Delicious tofu lettuce cups with peanut sauce are a really simple way to enjoy a healthy dinner that is on the table in just 20 minutes! These vegetarian lettuce cups are packed full of flavour and made even more delicious thanks to the super simple homemade peanut sauce.
If you’re anything like me, when the weather gets warm, all you really want to eat is anything that doesn’t involve the oven being on or a lot of time spent over the stove. It’s a time when you want fresh and healthy meals that don’t require too much effort.
But often this means boring salads that are just not exciting, so I’m here today with a healthy, fresh, crunchy, delicious recipe that is perfect for summer and is anything but boring when it comes to flavour.
Lettuce cups are a great way to wrap up your favourite fillings and while they often use chicken mince, this version uses crumbled tofu instead which gives a similar texture while being vegetarian and is flavoured with bold flavours of lime, soy, and chilli.
And then, you smother the tofu in the most delicious peanut sauce and extra lime for that zing and you’ll probably end up making a bit of a mess while eating these (think sauce down your hands/over your face) but it’s so very worth it.
This recipe is made using a few simple ingredients and it all centres around the sauce. You’re going to need:
- Tofu – the key ingredient for this recipe. You want to make sure to use firm tofu so that it can be crumbled with your hands without disintegrating.
- Water chestnuts – such an underrated ingredient, these give the lettuce cups added crunchy texture.
- Lettuce – the best lettuce for this recipe is cos lettuce hearts, or the little gem lettuce as they are small, easy to hold size, firm and crunchy. But you can really fill any lettuce leaves you want.
- Peanut sauce – you’ll need to make a batch of absolutely delicious creamy peanut sauce which is going to take this recipe to the next level.
- Brown sugar, soy sauce, chilli sauce and lime – this is going to flavour the tofu mixture and is a perfect balance of sweet, salty, spicy and tangy.
This recipe is really so easy to make and comes together in just 20 minutes!
Start by mixing up the sauce for the tofu by adding the brown sugar, soy sauce, chilli sauce, lime zest and lime juice together.
Next prepare the tofu by draining the liquid and patting it dry with paper towels. Heat the sesame oil in the frying pan and using your hands, crumble the tofu into the pan. This step is super satisfying.
Drain and finely chop the water chestnuts and add them to the pan with the tofu. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes. The tofu will dry out a little and start to brown. Add in the sauce mixture and mix through until all of the tofu is completely coated with the sauce.
Then, you’ll also need to make a batch of the easy peanut sauce.
To assemble, get a few leaves of lettuce and add a scoop of the tofu mixture into the centre of the lettuce leaves, followed by a generous amount of the peanut sauce. Finish with a sprinkle of crushed peanuts and a squeeze of lime.
While I haven’t tried making a meat version of this recipe, I believe chicken mince would work really well as a straight substitute if you didn’t want to use tofu.
These lettuce cups are best eaten fresh, but you can keep the tofu filling in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just reheat in the pan again before assembling and serving. The peanut sauce can also be kept in the fridge separately.
We’re using chilli in both the peanut sauce and the tofu but the chilli flavour is fairly mild and gives a real balance to the dish. You’re able to adjust this to your taste though – either increase or decrease the amount as you need.
More healthy vegetarian recipes:
Tofu Lettuce Cups with Peanut Sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon chilli sauce sambal oelek or sriracha, adjust to taste
- Zest of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 500 grams firm tofu crumbled
- 1 x 227 gram can water chestnuts drained and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 heads cos lettuce hearts
- crushed peanuts and lime to serve
- Mix the brown sugar, soy sauce, chili sauce, lime zest and juice together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan over medium/high heat. Use a paper towel to pat dry the tofu to remove any excess liquid and crumble the tofu with your hands into the pan. Add in the chopped water chestnuts. Cook for a few minutes before adding in the sauce and continue cooking for about 5 minutes until the tofu is completely coated in the sauce.
- Serve by placing scoops of the tofu mixture into the lettuce leaves and drizzle with peanut sauce and top with a sprinkle of crushed peanuts and an extra squeeze of lime.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.