Easy Thai Lettuce Wraps with chickpea and quinoa ‘meatballs’ and peanut dressing are a perfect healthy and delicious vegan lunch or dinner made with everyday ingredients!
Hello lovelies! Today I am over the top excited to share with you a recipe, with permission, from the new cookbook, Everyday Cooking, from Minimalist Baker!
These amazing Thai Lettuce Wraps are inspired by the quinoa meatball recipe in the cookbook. In her book, Dana suggests serving the cooked meatballs over carrot ribbons and drizzling with the peanut sauce – super delicious!
I wanted to stay along the same lines of freshness and decided to do vegan lettuce wraps. And it was a perfect match!
These Thai inspired lettuce wraps require just a handful of ingredients, and are quick and easy to make. Lunch or dinner will be ready in about 45 minutes from start to finish.
Ingredients You’ll Need
In this recipe, mashed chickpeas are mixed with quinoa and flavor enhancers then rolled into meatballs and baked. Once ready, they are added to lettuce wraps with shredded carrots, scallions and creamy peanut dressing.
Here is everything you will need:
- coconut sugar – can sub with brown sugar, date sugar, or pure cane sugar
- peanut butter – crunchy or smooth, can also sub with almond butter
- tamari – sub with soy sauce, coconut aminos or namy shoyu
- chili paste – I used Huy Fong garlic chili paste
- shredded carrots – for convenience use packaged shredded carrots
- bibb lettuce – or living lettuce, boston or other cup style lettuce
How To Make Thai Lettuce Wraps
(Note – The full printable recipe is at the bottom of this post)
- Mash chickpeas: Drain, rinse and pat the chickpeas dry as possible. Place the chickpeas in a medium mixing bowl and mash well with the back of a fork (pulsing in a blender/food processor will also work).
- Add remaining ingredients and mix: To the chickpeas add the quinoa, sugar, peanut butter, tamari, cilantro, scallions, chili sauce and peanuts. Mix well to combine.
- Roll the meatballs: Scoop out 1 ½ tablespoons of mixture and roll into balls and place on prepared baking sheet (above left). Take your time, gently pressing and rolling. You may need to wash your hands after rolling a few. Yields about 12 – 13.
- Bake: Place on the center rack in the oven for 25 – 20 minutes. Above right picture shows baked ‘meatballs’.
- Peanut sauce: While the meatballs are baking, prepare the peanut dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, tamari, sugar, lime juice, and chili sauce (pictured above left). Add hot water a tablespoon or so at a time until desired consistency. If too thin add more nut butter.
- Assemble lettuce wraps: Place lettuce (I like to double my lettuce for added strength) on individual serving dishes, top with carrots, meatballs, scallions, peanuts, cilantro and a drizzle of peanut sauce. Enjoy to the fullest!
How To Store + Meal Prep
- Refrigerator: Leftover ‘meatballs’ can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in covered containers.
- Meal prep: Lettuce Wraps are great for meal prepping and can be stored in airtight multi-use containers and taken for a quick grab-n-go snack or lunch. When making for meal prep, you may consider doubling up the lettuce for each wrap to strengthen them due to storing.
- Dressing: For a different dressing, try these two dipping sauces from this Summer Rolls recipe. There’s a ginger peanut dressing and sweet chili sauce that would be nice with these Thai Lettuce Wraps.
More Easy Thai Recipes You’ll Love
- Spicy Thai Mango Salad
- Spicy Thai Curry Corn Soup
- Thai Crunch Salad + Peanut Dressing
- Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad
- Raw Pad Thai
If you try this easy lettuce wraps recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
THAI LETTUCE WRAPS (HEALTHY + VEGAN)
These easy Thai Lettuce Wraps with ‘meatballs’ featuring chickpeas and quinoa are a perfect healthy and delicious vegan lunch or dinner! And it wouldn’t be complete without peanut sauce! Recipe comes from Minimalist Baker’s cookbook, ‘Everyday Cooking‘.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 30 min
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: Serves 3 1x
- Category: Entree
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: Thai
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- ¼ cup coconut sugar (or organic brown sugar)
- 2 tablespoons salted natural peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
- 2 – 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- ¼ cup roasted salted peanuts, crushed or finely chopped
- ⅓ cup natural peanut butter or almond butter
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or organic brown sugar
- ½ lime, juiced
- ½ – 1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce
- 2 – 4 tablespoons hot water, to thin
- 1 head butter or bibb lettuce or 1 – 2 head romaine
- shredded carrots
- sliced green onions
- chopped peanuts
- chopped fresh cilantro
- lime wedges
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat, or lightly grease with oil.
Mash chickpeas: Drain, rinse and pat the chickpeas dry as possible. In a medium size mixing bowl, add chickpeas and mash well with the back of a fork (pulsing in a blender/food processor will also work).
Mix the meatball mixture: Add in the remaining ingredients for the meatballs with the mashed chickpeas. Mix well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If mixture is too wet, add a bit more crushed peanuts (a few tablespoons of breadcrumbs would work great too). I will depend on how wet your quinoa and peanut butter are.
Roll meatballs: Scoop up mixture, using about 1 – 1 ½ heaping tablespoons. Gently, but firmly press the mixture together and shape into balls, rolling between your palms. Take your time. You should get about 12. The mixture my be sticky and you may need to rinse your hands after rolling 2 – 3 balls, it helps to keep your hands clean.
Bake: Place ‘meatballs’ on the prepared baking sheet. Place on the center rack in the oven for 25 – 20 minutes.
Peanut sauce: In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter, tamari, sugar, lime, garlic and chili sauce. Add hot water a tablespoon or so at a time until desired consistency. If too thin add more nut butter.
Serve: Place lettuce (you may want to double up the lettuce for added strength) on individual serving dishes, top with carrots, meatballs, scallions, peanuts, cilantro and a drizzle of peanut sauce. Enjoy to the fullest!
Serves 3 (4 meatballs per serving)
Store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 – 6 days.
In her cookbook, Dana suggested serving the meatballs over top carrot ribbons and topping with scallions, peanuts and the peanut sauce. Keeping it fresh, you could also do spiralized zucchini or cucumber noodles. You may also like to top them over soba or rice noodles with the peanut sauce as well. Anyway you serve them, they are delicious!
Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclosure here.
Updated: Thai Lettuce Wraps was originally published in May 2016. It has been retested and updated with new photos and helpful tips in July 2020.