These spicy chickpea lettuce wraps include a homemade vegan buffalo sauce, a tangy ranch dressing and crunchy fresh veggies. Perfect refreshing lunch or dinner that's healthy and filling without being too heavy. Dairy-free, vegan and gluten-free.
These buffalo chickpea lettuce wraps are the kind of meal I like to enjoy on a hot day. It is filling, but also refreshing and not too heavy.
And there is so much amazing good stuff going on in these vegan salad wraps: spicy and saucy buffalo chickpeas, a tangy yogurt ranch sauce and fresh veggies, such as cucumber and avocado.
Then everything is tucked in lettuce cups, so fun! We love the different layers of texture, such as the creamy sauces + hearty chickpeas + crunchy cucumbers, all complementing each other.
There are a few components in this recipe, but they are all very easy to make and perfect for meal-prepping ahead too, if you like to batch-make food on the weekends.
It makes for a super healthy and nourishing lunch to enjoy under the sun, but also great for dinner any time of the year. The chickpeas make it satisfying and boost the meal with more plant-based protein, which will keep hunger away for a while. The homemade vegan buffalo sauce also is high-in-protein, thanks to the hemp seeds used to make it creamy without adding any vegan butter.
This recipe is obviously spicy, although you can adjust how much heat you want by tweaking the amount of hot sauce you use to make the vegan buffalo sauce. I love how the vegan yogurt ranch also cools down the heat from the buffalo sauce, such a classic pairing that does not get old.
I hope you give it a try! If you do, let me know how you liked them in the comment below! ❤️
Highlights of this recipe
- Healthy: rich in plant-based protein, omega-3 healthy fats (from the avocado + hemp seeds in the homemade buffalo sauce), fiber from all the veggies and beans and hydrating veggies such as cucumber and crunchy lettuce.
- Bold in flavor: the rich buffalo spicy sauce + herbed yogurt ranch make for such an amazing combination in flavor.
- Fresh and filling meat-free recipe: perfect lunch or dinner to feel good and satisfied without weighing you down. You can load it up with ALL the fresh summer toppings you like!
- Easy and great for meal-prep: both the buffalo sauce and the ranch sauce can be made ahead of time. This will speed up prep time, but also enhance the flavors of the sauces while they rest in the fridge.
Key ingredients you'll need
- Vegan buffalo sauce: this blended buffalo sauce recipe is on my website and is super quick and easy to make. You will need hot cayenne pepper sauce, hemp seeds, vinegar, maple syrup, vegan Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and paprika. You can also use cashews instead of hemp seeds.
- Canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans): I love using canned chickpeas for convenience.
- Onion + fresh garlic: used to flavor the chickpeas even more.
- Vegan yogurt: I used the vegan cashew yogurt from Forager Project. I love this dairy-free yogurt for both savory and sweet recipes and it has a nice texture similar to regular dairy yogurts.
- Onion powder, garlic powder and dried parsley: spices used to make the ranch sauce.
- Fresh dill: you could swap for dried dill if you don't have fresh, although fresh herbs will boost the sauce so much more (use less if using dried dill). You can also use other fresh herbs, such as cilantro or parsley. Fresh chives would also add a great flavor.
- Lemon juice: to add a tangy taste to the ranch sauce. Lime juice works too.
- Avocado and cucumber: for topping the lettuce wraps.
- Lettuce: to serve the lettuce wraps.
What kind of fresh lettuce is best for healthy lettuce wraps?
You can use many different kinds of crisp lettuce for these wraps, although larger leaves will help give you more space to fill and hold them up.
- Bibb, Boston or Green butter lettuce: these are softer, but large leaves that work well. I actually used butter lettuce to make them. Since those leaves are more delicate, you can double-up and layer 2-3 over each other before filling them and you might need both your hands to grab them as well.
- Romaine lettuce or iceberg lettuce: large enough as well and a little more sturdy. They provide more crunchiness to the wraps and will be easier to hold. Some of the romaine leaves are smaller, but you can make many "romaine bites" with them and serve as an appetizer or finger food.
How to make buffalo chickpea lettuce wraps
Make the buffalo sauce
Start by making the buffalo sauce. This sauce can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for a few days until ready to make this recipe. It only takes 3 minutes to prepare, and no soaking or cooking is required!
Make the vegan ranch sauce
Simply combine the yogurt, lemon juice, dried spices and herbs, fresh dill and salt in a small bowl. Stir to combine and taste to adjust the flavoring to your liking. Set aside in the fridge (can also be made ahead).
Make the spicy buffalo chickpeas
Warm up a large non-stick pan with a little oil (optional). Add the onion and cook for about 5-7 minutes stirring often until softened.
Add the garlic + chickpeas and cook for 8-10 minutes stirring often. The chickpeas should look roasted and a little crispy. Then, turn off the heat.
Once the pan isn’t super hot anymore, then pour about half of the buffalo sauce over and stir. You will have more buffalo sauce than you need, just use it for a different recipe. Set aside.
Assemble the lettuce wraps
When ready to eat, lay the lettuce leaves on a plate, add some of the buffalo chickpea filling over and garnish with diced avocado and sliced cucumber. Then, drizzle some of the vegan yogurt ranch. Enjoy!
- If your lettuce is on the softer side, then you can pile up a few leaves together to make a more sturdy base to hold on to the filling ingredients better.
- You can make this meal under 15 minutes during a busy week! In that case, I would highly recommend to prep both the buffalo and ranch sauces ahead. This will enhance their flavor while they rest and then, all you will have to do is roast the chickpeas and assemble the wraps at mealtime, which will be done within 15 minutes.
- While testing this recipe, I poured the buffalo sauce in my pan while it was SUPER hot. This resulted in pretty much cooking the buffalo sauce and the consistency turned out thicker. It was fine, but if you want to avoid that, then just be sure to pour the sauce once the pan cooled down a bit. If it does thicken too much for your liking, then simply add a splash of water and stir well.
Serving suggestions and variations
Serve the lettuce wraps topped with more fresh dill and keep the ranch sauce on the side so you can add more to taste while eating. I love my wraps with a generous crack of fresh black pepper and a good squeeze of lemon juice too.
Also, to make this meal even more filling, then feel free to fold the wraps with tortilla bread as well. Both these homemade whole wheat tortillas or gluten-free red lentil tortillas would work perfectly here. Simply pile 1-2 leaves of lettuce over a tortilla and then, garnish with the ingredients before folding the wrap.
Or, also consider adding some cooked brown rice to add more fiber and plant-based protein.
Other ingredients you can include in the wraps include:
- Quick pickled onion
- Finely chopped red peppers for more color
- Shredded carrots
- Red onion or green onions
- Corn (frozen and thawed)
These lettuce wraps are best enjoyed when just assembled, although you can make both the buffalo and ranch sauces ahead of time to save you some time later when it is time to eat.
If you do have some spicy buffalo chickpeas leftovers, then store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days and use them over salads, tortilla rolls, buddha bowls and more.
Yes. I would double-check that the Worcestershire and cayenne pepper hot sauces used to make the buffalo sauce are gluten-free, but they usually are naturally GF.
Feel free to use any buffalo sauce for this recipe (NOT just hot sauce, you need the creamy buffalo sauce). Noble Made makes nice vegan buffalo sauces (sold at Whole Foods Market) that are vegan and gluten-free. Different brands of buffalo sauces have different levels of heat, so taste it first before pouring it in the pan.
Yes you can, although you will have to cook the chickpeas first before making this recipe. Here is a guide on how to cook chickpeas from scratch.
More spicy recipes you might like
- Falafel buddha bowl with spicy tahini sauce
- Spicy jalapeño peach salsa
- Vegan spicy buffalo tofu burgers
- Spicy garlic ramen noodles
- Gochujang tofu
- Spicy cauliflower bites
- Sweet and spicy orange sauce
- Gochujang pasta
- Vegan buffalo chickpea quesadillas
Looking for more recipes with chickpeas?
- Chocolate covered chickpeas
- Vegan Mediterranean chickpea sheet pan
- Vegan warm couscous salad
- Vegan gyros
- Vegan chickpea avocado sandwich
- Chickpea patties
- Red lentil pasta salad
- Rainbow salad bowl
I hope you like this chickpea lettuce wrap recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Buffalo Chickpea Lettuce Wraps
Roasted buffalo chickpeas
- 15 oz canned chickpeas - rinsed and drained
- ½ yellow onion - diced
- 1 clove of garlic - crushed
- ½ cup vegan buffalo sauce (NOT regular hot sauce) - I used my easy homemade buffalo sauce
Vegan yogurt ranch sauce
- ½ cup vegan plain yogurt - I used plain cashew yogurt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp fresh dill - or 1 teaspoon of dried dill
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp dried parsley
- salt - to taste
For the lettuce wraps
- butter lettuce leaves or romaine leaves
- Start by making the vegan buffalo sauce. Set aside.
- Also, make the ranch yogurt sauce: simply whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, spices, fresh dill and add salt to taste. Set aside.
- Warm up a large non-stick pan with a little oil and cook the onion on medium-high heat stirring often until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Then, add the garlic and chickpeas and cook until the chickpeas are roasted and slightly crispy, about 8 minutes (stir often).
- When the chickpeas are done, turn down the heat and pour the buffalo sauce over (you might have more than you need). Careful for splatters and don't pour the sauce while the pan is still super hot (or the sauce can cook and thicken). Stir well to cover the chickpeas and set aside.
- To serve, lay 1 or 2 layers of lettuce leaves on a plate and then, transfer some buffalo chickpeas over. Top with some avocado and cucumber and then drizzle the yogurt sauce over. You can garnish with more fresh dill, ground black pepper and a side of lemon wedge. Enjoy!
- As a side note, this recipe uses BUFFALO sauce, not simply hot sauce. It is usually less spicy and much creamier. If using a store-bought sauce, then make sure it is a buffalo sauce and you can taste it first to see how spicy it is to adjust how much you add to the pan.
- You can find my homemade vegan buffalo sauce recipe here, which I highly recommend to use for making these lettuce wraps. You will have more than you need to make this recipe: I usually use about half of the batch of homemade sauce per can of chickpeas. Use the leftover buffalo sauce as a dipping sauce, in sandwiches, etc.
- I used the vegan cashew yogurt from the brand Forager to make the ranch. Almond or soy plain yogurt will work too as long as it is plain and unsweetened.
- You can prepare both the vegan buffalo and ranch sauce ahead and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or until ready to use. The lettuce wraps are best enjoyed when just assembled.