With warmer weather almost here, food cravings are beginning to shift away from heavy, comforting foods like soup and potatoes to bright, cool fruits and vegetables. If you're craving a hearty meal that won't overheat your kitchen, try your hand at making vegan lettuce wraps. Not only is lettuce a crunchy vessel for a myriad of fillings, but it's also packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals and tons of water to keep you hydrated. Besides that, lettuce (and most of the refreshing fillings in these recipes) don't require cooking, which is ideal for summer meals.

1. "Raw-maine" Taco Wraps

These raw wraps are perfect for when you want something light for dinner, or want to serve something a little more creative than a side salad! They're filled with taco-inspired ingredients like tomatoes and avocado, as well as some unexpected additions like sprouts and a creamy tahini dressing. Since there's no cooking involved, these only take about 10 minutes to throw together.

2. Chickpea Fritter Wraps

For those days when you're craving a falafel pita, but your wallet can't afford another trip to Cava, these fritters come to the rescue. The chickpeas provide a decent amount of protein, and since these are baked instead of fried, they're low in the bad for you fats used in most fried recipes. Serve them with your favorite Mediterranean sauces like tahini, harissa, and tzatziki for the full experience. 

3. Thai Lettuce Wraps

salad, lettuce, vegetable, spinach
Angela Pizzimenti

The sweet and spicy peanut sauce in these wraps really makes this recipe. Make them without a protein as a yummy veggie side to peanut noodles, or with grilled tofu or vegan "chicken" to be a meal on their own. With a pre-shredded coleslaw mix, all you have to do is mix up the sauce, making these a perfect five-minute meal.

4. Buffalo Chickpea Wraps

Football season may be over, but that doesn't mean we have to stop eating buffalo everything. With a cashew-based ranch dressing, these vegan lettuce wraps have it all. The filling and the dressing only take about 10 minutes of hands-on time to prepare, but it's best if you let them rest for a while to soak up all the yummy, spicy sauce. 

5. Lentil Taco Wraps

The high-protein vegan filling is made from lentils and walnuts, so it's hearty enough to make these vegan lettuce wraps into a full meal. If you use canned lentils, the whole thing comes together in just a few minutes. 

6. Collard Green Spring Rolls

Growing up in a southern family, collard greens were always a side cooked with plenty of pork fat, so at first I was skeptical about eating them raw. One taste changed my mind! Collards are sturdy enough to hold plenty of filling, but flexible enough to make lovely wraps. Besides that, collards are one of the healthiest greens out there because of their high folate and Vitamin C content. These spring roll-inspired wraps with a sunflower butter dipping sauce showcase the versatility of collards.

7. Spicy Chickpea and Lentil Burgers

Keep things light and fresh with these vegan patties wrapped up in crunchy butter lettuce. The sweet mango pico provides a perfect contrast to the spicy jalapeño in the burger. This is another recipe where canned beans and lentils come in handy. After a quick whiz in the food processor, the patties just take a couple minute to grill on the stove.

8. Radicchio Chickpea Wraps

Radicchio is one of my favorite leafy greens (is it still called a "green" if it's purple?). Its mildly bitter flavor and crunchiness pair perfectly with lemony, Mediterranean-style chickpeas. Since all that goes into this recipe is canned chickpeas and dressing, they take almost no time at all to put together. A warning for vegans: this recipe uses honey, but you can easily swap it for agave nectar or maple syrup.

9. Tuna Salad-Style Chickpea Wraps

The lovely pink radishes and pickled onions in these lettuce wraps just scream spring. Briny flavors from capers and cornichons (a type of gherkin pickle) are reminiscent of tuna salad, except with chickpeas it has less fat and lots of fiber. The creamy, herby avocado dill dressing completes these wraps with a flavor as bright and fresh as they look.

10. Korean Cauliflower "Wings"

Be prepared; the gochujang chili sauce on these cauliflower "wings" is a bit spicy. Cool, crunchy lettuce is a non-traditional vessel for this classic Korean flavor. You can either make your own sauce or find some at your nearest international grocery store. Cauliflower will take on the flavor of any dish, plus it's a good source of vitamin C, B vitamins, and minerals.

When making vegan lettuce wraps, varying the type of lettuce can change the flavor dramatically. Butter lettuce and romaine are softer and milder; radicchio and collards have a sturdier crunch and more pronounced flavor; and iceberg is great for its large, cup-shaped leaves. Get creative! Any leafy veggie will do as long as the leaves are big enough. Maybe you'll discover a new favorite while you're prepping these wraps.