Easy Caribbean Chicken and Rice Lettuce Wraps are hearty and flavorful, made with Caribbean-style rice, seasoned chicken, and tangy mango salsa!
This post is in partnership with Zatarains – all opinions are my own.
Summer came and went in a hot second – it always does! Just like every year, I am caught in that bittersweet emotion of saying goodbye to the longer days, tan lines, and daily dose of fresh watermelon, and welcoming in the cooler weather, cozy sweaters, and Fall flavors.
Lately I’ve been leaning heavily on my arsenal of super-quick and easy recipes for back to school season, this year more than ever as we’ve just welcomed our newest little family member and I’m getting the hang of life with three (gah, THREE!) kids and don’t have hours to dedicate to weeknight meals.
Fast and simple is the name of the game right now, and I am a big fan of using quality ingredients like Zatarain’s rice mixes that allow you to cut out prep time without cutting out flavor.
Did you know that September is National Rice Month?! My love affair with rice began when I was really young. When my family went out for Chinese food, I would always ask for a bowl of plain white rice with a little soy sauce on the side. I kid you not, that was my personal heaven. Later I grew to love all sorts of rice like pineapple fried rice, veggie fried rice, and Tex-Mex rice, and over the years rice has become a staple ingredient in my cooking.
I recently whipped up these 30-minute Caribbean Chicken and Rice Lettuce Wraps to celebrate National Rice Month in partnership with Zatarain’s and my family is over the moon in love with this dish.
Zatarain’s has been bringing fun and flavor rice mixes – made with 100 percent U.S. grown long grain rice! – to the table for over 125 years and they, like me, believe that rice is so much more than a standalone side or something to serve protein over. Rice can be the heart of the dish, and that’s exactly the case with these chicken and rice lettuce wraps!
I used Zatarain’s Caribbean Rice Mix, sautéed in a little butter and simmered in water and coconut milk, as the base for these lettuce wraps and I am so thrilled with how flavorful this rice made the whole dish. I stirred in some seasoned chicken, and topped it all with fresh mango and bell pepper salsa for the ultimate balance of sweet and savory.
Your family is going to love this quick and easy, incredibly flavorful recipe so much! It’s the perfect way to kick off the busy, back-to-school Fall season AND National Rice Month – but don’t be surprised when your family requests it all year round!
Caribbean Chicken and Rice Lettuce Wraps
- 1 box Zatarain's Caribbean Rice Mix
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup coconut milk (or sub 1 cup water)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even 1/2 inch thickness
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried herb blend (like an Italian mix or Herbs de Provence) may sub 1/8 teaspoon each dried oregano, dried thyme, dried parsley, dried basil
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 head butter lettuce
- 2 mangoes, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- juice of one lime
- salt to taste
- For the mango salsa stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl, cover, and chill until ready to use. (Can be prepped up to several hours in advance if desired)
- Melt butter in a large sauce pan. Add rice mix and saute for 20-30 seconds. Add 1 cup water and 1 cup coconut milk (or 2 cups water without coconut milk), cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes until rice is fully cooked. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool slightly.
- Scoop rice into butter lettuce leaves. Top with diced chicken, and mango salsa. Serve immediately.