Tofu Lettuce Wraps

BY : PUBLISHED : January 12th, 2022

These Tofu Lettuce Wraps are crunchy, flavorful, and are jam-packed with delicious Asian goodness in each bite! They are super simple to make and would be great as low-carb appetizers or snacks. This meatless recipe uses tofu crumbles coated in a savory sauce, tossed with peanuts, bell pepper, and chestnuts, then nestled in crisp lettuce leaves for a yummy mix of flavors and textures.

finished tofu lettuce wraps against white surfafce

The Best Vegan Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce wraps are easy to make and are also considered a mobile dish, which is why they are so popular for parties, potlucks, and picnics. Making a vegan version is pretty easy by swapping the meat with tofu. This makes it a lighter, budget-friendly, and low-calorie version. They are also tummy-friendly because they are easier to digest.

This Tofu Lettuce Wraps recipe is quite versatile. If you like things a bit spicier, you can add some sriracha! If you want it ‘meatier’ and more substantial, you can also add some mushrooms to the mix. Serve these with our Peanut Sauce, Japanese Carrot-Ginger Salad Dressing, Chili Cashew Sauce, or any of your favorite spring roll dips.

Ingredients Needed

  • Aromatics – We used the holy trinity of Asian cooking: onion, garlic, and ginger! These are the perfect base for the tofu filling with their rich and savory undertones.
  • Red bell pepper – These sweet peppers will add color and crunch to the filling.
  • Tofu – We used extra-firm for this recipe to ensure that they remain chunky even after crumbling. This makes the filling much more substantial and less soggy. Check out our Guide to Tofu if you are new to using this ingredient.
  • Soy sauce – Use low-sodium to keep it healthier and less salty. You can also use tamari as a gluten-free option.
  • Hoisin sauce – This flavoring is a key component of this recipe. It has a very distinct taste-  mildly sweet, savory, and full of umami flavors.
  • Peanuts – They provide pops of saltiness and crunch with each bite. You can use alternatives such as walnuts, macadamia nuts, and almonds.
  • Water chestnuts – These nutty, mildly sweet, and crisp aquatic veggies are a great addition to the filling. If you cannot find these, you can use white turnips or radishes instead.
  • Lettuce – You can use either iceberg or romaine lettuce.

ingredients for tofu lettuce wraps on a white marble surface

How to make the Tofu Lettuce Wraps

 Preparation:

  • Separate the lettuce layers and wash them thoroughly. Drain and dry before using them.

Steps:

1) Make the Tofu Filling.  Saute onion and garlic in a nonstick pan for 5 minutes. Add ground ginger, crumbled tofu, and red bell pepper and continue cooking another 10 minutes.  Lastly, add soy sauce, hoisin sauce, peanuts, and water chestnuts to the tofu mixture. Cook for 5 more minutes.

process of chopping ingredients on cutting board for Tofu Lettuce Wraps process of chopped veggies cooking on a black pan process of chopped veggies cooking on a black pan crumbled tofu in a white bowl close up tofu crumbles process of adding tofu crumbles into pot with veggies process of adding sauce to tofu and veggies mixture to pan process of adding sauce to tofu and veggies mixture to pan process of adding veggies to pot of tofu and veggies process of all tofu and veggies cooking in pot

2) Assemble. Place the tofu filling into the lettuce cups as serve!

finished tofu lettuce wraps against white surfafce

Tips in Making Tofu Lettuce Wraps

  •  Make sure to press and drain your tofu before crumbling them. This Guide to Tofu Pressing will show you everything you need to know.
  • Use quality and fresh lettuce for the best results! The leaves should be crisp and bright-looking, and the cut end should be clean and green. They will hold their shape better and will be less likely to create a mess.
  • In case your lettuce leaves have wilted, an ice bath will work wonders in making them crisp again. Place the leaves in a bowl with water and ice and keep them there for about 20 minutes.
  • If you have a nut allergy, you can simply omit the peanuts or use pumpkin or sunflower seeds instead.
  • Place the filling in the lettuce right before serving them to prevent the leaves from being soggy. Or you can serve them separately and let your guests scoop the filling themselves.

Storage Notes

Once the Tofu Lettuce Wraps have been assembled, they should be consumed as soon as possible to keep the lettuce crisp. In case of leftovers, you can store the filling and lettuce separately in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days.  You can re-heat the tofu filling in the microwave or over the stovetop. Just assemble the lettuce wraps when you are ready to eat.

finished tofu lettuce wraps against white surfafce

Serving Suggestions

  • If you want to make this into an all-in-one meal, you can add rice, couscous, or quinoa. It is the perfect weekday lunch or dinner that you can make in a pinch.
  • You can also use the tofu filling to make sandwiches, tortilla wraps, or as toppings to your Buddha bowls.
  • Garnish the Tofu Lettuce Wraps with thinly sliced veggies like carrots, daikon, green onions, or cilantro. You can also sprinkle them with sesame seeds. To add some zest, you can add a squeeze of lemon juice before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions about Tofu Lettuce Wraps

  1. How do I keep the lettuce fresh and crisp in the fridge?  The best way to keep them fresh longer is to wrap them in moist paper towels and keep them in the crisper drawer of your fridge.
  2. What is a good substitute for hoisin sauce? You can use dark soy sauce instead. It is a sweeter and thicker version of regular soy sauce.
  3. Are lettuce wraps healthy? Absolutely! This recipe is more so because we used tofu which is an excellent source of protein. Lettuce is loaded with antioxidants and vitamins too. This is a great dish for those looking to watch their calorie intake.

finished tofu lettuce wraps against white surfafce

Try these equally delicious Wraps Recipes!

  • Fresh Southwestern Lettuce Wraps – We can guarantee that you will be amazed by the deliciousness of the bean mix, the creaminess of the avocado, and the spiciness of the hot sauce.
  • Collard Green Lunch Wraps – The tastiest dishes aren’t always the easiest to make or may contain the fewest ingredients. This recipe is so tasty that you’ll want to eat more.  It’s made with chickpeas, TVP, potatoes, herbs, and spices. That simple!
  • BBQ Chickpea Wrap–  is a quick and easy meal to prepare for lunch or dinner. You can use any BBQ sauce you like. Try it with a sweet or a spicy sauce. It is packed with protein and fiber and is very low in fat.

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

finished tofu lettuce wraps against white surfafce

Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Terrence Paschal
These Tofu Lettuce Wraps are crunchy, flavorful, and are jam-packed with delicious Asian goodness in each bite! They are super simple to make and would be great as low-carb appetizers or snacks.
5 from 24 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 261 kcal
METHOD Stovetop
DIET Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • ½ medium yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 medium red bell pepper diced
  • 1 package extra-firm tofu drained, pressed, and crumbled
  • 3 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • ½ cup peanuts crushed
  • 1 can water chestnuts drained
  • 1 head iceberg or romaine lettuce

Instructions
 

  • Place diced onion, and garlic in a nonstick pan and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add ground ginger, crumbled tofu, and red bell pepper. Continue to cook for 10 more minutes.
  • Add soy sauce, hoisin sauce, peanuts, and water chestnuts. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Remove layers of lettuce and wash.
  • Serve tofu mixture in lettuce leaves.

Nutrition

Calories: 261kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 16gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 681mgPotassium: 689mgFiber: 6gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 1609IUVitamin C: 44mgCalcium: 93mgIron: 4mg
Keyword asian, easy vegan, extra firm tofu, lettuce, lettuce wraps, tofu, tofu lettuce wraps, vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

About Terrence Paschal

Plant based food, micro brews, punk rock, and running are what I am about.

View all posts by Terrence Paschal
BeanandRiceBurrito PBOAB 1

5 Secrets to Easy Meal Planning

Free Printable Plans & Recipes for Healthy Meals

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Plantbased on a budget Logo