One of the best, most flavorful finger foods out there, buffalo chicken lettuce wraps are easy to make, fun to eat, and you can make them ahead of time, which is always a plus. They're ready in just 30 minutes!
I owe this recipe to my daughter. She made an initial version of it, which was very tasty but a bit time-consuming. Being a lazy cook, I immediately set out to make an easy version. It took a few tries, but the result is so incredibly good!
This truly easy recipe has quickly become a family favorite. I now make it, per my family's request, at least every other week. It's so easy, in fact, that the other day I had just one leftover chicken breast in the fridge, so I adjusted the amounts and quickly whipped up a single serving for myself for lunch. I was a happy camper!
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make buffalo chicken lettuce wraps. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Lettuce: Boston lettuce or Bibb lettuce are the best varieties for using as wraps. They have round soft leaves and unlike Romaine, they don't have that crunchy middle that can snap when you try to fold it. Romaine lettuce leaves are also too narrow. It's not that you can't use Romaine - you certainly can. But it won't be as convenient.
Buffalo sauce: I make it myself by mixing together cayenne pepper sauce (I use Frank's), melted butter, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. There's no need to add salt - the cayenne pepper sauce is very high in sodium. In fact, if sodium is a concern, you might want to use a different brand (such as Crystal).
Blue cheese dressing: You can use store-bought or homemade. I VERY highly recommend using this homemade blue cheese dressing. It's wonderfully rich and creamy and so very flavorful. Its creaminess provides the perfect balancing act to the spiciness of the chicken.
How to make buffalo chicken lettuce wraps? It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Your first step is to wash and dry the lettuce leaves and shred the chicken. Dry the lettuce well, especially if you're making these wraps ahead of time.
Now, in a large bowl, whisk together the buffalo sauce ingredients.
Add the shredded chicken and mix really well until thoroughly coated. As you can see in the video below, I add the chicken in batches.
Spoon the chicken mixture into the lettuce leaves. Top with blue cheese dressing, and serve!
Frequently asked questions
Yes! You can make these wraps up to two hours ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until it's time to serve them. Just make sure to dry the lettuce well so that it doesn't wilt.
Boston lettuce or Bibb lettuce are the best varieties for using as wraps. They have round soft leaves and unlike Romaine, they don't have that crunchy middle that can snap when you try to fold it.
It really depends on the recipe. The way I make it, a serving of two wraps contains 144 calories.
These wraps make a great appetizer, and they are absolutely perfect for game day! But as mentioned above, you can also serve them as a meal, either lunch or dinner. Just double the amounts per person if you serve them as a meal.
I serve these wraps cold, but if you're not making them ahead of time, you can briefly reheat the chicken before piling it on top of the lettuce leaves.
Variations and substitutions
Here are a few ideas for variations on the basic recipe:
- You can use shredded chicken thighs for even more flavor.
- The ultimate shortcut is to use a store-bought buffalo sauce instead of making your own.
- Ranch dressing is also very good and can replace the blue cheese dressing.
- Add a small amount of veggies (such as chopped celery and shredded carrots) to the chicken mixture, or add them on top of the chicken mounds.
- Top the wraps with chopped cilantro or thinly sliced green onions.
You can make these wraps a few hours ahead of time and refrigerate them (but dry the lettuce thoroughly after washing it).
The chicken mixture itself, without the lettuce, can be stored in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. Count these four days from the day the chicken was cooked.
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Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- ⅓ cup Frank's Original cayenne pepper sauce
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 cups cooked chicken breast shredded (10 oz, from 2 medium breasts)
- 8 Boston lettuce leaves washed and well-dried
- Blue cheese dressing homemade or store-bought
- Mix the sauce ingredients in a large bowl. Add the shredded chicken and mix until well coated.
- If desired, cover and heat in the microwave until heated through, 1-2 minutes. I usually serve these wraps cold.
- Place two lettuce leaves on each plate. Pile ¼ cup of the chicken mixture on top of each leave. Drizzle with the blue cheese dressing. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to two hours before serving.