Looking for a ridiculously quick and easy dinner that's packed with flavor? These Noodles with Peanut Sauce are seriously delicious and can be ready in minutes. The recipe serves two, but can easily be doubled or tripled.
(This recipe for Noodles with Peanut Sauce was originally published in May 2011, but was updated with new photos in 2020).
Every weekend for just about the next two months, I have something going on and I'm actually getting a bit overwhelmed just looking at my calendar. Also, hoping I don't forget to show up somewhere! So, this past Friday evening, I was thrilled to not have a single thing to do. Besides make dinner and sip wine. And watch Dateline.
Once I got home, I was starving and wanted to make something for dinner that didn't require a trip to the grocery store, so I checked the pantry and saw a jar of peanut butter staring at me. I remembered buying noodles with peanut sauce for lunch at Trader Joe's recently that were so darn good I immediately started to crave them again, so I decided to recreate them myself.
How to Make Noodles with Peanut Sauce
Peanut sauce is ridiculously easy to make and while there are lots of versions that don't require heating at all (just whisking together ingredients), I find that cooking them over medium heat effectively melds the flavors together and makes the sauce a great consistently.
Plus, there's nothing quite like pouring the warm peanut sauce over a bowl of tender noodles for some delicious low-stress comfort food.
All you have to do is whisk the sauce ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Then place over medium heat until the sauce thickens.
And pour it over the noodles of your choice. Toss to coat noodles.
Serve noodles and top with chopped peanuts, cilantro, and more red hot pepper flakes.
What Kind of Noodles to Serve with Peanut Sauce?
I used rice noodles here, but you could also use soba noodles, udon, or ramen. In fact, you don't have to use an Asian noodle at all and can even use spaghetti, fettuccini, angel hair, or any pasta shape of your choice.
Other Uses for Peanut Sauce
Really, you don't have to use noodles at all to enjoy this peanut sauce! Here a few other ideas for serving it:
- Serve it as a dipping sauce for sautéed or roasted vegetables or chicken satay
- Use it as a stir-fry sauce
- Include it in homemade spring rolls
- Use it as a salad dressing
Potential Additions to Noodles
Sometimes I crave super simple dinners and these noodles with peanut sauce fit the bill. However, there are also lots of ways you can make this dish more of a meal. Herre are a few additions I recommend:
- Grilled chicken
- Ground pork
- Bell peppers and broccoli
My only regret is that this recipe makes just enough peanut sauce for two servings of well-dressed noodles and after enjoying a bowl, I wanted to put the peanut sauce on everything.
But don't worry because it's easy to make a double or triple batch!
As far as Friday night dinners go, this one is perfection. Simple, flavorful, and very quick. And wonderful for enjoying on the couch with a loved one while watching Dateline.
I should also note that these noodles with peanut sauce pair very well with a chilled glass of white wine or a cold beer.
Happy Friday!! What's your ideal Friday night dinner when you're staying in?
Noodles with Peanut Sauce
- 8 oz. rice noodles (or noodles of your choice)
- ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup water
- 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes, plus more for topping
- 2 Tbsp crushed peanuts, for topping
- 1 tsp chopped cilantro, for topping
- In a large pot filled with salted water, cook noodles according to package’s directions. When finished cooking, drain and place noodles in a large bowl.
- While noodles are cooking, whisk all remaining ingredient (aside from toppings) together in a medium saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat and cook until the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat.
- Add peanut sauce to bowl with cooked noodles. Toss to coat noodles in sauce.
- Serve noodles in individual bowls and top with crushed peanuts, chopped cilantro, and additional red pepper flakes.