Two Kooks » ALL RECIPES » Pasta and Rice » Spicy Peanut Noodles With Vegetables

Spicy Peanut Noodles With Vegetables

A creamy peanut sauce with sesame, garlic, ginger and a bit of sweet, tang and heat plays the starring role in this flavor-packed spicy peanut noodles and vegetables dish.

The main or side dish is bursting with peanut and Asian flavors and loaded with plenty of veggies of your choice. Use whatever you have in your fridge.

peanut noodles on glass plate f

The recipe is very forgiving. I use frozen shelled edamame (cooked in the microwave for a few minutes), chopped red bell pepper, shredded purple or red cabbage and carrots for some some crunchy texture and beautiful colors.

Is this recipe healthy?

Well, it’s a lot healthier than most peanut noodle recipes and restaurant versions. In addition to being low calorie and having good amounts of protein, fiber, Vitamin A and C, here’s how I make it healthier.

  • I bump up the ratio of fresh veggies to noodles compared to many of the other recipes out there. In fact I do this whenever I can to increase the nutrition factor without losing the taste factor. Altogether, this peanut noodle recipe calls for 4 cups chopped vegetables and 3 cups of cooked vermicelli (or other) noodles. Plus the peanut sauce of course – the main event!
  • I also use a high fiber pasta for, er, more nutrition.
  • You can lower the calories further by using zucchini or butternut squash ‘noodles’.
  • And feel free to use natural peanut butter instead of the grocery store brand.

BOTTOM LINE: Spicy peanut noodles with vegetables makes a great main or side dish in only 20 minutes. And who doesn’t love a big bowl of noodles bursting with spicy peanutty flavor and healthy veggies?

Step by step

ingredients - spaghettini, peanut butter, chili sauce, soy sauce, honey, garlic, green onions, ginger, sesame oil
Ingredients: vermicelli noodles, soy sauce, peanut butter, rice vinegar, hot chili sauce, honey, sesame oil, green onions, fresh ginger, fresh garlic
spaghettini draining in strainer
Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
chopped purple cabbage, carrots, red pepper, green onion and sesame seeds on cutting board
Chop vegetables (and cook edamame if frozen)
Peanut sauce in sealed container
Make peanut sauce.
peanut noodles ingredients in bowl
Add veggies and noodles to large bowl. Pour in peanut sauce.
peanut noodles in mixing bowl
Mix to combine well.
peanut noodles on glass plate p
Add garnishes and serve at room temperature or slightly warm.

Tailor To Your Taste

Here are several variations and substitutions you can use.

  • Noodles: I used vermicelli (a very thin spaghetti). Other options are linguini, fettuccini, spaghetti, udon noodles, soba noodles, ramen noodle, rice noodles, Thai noodlesFor a lower calorie version, try spiralized zucchini or butternut squash instead of noodles.
  • Vegetables: Good options are cabbage, cooked edamame, blanched asparagus, snow peas, peppers, carrots, fresh spinach or kale, seeded cucumbers, onion.
  • Garnish options: Toasted sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, bean sprouts, squeeze of lime juice.
  • Add ins: Add protein like chicken or tofu to create a more substantial main dish.
  • Heat: Vary the spice level to your liking. If you don’t have garlic chili sauce, use sriracha or gochujang.

Tips for peanut sauce

  • Some people suggest microwaving the peanut butter for 10-15 seconds for easier blending of the sauce. I find the shake method works fine without it as long as the water used is quite warm.
  • Keep tasting the peanut sauce until you achieve the balance of sweetness, spiciness, tartness, saltiness, peanut and sesame flavors you prefer.
  • If you prefer a thinner sauce, add some extra warm water.
  • If you don’t like the noodles to become slightly sticky, add the sauce just before serving.

Shortcuts

  • Use packaged shredded cabbage and carrots.
  • The fresh grated ginger adds fantastic taste, but in a pinch, use powdered ginger. The same goes for the garlic – use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic.
  • Buy a good Thai peanut sauce instead of making homemade peanut sauce
  • To save on clean up, I shake all the peanut sauce ingredients in a small lock-seal container instead of using a blender or processor.

Make Ahead

  • Peanut Noodles can definitely be made a few days ahead and stored in the fridge in an airtight container. In, fact, I find the flavors develop more fully. Keep in mind, however, that the noodles becomes stickier as they absorb the peanut sauce. I don’t mind that, but if you do, you can add a bit of water or oil (or, as noted above, add the sauce just before serving).
  • I prefer bringing the noodles to room temperature or slightly warm them in the microwave for a minute. My husband eats them cold straight from the fridge.

What to serve with peanut butter noodles

Try serving the dish with Cedar Planked Chicken or Roasted Salmon Stuffed With Herbs. Or with a side dish like Thai Mango Salad.

Love peanut sauce? Try one of these recipes

peanut noodles on glass plate f
Print Recipe Pin Save Recipe

Rate this recipe here

5 from 8 votes

Spicy Peanut Noodles and Vegetables

A creamy peanut sauce with sesame, garlic, ginger and a bit of sweet, tang and heat plays the starring role in this flavor-packed spicy peanut noodles and vegetables dish. Only 20 minutes to make.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian style, Vegetarian
Servings: 6
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 6 ounce vermicelli or other noodle (Note 1) 170 gm

Vegetables

  • 4 cups in total, chopped or small vegetables, Note 2
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Peanut Sauce

  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup warm water (or more to thin sauce out if needed)
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce (I use low sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (1 inch) grated (or 1/4 tsp ground ginger)
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (or 1 tsp or more sriracha or red pepper flakes to taste)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (1 tsp) if you like garlic, use 2 tsp

Garnishes

  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • optional: 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, 2 Tbsp chopped peanuts, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped spring onions, bean sprouts,, squeeze of lime juice

Instructions

  • COOK PASTA: Boil in salted water according to package directions for al dente. Drain, rinse under cold water, then drain again. Place in large bowl. Mix in 1/2 tsp sesame oil. 
  • MAKE PEANUT SAUCE: Place all peanut sauce ingredients in a sealed plastic container. Cover tightly (lock and seal). Shake hard until smooth. It should be thick, but pour-able. Add more water if needed.  Alternatively, whisk ingredients together in a bowl. Tip: For easier blending, microwave peanut butter for 10 seconds to soften. 
  • COMBINE AND GARNISH: Add chopped fresh vegetables to noodles in bowl. When ready to serve, pour over peanut butter sauce and mix everything together. Taste and adjust to you taste (more sweetness, salt, heat, etc). Sprinkle with garnishes.  Serve. 

Notes

  1. Noodles:
    • I use vermicelli, but many others will work well such as spaghettini (or any spaghetti noodles), linguini, angel hair pasta, fettuccini, soba noodles, ramen noodles, rice noodles, Thai noodles, udon. 
    • For a lower calorie version, try spiralized zucchini or butternut squash instead of noodles.
  2. Other variations and substitutes
    • Vegetables: red cabbage (or green), cooked edamame, blanched asparagus, red bell pepper, carrots, blanched cut green beans, fresh spinach or kale, seeded cucumbers, red onion.
    • Peanut butter: I use smooth peanut butter, but you can substitute it with natural peanut butter which contains no hydrogenated oils or sugar. If you do, add a dash or sugar or maple sugar if you want some sweetness. Here’s a good article by Healthline on the healthiest peanut butters
    • Garnish: Toasted sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, chopped spring onions, chopped cilantro, squeeze of lime juice.
    • Add-ins: Add protein like chicken or tofu to create a main dish.
    • Heat: Vary the spice level to your liking. If you don’t have garlic chili sauce, use sriracha or gochujang.
  3. Make Ahead
    • Spicy peanut noodles can definitely be made a few days ahead. In, fact, it’s one of my favorite things about this recipe. I find the flavors develop more fully. Keep in mind, however, that the noodles becomes stickier as they absorb the peanut sauce. I don’t mind that, but if you do, you can add a bit of water or oil (or, as noted above, add the sauce just before serving).
    • I prefer bringing the noodles to room temperature or slightly warm them in the microwave for a minute. My husband eats them cold straight from the fridge.
 
Nutritional information is estimated and does not include optional garnishes. 

Nutrition

Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 634mg | Potassium: 360mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 6203IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?We’d love you to rate it above under ‘rate this recipe’ or in the comment section below. Thanks!

This recipe was inspired by many others, but mostly by The New York Times and Epicurious.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was really good. I just used the veggies I had in the fridge – some chopped pepper, spiralized some zucchini, chopped carrots, chopped cucumbers, red onions, chopped broccoli, chopped cabbage, red onion. Garnished with cilantro from leaves and sesame seeds. I think leftovers will be awesome!.

    But the dressing was really good. I can see using this as a salad dressing.

    1. I bet those veggies looked beautiful together (I love that). Agree about using the peanut sauce as a dressing. Maybe thin it out a touch. Thanks for leaving a comment. Glad you like the recipe!