Hello lunch.

Chili Caramelized Thai Butternut Squash Lettuce Wraps I howsweeteats.com

I’m back on the bandwagon of my “new favorite thing.”

This is it. For now. Until my next new favorite thing comes along. Until I binge on enough butternut squash to be completely sick of it come December. Until I eat this same thing five days in a row because it tastes so delicious until it… doesn’t. It’s like I have palate ADD.

Many times I never know what I’m craving and what I really want to eat until the exact moment that I want to eat it. Especially around lunchtime. SO them I’m left with like twenty minutes to get my act together and come up with something that will make my high-maintenance foodself happy.

You know you know you know?

Chili Caramelized Thai Butternut Squash Lettuce Wraps I howsweeteats.com

If it was up to me I’d probably eat breakfast, grilled cheeseseseses, pizza and burgers for lunch everyday. I mean it is up to me but instead of eating like an jerkhead teenager I try to be an adult annnnnnd not give myself a myocardial infarction.

It’s depressing.

Chili Caramelized Thai Butternut Squash Lettuce Wraps I howsweeteats.com

I know that I probably don’t come to mind when you think LETTUCE wraps, but my dirty little secret is that I love them. Because my other dirty little secret is that I love iceberg lettuce in all it’s crisp, fresh, nutrientless glory. It’s just so darn refreshing.

And the only lettuce I like better than iceberg is butter lettuce. I freaking love butter lettuce. Shout it from the rooftops!

It’s probably no coincidence that it’s called butter lettuce.

It’s just so… soft.

If I can find a beautiful head of butter lettuce, it’s my number one choice for wraps. As you can guess, it all comes back to a texture thing.

Being a leeeettle nervous about how the texture of these wraps would stand up to my high demands due to the uncrisp nature of squash, I added some fresh red pepper strips and lots of crunchy peanuts. I can totally handle the vegetables in this state.

Chili Caramelized Thai Butternut Squash Lettuce Wraps I howsweeteats.com

I also caramelized the squash again (of course, because apparently I can’t eat it any other way this season) with some chili powder and brown sugar. Man, I may just start eating that on the regular. So awesome.

And I’m not too sure what my fascination is with squash and Thai-like flavors, other than it just plain out works and appeals to my taste buds. That’s how I cook here… stuff that I like.

I can’t keep any secrets from you.

Chili Caramelized Thai Butternut Squash Lettuce Wraps I howsweeteats.com


Thai Butternut Squash Lettuce Wraps

Yield: serves 4

Total Time: 35 minutes


2 cups cubed butternut squash
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 head of butter lettuce, leaves torn off
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
4 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, torn

thai dipping/drizzling sauce
4 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons canned coconut milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons creamy peanut butter (it mixes in easier if it's melted, FYI)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger


Toss the squash with the salt, pepper and chili powder. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the coconut oil. Add the squash and cook until it is fork tender and slightly caramely in color, about 10 minutes. Half way through, drizzle in the honey to help the caramelization process.

Assemble the lettuce wraps by laying a few pieces of sliced red pepper in a butter lettuce leaf. Top it with the squash, then a hefty drizzle of the thai sauce. Add a sprinkling of the onions, peanuts and cilantro.

thai dipping/drizzling sauce
Combine all the ingredients together in a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and whisk until it is combined. Cook for 2 minutes, then remove from heat.

[sauce adapted from my sticky thai wings]

Chili Caramelized Thai Butternut Squash Lettuce Wraps I howsweeteats.com

Plus… more room for treats.

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71 Responses to “Thai Butternut Squash Lettuce Wraps.”

  1. #
    Caroline @ chocolate & carrots — October 30, 2013 @ 7:18 am

    I’m recently obsessed with thai food. This is such a healthy spin on it! Totally agree with your more room for treats sentiment. Mwahaha!


  2. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — October 30, 2013 @ 7:33 am

    These need to appear in my body RIGHT NOW! Love!


  3. #
    Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs — October 30, 2013 @ 7:37 am

    I have a texture issue with food too — too mushy, not eating it :)
    But I bet these would pass the test! Yum!


  4. #
    Belinda @themoonblushbaker — October 30, 2013 @ 7:38 am

    I hear you sister. I went though a phase of only eating corn with every meal for about a month.
    Right now I am in love with salads, this look like it would be right up my alley; spicy, sweet and above all quick!


  5. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — October 30, 2013 @ 7:41 am

    OMG this is genius! I’ve never thought to Thai-up my butternut squash but now I have to try it. Pinned!


  6. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — October 30, 2013 @ 7:45 am

    Yum! What a fun and great idea! I just love butternut squash it is one of my Fall favorite dishes! Yum! Awesome recipe Jessica!


  7. #
    Tieghan — October 30, 2013 @ 7:50 am

    Love these. So awesome and so many flavors I am crazy for right now! I just make a risotto with ver similar flavors, so I already know these are going to be awesome!


  8. #
    Tracy | Peanut Butter And Onion — October 30, 2013 @ 7:56 am

    I am completely obsessing with butternut squash… so much so I joined a challenge to make 3 meals with it..;) Love this!


  9. #
    derzafanistori — October 30, 2013 @ 7:57 am

    Is it just me or there is some chicken pretending to be caramelized butternut squash in the paragraph on assembly? ;-)


    • Jessica — October 30th, 2013 @ 8:43 am

      yessss sorry! just a typo.


  10. #
    Peg seay — October 30, 2013 @ 7:58 am

    “Top it with the chicken…”
    ? ?


  11. #
    Rebecca — October 30, 2013 @ 8:39 am

    I noticed in the directions it says “top it with the chicken…” but nowhere in the ingredients does it talk about chicken. Is there supposed to be chicken in the wraps?

    Either way, butternut plus thai flavors: what a cool combo!


    • Jessica — October 30th, 2013 @ 8:43 am

      haha no, i had a major brain screw up writing the recipe!


  12. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — October 30, 2013 @ 9:04 am

    I caramelized butternut squash for the first time last night with some brown sugar. I am HOOKED! These wraps look wonderful, especially the crunchy peanuts. And butter lettuce – yes! Always butter lettuce.


  13. #
    dixya| food, pleasure, and health — October 30, 2013 @ 9:09 am

    i have been overdosing on butternut squash lately as well..these wraps look so good esp that lettuce.


  14. #
    Kellie @ Keeprunninkellie — October 30, 2013 @ 9:27 am

    Can you roast butternut squash just like spaghetti squash?


    • Jessica — October 30th, 2013 @ 9:35 am

      not quite sure what you mean – do you mean can you slice it down center and roast it?


  15. #
    janae @ bring joy — October 30, 2013 @ 9:34 am

    “You know you know you know?”

    Yes, I’m like this, but even more so now that I’m pregnant. It’s like 10X worse. Sometimes I don’t even know what I want while I am eating the thing I thought I wanted, but don’t. It’s a tough life.


  16. #
    Amanda — October 30, 2013 @ 10:16 am

    YUM! Lettuce wraps are always a great choice but these are so different and look great!


  17. #
    Shelly — October 30, 2013 @ 10:21 am

    These look soooo good! I love me some butternut squash, and especially with chili powder type flavors. These seem like a great break from the excess of the holidays that is already starting around here.


  18. #
    Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen — October 30, 2013 @ 10:49 am

    It might be a little bold to say I Love You but I’m pretty sure this recipe warrants it. Lettuce wraps = zero calories = eat 20 of them= happy/no regret.


  19. #
    Gina_AcuteDesigns — October 30, 2013 @ 11:25 am

    well, this looks amazing. i have been eating squash non-stop…love this idea. also, I am a huge lettuce wrap fan. I feel like I can eat a ton of them and they’ll always be “healthy.” :).


  20. #
    Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate — October 30, 2013 @ 11:31 am

    I totally know what you mean. I am on a serious pomegranate kick right now!


  21. #
    kelly @ livelovepasta — October 30, 2013 @ 11:38 am

    ohmigod….these look SOOOOO good!


  22. #
    Molly @ Yes to Yolks — October 30, 2013 @ 11:54 am

    I have been in the same boat the with the b-nut. I feel like everything I’ve been posting so far has centered around squash, apples, and other fallish things. But b-nut is my absolute fav. Dare I say….I like it more than pumpkin.


  23. #
    Jessie — October 30, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

    Wow! These look amazing! I was just demanding thai chiken lettuce wraps to a protesting hubby, but since I have butternut squash in my husband has no reason to denie me now!! YAY! You’re the bestest!


  24. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — October 30, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

    I want to pour the thai dipping/drizzling sauce on everything! Sweet chili, brown sugar, coconut milk, PB….that is my dream sauce! Beautiful wraps! Butter lettuce is so dreamy!


  25. #
    joelle (on a pink typewriter) — October 30, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

    Mmm, butternut squash sauteed is the best thing ever. Caramelized sounds amazing.


  26. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — October 30, 2013 @ 1:38 pm

    I make ALL of your Thai recipes!!! Just one more to put on my list!


  27. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — October 30, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

    Looks wonderful! I need to make that dipping suace–I kind of want to eat it on everything.


  28. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — October 30, 2013 @ 2:13 pm

    And now my bowl of soup for lunch seems very, very sad indeed. The colors in this! The flavors! Need and want.


  29. #
    Emma @ stripesandsnapshots — October 30, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

    Your photography looks incredible, yum!


    • Jessica — October 30th, 2013 @ 3:59 pm

      thank you!


  30. #
    Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} — October 30, 2013 @ 3:26 pm

    These look so freaking good! I think I’ve eaten butternut squash every day during the month of October… probably turning a little orange around the edges. This looks like an awesome way to dress it up – love those Thai flavors!


  31. #
    Katie — October 30, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

    My college roommate introduced me to butter lettuce and I can never go back. Ever. It;s so silkyyyyy.


  32. #
    Ruthy @ Omeletta — October 30, 2013 @ 5:05 pm

    Total winner. I’m the same- I’m suddenly starving at 1pm and have to eat FAST or I get all hangry and just have Pringles for lunch. Which means i’ll be buying butter lettuce sometime this week and making me some wraps, I think!


  33. #
    Lauren @ Will Run for Boston — October 30, 2013 @ 6:11 pm

    These wraps look delicious! I love Thai food and I just recently discovered the deliciousness of butternut squash (late to the party I know). There is this aquaponics place in my hometown that grows the most delicious butter lettuce ever! My absolute favorite lettuce!


  34. #
    angela — October 30, 2013 @ 7:25 pm

    awesome recipe.. i love butternut squash ,obsessed with all things coconut and im trying NOT to eat gluten (cause it hurts me), so this is a great recipe to have in my recipe box.


  35. #
    Kylie @ immaeatthat — October 30, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

    I NEED to try this caramelized squash business!


  36. #
    Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps — October 30, 2013 @ 8:47 pm

    This looks like my kind of lunch. And healthy too?? Yes……


  37. #
    Ruby @ The Ruby Red Apron — October 30, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

    You made healthy food look tempting! I praise you!


  38. #
    Karen — October 30, 2013 @ 11:30 pm

    How are you always in my head? My butternut squash, peanut butter, anythingThai, bacon, bourbon,chocolate and avocado obsessions are out of hand. You have just combined half of them in one happy happy dish. You are my invisible internet soul sister!


  39. #
    Kim in MD — October 31, 2013 @ 1:40 pm

    Ok, I am really craving this right now!


  40. #
    Jamily — October 31, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

    I neeeeed this.


  41. #
    Larry — November 1, 2013 @ 1:17 pm

    Damn girl, you’ve got STYLE.


  42. #
    Christy @ My Invisible Crown — November 2, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

    Whoa! I LOVE butternut squash AND anything Thai. So perfect.


  43. #
    Katherine — November 18, 2013 @ 1:25 am

    OMG…made these tonight ans they were so good. I made them with roasted shredded chicken …because the husband has to have meat! They are amazing!!!


  44. #
    Jennifer — November 30, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

    Made the squash/sauce tonight, and just served over rice with Asian meatballs. Delicious!! Not sure if I screwed up the sauce somehow, but it ended up being very runny. The picture looked a little thicker and peanut buttery than what I concocted, so I added peanut butter total about 2 tbsp. Regardless…this is officially added to my fall squash repertoire! Thanks for sharing.


  45. #
    Stacy — January 7, 2014 @ 1:53 pm

    I made these last night, and they were fantastic!
    Next time, I’ll use more squash (2 cups only made enough for my me and my bf). Also, the sauce I made turned out runny like Jennifer’s. Next time I’ll try adding more peanut butter to thicken it up.
    Thanks for the healthy recipe with such great flavors!


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  47. #
    Abby — March 30, 2014 @ 6:15 pm

    I just made this for dinner and it was amazing!! This will be a definite repeat recipe. Thank you!


  48. #
    Vanessa C — May 14, 2014 @ 6:35 pm

    I made these last night and loved them. My husband is a meat eater, though, and I couldn’t just serve up the veggies alone (unless I wanted the dreaded sad face.) So I diced some chicken and cooked it the same way as the diced squash, just in a separate pan. The squash and the chicken went together beautifully in the wraps. My 9 year old stuffed his face and I had no left overs! Thank you.


  49. #
    فوائد زيت السمسم — September 25, 2014 @ 4:41 pm

    awesome recipe.. i love butternut squash ,obsessed with all things coconut and im trying NOT to eat gluten (cause it hurts me), so this is a great recipe to have in my recipe box.


  50. #
    Jan — June 14, 2015 @ 8:13 am

    I’m in the process of making these right now. I was not getting the right color and consistency on the squash. My first batch was soft enough but the outside was too dark. I’m putting a cookie sheet with squash cubes and a little bit of water into a 400 degree oven to give them a head start. Then I can get the color right in the skillet. Sound right??


    • Jan — June 14th, 2015 @ 11:18 pm

      OK, so I finished. Putting the cubes in the oven for 10 minutes helped and I was able to brown them in the skillet just right. Truthfully, they were OK. I don’t think that the chili powder blended well with the squash (and the honey). The brown sugar might’ve been better. The peanuts and red peppers added a nice crunch. The sauce was pretty good. Besides the oven thing, I followed the recipe exactly. Brought these to a bridal shower where the bride and groom are both vegans. Got no compliments. = (



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