Hoisin-Ginger Turkey Lettuce Cups


Easy weeknight dinner – no stove – slow-cooked in three hours with no pre-cooking ingredients before slow-cooking. You can eat cooked, light, non-grilled food in the summer (if you’re avoiding the stove like I am)!


Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Ground poultry often gets a bad rap. People say, “It’s too dry” or  “You have to douse it in salt to make it taste like anything.” I have had that experience at restaurants, but I don’t find that to be true when I cook it myself. This recipe comes from The Comfort of Cooking, but I made it my own with several changes.


The original recipe calls for ground chicken, but for some reason, I can’t find that at the grocery store, so I use turkey. Among other things, I also opted for fresh ginger instead of powdered. I also used radicchio for the lettuce cup because it looked really nice at the grocery store and because its leaves make really perfect little ‘cups.’



This recipe is the result of scratching my head for a way to eat some food that wasn’t cold and wasn’t grilled without using my stove. So, the turkey is cooked in the slow-cooker, and the rice that gets added at the end is cooked in the microwave, which, to be honest, was a revelation. Even when I’m using my stove again, I might keep using the microwave for rice because it cooked it so perfectly. Alternately, you could also buy pre-cooked rice at the grocery store, but I dare you to try cooking rice in the microwave.

I added lots of fresh toppings to them! Thai basil is DIVINE – and I liked the creamy avocado and crunchy bell pepper a lot. Bean sprouts would have been a good addition, as well.P1050719




Hoisin-Ginger Turkey Lettuce Cups

serves 4



  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2.5 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup cooked rice (see microwave rice recipe below)
  • 5oz can water chestnuts, drained and diced
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

Lettuce and Toppings:

  • 1 head of lettuce, such as radicchio, butter, romaine, etc.
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • handful of Thai basil, torn
  • 1 small bell pepper, diced
  • 1 avocado, sliced thinly or chopped
  • sriracha sauce or your favorite hot sauce


  1. Gently break up the turkey into the slow-cooker and add the bell pepper, onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, hoisin, and black and red pepper. Stir to combine and cook on low for 3 hours.
  2. Add the rice and water chestnuts and set the slow-cooker to warm for 10-15 minutes. Prepare the platter of toppings and the lettuce cups. To prepare the lettuce, gently peel away individual leafs and wash. If you’re using radicchio or another tighter lettuce, cut out the core and then peel away the leaves. The very center will be too small to use as cups, so I chopped them up and used them as another topping.
  3. Right before serving, add the scallions and sesame oil to the turkey. Stir to combine.

Microwave Rice

(amount reduced from original recipe on Food Network)

  1. In a medium-large glass bowl, add 1 cup rice, 1 3/4 cups water, 1 teaspoon olive oil and a dash of salt. Stir.
  2.  Microwave on high for 10 minutes, then microwave on medium-low for 12 minutes. Do not stir the rice while cooking. Once the 22 minutes have passed, fluff with a fork and let cool.

Note: This makes about 2 cups of cooked rice. I saved the other cup of rice in the fridge for another recipe later in the week.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s