Home » Type » Sandwiches + Wraps » THAI LETTUCE WRAPS (HEALTHY + VEGAN)

THAI LETTUCE WRAPS (HEALTHY + VEGAN)

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! 

top down view of vegan lettuce wraps with thai quinoa meatballs on a plate with items surrounding.

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.

top down view of ingredients used to make thai quinoa meatballs lettuce wraps.

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:

  • chickpeas
  • quinoa
  • coconut sugar – can sub with brown sugar, date sugar, or pure cane sugar
  • peanut butter – crunchy or smooth, can also sub with almond butter
  • scallions
  • peanuts
  • cilantro
  • lime 
  • 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

side by side photos showing the process of making thai quinoa meatballs.

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.

side by side photos showing the process of baking thai quinoa meatballs.

  • Roll the meatballs: Scoop out 1 1/2 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’.

side by side photos showing the process of making peanut sauce.

  • 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!

side angle view of vegan lettuce wraps with thai quinoa meatballs on a plate with items surrounding.

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.

Serving Suggestions

  • 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.

top down view of hand holding a vegan lettuce wrap with thai quinoa meatballs.

More Easy Thai Recipes You’ll Love

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‘.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: Thai
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale

Meatballs

  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or organic brown sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons salted natural peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
  • 23 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1/4 cup roasted salted peanuts, crushed or finely chopped

Peanut Sauce

  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or organic brown sugar
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/21 teaspoon garlic chili sauce
  • 24 tablespoons hot water, to thin

Lettuce wraps

  • 1 head butter or bibb lettuce or 12 head romaine
  • shredded carrots
  • sliced green onions
  • chopped peanuts
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • lime wedges

Instructions

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 1/2 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.

Notes

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.

FOLLOW TSV on FacebookInstagramPinterest or RSS for more updates and inspiration!

14 Comments

  1. Heather Robinson says:

    Love the recipe however my mix was very wet – I thought it needed something to bind it as when I attempted to put balls on the tray they just fell apart and went into burger shape.
    So I added half cup aquafaba – made even more wet – so added another half cup cooked quinoa – still wet so decided to cook anyway.
    They did not come out as balls rather flat patties – what did I do wrong?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thanks for the feedback Heather! Not sure what could’ve happened. Did you pat the chickpeas dry? Also, the mixture needs to be firmly, but gently pressed together and shaped. I’ve changed the instructions a bit to help point that out. Hopefully that will do the trick and you get a chance to try them again. My apologies, but glad the flavor was good! :)

  2. Hello! I just bought your cookbook and this recipe is one of the first I’ll try! To clarify, is it 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, or 1/2 cup of quinoa, cooked?

    Looking forward to cooking more recipes from this book!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Hi Caitlin, it’s 1/2 cup quinoa that has been precooked. Enjoy the book and the ‘meatballs’. Cheers :)

  3. Pauline Schloesser says:

    I’m going to make this for my Monday night Prenatal Yoga Class with Dinner. Any suggestions for side dishes? I feed 15 people and anything I can make a few hours in advance would be great.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      I would suggest serving the Fresh Thai Salad with this. It’s both light and refreshing. Make it ahead of time and let it chill in the fridge, or serve at room temp. Adjust the dressing to your liking. You could slice a pineapple in half and make a pineapple boat with plenty of toothpicks to grab the slices. If I think of something more, I’ll comment again.

      Hope everyone enjoys it! Cheers :)

  4. Have you tried freezing these after they are baked? I *think* they would be fine, but would like to hear from someone who has tried it.

  5. thanks for the love! They turned out beautifully. xo

  6. Wow, I just made the sauce and balls (I used white kidney beans in place if the chickpeas and toasted pumpkin seeds in place of the peanuts) and put it over spiralized zucchini and carrot. This is amazing! Thanks for a keeper.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      I love your substitutes! I was wondering when I was making these if other white bean would be just as good and you answered my thought. I’ll definitely have to try these over spiralized zucchini & carrots, sounds delicious! :)

  7. This looks so good :)I love the recipes from Dana!! Got the book and really need to start cooking all the recipes…

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      It’s an amazing book! Everything in it looks like something I would make. You will not be disappointed! Cheers :)

  8. Hi Julie!
    You see, despite having been subscribed to your site for quite a while now, I’ve somehow never mustered up the courage to a) compliment your beautiful work and b) ask you the one thing I keep wondering (about said beautiful work ;)). Therefore, I felt that needed to change, and now here I am.
    Keep it up :)

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Hi Pia, Thank you so much for following along! And secondly, thank you so much for wonderful compliment! It makes my day. I’m still no where near where I want to be, but I’m learning all the time and I love it. It’s important to enjoy the process and not be too hard on ourselves. Cheers :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating