Chicken Salad Lettuce Leaf Wraps with Roasted New Potatoes, Fennel and Olives

I feel like I'm constantly learning about food and flavors and how to put them all together. In fact, I thirst for that knowledge... which is good for me, and not so good for my husband as I'd channel surf back and forth between Food Network and Cooking Channel every. waking. hour... if I could.

But recently, I heard something that was one of those culinary light bulb moments. Something that was so simple, yet so profound... that I can't seem to get it out of my mind. Like one of those songs that get stuck in your head from the '80s.  Like Zanadu or Vacation.

And, I'm paraphrasing now, but while watching one of my favorite shows, Restaurant Redemption, Chef Ching-He Huang said that her client's food didn't have that "addictive quality." You know, the kind of flavors that keep you coming back again and again. And this hit me. It hit me hard because when I think of addictive qualities, I often think of potato chips or Cadbury Cream Eggs. But every day... and (gasp!) good for you food? Addictive? Yes, addictive.

So, I set out to make something that was just that... a dish that keeps me up at night. A dish that is the go-to answer when either of asks "what's for dinner?" Something that's quick on prep time and quicker on clean up. And a dish that's healthy and fresh and easy to change out ingredients depending on what you have on hand.

The zing you immediately get from the lemon, followed by the just-on-the-edge-of-overdoing-it dried basil, thyme and red pepper flakes keep you coming back for more. And more. And did I mention that we've had this with varying vegetables 5 times in the last 2 weeks?

Addictive. Seriously Addictive.

Chicken Salad Lettuce Leaf Wraps with Roasted Potatoes, Fennel and Olives

12 raw chicken tenders, cut into chunks
Lemon pepper to taste
1/2 sweet onion, sliced in half-moons
1 bulb fennel, sliced in half-moons
12 baby new potatoes, quartered
12 Pitted Kalamata Olives, sliced (these are delicious!)
4 sun-dried tomatoes, rough chopped
1/4 c. olive oil  (plus more to drizzle over vegetables before roasting)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
8 butter lettuce leaves

Serves 4

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. To a rimmed cookie sheet, sprayed with non-stick spray, add in the sliced fennel, onion and potatoes.  Drizzle with olive oil and add a pinch of salt.  Roast for about 25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and all are nicely browned.

While the vegetables are roasting, cook the chicken.  Add olive oil to a skillet and then add the chicken when the oil is hot.  Sprinkle with salt and lemon pepper to taste, and cook over med-high heat until the chicken is no longer pink in the center.  Set aside.

For the sauce, in a large bowl, add 1/4 c. olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Whisk to combine.  Once the chicken and vegetables are done, add to the bowl with the sauce and stir to combine. Then add in the sliced olives and sun-dried tomatoes.

Serve warm in butter lettuce leaves.

*Recipe note: Another favorite combination is the chicken with roasted asparagus, brussels sprouts, fennel and sweet onion.


  1. Oh these look so fresh and good! I really like it is something different than Asian style lettuce wraps.

    1. Thanks Renee! I hope you give them a try... they're so easy and delicious!

  2. I love lettuce wraps and putting this gorgeous chicken salad in them sounds wonderful.

  3. An absolutely beautiful lunch day meal. I will definitely be adding this to my lunch to do list.

  4. Cannot imagine Chef Di indulging in a single Cadbury egg =) But, I do see how this gorgeous lettuce wrap recipe could repeat itself in this Ninja Baker's kitchen!

    1. LOL! I'm just glad they come and go quickly each Spring. Hope you enjoy... this has become an absolute favorite :-)


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