Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps deliver a good hit of heat with a cooling sauce! Crispy chicken is tossed in buffalo sauce and loaded in crispy lettuce wraps, topped with crunchy veggies, and drizzled in a bold bleu cheese (or ranch!) dressing.
These Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps are a part of our Back-To-School Lifesavers — a series of recipes that are intended to have little (or no) veggie chopping, minimal prep time, around 10 ingredients or less (not including pantry staples), and use kid-friendly ingredients. Click here to see all the recipes in the series!
Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Spicy buffalo chicken with a cooling bleu cheese dressing wrapped in a crisp piece of lettuce?! These Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps are an explosion of complementary textures and flavors!
These wraps definitely pack some heat, so you can play around with the amount of buffalo sauce you add to the chicken. We usually set aside some of the chicken for the kiddos and make their wraps without buffalo sauce and use ranch instead!
Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps Short-Cuts
These lettuce wraps are supposed to be as quick as possible–just like the other recipes in this series. A few kitchen shortcuts get us there, but don’t worry– we aren’t sacrificing flavor! These wraps are loaded with plenty of it!
- Matchstick carrots. Instead of cutting your own carrots into matchsticks, grab shredded carrots in the produce section of the grocery store. They’re usually right by baby and/or full-sized ones.
- Prepareddressing. Instead of making a homemade bleu cheese dressing (which is delicious but time/ingredient intensive), we buy an already-made dressing. Our favorites are the refrigerated dressings in the produce section of the grocery store (not the shelf-stable dressings).
- Microwaveable Packaged Quinoa. Microwaveable quinoa is already cooked and just needs to be reheated– ready in 90 seconds! This type of packaged quinoa is usually found among other types of pre-cooked quinoa, rice, and grains in the grocery store. There are lots of different flavors, so be sure to pick the plain (sea salt) quinoa so flavors aren’t competing. The only prep required for this type of quinoa is kneading the quinoa in the packet before microwaving it. This helps break apart the clumps of quinoa so it comes out in individual grains.
- Buffalosauce. Instead of making our own sauce to coat the crispy chicken, we rely on a store-bought sauce — Frank’s® RedHot Wings Buffalo sauce is our favorite! Frank’s makes quite a few sauces; be sure to use the one labeled “buffalo” not the cayenne pepper sauce!
- Crispy chicken tenders. The biggest shortcut of them all — you don’t need to make the chicken for these Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps! More on this shortcut for chicken tenders below.
Crispy Chicken Tenders
Taste of Home® shares the best chicken to use for this recipe. I personally use Tyson’s® crispy chicken strips for these Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps (not sponsored). I recommend baking or air frying the chicken tenders, not microwaving them. (Use an air fryer if you have one; that is our favorite method. It’s super quick, you don’t need to wait for the oven to preheattrv, and it delivers the best crispiness!) Pull the tenders out of the air fryer basket or off the sheet pan and coarsely chop them into bite-sized pieces before tossing them with the buffalo sauce
Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wrap Variations
One of the fun things about lettuce wraps is just how easy they are to customize. Here are a few ideas to add more veggies or change up ingredients in these wraps:
- Use leftover cooked and cooled quinoa instead of microwaved quinoa. (How to cook quinoa guide here)
- Swap out the quinoa for cooked rice.
- Garnish with thinly sliced green onions.
- Add thinly sliced redonion — thinly sliced along with the carrots, celery, and cabbage to bulk up the amount of veggies.
- Add a few slices of a ripeavocado for additional creaminess and good-for-you fats.
- Throw in some crisproastedcorn for additional crunch and sweetness.
- Not a fan of bleu cheese OR ranch? Try a creamy cilantro sauce instead! The sauce on this Mexican Chickpeas post would pair well with these Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps.
- Our favorite lettuce for these Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps is butter lettuce (also known as Boston or Bibb). It has a nice flavor, the perfect amount of crispness, and rolls up nicely.
- Green leaf and iceberg also work nicely in a lettuce wrap. Note that iceberg lettuce tends to be harder to wrap as it breaks easily.
- In a pinch, romainelettuce is also a workable option.
More lettuce wrap recipes
- Chicken Lettuce Wrapswith ground chicken and veggies
- Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wrapswith a tasty peanut sauce dressing
- Asian Chicken Lettuce Wrapswith a creamy sesame dressing
- Taco Lettuce Wrapswith taco-seasoned beef
- Chicken Salad Wrapwith fresh veggies
Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- 13oz.prepared chicken tendersNote 1
- 3tablespoonsbuffalo sauce(or more to taste) Note 2
- 1packet (227g)Microwaveable Packaged Quinoa
- 12largelettuce leavesBoston or Butter
- 1/2cupmatchstick carrots
- 1/2cupthinly sliced celery
- 1/2cupthinly sliced red cabbage,optional
- bleu cheese dressingor Ranch Dressing, to taste
- Bleu cheese crumbles,optional
CHICKEN: Start by preparing chicken tenders according to package directions. We like air frying them best — they’re done in about 11-12 minutes! Dice into small pieces and add to a bowl; set aside for now.
QUINOA: Meanwhile, follow package directions to microwave the quinoa. Set aside to slightly cool.
LETTUCE LEAVES/VEGGIE: Wash and completelydry 12 lettuce leaves. Set out carrots, thinly slice celery, and (if using) thinly slice red cabbage. Once everything is prepared, toss the chicken with the buffalo sauce until coated. Add more buffalo sauce to personal preference, if desired.
ASSEMBLY: Divide the microwaved and cooled quinoa (there will likely be extra) and then buffalo-sauced chicken evenly among the 12 lettuce leaves. Divide the carrots, celery, and cabbage evenly among the wraps. If desired, sprinkle bleu cheese crumbles on each wrap. Drizzle dressing generously over the wraps and enjoy immediately (dunk the wraps in more dressing — yum!). Serve any leftover quinoa on the side of the wraps.
Note 2: Buffalo sauce: Frank’s RedHot Wings Buffalo sauce is our favorite! Frank’s makes quite a few sauces be sure to use the one labeled «buffalo» not the cayenne pepper sauce! We like about 3 tablespoons tossed with the chicken RIGHT before it’s ready to eat (otherwise the sauce softens the chicken). Add more for a saucier/spicier chicken and less for less heat.
Note 3: Quinoa: We need Microwaveable Packaged Quinoa for this recipe to be as quick as possible– or use leftover fully cooked quinoa.
Nutrition information does not include the optional bleu cheese crumbles. We used 1/3 cup of bleu cheese dressing to drizzle over the mixture. If you use a different amount or type of dressing, that will affect the nutritional information.
We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.