All it takes is ONE pot and 25-MINUTES to whip up these healthy quick Tofu Peanut Lettuce Cups! The perfect healthy weeknight meal instead of ordering take-out!
These Tofu Peanut Lettuce Cups don’t need any additional sauces to go with it and no messy individual wrapping. They’re delicious, healthy, and filling. Even the kids will love them. Just be sure to make enough, because I guarantee you’ll be craving them again the next day.
When it comes to dinner, I’ve never been big on take-out food. Maybe it’s because there aren’t very many options for take-out (especially now that I’m vegan), and the ones that are available are not great, healthy, and/or not kid-friendly.
That means I have to cook for my kids anyway, defeating the whole point of take-out. But of course like everyone else, I have my days when I’m exhausted!
What to make for dinner hasn’t even crossed my mind all day and now I have 4 hungry people in the house and need to come up with something quick, healthy, and of course, delicious.
My typical go-to’s are any of my pre-made, frozen pasta sauces (Creamy Carrot Tomato Sauce or Pesto), black bean veggie soup in my pressure cooker (recipe to come), home-made pizza, enchiladas, burritos of any kind, a few staple Indian dishes (helpful to have lentils already pre-cooked and frozen), and a few others I can whip up quickly depending on what I have in my fridge.
Ever since I developed these Tofu Peanut Lettuce Wraps, they’ve quickly made their way onto my “quick-meals” list and we make them a few times a month.
Tip: I’ve always loved lettuce cups (wraps). No fancy wrapping required and no need to bake or fry them. The key in making delicious lettuce cups is making sure that the filling itself is flavorful and contains everything you need so no additional sauces to drizzle over or for dipping are required.
What Lettuce To Use?
When I saw the beautiful romaine lettuce growing in our backyard, thanks to my husband and kids, I knew it was the perfect time to get this recipe up on the blog for you guys.
Romaine lettuce is almost made for this recipe because they are already in perfect cup portions, I also love the freshness and texture of the lettuce. You can also use iceberg which is much more crunchy and juicy or Boston lettuce which works great too.
This recipe was inspired by my mom. She has been making fresh rolls and lettuce wraps for as long as I can remember. I love both, but when I don’t have the time, making these lettuce wraps with a sweet and sour peanut tofu veggie filling is so much easier, especially with the use of a Chop Wizard.
Have you used one of them before? I can’t tell you how awesome it is. Don’t get me wrong, I love using my chef knife for chopping, but this Chop Wizard easily dices vegetables and fruits and helps prep dishes much faster especially with this dish, where you’re chopping a bunch of veggies all to the same size. I’ve had my Chop Wizard for more than 5 years now and love it!
So make these Tofu Peanut Lettuce Cups your next weeknight meal at home instead of ordering take-out! Pan-fry the tofu while you chop the veggies, cook the veggies while you prep the delicious easy sweet and sour peanut sauce, pour the sauce in, mix and cook for a few minutes to thicken and marinate, and serve with large pieces of lettuce. And don’t forget the easy cleanup which can be taken care of while you’re cooking the veggies!
Tell me in the comments below…what’s your favorite quick and easy weeknight meal AND what’s your favorite take-out food? I already told you a few of my go-to quick and easy meals, and our favorite take-out is sushi from Sushi Deli in San Diego.
They have so many awesome unique vegetarian/vegan rolls at a great price, and they’re the reason I haven’t bothered making sushi at home for the past 10 years. If you live in San Diego, you need to check them out.
Tips For Making These Lettuce Cups
- Romaine Lettuce: I doubled-up (i.e. layered and used two leaves for every lettuce wrap) since my romaine lettuce was home grown and slightly on the thinner side. Therefore, I ended up using 24 lettuce leaves inside of 12. But for most of the store-bought ones, you should be fine using one leaf per wrap.
- Prep-ahead Tip: Make the filling the day before, or dice and prep all the veggies ahead of time.
- Toddler-Tip: If they have trouble holding the lettuce wraps, opt to tear the lettuce leaves and mix it into the tofu mixture and enjoy with a spoon ins
More Delicious Wraps You Might Like;
Tofu Peanut Lettuce Cups
- 14 oz. tofu , firm or medium firm
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 white onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 6 mushrooms , mix of white and cremini
- 8 oz. water chestnuts
- 4 teasp cooking oil
- 12 large romaine lettuce leaves , or lettuce of choice, washed and dried (see notes below)
For the Sauce:
- 1/4 cup soy sauce , or tamari for gluten-free
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 5 tbsp natural peanut butter , no added salt or sugar, crunchy or creamy
- 1 teasp corn starch
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- spicy chili sauce , to taste (such as Huy Fong Chili Sauce or Sriracha), optional
To Prepare the Tofu:
- Cut the block of tofu in half. Place each half in 2 clean paper towels one at a time and gently press/squeeze to remove excess stored liquid (without breaking up the tofu).
- Cut the tofu into small cubes. Using a non-stick pan , pan-fry the tofu cubes on medium-high heat with 2 teasp oil.
- Gently mix and turn frequently until all the water is burned off and the tofu is lightly golden brown on most sides. If you find that the tofu is sticking to the pan, add a little more oil or turn down the heat.
- Once the tofu is pan-fried, put the pan-fried tofu in a bowl and set aside. While the tofu is cooking, continue with the recipe to prep all the veggies.
To Make the Filling:
- Dice all the onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and water chestnuts (I love using my Chop Wizard , quick and uniform in size).
- Once the tofu is done and set aside, add another 2 teasp. cooking oil to the same pan and heat on medium heat.
- Add the garlic and fry/saute for a few seconds until fragrant.
- Add all the diced vegetables (onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and water chestnuts).
- Cook on medium-high heat, mixing frequently, until all the vegetables are cooked, yet still remain tender, and most of the water released from the vegetables has evaporated. While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the sauce.
- To prepare the sauce, add all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk. If you find it difficult to mix in the peanut butter, warm the water before you add it.
- Once the vegetables are cooked, yet tender, add in the pan-fried tofu and pour in the prepared sauce. Mix and combine everything together making sure all the tofu and veggies are coated in sauce.
- Cook on low-medium heat for a few minutes until you see the sauce start to reduce, thicken, and coat the veggies and tofu.
- Add in some chili sauce if you prefer spice and turn the heat off and set the pan aside.
To Make the Wraps:
- The filling can be hot/warm or room temperature (I prefer room temperature or slightly on the cooler side).
- Place some of the filling along the center of each large romaine lettuce leaf and serve. If your romaine lettuce leaves are thin, feel free to double up prior to placing the filling inside (this is what I did since my leaves were home-grown and on the thinner side).
- When you're ready to eat, slightly fold over both sides of the romaine leaves (like an open-ended burrito on both sides), and enjoy!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
That sauce! I would just drink that up 😉 No joke!
Ha! Thanks Rebecca!
Natalie | Feasting on Fruit
As soon as I saw this to pin I clicked as fast as possible to come over here and drool over this deliciousness! I adore lettuce wraps, and these look so saucy and amazing! Yay for water chestnuts too, those always make it taste more like the restaurant ones 😀 Take-out who?? This beats anything from a restaurant! P.S. I have some serious romaine envy now, your plants look beautiful and huge!
Thank you Natalie! Ah…another one of your savory likings =) love finding them out! I’ve been meaning to get these on the blog for awhile now, especially since I always LOVE my moms version of them! And OMG the Romaine lettuce was so good! I’ve never had anything like it out…it was the first time we grew it in our yard and it did so well! I’m sad I didn’t get to use all of it though because towards the end there were a lot of tiny bugs all over them. I used to hate water chestnuts, but now I love them, especially in saucy dishes like this one! They add that nice crunch. BTW…I’d trade you some romaine for some flowers from your garden in a heartbeat!
I’ve been really enjoying crispy tofu lately! These sound like a delicious option for that!
Yes…they are perfect! The tofu is pan-fried and then added to the sauce and veggies…super tasty!
These looks so fresh and delicious! I am also fan of quick and delicious week night dinner! These are perfect for that!
Thanks Uma! Making them again tonight!
I LOVE lettuce wraps!!! And I’m so jealous of your garden fresh romaine! How beautiful…I literally kill everything I plant (except lavender), it’s bad! I still haven’t mastered gardening in the high desert. These wraps look wonderful and sound so full of flavor! Smoothie bowls or veggie tacos are our go-to for a quick dinner…tacos always win!
Thank you Mandy!! Oh the romaine was ridiculous this year! Our first time growing it in our yard and it was delicious. Doesn’t compare to anything like i’ve had before. Although I’m sad I didn’t get to use enough of it because towards the end there were tiny bugs all over it. But these lettuce wraps got made! I love lavender, need to try growing that. My mom always makes a version of these for us and I LOVE them…so I figured I needed to recreate them at home and get them on the blog. Haha…I can see tacos winning in our house too! Although not sure…smoothie bowls sound tempting with summer around the corner!
Mel @ avirtualvegan.com@
What a lovely recipe. I love making lettuce wraps and your peanutty filling sounds delicious!
Thanks Mel! It’s one of my favorites…so easy quick and tasty! I’m making it again tonight actually!
This is such a great recipe and for us meat eaters, we could substitute the tofu for chicken and it would make a great chicken salad roll 🙂 The lettuce in your garden is really out of this world. Your hubby and kids surely have “green” fingers 🙂 Hmmm I dont really have a favorite take out place as I love food in general and always wanting to try out new places. My quick and easy meal would probably be a delicious sami filled with cheese and all yummy toppings 🙂
Thanks Reshana…I loved having the lettuce in our yard. I’m sad I didn’t use it more though…towards the end, we had a lot of tiny bugs on it that were difficult to get out. It’s all my husbands doing…I only reap the benefits =) Ah…your quick meal is one of my go-to also..sandwich filled with veggies! Can’t go wrong with that!
Wow, this recipe is a keeper, it is so simple and looks delicious, not to mention that lettuce, the color! I am also so jealous of you right now. After I got married and moved in with my husband, we own a vegetable garden too, at the moment we have tomatoes and butternut growing, its still in the early stages, but excited to have fresh produce readily available. Want to plant like gazillion different vegetable and herbs 😀
And I can totally relate to you when you don’t know what’s for dinner, that is me sometimes, but with this recipe, life has just got better. Thank you xx
Oh it’s so exciting to have fresh herbs and product, no matter how much it is! Tomatoes are by far my favorite…love tomato season and I’m sure you will too. They are so sweet it’s ridiculous! Yeah it was the first time we grew romaine lettuce in our yard and it was awesome…the leaves were delicious! I’ve never grown butternut squash…great to have as well! THANK YOU Rashmi!! What is your favorite take-out btw?
I honestly don’t have a favourite take-out place to eat, but as my sister mentioned, my easy go to meal would be a sandwich 😉 chicken & mayo, cheese with tomato, tuna 🙂 Anything really!
I’m SO thankful for sandwiches!! don’t know what i’d do without them ha!
I tried this recipe but I substituted chickpeas for the tofu for a soy free alternative. It was so DELICIOUS! And really fast and easy to make with little clean up. Thank you for sharing this! This might become a regular dinner for me ????????
This is so tasty! ???? I tried it with chickpeas instead of tofu and it turned out great. Thanks for the recipe! I’ll definitely be making this regularly from now on ????????????
Thank you so much Allison for trying out the recipe, and thanks for posting a pic! Loved seeing it, and you’re the second one that’s done it with chickpea instead of tofu…need to try that next time sounds like a great soy-free option!
That sauce sounds wonderful! I can’t wait to make these wraps.
Thank you! There have already been a few remakes and people have been loving them! Let me know if you try out the recipe!
OMG soooooo good. Me and the hubby had it last night. He’s not too keen on the tofu texture but he loved this. My own personal notes for next time; I didn’t have enough peppers on hand and only used one (2 or 3 would be great). My husband suggested adding a crunch to the wrap. So next time I’ll add crushed peanuts into the mix.
I wonder how well it does if I make it in advance or freeze it. I might try that too.
Again GREAT RECIPE !
So glad you guys loved it Stephanie! Thank you so much for the review and trying it out! Was it too saucy since you left out a few peppers? Also, completely agree with you on the crunch element which is where the water chestnuts come into play…did you use them in this recipe? They are not very flavorful but add a great crunch to the wrap. I also used crunchy peanut butter which added in the crushed peanuts, so great idea. To be honest, I’m not sure if this dish would freeze well. When you freeze Tofu, the texture of it changes completely (in fact, if you’re looking for another tofu recipe, check out my Tofu Mexican Scramble where I actually freeze the tofu prior to using it to get that altered texture…works wonders in scrambles!). But it may be fine still…just haven’t tried freezing many tofu dishes, but if you do let me know how it turns out! Thanks again! Also check out my Garlic Pepper Tofu & Chili Lime Tofu recipes…they’re also a huge hit. It’s all about pan-frying the tofu to give it the right texture. Happy cooking!
I love tofu . With peanut sauce and lettuce it is perfect..
I made this last night with a few modifications and it turned our absolutely amazing! I added some Spinach and reduced the number of peppers. The Sauce is delicious and so easy to make. Thanks for the recipe. I am thrilled that it took me less than 30 mins to make dinner + it’s healthy!
So glad you loved the recipe! This is one of my favorites…sauce comes together quick and one-pot! Spinach sounds like a great addition. Thanks again for trying it out and the great review!!