Hawaiian-Style BBQ Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Avocado and Red Pepper Pico de Gallo

Sticky-sweet and smoky, this simple Hawaiian-style barbeque chicken will be your new go to summer griller, served in a crisp lettuce wrap with creamy avocado and a piquant pepper salsa for a fresh and balanced bite.


For the barbeque chicken:

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and minced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free tamari
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

For the red pepper Pico de Gallo:

  • 1/2 red onion, diced and rinsed thoroughly in cold water until crisp
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 8 sweet Lana’i red peppers or red Fresno chiles, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves

To serve:

  • 1 head butter leaf lettuce, core removed, leaves divided, washed and patted dry
  • 1 avocado, sliced


Step 1

In a blender or food processor combine garlic, ginger, ketchup, brown sugar, gluten-free tamari, rice wine vinegar, blend until smooth and reserve 1 cup of sauce for garnish. In a large mixing bowl combine the chicken and remaining sauce and stir to evenly coat then cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Step 2

Combine the red onion, garlic, white vinegar, lime juice, and kosher salt in a medium mixing bowl, stir thoroughly, and let marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, preheat a well-oiled grill or cast-iron grill pan until hot. Grill chicken over medium-high heat for 4 to 6 minutes per side (or until thermometer reads 165°F).

Step 4

Combine the marinated onion mixture, Roma tomatoes, Lana’i or Fresno chiles, and cilantro in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Step 5

Slice chicken into thin strips and serve in a butter lettuce wrap with avocado, red pepper Pico, and reserved sauce.