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Slow Cooker Beef Lettuce Wraps with Quick Pickles

Photo: Jennifer Causey Styling: Claire Spollen

Hands-on time 35 mins
Total time 8 hrs, 35 mins

Serves 8 (serving size: 2 lettuce wraps and about 1/4 cup pickles)

The low, even heat of the slow cooker helps flavor powerhouses like miso, sesame oil, and soy sauce impart tenderizing moisture, umami depth, and savory personality to common pot roast.


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted beef stock
  • 1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 11 tablespoons rice vinegar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon white miso (soybean paste)
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced English cucumber
  • 3/4 cup julienne-cut carrot
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 16 Bibb lettuce leaves
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Nutrition Information

  • calories 213
  • fat 8.9 g
  • satfat 2.2 g
  • monofat 3.8 g
  • polyfat 2 g
  • protein 24 g
  • carbohydrate 9 g
  • fiber 1 g
  • cholesterol 66 mg
  • iron 3 mg
  • sodium 575 mg
  • calcium 39 mg
  • sugars 6 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 5 g

How to Make It

  1. Coat bottom and sides of a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Layer onion slices in bottom of slow cooker; top with garlic.

  2. Heat canola oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add chuck roast to pan; cook 2 to 3 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place beef on top of onions and garlic; pour any drippings from pan over top.

  3. Combine stock, soy sauce, 3 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and next 4 ingredients (through red pepper) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour mixture over beef and onions in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.

  4. Place cucumber and carrot in 2 shallow bowls 15 minutes before meat is done. Combine remaining 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 cup water, and granulated sugar in a small saucepan over high heat; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; divide vinegar mixture evenly between cucumbers and carrots. Let stand until ready to serve; drain well.

  5. Transfer beef from slow cooker to a large platter; shred with 2 forks. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat; add shredded beef to pan, pressing into an even layer. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, without stirring. Turn off heat. Sprinkle evenly with salt and 1/4 cup cooking liquid from slow cooker; toss to coat. Discard remaining cooking liquid, onions, and garlic. Divide beef and pickles among lettuce leaves; sprinkle with sesame seeds.