Homemade Pork Lettuce Wraps are made with sweet pineapple rings, a spicy chili sauce, and juicy pork tenderloin. These pineapple and pork wraps are ideal for quick and simple lunches, dinners, and even appetizers!
Spicy Pineapple Pork Lettuce Wraps
Personally, the first thing that comes to mind when I think ‘healthy meal’ is a salad. They’re light, they’re super quick, and there are so many variations.
That said, salad is not your only option when it comes to quick and easy healthy eating. Recipes like these Sriracha Pineapple Pork Lettuce Wraps are at your disposal, too! These Asian-inspired lettuce wraps are salad-like for sure, but you can eat them with your hands, so no fork needed today. And maybe no plate, either. You’re welcome! ?
When I first started experimenting with this recipe, I knew that I wanted to make spicy lettuce wraps. So, I marinated and cooked the pork in a savory marinade, and then drizzled a Sriracha-based chili sauce over it… and added some rice. I felt like another level of delicious could be achieved, though, so I caramelized some pineapple rings and added those to the lettuce wraps, too.
OMG. Was that ever a good idea! ?
These sweet and spicy lettuce wraps will totally wow you with their flavor, and they’ll fill you up in no time – so don’t pass up on this goodness!
Why I Love this Recipe
There are hundreds of reasons why this pork lettuce wraps recipe should be next up on your ‘must-make recipes’ list! Okay, okay, I might be exaggerating a little bit. But, I still have three really good ones that I want to share with you:
- It’s Healthy: Pork lettuce wraps will fill you right up without adding too many calories to your daily consumption. Pork tenderloin is a pretty lean cut of meat (so no worries about high fat content), and you can use whatever kind of rice you like to go with it. I generally use brown rice, but white rice and quinoa are also great choices.
- It’s Great for Meal Prep! Sometimes I like to cook the pork and the rice ahead of time, and then they’re ready to reheat and serve on a fresh bed of lettuce at a later date.
- You Can Experiment With It: Lettuce wraps are easily customized, so feel free to do just that. Add in any veggie you like (zucchini, onion, pepper, etc.). You could even try this recipe with chicken or beef, though I think pork is best, here.
What You’ll Need
Now it’s time to get into the ingredients! Obviously you’ll need pork, rice, lettuce, and pineapple, but there are a couple of other necessary components that you’ll need to round up as well:
- Pork: Pork tenderloin is perfect for this recipe because, when sliced thin, it cooks super quickly, and it comes out nice and juicy.
- Soy Sauce: I like to use low sodium soy sauce.
- Granulated Sugar: To help the meat brown when cooking.
- Sesame Oil: Divided. For added savory flavor.
- Chopped Green Onions: For the marinade, but feel free to add more for garnish.
- Garlic: Minced, try to use large cloves if you can.
- Ginger: I like to use minced fresh ginger as a final touch in the marinade.
- Sriracha: This offers spicy chili flavor – adjust to your preferences.
- Honey: Adds a little bit of sweetness to counter the spiciness.
- Vegetable Oil: You can use another cooking oil like canola or olive oil.
- Pineapple: Grab some pineapple rings and halve them before starting. You could also use pineapple chunks if you’d rather.
- Light Brown Sugar: For caramelizing the pineapple rings.
- Cooked Rice: To add in with the pork. You can also serve rice on the side instead.
- Lettuce: Make sure you separate, wash, and pat the lettuce dry before starting.
- Toasted Sesame Seeds: For garnish.
What Kind of Lettuce to Use
You want to use lettuce that is pretty thick so that it will hold up when you add the meat, rice, and pineapple. I like to use Boston, Bibb, or butter lettuce when I make this recipe.
How to Make Pineapple Pork Lettuce Wraps
Pork lettuce wraps are very easy to make. They may not seem like they’re all that quick if you briefly glance at the total time on the recipe card, but most of that time is refrigerating/chill time for the marinating. The prep, though, won’t take you more than 30 minutes.
First you’ll marinate and slice the meat, then you’ll cook it in the skillet, and, after you’ve baked the pineapple, you’ll be able to build yourself a beautiful lettuce wrap!
Here’s the step-by-step guide:
- Chill the Pork: Wrap the pork tenderloin in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will make it easier to slice it thin. You don’t have to do this part, but it does help.
- Mix Together the Marinade: In a mixing bowl whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, ½ tablespoon sesame oil, green onions, garlic, and ginger.
- Marinate the Pork: Remove pork from freezer and slice it into about ¼-inch thick strips. Place the pork strips in the marinade, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Mix Together the Chili Sauce: In a small mixing bowl, combine the Sriracha, the honey, and the remaining sesame oil. Stir to combine and set aside for later.
- Cook the Pork: Take pork out of the refrigerator and let stand for about 15 minutes on the counter, to bring it to room temperature. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet set over high heat. Using tongs, remove the pork from the marinade and transfer to the skillet. Discard marinade. Cook the pork, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through.
- Caramelize the Pineapple: In the meantime, preheat oven to 425˚F. Arrange halved pineapple rings on a baking sheet covered with foil. Sprinkle pineapple with brown sugar and bake in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden and caramelized. Remove from oven.
- Remove Pork from the Heat: Spoon several tablespoons of rice into the center of a lettuce leaf. Top with a few pork strips, pineapple, sesame seeds, and drizzle with previously prepared chili mixture. Garnish with green onions and serve.
Tips for Success
Talk about tasty! These pork lettuce wraps are constantly on the menu in this house because quick lunches are almost as valuable as gold during the school/work week.
Here are some quick tips that will help you get the best results with your spicy pork lettuce wraps:
- Don’t Prepare the Lettuce Too Early: If you rinse and tear the lettuce leaves from the head of lettuce too early, they may start to wilt. You want them to be strong and sturdy so that they hold the meat until you’re ready to dig in, so I recommend prepping the lettuce right after the pork has finished cooking.
- Choose the Best Lettuce Leaves: The outer leaves of the lettuce head can be brown or wilted sometimes, so make sure to discard those and pick from the layer beneath.
- For a Spicier Sauce: Add up to another tablespoon of Sriracha sauce. On the other hand, if you don’t want your sauce to be as spicy, use a little less than 2 tablespoons.
Serving Suggestions for Pork Lettuce Wraps
Wondering what to serve with your pineapple pork lettuce wraps? There are a bunch of options! These are some of my favorites in case you need some ideas:
- Noodles: You can serve these wraps with anything from a side of peanut noodles to a simple serving of zucchini noodles.
- Rice: Usually I like to serve cooked rice inside of the lettuce wrap, but you can also serve it on the side instead. Again, I generally use white or brown rice.
- Veggies: Salad might not be such a great side to include with this particular meal, but sautéed mushrooms, pan-seared asparagus, or oven-roasted veggies would be great additions!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Store any leftover pork and rice in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days in the fridge.
- Don’t save the pork with lettuce leaves because it’s best to use fresh leaves the next time you make it so that they’ll be crispy and strong.
- Reheat your leftovers in a skillet over low heat, and cook until warmed through.
- If you decide to refrigerate the pineapple rings, you can reheat them by baking them in the oven for a few minutes at about 350-400 degrees F. In my experience the pineapple is best on the day it’s first caramelized, but you can certainly try to save it for later.
Can I Freeze Extras?
- Yes! You can freeze the leftover pork and rice mixture in an airtight container for 2 to 3 months. I would not recommend trying to freeze the pineapple.
Sriracha Pineapple Pork Lettuce Wraps
- 6 pineapple rings, halved
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 small head lettuce, use Boston, Bibb, or butter lettuce, leaves separated, washed, and patted dry
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
- Wrap the pork tenderloin in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will make it easier to slice it thin. DO NOT freeze it.
- In a mixing bowl whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, ½ tablespoon sesame oil, green onions, garlic, and ginger.
- Remove pork from freezer and slice it into about ¼-inch thick strips. Place the pork strips in the marinade, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the Sriracha, the honey, and the remaining sesame oil. Stir to combine and set aside for later.
- Take pork out of the refrigerator and let stand for about 15 minutes on the counter, to bring it to room temperature.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet set over high heat. Using tongs, remove the pork from the marinade and transfer to the skillet. Discard marinade.
- Cook the pork, stirring frequently, for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through.
- In the meantime, preheat oven to 425˚F. Arrange halved pineapple rings on a baking sheet covered with foil. Sprinkle pineapple with brown sugar and bake in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden and caramelized. Remove from oven.
- Remove pork from the heat.
- Spoon several tablespoons of rice into the center of a lettuce leaf.
- Top with a few pork strips, pineapple, sesame seeds, and drizzle with previously prepared chili mixture.
- Garnish with green onions. Serve.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.