Spoon UIUC teamed up with Food & Wine magazine to increase awareness about the problem of food waste on our campus. With a microgrant of just under $100, we created 10 original recipes to show you how you can transform leftover late-night eats into something equally amazing the next day.

Orange chicken is a staple of takeout Asian food. But the citrus dish is also thick and heavy with a sauce that could stand in for glue if you leave it too long in its container.

That’s why we opted for this recipe that transforms sticky orange chicken into a refreshingly lighter lettuce wrap finished with toasted cashews and ginger.

Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Citrus Ginger Sauce

  • Prep Time:5 minutes
  • Cook Time:5 minutes
  • Total Time:10 minutes
  • Servings:4-6
  • Easy


  • 1 head of lettuce
  • 1 carton of leftover orange chicken
  • 1 bottle Asian ginger dipping sauce
  • 1 package broccoli slaw mix
  • 1 cup cashews

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place cashews on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and toast for about 5 minutes. Crush with the bottom of a cup or back of a spoon when finished.

Photo by Julia Marks
Photo by Julia Marks

Step 2

Coat a sauté pan with Asian ginger dipping sauce and add in broccoli slaw. Let cook until vegetables are slightly soft.

Photo by Julia Marks
Photo by Julia Marks

Step 3

Chop orange chicken leftovers into pieces and add to slaw.

#SpoonTip: Microwave orange chicken for a minute first, if leftovers are sticking to their container. 

Photo by Julia Marks
Photo by Julia Marks

Step 4

Fill lettuce cups and garnish with crushed, toasted cashews.

Photo by Julia Marks
Photo by Julia Marks