Peanut Noodles

Peanut Noodles swaddled in a wickedly addicting, intoxicatingly creamy Thai peanut sauce on your table in less than 30 minutes!

These Thai Peanut Noodles are about to become a repeat family favorite.  They’re quick and easy to whip together, HUGE on flavor, extremely versatile, luxuriously creamy, wonderfully fragrant and oh so comforting.  The peanut sauce is made with peanut butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, basil, and lime juice that takes minutes to whip together. Just toss in your favorite noodles and dinner is served! These Peanut Butter Noodles also earn major points because they’re made with 100% pantry friendly ingredients – even the aromatics are powders!  Serve these Peanut Noodles with Thai Salad, Spring Rolls or Lettuce Wraps for a complete feast.

Thai food is my absolute favorite cuisine! I love creating Thai food at home such as Pad Thai, Drunken Noodles, Pad See Ew, Red Curry ChickenPanang CurryGreen Curry, Yellow CurryTom Kha Gai, Chicken Satay and now these Thai Peanut Noodles!

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How to make Peanut Sauce Noodles Video

up close of Peanut Noodles in a skillet showing how creamy it is

why you’ll love PEANUT sauce noodles:

  • Family friendly:  everyone LOVES peanut butter!  And the adults will love the multi-dimensional, hypnotic sauce.
  • Ready in 20 minutes:  chop your chicken and toss in seasonings, whisk your sauce together and cook.
  • Pantry friendly: you probably have everything you need right now!
  • Versatile: take or leave the protein/veggies and add more or less heat.
  • Delicious: Thai food is all about the balance of sweet, savory, salty and sour.  And this nutty, luxurious sauce is perfection.  You will be licking your plate!

pEANUT noodles recipe

It’s no secret that Thai food has my heart. One of my absolutely favorite Thai recipes is Chicken Satay.  I love it so much I’ve used the hypnotic peanut sauce in:

Why the obsession?  The sauce is easy, dreamy, creamy, exploding with layers of complex, multi-dimensional flavor and it has peanut butter. 

This Peanut Noodles recipe takes the hypnotic sauce infused with ginger, garlic, coconut and lime and tosses it with a tangle of silky noodles, juicy chicken and veggies to create a lazy yet luxurious meal the whole family will swoon over.  The Thai Peanut Noodles are creamy, tangy, salty, savory and as spicy as you want. 

To make these Peanut Butter Noodles, bite size pieces of chicken are coated in ground ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, coriander and turmeric, then browned in a skillet.  Next, a simple sauce of coconut milk, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, Asian chili sauce and basil is added.  Simmer them with zero chopping coleslaw or any other veggies you’d like then toss in the noodles. 

And slurp.

Prepare to fall in love!

INGREDIENTS FOR PEANUT butter noodles

The ingredients for Peanut Butter Noodles should be pantry staples if you do much Asian cooking. If not, they can easily be found at your local grocery store. The list might seem lengthy, but all the ingredients are just whisked together – SO easy! You will need:

  • Chicken:  you can use either chicken thighs or chicken breasts for this recipe, it really comes down to personal preference.  Chicken thighs are dark meat and inherently juicier and more forgiving but chicken breasts still emerge wonderfully juicy as long as they are not overcooked.
  • Noodles:  I prefer spaghetti but you can use any long noodles you’d like. I outlined some options below.
  • Peanut butter:  adds a nutty earthiness and creaminess that marries all the ingredients together. You can use smooth OR crunchy peanut butter.  While natural peanut butter has a stronger peanut flavor, commercial peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy contain sugar and other additives that add more flavor and create a creamier, more cohesive sauce.  Due to the differences in peanut butter consistency and flavor, you may need more or less to taste.  You will also have to be ready to add more or less sugar and salt to taste.
  • Coconut milk: creates the coconut-creamy base for the sauce.  You can use full fat or light coconut milk but keep in mind fat=flavor.  If you go with light coconut milk, the sauce will be thinner/runnier, so consider adding an extra 1 teaspoon of cornstarch.  
  • Cornstarch:  my secret to gorgeously thick Peanut Butter Noodles. 
  • Soy sauce:  grounds the sauce.  Please use low sodium soy sauce so your sauce isn’t too salty. 
  • Brown sugar:  adds sweetness to balance the soy, lime juice and fish sauce. You may need more or less brown sugar depending on your personal preferences and your brand of peanut butter.
  • Fish sauce: I promise fish sauce will not be detectable or make your Peanut Sauce Noodles taste fishy!  It simply adds the balance of savory and salty flavor.  You may substitute fish sauce with soy sauce if you don’t keep it stocked – but you’ll want to pick up some fish sauce if there is more Thai cooking in your future. 
  • Lime juice: you may use fresh or bottled lime juice but go fresh if you can. I will freeze lime juice in cubes so I always have some on hand.
  • Garlic powder:  most of the seasonings are used as a rub and added to the chicken directly before it is seared, so all you need are powders! Use more or less garlic powder depending on your garlic love or you can stir in more garlic powder into the sauce at the end of cooking.
  • Ground ginger: adds a warm spicy, almost pepper taste.
  • Ground coriander: adds a toasty, lemony citrus flavor that I use to mimic lemongrass. If you don’t keep it stocked you can skip it.
  • Ground turmeric: adds gingery, punchy, earthy undertones. Again, if you don’t keep it stocked you can skip it.
  • Dried basil:  is added to the sauce and not to the chicken so it doesn’t burn when browning the chicken.  Basil adds a layer of savory, peppery and slightly minty flavor. I used dried basil for convenience but you are welcome to use fresh, chopped basil (about ¼ cup) and add it the last few minutes of cooking.
  • Asian chili sauce:  adds a little heat and rounds out the flavors.  You can customize the spice level by adding additional chili sauce to taste. If you aren’t sure how much to add, you can start with less then stir in more at the end if needed. If your Peanut Noodles are missing something, it is probably heat and salt.
  • Coleslaw:  one 16-ounce bag of coleslaw adds a slight crunch without any chopping!
Thai peanut noodles on a plate garnished with green onions

WHAT KIND OF NOODLES Can I USE in peanut sauce noodles?

Pick your fav!

  • Linguine or Thin Spaghetti:  these are easy, accessible and remind me of thin soba noodles.  Make sure to cook them al dente.  
  • Soba noodles:  are made from buckwheat flour and boast a strong, nutty flavor, which works fabulously in this Peanut Noodles recipe.  Dried soba noodles like flat spaghetti and are usually light beige to dark brown-gray in color.
  • Udon:  are thick, chewy, dense wheat noodles with a neutral flavor which allows them to pair well with strong sauces like this one.
  • Ramen:  most of us are familiar with ramen noodles sold in the square packages with the seasoning package but authentic ramen noodles are also sold in the Asian section without the seasoning packet.  They are thin, slightly curly wheat noodles with a chewy bite.  You can also go with fresh ramen noodles found at an Asian market.

are thai PEANUT noodles GLUTEN FREE?

No, these Thai Peanut Noodles are not gluten free as written due to the soy sauce and depending on what noodles you choose. You can make the recipe gluten free by substituting the soy with tamari or gluten free soy sauce. Also, double check that your peanut butter is gluten free.  Use gluten free noodles such as soba noodles, rice noodles, Korean buckwheat vermicelli (naeng myun), or Korean sweet potato vermicelli (dang myun). 

HOW TO MAKE PEANUT noodles

This Peanut Noodles recipe comes together in minutes!  Here’s how to make it:

  • Step 1: Season the chicken.  While the chicken is still on the cutting board, pat it dry with paper towels.  Toss it with ground gingergarlic powder, ground coriander, turmeric powder, salt and pepper; set aside.
showing how to make peanut noodles recipe by seasoning the chicken with garlic powder, ginger powder, coriander, salt and pepper
  • Step 2: Make sauce.  Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together; set aside.
showing how to make peanut noodles recipe by whisking the sauce ingredients together in a glass bowl
  • Step 3: Cook chicken. Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot and rippling. Add chicken and cook until opaque (chicken will not be cooked through). 
showing how to make peanut noodles recipe by cooking the chicken in a skillet
  • Step 4: Cook coleslaw. Add coleslaw and cook one minute.
  • Step 5: Simmer sauce. Add the sauce to the coleslaw and chicken and simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thickened, 3-5 minutes.
showing how to make peanut noodles recipe by adding coleslaw and stir frying for 1 minute and then adding the  peanut sauce
  • Step 6:  Add peanut butter.  Stir in peanut butter until melted.
a collage showing how to make peanut noodles recipe by adding the peanut butter and stirring until the sauce is smooth
  • Step 7: Add noodles. Toss the noodles with the sauce until evenly coated.
showing how to make peanut noodles recipe by adding the noodles to the peanut sauce
  • Step 7:  Garnish.  Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro and peanuts, if desired.
Peanut Sauce Noodles in a skillet twirled on a fork showing how creamy they are

HOW DO I THICKEN PEANUT SAUCE?

The cornstarch in the peanut butter sauce will thicken the sauce as it simmers; the peanut butter will also thicken the sauce.  If you still would like an even thicker sauce, make a slurry by whisking 1 teaspoon cornstarch in 2 tablespoons water then adding to the simmering sauce.  Repeat this as step as desired.

HOW DO I THIN PEANUT SAUCE?

The peanut butter sauce will thicken more the longer it is simmers. If it simmers to the point of too thick, don’t worry! It is easy to thin by whisking in additional coconut milk or water. 

PEANUT sauce noodles vARIATIONS

These Peanut Sauce Noodles are extremely easy to customize to make them your own. Here are a few ideas:

  • Omit protein: feel free to omit the chicken completely.  If you omit the chicken, add the chicken seasonings directly to the sauce.
  • Swap protein:  add shrimp, steak or pork.  Season the proteins with the chicken seasonings.   If using shrimp, sauté it then add it back to the sauce with the noodles so it doesn’t overcook.
  • Swap vegetables:  swap the coleslaw for your veggies of choice or omit them altogether.  Bell peppers, matchstick carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, bell peppers, snow peas, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli etc.  You’ll want to stir fry the veggies for 2-3 minutes before adding the sauce.

You can also make the Thai Peanut Noodles spicier, sweeter, savorier, tangier, less tangy, etc.  Here’s how:

  • For sweeter: add more brown sugar
  • For saltier: add more fish sauce, soy sauce or salt
  • For tangier:  add more lime juice
  • For spicier: add chili sauce
  • For thinner: add coconut milk or water
  • For thicker:  add a cornstarch slurry
top view of Peanut Butter Noodles with chicken on a plate

TIPS FOR making THAI PEANUT noodles

These Thai Peanut Noodles are pretty straightforward but here are some helpful tips:

  • Don’t overcook the chicken.  For the juiciest chicken, don’t overcook! Brown it in the skillet but let it finish cooking in the sauce.
  • Use commercial peanut butter.  While natural peanut butter has a stronger peanut flavor, commercial peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy contain sugar and other additives that add more flavor and create a creamier, more cohesive sauce.
  • Add peanut butter to taste.  You can use 1/3-½ cup peanut butter depending on your personal preference.  
  • Season to taste.  If your Peanut Butter Noodles feel like they are missing something, it is likely salt, pepper and/or heat.  Be ready to season to taste.

CAN I PREP PEANUT sauce noodles ADVANCE?

Yes!  While these Thai Peanut Noodles don’t require much prep, you can still prep everything in advance so your dinner can come together in minutes.

  • Prep chicken:  chop chicken into large bite size pieces and toss with seasonings.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Sauce: whisk the sauce ingredients together (aside from peanut butter) and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in advance.  Make sure to whisk the sauce again before using.
  • Noodles: cook noodles al dente and toss in some oil to prevent them from sticking together. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.
  • Within the next 48 hours, proceed with the recipe without any of the prep!

CAN I MAKE this PEANUT noodles recipe AHEAD OF TIME?

Absolutely! This Peanut Noodles recipe tastes fabulous reheated, just make sure to cook the noodles al dente.  

HOW TO STORE and reheat PEANUT butter noodles

These Peanut Butter Noodles makes exceptional leftovers and reheat wonderfully for lunches or dinners.

  • How to store:  store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  • How to reheat in the microwave: transfer a portion to a microwave safe dish, heat for one minute, stir then continue to heat at 30 second intervals. You may want to add a splash of water to loosen.
  • How to reheat on the stove: rewarm gently in a large skillet, stirring often. You may need to add additional coconut milk or water to loosen.

CAN I FREEZE Thai Peanut Noodles?

Yes!  These Peanut Sauce Noodles freeze well but be aware the peanut sauce may change texture slightly depending on which peanut butter you use.  To freeze, let the noodles cool completely.  Transfer to an airtight container or plastic freezer bag and squeeze out any excess air.  Freeze for up to 3 months. 

WHAT DO YOU EAT WITH PEANUT butter noodles?

These Peanut Butter Noodles are explosively flavorful bursting with protein, veggies and carbs so it’s a complete meal-in one!  To turn it into a complete Asian feast, pair it with:

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up close of Peanut Noodles in a skillet showing how creamy it is

Thai Peanut Noodles

These Thai Peanut Noodles are about to become a repeat family favorite.  They're quick and easy to whip together, HUGE on flavor, extremely versatile, luxuriously creamy, wonderfully fragrant and oh so comforting.  The peanut sauce is made with peanut butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, basil, and lime juice that takes minutes to whip together. Just toss in your favorite noodles and dinner is served! These Peanut Butter Noodles also earn major points because they're made with 100% pantry friendly ingredients – even the aromatics are powders!  Serve these Peanut Noodles with Thai Salad, Spring Rolls or Lettuce Wraps for a complete feast.
Servings: 4 -6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

NOODLES & CHICKEN

  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 pound chicken breasts, chopped into 1” pieces
  • 1 tsp EACH ground ginger, garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp EACH ground coriander, ground turmeric, pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 16 oz. bag coleslaw

SAUCE

ADD LATER

  • 1/3 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
  • crushed peanuts
  • cilantro

Instructions

  • Cook noodles according to package directions in salted water just until al dente. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile:
  • While the chicken is still on the cutting board, pat it dry with paper towels. Toss it with all of the chicken seasonings (ginger, garlic powder, ground coriander, ground turmeric, salt, pepper); set aside.
  • Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot and rippling. Add chicken and cook until opaque (chicken will not be cooked through).
  • Add coleslaw and cook one minute.
  • Add the sauce and simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thickened, 3-5 minutes. Stir in peanut butter until melted.
  • Add the noodles and toss until evenly coated.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro and peanuts, if desired.

Video

Notes

  • Noodles:  I prefer spaghetti but you can use any long noodles you’d like.
  • Peanut butter:  natural peanut butter has a stronger peanut flavor, commercial peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy contain sugar and other additives that add more flavor and create a creamier, more cohesive sauce.  Due to the differences in peanut butter consistency and flavor, you may need more or less to taste.  You will also have to be ready to add more or less sugar and salt to taste.
  • Omit protein: feel free to omit the chicken completely.  If you omit the chicken, add the chicken seasonings directly to the sauce.
  • Swap protein:  add shrimp, steak or pork.  Season the proteins with the chicken seasonings.   If using shrimp, sauté it then add it back to the sauce with the noodles so it doesn’t overcook.
  • Swap vegetables:  swap the coleslaw for your veggies of choice or omit them altogether.  Bell peppers, matchstick carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, bell peppers, snow peas, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli etc.  You’ll want to stir fry the veggies for 2-3 minutes before adding the sauce.
  • Customize:  Make the Thai Peanut Noodles spicier, sweeter, savorier, tangier, less tangy, etc.  by adding more or less brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, chili sauce or salt and pepper.
 

HOW TO STORE and reheat

These Peanut Butter Noodles makes exceptional leftovers and reheat wonderfully for lunches or dinners.
  • How to store:  store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  • How to freeze: let the noodles cool completely.  Transfer to an airtight container or plastic freezer bag and squeeze out any excess air.  Freeze for up to 3 months. 
  • How to reheat in the microwave: transfer a portion to a microwave safe dish, heat for one minute, stir then continue to heat at 30 second intervals. You may want to add a splash of water to loosen.
  • How to reheat on the stove: rewarm gently in a large skillet, stirring often. You may need to add additional coconut milk or water to loosen.

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6 Comments

  1. MC says

    This was delicious! I didn’t use the cole slaw mix but added red bell pepper, carrots and mushrooms. I could’ve eaten several plates! Will definitely keep this in the rotation.

    • Jen says

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, I’m so happy these peanut noodles were a hit! Your veggie additions sound perfect, yum!

  2. Carly says

    Eating this now with my boyfriend and we love it! We used closer to 1/2 cup Pb because we love PB so much. We are adding this to our “favorite recipes” book ASAP!

    • Jen says

      YAY! I’m so pleased this recipe ranked in the repeat favorites. Thanks so much Carly!

  3. Jeannie says

    Excellent!!! I didn’t have cole slaw mix so I subbed carrot mix… and I added sliced jalapeños at the end. Delicious!! Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Jeannie! I love hearing this recipe was a hit and easy to adapt!

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