Paleo Turkey Lettuce Cups

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps
The challenge we face around these parts is coming up with dinner ideas that the whole family (read: our toddler) will also be able to eat and will love. Ever since he started eating solids, we’ve aimed to have dinner as a family, all of us eating together at the table. I’ve heard a lot of “you’ll see” when I was pregnant, when I began introducing foods to him as a baby, and now as a toddler – but so far, our strict rules around eating the same food at the same time is producing some pretty stellar eating habits in our son. He is an adventurous eater! We have yet to have a total refusal of something without trying it, and when he doesn’t love something, I accept that and just give him more of everything else. There is no negotiating and that works. They also check all the boxes for our objectives in feeding our son a diversity of food and flavours, including one of my fave spice blends. Turkey Lettuce Wraps Paleo

What Is Chinese Five Spice?

Chinese five spice powder lends a ton of flavour to this dish. It’s a blend used in Chinese cooking, and it contains:
  • cinnamon
  • fennel
  • star anise
  • cloves
  • Sichuan peppercorn
Each spice in the blend corresponds to the five tastes in Chinese cooking: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and spicy. When we incorporate and balance all five tastes into a single dish, or make it happen in an entire meal, we feel more satisfied after eating. It is also suggested that this spice blend may have been created based on the Five Element Theory in Traditional Chinese Medicine, which associates five elements – wood, fire, earth, metal and water – with different organs in the body. This spice blend has different variations and is customizable – you’ll find recipes and store-bought brands with 5 spices, 7 spices and 13 spices. If you have a well-stocked pantry, you may already have everything you need to make Chinese five spice. These are a few blends you can make yourself:


I used ground turkey, as turkey isn’t something we consume very often and tends to be more mild in taste so the flavours balance nicely. You can also very easily do this with ground beef, chicken, venison or bison. And of course, if you have any leftovers, you could also chop, chop, chop and use that as the protein. If you prefer to keep it meatless or vegan, white beans or navy beans would be a great option. You could also finely chop and do it up with tempeh, or shredded organic tofu. Options for everyone!

Fun Pairings for Turkey Lettuce Cups

Turkey Lettuce Wraps Plum Sauce In my opinion, when it comes to any kind of wrap, whether it’s lettuce, collards or your fave tortilla, much comes down to the sauce you choose. My from scratch Plum Sauce pictured above is an excellent pairing with these Paleo turkey lettuce cups, but there are loads more sauce options to choose from. Here are some available on my blog: Once you’ve chosen the sauce pairing, then it is time to cook up the goodness. Enjoy! Print
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Turkey Lettuce Wraps Paleo

Paleo Turkey Lettuce Cups

  • Author: Meghan Telpner
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Grain-free, paleo-friendly dinner.


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp Chinese Five Spice Blend
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/3 cup chopped cashews
  • 2 Tbsp tamari
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Romaine leaves or bib lettuce for serving.


  1. In a pan, lightly sauté ground turkey until lightly browned, but not cooked through fully. Set aside.
  2. In the same pan, add coconut oil, onion and spice mix, and sauté until onion is translucent.
  3. Add carrots, pepper, cabbage, cashews, tamari and chilli flakes and cook for 8 minutes. Add turkey into pan and cook another 5 minutes until turkey is cooked through.
  4. Scoop from pan into lettuce cups and drizzle with sauce of choice to serve.
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Cuisine: Paleo


  1. I made this tonight, and it was really tasty. I love the cabbage in it. I had never tried Chinese 5 spice, and it adds a really interesting and complex flavour. Thank you!

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