Asian Recipes/ Best of Swanky Recipes/ Chicken Recipes

Kung Pao Chicken Lettuce Cups

Easy KUNG PAO CHICKEN LETTUCE CUPS made with a classic honey garlic soy sauce. A flavorful 12-minute chicken recipe served on lettuce as a main dish for dinner or an appetizer.

Kung Pao Chicken Lettuce Cups - Green leaf lettuce with ground chicken coated in a golden brown sauce. Garnished with green onions, peanuts, red bell peppers and served on a blue tray.

Kung Pao Chicken Lettuce wraps with red bell peppers cooked on the stovetop in with a sticky Asian-inspired sauce. Skip the takeout and opt to make this at scratch from home with just a few simple pantry ingredients.

If you’re looking for an easy weeknight dinner recipe to make the family, you’ll want to try these chicken lettuce cups. Made in half the time it takes to go out to an Asian-American restaurant, you’ll keep this recipe on rotation throughout the year. For more Asian-American inspired recipes, try my Honey Garlic Sesame Chicken recipe next.

Easy Kung Pao Chicken Lettuce Cups - A blue platter with green leaf lettuce cups. Filled with ground chicken, diced green onions, peanuts, diced red bell peppers, and garlic.


  1. Cook chicken in skillet until no longer pink.
  2. Stir in red bell pepper.
  3. Whisk together the soy sauce, garlic, honey, sesame sauce, and cornstarch.
  4. Stir into skillet.
  5. Allow mixture to thicken while simmering on low.
  6. Spoon on to lettuce and serve with green onions and peanuts.
Kung Pao Chicken Lettuce Cups -  A close up of kung pao chicken lettuce cups served on a blue platter. Ground chicken with peanuts, diced green onions, and diced red bell peppers garnished on top. Text in center reads kung pao chicken lettuce cups in blue boarder. 
Second image is a close up photo of the first image.


■ CHICKEN: I use ground chicken in this recipe because it cooks quickly. It also absorbs the sauce perfectly.

■ SOY SAUCE: I like to use Kikkoman soy sauce for the best flavor. Feel free to use a low-sodium substitution.

■ HONEY: A little honey sweetens the sauce and pairs perfectly with soy sauce. TIP: Use maple syrup for a substitute or granulated sugar.

■ GARLIC: The best component of the sauce. It adds spice and zest and helps to bring the flavors together.

■ PEANUTS: Cashews, or roasted peanuts. Add them to the skillet to warm them if desired.

■ SESAME: A few dashes of sesame oil deepens the flavor the dish.

THICKENING THE SAUCE: Adding cornstarch to the sauce will ensure that it thickens while it simmers.

■ LETTUCE: I use green leaf lettuce or butter lettuce. Use a lettuce that won’t fall apart once the filling is added.

Healthy Kung Pao Chicken Lettuce Wraps - Lettuce wraps on a blue platter filled with golden brown ground chicken, yellow peanuts, diced green onions, diced red bell peppers, and garlic.


Serve the wraps with your favorite sides such as

  • egg rolls
  • steamed vegetables
  • rice
  • part of a meal plan
  • dumplings
  • springs rolls
  • rangoon
  • rice noodles


Can I make these a day or two ahead? Yes. Cook the chicken with the sauce but store the lettuce in a ziplock bag with a paper towel to keep it crisp.

What other vegetables can I add to the mix? Use your favorite ones. Zucchini, eggplant, peppers, snowpeas, onion, broccoli, carrots, and cabbage are great vegetables to sneak into the skillet.


  • Garlic Sesame Chicken Egg Roll Bowls – An easy skillet recipe made with ground chicken, cabbage, snap peas, and a delicious Asian garlic sesame sauce.
  • Garlic Sesame Chicken – Quick skillet chicken with a sticky garlic honey sauce served with rice and green onions.
  • Garlic Sesame Chicken Lettuce Cups – An instant hit, you’ll love how quick and tasty these Asian-American inspired wraps are for a quick lunch or dinner.
  • Kung Pao Chicken – A Chinese classic made with chopped vegetables and chicken breasts in a delicious sauce served over rice.

Kung Pao Chicken Lettuce Cups

Easy KUNG PAO CHICKEN LETTUCE CUPS made with a classic honey garlic soy sauce. A flavorful 12-minute chicken recipe served on lettuce as a main dish for dinner or an appetizer.
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Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Asian
Keyword: Lettuce Cups, Wraps
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 126kcal


  • 16 oz ground chicken or turkey
  • ½ tbsp stir fry oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • ¼ tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ tbsp cold water
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 bunch green lettuce (or butter lettuce)
  • 1 bunch green onions, diced


  • Heat a rimmed skillet to medium heat. Add stir fry oil and ground chicken. Break up chicken with a spatula and cook until no longer pink; about 7 minutes. Stir in red pepper.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, honey, minced garlic, rice vinegar, and cornstarch.
  • Pour sauce into skillet and simmer on low until sauce has thickened and is absorbed into chicken; about 5 minutes.
  • Spoon mixture onto lettuce cups and top with green onions.


Calories:126kcal | Carbohydrates:8g | Protein:10g | Fat:6g | Saturated Fat:1g | Cholesterol:39mg | Sodium:267mg | Potassium:376mg | Fiber:1g | Sugar:5g | Vitamin A:3050IU | Vitamin C:19mg | Calcium:23mg | Iron:1mg

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