Easy Peanut Noodles is a quick and comforting meal perfect for peanut butter lovers on busy weeknights. This Thai inspired dinner has simple ingredients and can be adjusted easily with spice levels and various add ons. Leftovers make a delicious packed work lunch.
For more fast, easy and comforting weeknight dinners that actually feel pretty darn gourmet try Easy Seared Chicken Guacamole, Sausage Pesto Pasta or Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca. Also, Panko Crusted Salmon and Smoked Salmon Sandwiches are perfect for utilizing the health benefits of Salmon. However, the combination of Tabouli Salad and Easy Broiled Pork Chops is always a favorite.
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Best Type of Noodles to Use
The best type of pasta to use for this dish is going to be long and fairly skinny noodles such as Lo Mein noodles. However, spaghetti, ramen, soba, linguine or rice noodles may also be used successfully.
- Sesame Oil– I recommend using toasted sesame oil for the deep rich nutty flavor it adds.
- Fresh Garlic– Nothing compares to the amazing flavor that fresh garlic adds to dishes. This quick video shows how to easily peel fresh garlic without loosing your mind. Also, using a garlic press makes the job of processing the garlic cloves very simple.
- Powdered Ginger– Using a good quality powdered ginger is a fast and easy way to impart the warm aromatic flavors of ginger into this pasta.
- Soy Sauce– There are so many different types of soy sauces available from Asian markets. However, I personally love San-J soy sauce for its rich Unami flavor. Note: Use low sodium soy sauce for anyone who is sensitive to higher sodium levels.
- Sriracha Sauce– A chili sauce that is made from chili paste, vinegar, garlic and sugar. This is a staple in most Asian sections of grocery stores across the U.S.
- Rice Vinegar– Also a condiment found in most Asian sections of grocery stores. Rice vinegar adds an acidity that helps to marry the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Peanut Butter– Either creamy or crunchy peanut butter may be used for this recipe. I personally prefer crunchy natural peanut butter.
- Pasta– Lo Mein noodles were used because of their soft and chewy texture. (See Best Types of Noodles to Use section above for more options.)
Note: 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar, honey or maple syrup may be used for a subtle sweetness.
How To Make the Peanut Butter Sauce
- Bring water to boil for pasta.
- In a large bowl add peanut butter, garlic and soy sauce.
- Pour boiling pasta water over the top of the peanut butter mixture and whisk until smooth.
- To the peanut butter mixture stir in vinegar, sesame oil and sriracha.
- Cook pasta following package directions. Drain and toss well with peanut butter sauce.
- Garnish with diced green onions, toasted sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, toasted peanuts or fresh cilantro leaves. Store leftovers in an airtight container.
Adjusting Spice Levels
One of the challenges that many families face is having both delicate taste buds along with those that adore really adore spicy food. This recipe gives just a bit of spice. However, here are a few suggestions for everything in between.
- Very Spicy– Follow the recipe as written but add in 1/4 of either Chili Garlic Sauce or Sambal Oelek. Also, adding a few tablespoons of this ground Thai chili can really help to kick up the heat.
- Medium Heat– Add in 1-2 more tablespoons of Sriracha.
- Mild Spice– Follow the directions as written.
- For Delicate Taste Buds– Lower the Sriracha down to 1/2-1 tablespoon and increase the vinegar by a tablespoon.
The beauty of these peanut butter noodles is that it can be tailored with protein, veggies or just eaten as is. However, it is important to note that the sauce may need to be doubled with the addition of 1 pound of protein and 3-4 cups of veggies. It will all depend on how saucy you prefer your noodles. Here are a few variation ideas.
- Shredded Chicken (Either use shredded chicken breast or meat from a whole chicken.)
- Grilled Chicken (The marinated and grilled chicken from this recipe would be delicious.)
- Tofu (either soft or firm)
- Boiled, Baked or Grilled Shrimp
- Ground Pork, Chicken or Turkey (The meat portion of my Egg Roll in a Bowl recipe would be amazing in these noodles.)
- Broccoli Slaw
- Broccoli Florets
- Shredded Carrots
- Red or Green Cabbage (finely sliced)
- Nappa Cabbage (finely sliced)
- Bok Choy (finely sliced)
- Red, Orange or Yellow Bell Peppers (thinly sliced)
- Cilantro (The addittion of freshly chopped cilantro and lime juice make these noodles very Thai inspired.)
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Snow Peas
More Delicious Asian Recipes
Easy Peanut Noodles
- 14 ounces lo mein noodles See Note #1 below
- 2/3 cup crunchy peanut butter *or creamy
- 4 large garlic cloves *crushed, about 1 tablespoon (See Note #2 below)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger See Note #3 below
- 1/4 cup soy sauce *or Tamari
- 1/2-3/4 cup boiling water (from pasta water)
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha
- Bring water to boil for pasta. See Note #4 below
- In a large mixing bowl add peanut butter, garlic and soy sauce.
- Using a glass liquid measuring cup, remove the desired amount of boiling water from the pot for the pasta. Pour boiling water over the top of the peanut butter mixture and whisk until smooth.
- Cook pasta following instructions on the package. (Lo Mein noodles cook very quickly.)
- Meanwhile, add the vinegar, sesame oil and sriracha to the peanut butter mixture. Mix well.
- Add cooked and drained pasta to the peanut butter mixture and toss well.
- Garnish with diced green onions, cilantro leaves, toasted sesame seeds or toasted peanuts.