How to make a lettuce sandwich that doesn't fall apart? The trick is to use parchment paper to wrap it up tightly.
A lettuce sandwich is so genius - it's the perfect keto and paleo lunch. Who needs bread when you can wrap your sandwich fillings with something so much better for you?
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty lunch. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Lettuce: I like to use romaine lettuce.
Deli ham slices: Or any other lunchmeat you like and enjoy.
Sliced Swiss cheese: Or use your favorite cheese.
Guacamole: I use prepared guacamole. You can also make your own or simply use sliced avocado.
Tomato: try to find a red, ripe-yet-firm tomato. And make sure it's at room temperature.
Red onion: Omit if you don't like the sharpness of raw onion.
Cooked bacon: As soft or as crispy as you like. The fastest way to make it is to use the microwave - here's how I make microwave bacon.
Will my sandwich be messy?
Yes! Before we proceed with the instructions and the video, you should realize that lettuce wraps are always messy.
If you follow the instructions here, your wrap 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 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 fillings, you use the parchment to guide you as you roll the wrap, 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, 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 sandwich 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 it the night before?
It's possible to make it 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 lettuce sandwich?
The options are endless! I list the ingredients that I used today, but I often use other ingredients and different ingredient combinations.
Examples? Thinly sliced grilled chicken breast or broiled 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 use.
Isn't that an awful lot of sodium?
Yes. The ham, bacon, and cheese obviously add a lot of sodium. You can use other, lower sodium fillings if you'd like. For example, you can make a tasty lettuce sandwich using 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 sandwich is ugly!
If you find that rolling the wrap 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 wraps often, for myself and for my husband. We both love them and feel that they're really not significantly messier than any other wrap.
Many people decide against making a wrap 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. It probably tasted much better than store-bought, perfectly straight, margarine cakes.
So if your lettuce 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!
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Lettuce Sandwich Wrap
- 5 romaine lettuce leaves, tough ends trimmed
- 4 slices deli ham (2 oz)
- 2 slices Swiss cheese
- ¼ 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!