Lettuce wraps have become a popular low-calorie alternative to burritos and sandwiches. But how many calories are actually in a Famous Star lettuce wrap? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the calorie count in a Famous Star lettuce wrap and look at how it fits into a balanced diet.
What is a Famous Star Lettuce Wrap?
A Famous Star lettuce wrap is a wrap made with iceberg lettuce in place of a tortilla or bun. Famous Star is a restaurant chain that serves Tex-Mex inspired cuisine. Their lettuce wraps are made with your choice of meat, beans, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo and other toppings wrapped in crisp iceberg lettuce leaves.
Some of the most popular options for Famous Star lettuce wraps are:
- Chicken lettuce wrap
- Steak lettuce wrap
- Carnitas lettuce wrap
- Barbacoa lettuce wrap
Using lettuce instead of bread or tortillas makes these wraps lower in carbohydrates. The lettuce cups add crunch and freshness, while allowing the flavorful fillings to shine. Lettuce wraps have surged in popularity with the rise of low-carb and paleo diets. They provide a lighter way to enjoy your favorite Tex-Mex flavors.
Calories in Famous Star Lettuce Wraps
The number of calories in a Famous Star lettuce wrap can vary considerably depending on the specific fillings you choose. In general, a lettuce wrap from Famous Star will contain between 300-700 calories.
Here are the approximate calories for some of the most common lettuce wrap options:
- Chicken Lettuce Wrap – 370 calories
- Steak Lettuce Wrap – 550 calories
- Carnitas Lettuce Wrap – 460 calories
- Barbacoa Lettuce Wrap – 300 calories
The chicken, steak and carnitas lettuce wraps tend to be higher in calories since they contain more protein from the meat. The barbacoa is lower in calories thanks to the leaner shredded beef barbacoa.
You can further customize your wrap to be lower or higher in calories:
- Add avocado or guacamole – around 100 extra calories
- Add cheese – around 50-100 extra calories
- Add sour cream – around 50 extra calories
- Go light on fillings like rice and beans to reduce calories
A plain lettuce wrap with just meat, lettuce and pico de gallo can clock in as low as 200-300 calories. Loading it up with cheeses, guacamole, rice, beans and sauces can make it 600 calories or more.
Nutrition in Famous Star Lettuce Wraps
In addition to calories, here is how a typical Famous Star lettuce wrap stacks up nutritionally:
As you can see, a typical lettuce wrap provides a good amount of protein from ingredients like chicken, steak or carnitas. They tend to be moderately low in carbs when skipping the tortilla. You’ll also get fiber from the lettuce and small amounts of fat from ingredients like cheese and guacamole.
Overall, lettuce wraps make a nutritious light meal or snack that is lower in carbs than sandwiches or burritos. They provide protein, vitamins from fresh vegetables, and fiber.
Vitamins and Minerals
Lettuce wraps provide vitamins and minerals including:
- Vitamin C – from fresh tomatoes and salsa
- Vitamin A – from lettuce and carrots
- Potassium – from guacamole and meat
- Folate – from beans and lettuce
- Iron – from meat and pinto beans
Exact amounts will vary based on your filling choices. Selecting lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, guacamole and beans will boost the vitamin and mineral content.
Are Lettuce Wraps Healthy?
Lettuce wraps can be a very healthy meal option when made with lean protein, fresh vegetables and minimal added sauces or cheeses. The fresh lettuce adds crunch and nutrients without many calories.
However, lettuce wraps can also become unhealthy if you pile on high-calorie sauces, fatty meats, cheese, rice, beans and other heavy ingredients. Sticking with lighter ingredients will keep them as a nutritious option.
Some benefits of lettuce wraps include:
- Lower in carbs and calories than tortillas or buns
- Contain fiber from the lettuce
- Provide protein from meats, beans or tofu
- Include vitamins and minerals from vegetables
- Fresh, crunchy texture
- Highly customizable
- Gluten-free when avoiding tortillas
Potential downsides of lettuce wraps can include:
- Can be high in sodium if using salty sauces
- Higher in calories when loaded with high-fat fillings
- Less sturdy than tortillas or bread – can fall apart
- Minimal protein or fiber if only filled with vegetables
- May not keep you full as long without carbs
Lettuce Wrap Recipe Ideas
You can fill lettuce wraps with almost any combination of flavors you enjoy. Try these tasty and healthy recipe ideas:
Greek Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Chicken breast
- Lettuce leaves
- Diced cucumber
- Chopped tomato
- Crumbled feta
- Greek yogurt dressing
Southwest Steak Lettuce Wraps
- Seared steak
- Lettuce leaves
- Roasted corn salsa
- Black beans
- Cheddar cheese
Crunchy Asian Lettuce Wraps
- Ground turkey or tofu
- Lettuce leaves
- Bell pepper
- Green onion
- Peanut dressing
Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Shredded chicken
- Lettuce leaves
- Frank’s hot sauce
- Blue cheese crumbles
Mix and match your favorite flavors to create lettuce wraps that are healthy and delicious.
Tips for Lettuce Wrap Success
Follow these tips for great tasting lettuce wraps every time:
- Choose lettuce with sturdy, crunchy leaves like iceberg, romaine or butter lettuce
- Don’t overload the lettuce or it may tear and fall apart
- Brush lettuce leaves lightly with olive oil or dressing so ingredients stick
- Cut up any meat, poultry or veggies into bite-sized pieces for easier eating
- Place wetter ingredients like tomatoes in the center so lettuce doesn’t get soggy
- Wrap each lettuce leaf individually for portion control
- Store leftovers in fridge up to 3 days – don’t prep too far ahead
- You can use lettuce leaves as both a wrap and a vessel for dipping sauces
Lettuce Wrap FAQs
Are lettuce wraps gluten free?
Yes, lettuce wraps are inherently gluten-free since they use lettuce leaves instead of tortillas or buns which contain gluten. As long as you avoid ingredients with gluten like soy sauce, they make a great gluten-free option.
Are lettuce wraps keto?
Lettuce wraps can fit into a keto diet when you limit the higher carb fillings. Stick with ingredients like meat, vegetables, cheese, guacamole and avoid beans, rice, and high-sugar sauces.
Do lettuce wraps keep you full?
Lettuce wraps are moderately filling thanks to protein from meats or plant-based options. Adding fiber-rich ingredients like beans can help. But you may need to accompany them with some nutritious fat and protein sides to keep you full if eating as a main meal.
How do you make lettuce wraps?
Start with clean, sturdy lettuce leaves like iceberg or romaine. Layer your desired fillings in the center, leaving room at the base and stem so you can fold up the lettuce. Brush with a bit of olive oil or dressing so ingredients adhere. Fold up the left and right sides of the lettuce, then roll up from the bottom.
How long do lettuce wraps last?
Freshly made lettuce wraps will last 2-3 days when refrigerated in an airtight container. The lettuce may start to wilt after that. For best results, assemble lettuce wraps just before eating.
The Bottom Line
Lettuce wraps from Famous Star can range from 300-700 calories depending on your filling choices. In general, they provide protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals when made with lean meat and fresh vegetables. Limit high-calorie sauces, rice, beans and cheese to keep your wrap light and nutritious. Lettuce wraps make a flavorful lower carb option that can be healthy when filled with the right ingredients.