The Unwich from Jimmy John’s is my absolute favorite keto friendly fast food. For those who have yet to experience an unwich, the sub shop will take any sandwich on their menu, nix the bread, and wrap all the fixings in an intricately constructed half-lettuce-half-parchment origami. Essentially, it’s a lettuce wrap sandwich that doesn’t fall apart while you eat it. I love them so much.
Like… a little too much? There’s a Jimmy John’s right by my work, and they may or may not know my order by heart by now. They are so convenient and yummy, and they DELIVER! They also total somewhere around fifteen bucks after taxes, tip, and delivery fees… so it’s pretty expensive for lunch that I’m usually scarfing down in my cubicle in between work blah. I feel super guilty every time I order one too, in my head thinking: “Man, fifteen bucks I could just buy ingredients at the grocery store and make something like this for a week straight.”
Ding, ding, ding! Damn right, I can make this at home!
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I was a little perplexed by how neat and intact the restaurant’s lettuce leaves always are; the paper wrap also through me off a bit. But I did a little sleuthing (aka spent way too much time on YouTube watching videos about lettuce wraps) and pieced it together.
First of all, you’ll need to tackle the lettuce. Remove the core and outermost leaves, then place the head of lettuce under running water. The water will get in between the layers of leaves and help loosen and separate. Gently remove the leaves, layer by layer, while you continue to hold under running water.
The water is so crucial during this process; it makes a world of difference! I’ve tried it without and the leaves tear and break. Core, water, separate.
Reserve the larger leaves for your unwiches and save the rest for salads, mini tacos, or whatever your heart desires.
Next, pull out your handy dandy parchment paper and cut off a large square piece. Fold one corner in, so you’ve got a bit of a triangle shape going on. That flat folded edge will be the part where your unwich will poke out. Take a large lettuce leaf and place it right along the folded edge.
Load up your lettuce leaf with whatever sandwich fixings your heart desires. The choice is yours! I do a lot of turkey, bacon, and avocado… but it depends on what I have on hand or how I’ve mapped my meals out for the week. Deli meats, cheese, tomatoes, tuna, you name it. Once you have your ingredients added, it’s time to wrap!
Fold the top edge of the lettuce leaf down over the ingredients. Ensure the lettuce is still along the folded edge of the parchment paper; scoot it if you need to. Take the left side of the leaf and fold it in, then the right side of the leaf and fold it over. Carefully roll the little lettuce bundle up with the parchment paper. I like to get this pretty tightly wrapped. I start from the left corner of the folded edge, tucking in the pointy bottom, and continue rolling until I meet the right corner of the folded edge. Voila! Unwich!
To eat, you just fold down the paper wrap to reveal a portion of the unwich to take a bite. Keep going until there are no more bites to take. Enjoy your homemade unwich!
- 1 leaf lettuce large
- 1 slice swiss cheese
- 2 oz turkey
- 1 oz ham
- 1 slice tomato
- ½ avocado pitted
- 1 tsp mustard
- Core lettuce, remove the two outermost leaves (discard) and run under water. Peel layers of lettuce apart one by one as water runs through leaves.
- Cut off a large square piece of parchment paper. Fold one corner in to form a triangle shape.
- Place a large lettuce leaf (or two) right along the folded edge.
- Pack the lettuce leaves with your “sandwich” ingredients: swiss cheese, turkey, ham, tomato, avocado, and mustard.
- Fold the top edge of the lettuce leaf down over the ingredients.
- Take the left side of the leaf and fold it in, then the right side of the leaf and fold it over.
- Carefully roll the little lettuce bundle up with the parchment paper. Start from the left corner of the folded edge, tuck in the pointy bottom, and continue rolling until you meet the right corner of the folded edge.
Hi, I'm Tasha–nutritionist, recipe developer, and multi-published cookbook author.