Peanut butter noodles are a fantastic make-ahead meal. Packed with vegetables and tossed with a tasty peanut dressing, they can be served as a side dish or light plant based meal.
This peanut butter noodles recipe is one I’ve been making for YEARS! In fact, it used to be my “go to” recipe to leave for the kids and babysitter when my husband and I went out for date nights. It’s also fantastic for meal prep lunches or packing up for a picnic.
I always keep packages of rice noodles stashed in the pantry for last-minute meals, such as rice noodle soup or Singapore noodles. They cook in about 5 minutes, which makes them ideal for those of us who like to procrastinate on dinner prep (hand raised here!)
The brown rice noodles, along with plenty of vegetables and edamame, adds a good dose of fiber to your day. Serve the noodles as a side dish or plant-based main dish. Pack up any leftovers and store in the refrigerator to enjoy the next day.
INGREDIENTS FOR THIS PEANUT NOODLES RECIPE:
These are the main ingredients needed for this recipe…
- RICE NOODLES: I use these brown rice noodles, which are Pad Thai-style noodles, not the thinner maifun noodles. If preferred, use regular Pad Thai noodles, made with white rice instead of brown rice.
- VEGETABLES: Use your favorite vegetables. I like a combination of cucumber, red bell pepper, carrot and green onions.
- EDAMAME: Frozen shelled edamame can be found in the frozen vegetable section of most grocery stores.
- PEANUT BUTTER: Smooth natural peanut butter is the way to go because it is made solely from peanuts – no additives, preservatives or fillers.
- SOY SAUCE: I use regular soy sauce. Feel free to substitute with tamari (gluten-free) or coconut aminos. To keep things completely plant-based, make sure the soy sauce doesn’t include any fish-based flavor enhancers.
- LIME JUICE: Use my favorite citrus squeezer for fresh lime juice.
- MAPLE SYRUP: For a little sweetness, try pure maple syrup, agave nectar or honey (not vegan).
- RICE VINEGAR: Find rice vinegar in the international aisle or with the other vinegars in most grocery stores. It can also be purchased online.
- CHILI GARLIC SAUCE: Chili garlic sauce can be found in the international section of most grocery stores or online. It lasts in the fridge for several months.
See recipe card below for full ingredients list & recipe directions.
💙 What’s to love about these vegan peanut noodles::
▪️ MAKE-AHEAD: These noodles are fantastic for make-ahead lunches or dinner, or even picnics. Serve them cold or at room temperature.
▪️ FLAVOR! If you love any kind of peanut sauce, you’re going to love these noodles. Plus, they’re packed with all sorts of veggies.
▪️ VERSATILE: The mix-in possibilities are endless. Add your favorite or seasonal vegetables. If the meat lovers want something extra added, try chicken or shrimp.
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How to make peanut butter noodles:
These noodles can be made in less than 25 minutes.. There are three main steps: 1) Cook the noodles, 2) Make the peanut dressing, and 3) Toss together all of the ingredients. Let’s talk details…
COOK THE NOODLES: Start by cooking the rice noodles in a large pot of water, according to the package instructions. My favorite Pad Thai-style brown rice noodles take about 5 minutes to boil. Take care not to overcook them, as they tend to become mushy.
DRAIN & COOL: Drain the noodles in a colander. Run them under cold water, tossing with tongs until they completely cool down. Drain again, then transfer to a serving dish.
ADD THE EDAMAME: There are two options for the edamame. 1) Defrost them in a bowl of water in the microwave or 2) Throw them into the boiling water with the rice noodles during the last minute of cooking. Drain and cool with the noodles. The second method is my favorite.
PREP THE VEGGIES: Cut the English cucumber into thin half-circles or quarters, cut the red bell pepper into strips (then cut in half to make them shorter), julienne the carrots or cut into thin half-circles and thinly slice the green onions.
MAKE THE DRESSING: In a bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, maple syrup, rice vinegar and chili garlic sauce. Add a few tablespoons of water and whisk until the dressing is smooth. If the dressing thickens as it rests, loosen it up by adding more water, one teaspoon at a time.
TOSS IT TOGETHER: Add the veggies and dressing to the noodles and edamame. Toss it all together until the noodles are well coated with the dressing. Serve it up right away or cover and refrigerate.
Can peanut butter noodles be made ahead of time?
Yes! When stored properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator, these noodles last up to 2 to 3 days.
If you choose to included cucumber, as stated in the recipe, I suggest leaving them out if storing for more than 24 hours. They tend to become mushy. Instead, slice the cucumbers and add before serving.
For the noodles: I’ve been using these brown rice noodles (Pad Thai thickness) for years! I buy a 6-pack of them on Amazon so that I always have them on hand for quick rice noodles dishes like this salad or these Singapore noodles. If you prefer use the white rice version, or swap in regular pasta noodles, such as spaghetti or linguini.
For the protein: To keep these peanut noodles plant-based, serve the recipe as-written with edamame or add tofu. Marinated and baked tofu is a great option! For a non-vegan version, try seared shrimp, poached chicken or cooked salmon.
For the vegetables: The recipe calls for cucumber, red bell pepper and carrots. Other vegetables for peanut noodles are zucchini (zucchini or squash noodles are great in this!), grilled eggplant, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, green beans and snap peas.
Loaded Peanut Butter Noodles
- 8 ounces brown rice noodles Pad Thai-style
- 1 cup chopped English cucumber
- ½ red bell pepper cut into thin strips
- 1 large carrot julienned or cut into thin half-circles
- 1 cup shelled edamame
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat.
- Cook the rice noodles according to package directions, typically 5 minutes or until tender. Take care not to overcook the noodles. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water.
- Once the noodles are cooled and well-drained, transfer them to a serving bowl.
- Add the cucumber, bell pepper, carrot, edamame and green onions to the noodles.
- Pour in the peanut sauce and toss to coat the noodles.
- Serve or cover and store in the refrigerator.
The peanut dressing:
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, maple syrup, rice vinegar and chili garlic sauce.
- Add the water and whisk until the sauce is smooth. Add additional water as needed, one teaspoon at a time, to make the sauce more pourable.
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