These Chinese Turkey Lettuce Wraps are saucey, flavorful and so satisfying. And unlike all of the predictable thai-inspired versions featuring peanut butter, these healthy lettuce wraps have bold, complex flavors from five-spice powder, orange marmalade, ginger, serranos and more.

Spooned into crunchy savoy cabbage leaves and topped with slices of crisp Asian pears, these wraps are the perfect way to use up leftover turkey! Think that’s it? These healthy wraps come together in just 30 minutes!

Photograph of table with Chinese turkey lettuce wraps on a gray plate with fruit salad.What kind of lettuce is best for lettuce wraps?

Depending on what your filling is, there are quite a few options to choose from. Here are some that work the best:

  • Butterhead or Bibb lettuce
    • Wonderful for lighter fillings like chicken salad.
  • Iceberg
    • Not very flavorful or nutritions, iceberg works well for wrapping up classic sandwich fillings.
  • Savoy cabbage
    • Great for heartier fillings like this Chinese turkey as well as taco meat and toppings.
  • Endive

Photograph of table with Chinese turkey lettuce wraps on a gray plate with fruit salad.This recipe calls for turkey, can I use chicken?

Of course! This recipe was developed with leftover turkey in mind but it works just as well with cooked chicken. You can cook and shred chicken breasts or thighs or employ rotisserie chicken for an even quicker dinner.

How long does cooked turkey last?

Cooked turkey will last 4–5 days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Overhead image of turkey lettuce wrap mixture in a cast iron skilletThis recipe calls for pearled sorghum, what is that?

First off, sorghum is a gluten-free whole grain that’s similar in size to couscous. It’s high in protein, like quinoa, as well as fiber which makes it a great addition to salads, soups, fillings and more.

Sorghum itself is a pretty hard grain, so it takes quite a bit of time to cook. For this recipe I opted to use NuLife Market’s pearled variety because it cooks in about half the time (essential for weeknight cooking) and has a wonderful tender, chewy texture. Their pearled sorghum isn’t sold everywhere, so if you’re interested in learning more or getting a few bags, check out NuLife Market’s website for product details. 

If you aren’t a fan, or don’t have any sorghum, you can substitute with brown rice, quinoa, or millet!

Photograph of table with Chinese turkey lettuce wraps on a gray plate with fruit salad.What are the five spices in five-spice powder?

Also referred to as Chinese five-spice powder, these five spices are always combined to make this classic spice blend.

  • Cinnamon
  • Fennel
  • Cloves
  • Star anise
  • Sichuan peppercorns

What goes well with lettuce wraps?

If your lettuce wraps contain some kind of whole-grain then I’ll usually serve them with a fresh fruit salad. If they don’t then I’ll often serve a simple pilaf or grain salad on the side. Easy and healthy!

Got more turkey? Try these other recipes that use leftover turkey…

Creamy Slow-Cooker Turkey Wild Rice Soup

Turkey and Fig Panini

Mexican Rice Bowls (coming soon!)

Overhead image of turkey lettuce wrap mixture in a cast iron skillet with cabbage leaves off to the side

Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or comment below if you make these Chinese Turkey Lettuce Wraps!

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Photograph of turkey filling in a cast-iron skillet.

Chinese Turkey Lettuce Wraps

  • Author: Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings (4 cups) 1x
  • Category: Lunch/Dinner
  • Cuisine: Asian

Description

These Chinese Turkey Lettuce Wraps are saucey, flavorful and so satisfying.

Make the most of turkey leftovers in these healthy lettuce wraps that have bold, complex flavors from five-spice powder, orange marmalade, ginger, serranos and more. Plus, they only take 30 minutes to come together!


Ingredients

Scale

For the Pilaf:

  • 2 cups cooked pearled sorghum grain (or grain of choice such as brown rice or quinoa)
  • ¼ cup minced cilantro
  • ¼ cup minced scallions
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup minced scallion whites
  • 2 tablespoons minced serrano chiles
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken or bone broth
  • 6 tablespoons orange marmalade  
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 cups chopped cooked turkey (about 1 pound) or chicken
  • 2 ½ cup thinly sliced celery
  • ½ cup sliced scallion greens 
  • 1 savoy cabbage, leaves separated
  • 2 cups sliced asian pears
  • Sliced serrano or fresno chile and sliced scallions for serving

Instructions

For the pilaf, combine sorghum, cilantro, scallions, and olive oil; season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the filling, heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium. Add scallion whites, serranos, ginger, and garlic and cook until softened, 2–3 minutes. Stir in five-spice and cook 30 seconds.

Deglaze pan with broth then stir in marmalade and soy sauce and cook until thickened and syrupy, 6 minutes.

Stir in turkey and celery and cook until heated through, 1–2 minutes. Off heat stir in scallion greens; season with salt and pepper.

Spoon pilaf and filling into cabbage leaves, top with pear slices, scallion greens, and serrano slices; serve.


Notes

Make ahead tips:

  • You can make the filling up to 2 days ahead. Reheat filling in a sauté pan over medium heat until heated through.
  • The pilaf can be made up to 5 days ahead, just reheat in microwave when ready to eat.

What equipment you’ll need for this recipe:

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Overhead image of turkey lettuce wraps in a cast iron skillet with recipe text overlay

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This post was sponsored by NuLife Market, as always the thoughts, opinions, recipe, photos, and content are all my own.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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