Dinner Archives - Percolate Kitchen

20-Minute Chinese-Style Chicken and Lettuce Wraps

Every time we go to P.F. Changs, I order the chicken lettuce wraps. This is a way easy version! My family loved it and it's ready in like 20 minutes so super simple.

Every time we go to P.F. Changs, I order the chicken lettuce wraps. This is a way easy version! My family loved it and it's ready in like 20 minutes so super simple.

These Chinese-Style Chicken Lettuce Wraps are simple, delicious, and make a fabulous make-ahead meal for busy weeks or weekly meal prep!

Want to know a secret? This is more or less the same sauce I make my 15 Minute Beef and Bok Choy Lo Mein with. Same easy sauce, two delicious dishes- both read in under 20 minutes!

Come on. I can’t get any easier than that.

For a girl who loves her Seamless food delivery app like it’s my third child, even I admit- it’s faster to make each of these dishes sometimes than it is to wait on the delivery guy to scooter on up to my front door.

(And instead of a tip, I just pour myself a glass of wine. #besttipever)

The easy make-ahead-ability of these chicken lettuce wraps is why it’s so perfect to have on hand for busy weeks.

Whether you’re on the ball and always make your meals ahead (tell me your secrets!) or you’re a planner who likes to meal prep out your lunches for the week, this is a great recipe to have in your back pocket.

Another thing I love about this recipe is that it doesn’t require a lot of advanced planning to pull off! All of the sauce ingredients are pantry items that can hold for a while, including the crushed peanuts added for garnish at the end.

If you’ve got chicken in your freezer and lettuce in your fridge – or you can grab a head of lettuce on your way home from work – you’ll be able to crank this recipe out quickly once you get home, saving you some time, money, and a helluva lot of effort.

Because let’s be honest: the best kind of weeknight recipe is one that doesn’t require a ton of forthought.

You know the kind I mean: recipes that you can make when the mood strikes, or when the ish hits the fan, and you’re scrambling for a quick meal.

Recipes you turn to on the nights you can’t stomach another evening of takeout, or boxed mac and cheese and a side of roasted vegetables.

Yeah, I know you know what I mean. I may or may not have had my share of those nights, also!

Make these chicken lettuce wraps as the main course, or just a side.

I like to sometimes serve these chicken lettuce wraps not with lettuce, but over rice instead. The sauce is unctuous and tasty, light yet filling, and it works well with any vehicle you choose, be that a starch or a vegetable.

Plus, the kids like this dish! 👐

I take out the peanuts for my son since he’s too young to chew on them yet (where are your molars, boy!?) and my daughter eats it with ketchup which makes me cringey but hey. You can’t win them all.

When a bossy, stubborn three-year-old eats her dinner without further complaint, you hand over that ketchup. Am I right?

In any case, these chicken lettuce wraps are a perfect weeknight dinner for the entire family, ketchup or no!

 

Every time we go to P.F. Changs, I order the chicken lettuce wraps. This is a way easy version! My family loved it and it's ready in like 20 minutes so super simple.
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Chinese-Style Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
This easy dish uses the same sauce base as the Beef and Bok Choy Lo Mein and is then topped with zesty green onions and crunchy peanuts. Roll it up in Bibb lettuce leaves for an easy meal or side. I crush my own peanuts by pulsing dry roasted, unsalted peanuts in the food processor until chopped. You can also buy pre-crushed peanuts sometimes in the nut aisle of your grocery store. The chicken portion of this dish freezes great! Cook the chicken as instructed, then wrap tightly with separate containers of peanuts and diced green onions and freeze everything together for up to 8 weeks. Thaw, reheat the chicken and top with the peanuts and green onions and serve in fresh lettuce cups.
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground or diced chicken
  • For the sauce:
  • 1/3 cup beef broth
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoon oyster sauce
For garnish and serving:
  • 6-8 Bibb lettuce leaves washed and gently dried
  • ¼ cup crushed unsalted peanuts
  • 2 green onions white ends trimmed, minced
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering.
  2. Add the chicken and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon or spatula, until it starts to brown.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, add the sauce ingredients to a container with a tight-fitting lid. Secure the lid, then shake the contents of the container until the brown sugar and ground ginger have dissolved. Alternatively, you can add the sauce ingredients to a large bowl and then whisk until they are incorporated.
  4. Pour the sauce into the saucepan and stir to combine with the chicken. Turn the heat to low and simmer, cooking until the sauce has started to reduce a bit and the chicken is cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken from the heat. Spoon evenly into lettuce cups and top with the peanuts and green onions.

Easy Butternut Squash Pasta with Roasted Kale and Creamy Ricotta

This is such an easy recipe with only 6 ingredients! I like making it when it's cold outside, because it needs a pretty hot oven, but it's really simple to make. It stores pretty well, too, for making ahead of time.

This is such an easy recipe with only 6 ingredients! I like making it when it's cold outside, because it needs a pretty hot oven, but it's really simple to make. It stores pretty well, too, for making ahead of time.

My deep and unabiding love for roasted butternut squash knows no bounds, and this easy butternut squash recipe showcases just what I love about this versatile ingredient!

This isn’t the fastest recipe in the whole wide world, but it is incredibly simple. Olive oil, salt, and a hot oven will do most of the flavor building here.

And isn’t that what’s great about roasting vegetables? It completely turns their original flavor profile upside down. It brings sweetness to the forefront and just ups the game in terms of flavor.

In fact, if turning on my oven didn’t make my kitchen feel like a sweat lodge in the middle of August, I’d probably be roasting veggies straight up through summer.

Here’s why I love this butternut squash recipe, especially in the winter.

It combines chewy and creamy textures with sweet and nutty flavor profiles. it’s all topped with a delicious dollop of creamy ricotta cheese. Pretty tough to get any yummier than that, amiright?

In fact, due to my butternut squash love, I recently compiled this huge recipe roundup 12 Cooks Reveal Their BEST Butternut Squash Recipes for the Holidays

That post also includes my favorite tip on how you, too, can cut into a butternut squash and not feel like you’re about to cut your arm off in the process.

(Trust me. It’s a butternut squash recipe game changer!)

Don’t forget that roasted kale! (I know, right!?)

Have you had kale this way before? Tossed with olive oil and a bit of salt, roasted in a hot oven (~400*) for about 10-ish minutes, and kale is suddenly NOT the typical hipster food your vegan aunt is always gushing about (though her raw kale ways is pretty delicious too, just saying). It’s so much more.

Roasting totally changes the game when it comes to kale, and if you’ve never been a big kale fan, I really implore you to try it this way. It makes is ‘meatier’, blend-able, and gives it this nutty flavor that is hard to describe. You’ve got to try it for yourself!

Last but certainly not least, top the whole big bowl off with a spoonful of creamy ricotta cheese.

Ricotta is what really ties this dish together, making each and every component work.

(or is that werk? I’m not cool enough to know, I don’t think)

The ricotta becomes a defacto sauce, mixing with the creamy butternut squash and chewy tubes of pasta, with that roasty kale goodness.

This is a dish that winter meals are made of.

This is a dish that you make on a Saturday when you’re busy at home but want something simple and tasty.

This is a dish of just 5 ingredients that make you thank the lord for hot ovens and olive oil. Yes, please, and thank you!

This is such an easy recipe with only 6 ingredients! I like making it when it's cold outside, because it needs a pretty hot oven, but it's really simple to make. It stores pretty well, too, for making ahead of time.
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Easy Butternut Squash, Roasted Kale, and Ricotta Rigatoni Pasta
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 


Servings: 4
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
  • 1 large butternut squash peeled, deseeded and diced (about 4 cups)
  • 2 large bunches of curly kale stems removed and roughly chopped (about 2-3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil divided
  • 3 teaspoons sea salt divided
  • 12 ounces rigatoni pasta
  • 1/2 cup 4 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450*.
  2. While the oven is preheating, spread the butternut squash evenly between 2 rimmed sheet pans. Drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Toss with hands to coat.
  3. Place the squash in the oven and roast 35-45 minutes, or until soft and cooked through and beginning to brown. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  4. While the squash is roasting, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.
  5. On a rimmed sheet pan, spread the kale evenly and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt and toss with hands to coat.
  6. When the butternut squash is roasted and removed from the oven, add the kale. Roast for 8-10 minutes or until the edges have begun to crisp and the kale has wilted and softened. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  7. Toss the pasta, roasted butternut squash, and roasted kale together in a large bowl. Taste and season with more salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste.
  8. Serve hot with dollops of cold ricotta cheese on top

Ridiculously Easy Crockpot ‘Baked’ Ziti

I can't get over how easy it is to make this crockpot baske ziti- you don't even have to boil the noodles first! It's only like 5 ingredients, too. My kids gobbled it right up! So awesome.

A decadent, melty-cheese, creamy version of the easy dinner classic, but ‘baked’ in the crockpot! Yep-
I’m talking Crockpot Baked Ziti. YUM.

Baked ziti is one of our family favorites; it’s comforting and not exactly light in calories.

But you know what makes it even EASIER? A crockpot!

That’s not even the best part. You know what is? You don’t even cook the noodles first; they just go straight in!

I can't get over how easy it is to make this crockpot baked ziti- you don't even have to boil the noodles first! It's only like 5 ingredients, too. My kids gobbled it right up! So awesome.
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Easy Crockpot 'Baked' Ziti
Prep Time
5 mins
 
Easy Crockpot 'Baked' Ziti This is a vegetarian version of the dish, but I also add crumbled sausage when we want to tup the protein. Brown 1 lb of sausage and mix with the marinara before using in the recipe.
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces ziti or penne noodles
  • 2 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 12 ounces shredded Italian blend cheese
Instructions
  1. Line the bottom of the crockpot with aluminum foil.
  2. Place 1/3 of the dry noodles on the bottom of the pot, then cover and spread with 1/3 of the marinara.
  3. Dollop 1/3 of the ricotta cheese on top of the marinara, then sprinkle with 1/3 of the shredded cheese.
  4. Add the next layer using 1/3 of the ingredients, then top with the final 1/3, ending with the shredded cheese on top.
  5. Secure the lid and cook on low for 4 hours, or until the pasta has cooked all the way through and the cheese has melted.

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Creamy Weeknight 20-Minute Pumpkin Chicken Curry

I love how this curry is extra creamy with the addition of pumpkin puree! It's an easy sauce and goes great with chicken, and I love making it on a busy weeknight when I get home late. It's sooooo much better the next day too so I love reuing it for leftovers! Yum recipe! I love how this curry is extra creamy with the addition of pumpkin puree! It's an easy sauce and goes great with chicken, and I love making it on a busy weeknight when I get home late. It's sooooo much better the next day too so I love reuing it for leftovers! Yum recipe!

This creamy, 20-minute pumpkin chicken curry will be your new weeknight fave!

Curry is one of my definite go-to’s in the kitchen and it’s the bomb on a busy weeknight; just mix some stock and coconut milk with curry powder or curry paste, add in some veggies and protein, and serve over rice.

It’s also fabulous AS leftovers, too!  A huge pot of curry made at the beginning of the week makes for a few days of quickie, easy-pack lunches.

As a leftover lunch, this curry saves my life some days.

Since I work from home, I get a lot of work done in the quiet moments of naptime, early mornings, post-bedtime, and the three half-days a week that my kids go to the babysitter. This means that I have to capitalize on every moment they’re not with me and to be honest, there are a lot of days that i skip lunch or eat it super late.

Thankfully, those rushed lunches are best when there’s a leftover curry in the fridge. It reheats easily and tastes even better the next day or so after it’s made.

Picture this: it’s been a long ass day. You’re tired. You come home and you’ve got ingredients in the fridge… for a different recipe that you do not feel like dealing with right now. What happens next?

Ok, possibly takeout. But what if you don’t want to deal with that, either?

What if you could make something that takes roughly the same amount of time?

Something that uses those languishing ingredients in your fridge, and is stupidly easy to throw together?

The answer, my wonderfully busy friends, is a simple curry sauce.

Curry in a hurry is always the answer on a busy night. And this pumpkin chicken curry is quick and delicious!

If you’ve never made it before, don’t worry! You’ll be shocked at how simple it can be. The building blocks of curry store really well, so they’re an easy backup top keep around for busy nights. it takes as long as you need to cook rice in a pot, and dinner is served.

The best part? It’s even tastier the next day. Double duty bonus time.

 

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20-Minute Creamy Pumpkin Chicken Curry
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder or curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • for garnish: pepita seeds about 1/2 cup
Instructions
  1. Combine the rice and 1 1/2 cups water in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat to low.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, 12-15 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside until serving.
  4. While the rice is cooking, heat the oil in a large saucepan until shimmering.
  5. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until the chicken has browned on both sides.
  6. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and the garlic has become fragrant about 3-5 minutes.
  7. Stir in the curry powder or paste and ginger and toss to combine, then slowly whisk in the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, chicken stock, fish sauce, and lime juice.

  8. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally and let the sauce thicken slightly.
  9. Remove the sauce from the heat, cutting up the chicken into bite-sized pieces if desired.
  10. Serve the chicken sauce over the rice and garnish with pepitas.

Heck yes, that sounds awesome!

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15-Minute Homemade Beef Lo Mein with Bok Choy

This is crazy! It takes my delivery guy like 30 minutes to come to my house, so I gotta start making this easy beel lo mein recipe instead- wow! Good pin.

This is crazy! It takes my delivery guy like 30 minutes to come to my house, so I gotta start making this easy beef lo mein recipe instead of waiting on him- wow! Good pin.

Why order takeout if this easy beef lo mein only takes 15 minutes from start to finish?!

Every busy person has a few delivery places up their sleeve… or in the app on their smartphone. But what if you could make your favorite Chinese delivery option even faster than the guy can show up at your house!?

Bonus: you’ll know EXACTLY what goes into this beef lo mein. No hoping the restaurant went light on the oil this time, and you can add in as many extra veggies as you wish.

Or no veggies. Your call.

Whatever it is, you’re gonna go crazy for this insanely easy recipe.

I first made this beef lo mein with my students at the Percolate Kitchen Cooking Class for Busy People. It was done so quickly that I had to come up with a second recipe to make, just so we could adequately fill the time!

In fact, that’s what’s so great about this easy beef lo mein recipe; that you can totally add in as much or as little veggies as your heart desires.

But the real easiness lies in the fact that you don’t have to seek out traditional lo mein noodles if they’re not readily available in your area; you can just use regular pasta noodles from a standard Western grocery store.

Traditional lo mein is made with a wheat based noodle, so subbing a thin noodle like angel hair or spaghettini still gets you the same texture you’d find in a more authentic beef lo mein recipe.

So here’s what I would do, if I were you:

Buy a pound of hangar steak and a bottle of oyster sauce.

Get yourself some mushrooms and a box of angel hair pasta.

Make this lo mein on a night when you’re tired, you’re drained, you don’t feel like a big all-out meal. Relish in the fact that it takes 15 minutes to prepare.

If you’re feeling fancy, throw some spicy chili paste on top.

And congratulate yourself. Who needs Seamless delivery!?

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15-Minute Beef and Bok Choy Lo Mein
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 
This is a simple, quick weeknight dish that not only packs a lot of flavors, but it’s incredibly versatile; I’ll often throw in as many veggies as I have since the sauce goes so well with everything! 


Lo mein is traditionally made with wheat flour based noodles, which means substituting regular old pasta-aisle noodles will work just as well as finding specialty noodles in the Asian aisle. Try to use angel hair or spaghettini (thin spaghetti) noodles; they won’t suck up as much sauce and keep the texture well-balanced.

Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces spaghettini noodles (or angel hair)
  • 1/3 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound hangar steak sliced thin against the grain
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms sliced
  • 1 large bunch bok choy ends trimmed and roughly chopped (about 4-5 small heads, or 10-12 large leaves)
Instructions
  1. Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package, then drain and set aside.
  2. While the noodles are cooking, mix the sauce ingredients together in a plastic container that has a tight fitting lid. Add the lid, making sure it’s secure, and then shake the contents until the sugar and ground ginger have dissolved. Set aside until needed.
  3. While the noodles are cooking, heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Heat until the oil is hot and shimmering.
  4. Add the beef and brown both sides.
  5. Add the mushrooms and bok choy and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have started to soften and the bok choy is beginning to wilt, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the sauce and stir to combine, then bring to a simmer.
  7. Add the noodles and stir to combine. Let cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5-8 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly and the mushrooms have softened all the way through.
  8. Remove and serve hot.

Heck yes, that sounds awesome!

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Pan Seared Spinach Stuffed Chicken and Mushroom Marsala

An easy one pan chicken recipe with a sauce so delicious, you’ll want to lick the pan clean.

But maybe don’t, because not only is that a little like, you know, germy, but the pan could be hot.

Kind of not really a good look. You know?

But seriously, this is an easy one pan chicken marsala recipe that you’ll want to add to your weeknight recipe repertoire, pronto.

It does have a decent amount of butter and oil, and the base of the sauce is made with marsala wine (obvi), so this is not a low-fat diet recipe you pull out when you’re looking to lose some weight.

But what this easy chicken marsala recipe is is a comforting, delicious, savory and warming weeknight dinner, and I think your family is gonna love it.

You know those kinds of recipes that you just keep in your back pocket for the nights when you want to just… kinda fancy?

That’s this easy one pan chicken marsala, straight up.

The marsala makes it feel ever so fancy, but really it’s just a basic fortified wine you keep in your cupboard so it’s ready when you are. Leave the good wine for drinking. Marsala wine is slightly sweet and makes a way better sauce base.

I know I keep going on about this sauce, but this is another thing I love about it: the sauce is thickened with flour that the chicken has been dredged in, which accelerates the browning of the chicken while adding body to the marsala sauce.

A word about the spinach stuffing; I tested this recipe using frozen chopped spinach, which I found to mix great with the grated parmesan. I haven’t tried using fresh spinach, but if that’s what you have on hand, I think using about a third less than the recipe calls for and roughly chopping it before mixing with the grated parmesan would work just as well.

Oh, and that ‘lick the pan clean’ marsala sauce? It goes best with a simple starch on the side, like egg noodles. There’s a lot of richness from the parmesan and spinach stuffing, plus the buttery marsala sauce, so a mellow starch balances out the dish.

Adding in a mellow starch like egg noodles keeps this easy one pan chicken dish squarely in the kid-friendly camp, as well.

Because hands up if your kid prefers to only eat the boring stuff you serve them and not the actually delicious stuff.

(raises hand)

Which means that this is a dish that keeps the whole family happy!

And in the meantime, who’s got tips on how to actually get my kid to eat dinner?

Um, asking for a friend.

Anyway! Easy one pan chicken marsala with melty cheese and mushrooms for the win!

 

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Pan Seared Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Marsala Wine Sauce
This recipe is inspired by a number of classical recipes, especially spinach stuffed chicken and marsala chicken, but it’s a flavor all its own. Even better? It comes together in an easy 20 minutes, making it a perfect weeknight dinner option. I prefer using pre-chopped frozen spinach in this recipe since I feel it binds best with the grated parmesan. Feel free to play around with fresh spinach in similar quantities, if it’s what you have on hand. Also, I use pre-mixed shredded “Italian blend” cheese in this recipe, which is often just a combination of mozzarella, parmesan, and provolone. If you can’t find a pre-mixed blend of these cheeses, substituting with provolone or mozzarella is fine.
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1.5 cup chopped frozen spinach thawed and drained of excess liquid
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup white flour
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock or broth
  • 1 ½ cup marsala wine
  • 8 ounces shredded Italian blend cheese
  • Toothpicks for securing the chicken breasts
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the spinach and grated parmesan and stir to combine.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut a slit in the side of each chicken breast. Season the breasts al over with salt and pepper.
  3. Stuff each breast with about 2 tablespoons spinach and parmesan mixture. Use a toothpick to securely close the opening and set the breasts aside.
  4. In a large, wide saucepan set over medium heat, add the butter and olive oil. Stir to combine and heat until the butter has melted.
  5. While the butter is melting, pour the flour onto a plate.
  6. Once the butter has melted, dredge each chicken breast in the flour, coating each side of the breast. Place the chicken breasts in the pan on by one, leaving a small amount of space between each breast.
  7. Cook the breasts in the butter and oil, turning once or twice, until each side has lightly browned.
  8. While the chicken is browning, mix together the chicken broth and marsala wine in a bowl or large measuring cup.
  9. Once the chicken has browned, add the mushrooms to the pan, distributing evenly around the chicken breasts. Pour in the chicken broth and marsala mixture and turn the heat to medium-high.
  10. 10. Bring the sauce to a simmer and let cook 5-8 minutes, or until it has started to reduce, the chicken breasts have cooked through, and the smell of any alcohol from the marsala wine has burned away.
  11. 11. Sprinkle the cheese evenly on top of each chicken breast. Let the cheese melt, then remove the pan from the heat and serve.