Vegan Thai lettuce wraps with chickpeas

Are you looking for a healthy, protein-packed vegan meal idea? Then you should check out this recipe for Thai lettuce wraps with chickpeas! These chickpeas are coated in a tasty Thai-inspired peanut sauce that adds an extra punch of protein to this tasty vegan meal. 

This tasty recipe for Thai lettuce wraps with chickpeas is gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, egg free, and dairy free. If you are looking to lower the carb count on these lettuce wraps you could easily exclude the rice that we use as fillings in the lettuce wraps. The chickpeas, carrots, and other vegetables we use in the chickpea filling provide more than enough body to fill out these lettuce wraps on their own. 

Vegan & vegetarian thai lettuce wraps with chickpeas

What kind of lettuce do you use for lettuce wraps?

What kind of lettuce do you use for lettuce wraps? Iceberg lettuce is the best type of lettuce to use for lettuce wraps. The leaves of iceberg lettuce have a thicker and more fibrous structure than other types of lettuce such as butter lettuce. This fibrous structure helps to support heavier toppings that go into lettuce wraps and prevent the lettuce wraps from collapsing. 

Can you use romaine for lettuce wraps?

Can you use romaine lettuce for lettuce wraps? Yes you can! Romaine lettuce leaves are longer than iceberg lettuce leaves so if you use romaine lettuce for your lettuce wraps they will be shaped more like long boats than circular cups. 

Leaves of romaine lettuce have a long fibrous backbone. This fibrous backbone works similarly to the fibrous structures found in iceberg lettuce. The fibrous backbone helps to support the lettuce leaves under the weight of the lettuce wrap toppings.  

Vegan & vegetarian thai lettuce wraps with chickpeas

How do you prepare lettuce for lettuce wraps?

It is easy to prepare lettuce for lettuce wraps. The first step is washing the lettuce leaves. You should carefully rinse the full head of lettuce under cold water. After the head of lettuce has been rinsed you should start removing the lettuce leaves from the head of lettuce. Be careful to remove one leaf at a time so that you do not tear the leaves.

After you wash the leaves of the lettuce you should leave them out on a paper towel to dry for a few minutes. It is important that you allow the lettuce leaves to dry before you put the toppings on the leaves. The dryer and crispier the lettuce leaves are, the better they will support the weight of the chickpeas and other lettuce wrap toppings.

Once your leaves are dry it is time to form the lettuce cups. If your head of lettuce is relatively small you might be able to just use each leaf as its own lettuce cups. If your head of lettuce is on the larger side you might need to cut the leaves in half or in thirds before filling them with toppings. You want your lettuce leaves to be a little larger than the size of the palm of your hand. 

What side goes with lettuce wraps?

These Thai lettuce wraps with chickpeas are light and fresh so I like to pair them with sides that are sweet, spicy, and or just generally packed with flavor. Here are some ideas for sides that go well with these vegan Thai lettuce wraps.

Vegan Thai lettuce wraps with chickpeas

These tasty Thai-inspired lettuce wraps are gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, and dairy free.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: dairy free, egg free, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 can chickpeas (15 oz)
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1 small avocado
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/4 white onion
  • 3 stalks green onion
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water (for rice)

Thai-inspired peanut sauce

  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2/3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp gluten free tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chili sesame oil (substitute sesame oil)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • Boil the rice. Put the one part brown rice and two parts water in a medium sized pot and cook the rice over medium high heat. Wait until the water starts to boil then lower the heat to low and put a lid on the pot. Simmer the rice for 20 minutes with the lid on.
    While your rice is cooking you can prepare the rest of the lettuce wraps.
  • Prepare the lettuce for the lettuce wraps. Wash the head of lettuce and dry it. Carefully peel off one leaf at a time. If you are using a small head of lettuce the lettuce leaves might be an appropriate size already.
    If the lettuce leaves are too large to easily hold in the palm of your hand then you should carefully cut the leaves in half.
  • Chop the carrots, onions, green onions, avocado, garlic, and peanut sauce.
  • Combine all of the ingredients for the peanut sauce then mix the chickpeas, peanuts, and chopped vegetables into the peanut sauce.
  • Assemble the lettuce wraps by adding a large scoop of rice and the chickpea mixture into the lettuce wraps.

Additions for vegan Thai lettuce wraps

There are so many ways to customize this dish by swapping out the vegetables that are used in the chickpea filling. The best kinds of vegetables to add to the chickpea filling are those that are fresh and have a little bit of a crunch to them. Here are some other ideas for vegetables that would go well in the chickpea filling in these lettuce wraps.

  • bell peppers
  • cucumber
  • water chestnuts
  • radishes
  • bamboo shoots
  • chopped bean sprouts
  • Thai basil

Other recipes you might like

Chinese green beans

If you are looking for a tasty Asian-inspired side dish that is vegan friendly you should check out our recipe for green beans with chili garlic sauce. These sweet and spicy Chinese-inspired green beans are absolutely packed with flavor!  

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