The magic of these Spicy Lamb Lettuce Wraps is that they just keep getting better! This quick and easy 30-minute meal satisfies now and stashes beautifully for a next-day lunch or an impromptu appetizer. Customize your wraps with your favorite toppings, and watch them disappear in a flurry of satisfied smiles.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Quick and easy. Have a hearty meal on the table in 30 minutes or less!
- Fantastic leftovers! The spiced lamb tastes even better the next day once the spices have had more time to develop and infuse.
- Meal prep friendly. Dull and boring prepped lunch boxes move aside and make way for a super-tasty, super-satisfying grab-and-go lunch.
- Party food. Little gem leaves are shaped like little cups that perfectly hold the lamb mixture. A knife and fork won’t even need to make an appearance, making them perfect finger food for a gathering.
You’ll need the following ingredients to make these amazing Lamb Lettuce Wraps.
I completely forgot to add the little gem lettuce wraps in this image. Don’t forget those!!
- Rice: I’m using whole-grain rice. As it still contains the bran, it’s more nutritious and fiber-rich than white rice, which makes these wraps heartier and more satisfying.
- Lean Ground Lamb (aka Lean Lamb Mince or Minced Lamb): A good source of protein and essential nutrients like iron and zinc.
- Spices: A combination of cumin, turmeric, and coriander gives the wraps delicious Middle Eastern vibes.
- Fresh Garlic Cloves: For a punch of garlicky flavor and savory depth.
- Red Chilli: I remove the seeds and membranes for a more subtle heat, but feel free to leave them in if you like it hotter.
- Dried Mint: Lamb and mint are a match made in heaven. I’m using dried mint, but you can certainly use fresh mint.
- Nigella Seeds: Also known as black cumin or kalonji seeds, nigella seeds have a mild, nutty flavor with a hint of onion and black pepper. They add so much flavor and texture to this dish. I absolutely love them.
- Tuscan Kale: A dark, leafy green that adds earthiness and additional nutrients.
- Frozen Peas: I’m using defrosted frozen peas.
- Little Gem Lettuces: Small, crisp lettuce heads create the perfect gluten-free wraps.
- Feta Cheese: Adds creaminess to balance the heat. Optional.
Here are some visual step-by-step instructions to show you just how easy it is to make Lamb Lettuce Wraps. Remember, exact ingredients and detailed instructions are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post. ⇩
Step 1: Cook the brown rice as per package instructions.
Step 2: The water should have fully evaporated, but if not, drain, then fluff up the rice with a fork. Put the rice back in the saucepan with the lid on to keep it warm.
Step 3: Meanwhile, pour the oil into a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the ground lamb, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks.
Step 4: Once the ground meat has browned, remove any excess fat before adding the aromatic spices and cooking for 1 minute.
Step 5: Add the garlic, chili, dried mint, salt, and pepper to the pan and cook for 1 minute more.
Step 6: Stir in the nigella seeds…
Step 7: …and then the kale and peas until warmed through.
Step 8: By now, the lamb should be brown, a little crispy even, with no pink remaining. Remove from the heat.
Step 9: Take your washed and trimmed little gem lettuce leaves and add 1-2 tablespoons of rice to each and the same of lamb. Then, top with feta cheese.
- Rice: Want to switch up the base? Try quinoa, couscous, or even cauliflower rice as a low-carb alternative.
- Lean Meat: Ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground beef can be used as a substitute for lamb if you prefer a different protein or have dietary restrictions.
- Dried Mint: If you don’t have dried mint, Fresh mint leaves or dried oregano can work as alternatives.
- Red Chili: You could add half a teaspoon of chili powder or a quarter teaspoon of red pepper flakes (red chili flakes) instead of a whole chili. Add them to the meat with the other ground spices so they have time to toast and release their flavor.
- Ground Spices: Instead of cumin, coriander, and turmeric, you could try a Middle Eastern-style spice mix, such as ras el hanout or baharat. Garam masala is also delicious if you want to experiment with more Indian-inspired flavors.
- Little Gem Lettuce: Butter lettuce (Boston lettuce or Bibb lettuce) or iceberg lettuce leaves can be used instead of Little Gem lettuce for the wraps. Just bear in mind your wraps will be bigger in size.
- Cheese: For added creaminess and flavor, experiment with different cheeses like goat cheese, shredded cheddar, or grated Parmesan.
- Vegetarian Option: Skip the lamb mince altogether and make a vegetarian version using crumbled tofu, cooked lentils, or chickpeas seasoned with the same spices for a delicious plant-based alternative.
- Nutty Crunch: For extra texture and flavor, sprinkle some toasted nuts like almonds or pine nuts on top of your wraps. Sesame seeds are also fab.
- Extra Veggies: For extra freshness, add salad vegetables before the meat. Red pepper, diced tomatoes, green onions, or crunchy cucumber slices are all great options.
Prep ingredients in advance. Measure and chop all your ingredients before you start cooking. This makes the cooking process smoother and ensures nothing gets overcooked.
Remove excess lamb fat: When cooking the lean lamb mince, drain and discard any excess fat that accumulates in the pan. This step helps reduce the dish’s overall fat content.
Wash and Pat Dry Lettuce Leaves: Before assembling your Spiced Lamb Lettuce Wraps, wash the lettuce leaves under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. This step helps maintain the lettuce’s crispness and prevents it from becoming soggy when filled with the spiced lamb.
- Tzatziki Sauce: For a refreshing contrast, serve your wraps with creamy tzatziki sauce. Greek yogurt is also fab.
- Hummus: Smooth, creamy hummus makes an excellent dipping sauce. And it provides extra protein.
- Salad: A fresh and vibrant tabbouleh salad or Greek salad makes fantastic side dishes to balance the richness of the lamb.
- Pickles: Pickled vegetables, such as Pickled Red Onions, pickled cucumbers, or pickled jalapeños, add tang and crunch.
- A Squeeze of Lemon Juice: For a bright, zesty kick.
Storage and Reheating
Refrigerator Storage: Let the leftover lamb filling cool to room temperature. Transfer to airtight containers and store in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking. Use within 3-4 days.
Store any lettuce leaves separately, or they will turn soggy.
Reheating: The lamb filling can be reheated in a microwave or on a stovetop. To maintain freshness and prevent overcooking, reheat only the amount you plan to use.
- Microwave – Place the lamb filling in a microwave-safe dish, cover it, and reheat it in 30-second intervals, stirring between intervals.
- Stovetop – Heat the lamb filling in a skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently.
Once the lamb mixture is thoroughly heated, assemble your wraps with fresh lettuce leaves.
Freezer Storage (without Lettuce): If you have leftover lamb filling that you’d like to freeze, let it cool to room temperature first. Then, place it in a freezer-safe airtight container or freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn before sealing and labeling it with the date. The lamb filling can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Lamb is considered a high-quality source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids the body needs for growth and maintenance. It’s also rich in vitamins B6 and B12, iron, selenium, and zinc, which are essential for various functions your body needs to function at its best [Source].
Enjoy Lamb Lettuce Wraps in moderation as part of a varied and balanced diet.
Red meat, including lamb, can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation. Lean lamb is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals such as iron and zinc. If you have dietary concerns, you can always substitute lean ground turkey or chicken in this recipe for a lower-fat alternative.
Absolutely! To make a vegetarian version of these wraps, you can substitute the lamb with crumbled tofu, cooked lentils, or chickpeas, and use rennet-free feta cheese.
Yes, you can prepare the lamb filling in advance and store it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Assemble the wraps with fresh lettuce leaves just before serving.
More Dinner Recipes
Looking for more healthy dinner recipes? Try these next time:
Did you enjoy these Lamb Lettuce Wraps? I’d love to know! Be sure to leave a comment and a star rating. Love and health, xo!
Spiced Lamb Lettuce Wraps with Middle Eastern Flavors
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- Chopping Board and Sharp Knife, for prep
- Medium Saucepan with Lid and Sieve, for the brown rice
- Large Frying Pan or a Large Frying Pan, for the lamb meat mixture
- Kitchen Spatula or Wooden Spoon
- 1 cup (190 grams) wholegrain rice
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound (450 grams) lean ground lamb (lamb mince)
- ½ tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 red chili (chilli), finely chopped, seeds removed for less heat (optional)
- 2 teaspoons dried mint
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes, or Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tablespoon Nigella seeds
- 4 stems kale, woody stems removed, then finely chopped
- ¾ cup (100 grams) frozen peas, thawed
- 4 little gem lettuces, ends trimmed, washed, and dried
- ⅓ cup (50 grams) crumbled feta cheese
- Preparation: Gather and prepare your ingredients. Boil the kettle.
- Cook Rice: Add 2 cups (370 ml) of boiling water to a saucepan and add the brown rice. Put the lid on, and cook according to package instructions, usually about 25 minutes. Once cooked, drain and fluff up the rice with a fork. Place the rice back into the saucepan and pop the lid on to keep warm until you’re ready to serve.
- Cook Lamb: After the rice has been cooking for 12 minutes, start the lamb mixture. Pour the extra virgin olive oil into a frying pan over medium heat. Add the ground lamb, breaking it up as it cooks. Once the meat has browned on the outside, about 5-7 minutes, carefully remove the excess fat.
- Add Ground Spice: Now, add the ground cumin, ground coriander, and ground turmeric to the pan. Cook for 1 minute.
- Season: Add the garlic, chili, dried mint, salt, and pepper to the pan and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the nigella seeds.
- Vegetables: Add the kale and peas and warm through for another 2-3 minutes. By now, the lamb should be brown, a little crispy, with no pink remaining. Remove from the heat.
- To Serve: Take a crisp lettuce leaf and add 1-2 tablespoons of rice in each, and the same again of lamb. Then, top with extra red chili and feta cheese. Each person should get about 3 wraps each.
Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Nutrition Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator. For accuracy, we recommend you calculate using the exact ingredients and brands you used.