Looking for a creative way to serve a side or salad? Check out these vegetarian lettuce wraps with roasted butternut squash. Vibrant colors, contrasting textures and very yummy.
These wraps are also perfect as a starter, make-your-own wrap bar, or light lunch. You start with the basics and add extra fillings and garnish to your taste.
I just love the colors. And such a nice change from the same old salad without a lot of extra effort.
The star of the show is the butternut squash. Season it up and get it into a hot oven to roast and caramelize. In the meantime, roast some chopped nuts, dice an English cucumber and prepare the romaine lettuce to host the salad ingredients. Assemble, drizzle with balsamic glaze (or a salad dressing you love) and voila – gorgeous butternut squash salad.
What to expect
The crunch factor of these vegetarian lettuce wraps from the romaine lettuce, the nuts and cucumber is great.
Exact measures of ingredients are not required. Use the recipe as a guideline and adjust it as you like.
There are many ways to serve these lettuce wraps – check them out below.
Ingredients – tailored to your taste
Butternut squash: This is the key ingredient. You can substitute with sweet potatoes or pumpkin if you like.
Lettuce: Romain lettuce or iceberg lettuce work as a vessel because they are firm enough to hold fillings. Boston lettuce, bibb lettuce will work if you double up the lettuce leaves.
Nuts and seeds: Use any roasted nuts you like to give them that extra crunch. Pecans, walnuts, macadamia and cashews are all good choices. Sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds are a great choice.
Glaze/dressing: We drizzle on a balsamic glaze/reduction just before serving. You can also try a spicy peanut sauce or any vinaigrette salad dressing. A maple soy sauce dressing or citrus dressing (with orange juice, lime juice or lemon juice) dressing would be great also.
Add-ins and garnishes to try
- finely chopped apple (no need to peel it). This can replace the cucumber.
- freshly roasted or jarred red peppers or red pepper flakes for added heat.
- Crumbled cheese such as ricotta or goat cheese.
- pomegranate seeds or chopped seedless grapes,
- chives or green onion, parsley or crispy fried onion
- add tofu for a more substantial lettuce wrap.
Step by step instructions
Assemble the butternut squash wraps close to the time of serving to avoid wilting the crisp lettuce leaves.
4 ways to serve the lettuce wraps
- Side salad on individual plates or set out the filled wraps on a large serving plate. I served them the other night to my family with vegetarian bolognese.
- Make-your-own salad (like a taco bar) featuring a large platter with the roasted butternut squash mixture in the center surrounded by the lettuce leaves. Let guests help themselves.
- Starter before a main dish.
- Main dish: Serve with a side of crusty bread, cheddar biscuits and a soup like root vegetable soup or red lentil vegetable soup.
- Buy pre-washed and dried romaine lettuce leaves often found in grocery stores.
- Buy pre-cut and peeled butternut squash. Then all you have to do is cut the larger cubes in half if needed.
- Use nuts that are already roasted.
- Instead of making a balsamic drizzle, buy a bottled balsamic reduction.
- The preparation of each component – roasting the squash, cutting the cucumber, roasting the nuts, preparing the lettuce – can all be done ahead of time. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to reheat.
- Assemble the wraps closer to serving time and add the balsamic drizzle (or other dressing) just before serving if using.
More butternut squash recipes
- quinoa avocado salad with roasted beets and carrots
- butternut squash salad with warm cinnamon dressing
- squash curry (30 minutes)
- easy squash apple soup
- Thai-inspired butternut squash soup
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Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps With Roast Butternut Squash
- 2 pounds butternut squash, diced into 1/2-3/4 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon Optional
- 1/2 large English cucumber, diced (if using regular cucumber, remove seeds)
- 1/2 cup chopped roasted nuts, Note 1
- Balsamic drizzle, Note 2 (or use your favorite vinaigrette instead)
- 1 romaine lettuce, about 10-12 leaves, chilled (Bibb, Boston or Iceberg lettuce can be substituted)
Additional fillings (optional)
- crumbled goat or ricotta cheese, chopped apple, pomegranate seeds, radish slivers, chopped seedless grapes, chives, crispy fried onions,
- HEAT OVEN TO 450F/232C. Line a large sheet pan with parchment or foil sprayed with oil.
- ROAST BUTTERNUT SQUASH CUBES: Toss butternut squash cubes with oil, maple syrup, salt, pepper and cinnamon (if using). Place on pan in single layer. Roast for 15 minutes. Stir/flip and roast for another 10-15 minutes until soft with browned, caramelized edges. Can be set aside to cool. It does not have to be served warm.
- ASSEMBLE CLOSE TO SERVING TIME: Lay out 10 lettuce leaves on a platter or individual plates. Distribute roasted butternut squash and cucumber among leaves. Add other other fillings you like. Sprinkle on nuts. Just before serving, drizzle on balsamic reduction (or a salad dressing if you prefer).
- Nuts: Good options are walnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamia or pistachios. To roast, place in preheated 350F/177C oven for 5-7 minutes until fragrant. Cool. You can also put them in the oven while the squash is roasting for about 3-4 minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.
- To make your own Balsamic Glaze/Reduction. I usually buy it, but it’s easy to make your own if you prefer. Bring to boil a /2 cup/188 ml of balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for about 15 minutes until it reduces by half to a syrup consistency (thick enough to coat the back of a spoon). You will likely not need it all.
- Make Ahead: The preparation of each component – roasting the squash, cutting the cucumber, roasting the nuts, preparing the lettuce – can all be done ahead of time. Assemble closer to serving time and add the balsamic drizzle just before serving.