lettuce boats with vegan toppings
Vegan Recipes | Snacks and Sides

Vegan Noodle Lettuce Boats with Three Toppings

If you’re ever trying to work out what to feed a crowd at a graduation or barbecue, these little lettuce boats are perfect.

I hadn’t made these in years. Then, with guests due in 40 minutes and a bare fridge and pantry (how do I get myself into situations like this?) there I was peeling off iceberg lettuce leaves to make a salad when it hit me.

That beautiful spoon shape of a lettuce leaf.

lettuce leaves made into boats with vegan toppings

Not only is it perfect for using your fingers while eating, it also makes anything you put in it look a lot more fancy than it really is.

Something I really, really value!

I made these with some rice noodles and chose three separate toppings: mushrooms, ginger fried tofu and cumin and carrots in maple syrup.

lettuce leaves and vegan toppings for graduation or crowds

These lettuce boats will get you out of any jam is you need something quick, but you could make these pretty darn – well – pretty and colorful for a gathering like a graduation or feeding a crowd if you planned this in advance.

Just remember none of this works without a crunchy lettuce leaf. Once you put something warm in this the leaf – as I do here – it will start getting soft.

So keep your lettuce leaves in the freezer at least 20 minutes before serving then serve (and eat!) immediately.

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Perfect Lettuce Boats with Three Easy Toppings
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins

Perfect for graduations, parties or barbecues, these lettuce boats are great finger food needing no cutlery and packing mouthful of flavor with every bite!

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 9 boats
Author: Jenny
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 6 crimini or small flavorful mushrooms quartered
  • 7 oz extra firm tofu (half a pack)
  • 4 medium sized carrots cut into thumb sized sticks
  • 8 oz rice noodles or other vegan noodles
  • 9 crispy iceberg lettuce leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 red chilli thinly diced
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp white or brown sugar
  1. Bring a small pot of salted water to boil and add carrots. Cook no longer than 4 minutes so they still have bite.

  2. While carrots are cooking, heat the medium sized pan you will be using for the toppings to a medium heat with a little olive oil.

  3. Once the pan is hot, add chili, garlic and mushrooms with a generous seasonings of salt and pepper.

  4. Fry mushrooms until they start to lose their moisture and crisp, around 5 minutes.

  5. While mushrooms are cooking, remove and drain carrots. Run under cold water to stop them cooking and mix them in a small bowl with maple syrup and a pinch of salt.

  6. Once mushrooms are finished, put aside and keep warm.

  7. Wipe pan and reheat to a high heat with some olive oil for the tofu.

  8. Add tofu and soy sauce. Sprinkle half the sugar on top, fry for two minutes then turn over and repeat. Remove the tofu once crisped up and set aside.

  9. Wipe pan and reheat to medium-heat. Add carrots and cumin. Mix and cook for 5 minutes.

  10. While carrots are cooking, bring another pot of water to the boil and cook rice noodles to package instructions.

  11. Bring out your lettuce boats from the ice bowl or freezer (where you have kept them crisp!) and arrange.

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