Gimme Some Oven

Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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One of the best things about my recent move down to the River Market area in Kansas City is getting to live near this humongous Asian foods market! It always feels like a field trip whenever I go in there. So many fascinating things to see!!!

Yesterday when I was there, I suddenly had a craving for some Thai basil chicken. I posted this recipe for it a few years ago, and it is still such a comfort food for me! Since it’s summer, though, and 100 bajillion degrees outside, thought it would be fun to turn the dish into some lettuce wraps! I also decided to add in some coconut milk and chili garlic sauce, per Heidi’s recommendations. And voila! Within about 20 minutes, my kitchen smelled unbelievably amazing, and these adorable lettuce wraps were born!

Being my forgetful self, I somehow forgot to include the shitake mushrooms and bean sprouts that I had sitting on the counter for the batch of these that I photographed. But feel free to add them in, or to toss some of your other favorite veggies into this dish! I know that traditional Thai basil chicken is pretty much all about the chicken, but I love loading my lettuce wraps up with some fresh veg and color too.


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Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


Delicious “Thai Basil Chicken” is the perfect filling for tasty lettuce wraps!


  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 small white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 Tbsp. minced ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup sliced shitake mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts (optional)
  • 1 lb. ground or diced chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup for garnish of thai basil, or basil of your preference
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 4 Tbsp. soy sauce (use light soy sauce for less salty flavor)
  • 6 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. chile garlic sauce or Sambal Oelek or more to taste
  • 1 cup loosely-packed Thai basil leaves
  • butter or romaine lettuce leaves
  • ground peanuts and lime for garnish


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk, soy sauce, rice vinegar, fish sauce, chile sauce and Thai basil over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low, and simmer until reduced by half, about 10-12 minutes.
  2. While sauce is simmering, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper, carrots, Bring 2 T oil to medium-high heat and sauté onion, red pepper, carrots, ginger and garlic until mostly cooked and softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add mushrooms and bean sprouts and saute for an additional 3 minutes. Remove from pan.
  3. Add an additional 2 Tbsp. oil to pan and brown chicken for 4-6 minutes until cooked through. Remove from pan.
  4. Combine the coconut sauce with the cooked chicken and vegetables and toss until combined. Portion the mixture into lettuce cups, then garnish with crushed peanuts, lime and additional Thai basil leaves if desired. Serve immediately.

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16 comments on “Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps”

  1. Brilliant! Why have I not yet thought of putting my favorite recipe in lettuce cups? You’ve given me inspiration girl! And with a passel of Thai basil in the garden I’ll be making these soon! Thanks for the link love!

  2. The photos are so colorful and beautiful! This sounds like such a satisfying meal.

  3. soooo much more fun and interesting than your standard lettuce wraps! What a fun meal, Ali!

  4. I adore these flavors and lettuce wraps have been my favorite this summer!!

  5. No-carb lettuce wraps are my absolute favorite! And there’s such wonderful flavors in this!

  6. Love lettuce wraps in the summer, and you can’t top Thai flavors!

  7. Chinatown Market is awesome, isn’t it? They always have fresh veggies, and usually much less expensive than in other grocery stores! Stuff like shallots!

  8. Gorgeous! I definitely need to give this a try!

    P.S. Okay, this is soooo random, but do you Barbara Cook? Her son Aaron lives here in Denver and mentioned to me that his mom knew you. Just thought I would ask :D

  9. How great to be that close to an Asian market! It took forever for us to get a few here and I adore them. This looks amazing!

  10. Will you just tuck me inside one of these wraps? Cool, cool.

  11. this is so brilliant and such a great way to have a warm dish on a summer’s night. the lettuce, i’m sure, is refreshing and definitely takes the heat off a little bit! i would devour this!

  12. Screaming FRESH right at me, looks awesome and is putting me in the mood for some Thai tonight for dinner. One of my top favorite foods…

  13. I’ve been seeing these floating around everywhere! They look so good, I love lettuce wraps of all kinds :)
    Great photos!

  14. Welcome to the area! I hope you enjoy all that KC has to offer – you’re living in probably one of the most fun districts!