Saturday, July 18, 2009

Recipe: Pineapple Chicken Lettuce Wraps

It. Is. HOT!!!

It's been 100+ degrees every day this week and it looks like we'll be stuck with this heat through the weekend. I don't know about you guys, but when it's this hot the only things I want to eat are giant, leafy salads and fresh fruit. Still, there are times when it’s so hot I don’t even feel like I can lift a fork (I’m sure you’ve all been there before!). This is why I’m ever-so-thankful that the lettuce wrap exists. I get my fair share of greens, there’s a yummy filling involved, and I don’t need flatware to eat ‘em, just grab it and chow.

Aside from my heat-induced lethargy, I decided to make this because I needed to make use of a giant pineapple I scored for a mere $1.49 (priced per pineapple, not per pound!) at my favorite Mexican grocery store. It’d been camping out in my refrigerator for about a week and I knew I needed to dig into it soon. In my freezer I still had some of the amazingly inexpensive chicken breasts I got at the same store, so I decided to play around with the two, though I wasn’t really feeling the whole hot stir-fry idea I’d originally thought of making. Since Safeway had a fairly decent sale on their butter lettuce the last time I went to pick up some kitty food, I realized I was saved from too much hot kitchen work (I only have one tiny window A/C unit for my whole apartment, so my kitchen gets REALLY hot in the summer) and decided to make some fun lettuce wraps.

You can definitely substitute leftover chicken and frozen/canned pineapple for the fresh stuff if that’s what you have on hand. I don’t want any of you to be spending extra money if you don’t need to! If you’re cooking your chicken breasts, simply season them well with salt, pepper, and a bit of garlic, and cook in a skillet as you normally would. Other than that, there isn’t much to note; this is healthy, very easy to prepare, and a nice change for a weeknight dinner. This would also be great as part of an hors d’oeuvre spread at a small party. Just make sure to stick with tossing the chicken mixture with the sauce as opposed to making it a dipping sauce. Lettuce wraps are great, but they can get a little messy when it comes to dipping. This way you have all the flavor and none of the mess. Now, on with the show!

Pineapple Chicken Lettuce Wraps (serves 2-3 with 2 wraps per person; total cost per serving: ~ $2.15)

4-6 butter lettuce leaves

1 1/2 c cooked chicken breasts, shredded
3/4 c pineapple, chopped into ½” pieces

2 serrano peppers, seeded, deveined, and finely chopped

Small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

1/3 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 c rice vinegar

1/4 c soy sauce

2 T honey

Rinse the butter lettuce and pat dry. To prepare the dressing, combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce and honey together in a bowl. Whisk vigorously until completely combined and set aside. In a large bowl combine the shredded chicken, pineapple, serranos, onion, and cilantro. Add about 3/4 of the dressing and toss together well. Assemble your wraps by spooning a generous amount of the chicken & pineapple mixture. Drizzle the tops of each with a little more dressing, roll 'em up, and enjoy!


  1. just the thought of that cool pineapple makes my mouth water and my spine tingle. thank you missus. though not new to lettuce wraps, this yummy filling is a whole new gustatory orgasm waiting to happen.

  2. All that onion is making me hungry :) I may try this minus the pineapple.

  3. Looks like a great meal for triple-digit weather, and the price is certainly right! I might have to try my hand at making these! Chicken, serrano peppers and cilantro equal a delicious combination!

  4. Looks great! What Mexican grocery store do you use?



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