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How to make a romaine lettuce wrap sandwich that doesn’t fall apart? The trick is to use parchment paper to wrap it up tightly.
A lettuce wrap sandwich is genius – it’s the perfect keto and paleo lunch. Who needs bread when you can wrap your sandwich fillings with something so much healthier?
Even these days, when there are quite a few commercial paleo breads, low carb wraps and homemade keto breads (such as cloud bread and 90 second bread), a lettuce wrap sandwich remains a healthy option, especially if you use a more nutritious lettuce such as romaine.
Will my lettuce wrap sandwich be messy?
Yes! Before we proceed with the instructions and the video for how to make a romaine lettuce wrap sandwich that doesn’t fall apart, you should realize that wraps are always messy, and this is especially true for lettuce wraps. If you follow the instructions here, your lettuce wrap sandwich should remain intact, but once you start eating, although it won’t come apart, it won’t be as tidy as a regular sandwich.
It’s kind of like eating a big burrito – even if it’s perfectly wrapped, some degree of mess is involved in eating it.
How do I make a lettuce wrap sandwich that more or less keeps together?
To make a lettuce wrap sandwich that keeps together, you need to layer several lettuce leaves, and place them on a large parchment square – I always cut a 12-inch square. Layer your lettuce leaves so that there’s a 1-inch border around them on the parchment.
After adding your sandwich fillings, you use the parchment to guide you as you roll the lettuce wrap sandwich, much like you would use a sushi mat when rolling sushi.
So you start rolling, as tightly as you can, using the parchment paper. After each time you roll the lettuce, lift the parchment up again – you don’t want to roll it into the sandwich. Then bring it back down and continue rolling.
When the lettuce wrap is completely rolled, wrap the parchment paper tightly around it. Cut the wrap into two halves with a serrated knife, and dig in!
Can I make the wrap the night before?
It’s possible to make a lettuce wrap sandwich the night before, refrigerate it overnight and have it for lunch the next day, but it won’t be as good as when eaten fresh right after you make it. I actually never tried it myself, so I don’t know if the lettuce will become wilted or not.
Anyway, if that’s your plan, I wouldn’t cut all the way through the bottom layer of parchment. Leave it intact, so that it helps hold the wrap together. Place the wrap in an airtight container and keep it chilled until you eat it.
What can I put inside my sandwich?
In terms of what to put in the lettuce wrap sandwich, the options are endless of course. I list the ingredients that I used today, but I often use other ingredients and different ingredient combinations, including:
Thinly sliced grilled chicken breast, egg salad, tuna salad, salmon salad, crab salad, cucumber pickle wedges, Dijon mustard, avocado oil mayonnaise, different cheeses (cheddar, provolone), salami, roast beef… truly there are so many yummy things that you can put inside a lettuce wrap sandwich.
Isn’t that an awful lot of sodium in your lettuce wrap sandwich?
Yes! But as a healthy low carber I don’t really worry too much about sodium. The ham, bacon and cheese obviously add a lot of sodium. Use other, lower sodium fillings if you need to lower your sodium intake (example: guacamole or avocado oil mayonnaise, thinly sliced grilled chicken breast, tomatoes and onions).
What lettuce should I use?
I like to use romaine. If you do, cut the tough bottom part off each leaf, to make rolling the lettuce easier. Many people swear by iceberg lettuce because of the crunch factor, but I haven’t tried that.
Help! My lettuce wrap sandwich is ugly!
If you make a lettuce wrap sandwich and find that rolling it is a pain, you’re not alone. This is a technique that takes some time to perfect, and in fact I’m very far from doing it perfectly! I sort of wing it as I wrap. But I make these lettuce wrap sandwiches often, for myself and for my husband, and we both love them and feel that they’re really not significantly messier than any other wrap.
Many people decide against making a lettuce wrap sandwich because they are worried about it coming apart or not looking perfect. So they’re missing out on a great lunch option. Homemade need not be perfect! The best thing about homemade dishes is their freshness and the fact that you use real ingredients and not fake foods. If your wrap doesn’t come out perfect, that’s just fine.
A somewhat related story: we were at a restaurant the other day, and were seated next to a large family that was celebrating a birthday. At the end of their meal, the waiter brought a beautiful layer cake from the kitchen. It was frosted, decorated with fresh fruit, and quite lopsided. It was obviously a homemade cake that they had brought to the restaurant in advance, AND IT WAS GORGEOUS. And probably tasted much better than store bought, perfectly straight, margarine cakes.
So if your lettuce wrap sandwich is not perfect (look at the photos – mine certainly isn’t), that’s okay. It is fresh, homemade and delicious and you know exactly what’s in it. So start making these wraps, and have fun!
Watch the video – I’m hardly an expert on how to roll lettuce wrap sandwiches, and as I said I pretty much wing it, but here’s how I do it:
Lettuce Wrap Sandwich
- 5 romaine lettuce leaves, tough ends trimmed
- 4 slices deli ham (2 oz)
- 2 slices Swiss cheese
- 1/4 cup guacamole
- 3 thin tomato slices
- 3 thin red onion slices
- 1 slice cooked bacon, cut in half
- Place a 12-inch parchment paper square on your work surface. Layer 4-5 lettuce leaves on top, overlapping each other.
- On the lettuce leaves, layer the ham and cheese.
- Spread the guacamole on top, then add the tomato, onion and bacon.
- Roll the lettuce wrap sandwich as tightly as you can, using the parchment paper as your guide, much like you would use a sushi mat to make a sushi roll.
- When the lettuce is completely rolled, wrap the parchment paper tightly around it and tuck it underneath the roll. Use a serrated knife to cut the lettuce wrap sandwich in half, and dig in!