicken, either leftover or from a rotisserie chicken, so they’re done fast
- lime in the chicken filling makes them even more fresh tasting and a bit different
- it’s easy to use what you have – shredded carrots, cabbage, zucchini or diced broccoli or sweet peppers
You can serve lettuce wraps as an appetizer as well as a main dish – they’re a good healthy option among all the cheesy dips. When serving as a main dish you can add sides of fried or plain rice, plus a few cut vegetables with a dip, or serve them with Spicy Vegetable Noodle Salad.
The key ingredients that give the dish it’s essence are chicken, of course, lime, garlic, onion, and carrot. Though I suppose carrot is not so key, since I just said that you could use what you have and replace it with other vegetables.
So: any shredded or diced vegetable is a “key” ingredient. You get to choose what kind! I love these just as much with diced sweet red peppers, for example.
And while these are terrific on their own, they are scrumptious drizzled with a bit of honey-sweetened Sweet Chili Sauce. I have no doubt that after trying these, they will become a menu planning staple like they have for me.
Wondering what kind of lettuce is “best?” The lettuce pictured here are leaves of “Tom Thumb,” a small butterhead lettuce I grow in our garden, but romaine and crisphead lettuces like iceberg or summertime work just as well.
Or basically any lettuce you have on hand in the 30 minutes before you have to head out the door again.