This dish is my favorite new recipe I’ve tried recently – both Jesse and I loved it and I think I’m going to have to add it to my regular routine of dishes to make. My friend from Loma Linda told me about this food blog that I needed to check out. My first time on the website I found a recipe to make these chicken and quinoa lettuce wraps with peanut sauce; I was hooked! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. These are actually super easy to make and make a great appetizer for a crowd or a lovely light dinner for a few.
I love the chicken lettuce wraps from P.F. Changs and have tried making them at home before but never really loved the teriyaki flavor when I made them. This flavor is so much better especially with the peanut sauce; the peanut ginger sesame sauce totally makes this dish!
This recipe calls for ground chicken, and I don’t know about you but I never buy ground chicken so I thought why not make my own? I found a tutorial online and it was actually a lot easier than I thought and doable with regular chicken breast, you can also use chicken thighs or even ground turkey would be a great option! OR this can make a really simple vegetarian option too, just omit the meat and use minced mushrooms instead and extra quinoa. That actually sounds so good I may have to try it out next time…
But, as far as making your own ground chicken, here’s how you do it:
Start by chopping up the chicken into chunks. The size really doesn’t matter too much but it’ll be easier for the food processor to work with smaller pieces than just a few large pieces.
Before throwing the chicken into the food processor put it into the freezer for just a few minutes or make sure the chicken is super cold. This allows the chicken to be cut a little cleaner than if it’s room temperature.
Process a few times. I apologize in advance – this step was so gross to me. Don’t over process because you don’t want to demolish the chicken, just process it enough that it begins to look like ground chicken.
Does anyone else strongly dislike raw chicken??
Put it on a skillet over medium heat. When the chicken is about half way cooked, add some soy sauce, fresh minced garlic, fresh minced ginger or ground ginger, and a dash of sesame seed oil.
Chop up half a can of water chestnuts into small pieces.
Add these to the chicken. I love adding chestnuts because you don’t taste them but you get the crunch.
Julienne some carrots and cucumber and then slice up some avocado. You can use whatever veggies you’d like but these are my favorites. If you buy the large carrots it’s a lot easier to shred them, I just happened to have some baby carrots on hand that I wanted to use up.
Then chop up some cilantro to add a little freshness to your lettuce wraps.
When the chicken is done cooking, grab your lettuce leaves and add a scoop of chicken and then a scoop of cooked quinoa. It doesn’t take much to fill these small lettuce leaves.
**I made the quinoa ahead of time in my rice cooker, just follow the instructions on the back of the bag. I usually substitute chicken broth for the water to give more flavor to the quinoa.
To make the sauce:
Grab some creamy peanut butter and sesame-ginger dressing. This dressing happens to be a vinaigrette which was yummy but maybe a little too vinegar-y for this sauce. I know there are lots of other dressings available that may work better. Mix them well and taste, feel free to add a little more peanut butter or dressing to your liking.
Add some of the veggies to each lettuce leaf and drizzle on some sauce…They look scrumptious!
And let me tell you, they tasted delicious!! These were so yummy I will definitely be making them more often. I especially loved this peanut-ginger sauce and will keep it in mind for future recipes needing peanut sauce.
For the original recipe, go here: http://natashaskitchen.com/2014/08/02/chicken-quinoa-lettuce-wraps-with-peanut-sauce/
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1-2 cups cooked Quinoa
- Lettuce leaves
- 1/2 can Water Chestnuts, diced
- 1 large Carrot, shredded or julienned
- 1/2 Cucumber, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 Avocado, sliced
- Fresh Cilantro, sliced
- 3 T Soy Sauce
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/2 t ground Ginger
- 1-2 drops Sesame Seed Oil
- 1/3 cup Ginger-Sesame dressing
- 2 T creamy Peanut Butter
- Add your ground chicken to a skillet on medium heat with a few tablespoons of oil.
- When chicken is about half way done, add in the soy sauce, ginger, garlic and sesame seed oil.
- Chop up some water chestnuts into a tiny dice, and add those to the chicken. Turn to medium-low heat and let cook.
- As chicken is cooking, shred or dice a few carrots, julienne half of a cucumber and slice half an avocado.
- Lightly chop a good amount of fresh cilantro.
- Mix the peanut butter and sesame-ginger dressing until smooth and completely combined.
- Assemble the ingredients on the lettuce leaves, first chicken, then cooked quinoa, then top it of with your vegetables and a good drizzle of peanut-ginger dressing.