I love peanut sauce and I firmly believe that anything slathered in peanut sauce automatically goes from good to great.
Including simple rice noodles and whatever vegetables are lingering in the crisper drawer.
Now that school has started and dinners need to happen quickly and easily, I’m all about five minute dinners.
Yes, this is a five minute meal. It’s also vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free if you’re keeping track.
Step one is to make the peanut sauce.
I’ve never understood why people find peanut sauce to be such an elusive condiment and am always taken aback when I see people obsess over how to make it because it’s one of the easiest and fastest sauce to make and it’s extremely customizable.
The four must-have ingredients I include are: peanut butter, sesame oil, agave (or honey) and a splash of something acidic like apple cider vinegar or the juice from half of an orange or lemon. I believe that telltale and unmistakeable peanut sauce taste comes from sesame oil and cannot be skipped.
After that, whether you add a ground ginger, a pinch of cayenne or chili flakes, salt and pepper, a dash of soy sauce, or anything else that strikes your fancy, is up to you.
For this sauce, I combined peanut butter, sesame oil, agave, apple cider vinegar, a pinch of ground ginger, and a couple twists of black pepper in a small bowl and stirred.
Step two is to cook the thin rice noodles, found in most major grocery stores in the Asian or Ethnic Foods aisles. Place the noodles in a microwave-safe bowl with one-quarter cup of water, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and allow the noodles steam for about two minutes on high power.
To the cooked noodles, add any vegetables you enjoy or need to be used. I had carrots, red peppers, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and a couple handfuls of peanuts on hand, and that’s what I used.
You could steam the veggies before adding them to the mix, but I like the texture of them raw. Plus, the residual heat from the warm noodles has a little bit of carryover-cooking effect on the vegetables, softening them just a smidge; and the peanut sauce also softens and tenderizes them a touch. I always prefer raw or al dente to limp and prefer not cooking the vegetables.
Feel free to add additional protein such as tofu, tempeh, chicken, shrimp, pork, or beef.
Then just add the peanut sauce, toss, and serve.
This felt like a Thai restaurant meal without the pricetag, hassle, or added sodium, which I loathe.
Soft warm noodles contrasted with crunchy peanuts and crunchy fresh vegetables, all drenched in a savory-yet-sweet-and-tangy peanut sauce, made for lots of noodle-slurping up and members of the Clean Plate Club.
Scott and Skylar requested this every night for the rest of the month. You won’t hear me complaining if this is all l I had to do for dinner for the rest of the month since it’s so easy and fast.
I’ve since made more batches with other combinations of vegetables, and have served the leftovers as a cold salad straight from the refrigerator, up to three days later. The veggies are a little softer by day 3 but they hang on remarkably well.
Peanut sauce on noodles is like frosting on cake. Sometimes I make cake just so that I’m not just eating frosting by the spoonful.
Same idea with these noodles. I like to have a little food with my vat of peanut sauce every now and then.
Pin This Recipe
Peanut Noodles with Mixed Vegetables and Peanut Sauce
Peanut sauce is so easy and inexpensive to make at home. Just whisk it together in minutes, pour over your favorite noodles and vegetables, and you have an easy, flavorful, healthy meal in less than 15 minutes. No need for takeout when you can make your own peanut noodles in no time. The peanut sauce portion of the recipe can be doubled. Use half for the noodles and save the other half to be used as a vegetable dip, salad dressing, or marinade. Peanut sauce will keep for at least 1 week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Peanut Noodles with Mixed Vegetables
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups thin rice noodles
- 1/2 cup carrots, roughly sliced
- 1/2 cup red bell peppers, roughly sliced
- 1/2 cup broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/3 cup peanuts
- 1/2 cup+ other vegetables, optional (baby corn, corn, water chestnuts, peas, sugar snap peas, peapods, scallions, green beans, asparagus)
- 1 cup diced protein, optional (tofu, tempeh, chicken, shrimp, pork, beef)
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter or homemade peanut butter
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, (apple cider or rice wine preferred, regular vinegar, orange juice, or lemon juice may be substituted)
- dash soy sauce, optional and to taste (I do not use it)
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- salt and pepper, optional and to taste
- pinch cayenne pepper or chili powder, optional and to taste
- Peanut Noodles with Mixed Vegetables – Place rice noodles in a large microwave-safe bowl, add about 1/4 cup water, and cook on high powder until tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until soft; or cook according to package directions.
- Add the carrots, red peppers, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, peanuts, optional vegetables and protein; set bowl aside.
- Peanut Sauce – In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the peanut sauce and stir or whisk until smooth. Taste sauce and make flavor adjustments if desired.
- Pour sauce over noodles and vegetables and toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately; or cover the bowl, refrigerate, and serve chilled. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and serve chilled or reheat gently in the microwave before serving.
Fresh Vegan Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce (raw, vegan, GF) – The rolls are so easy to make at home and cost pennies to make rather than $7 bucks for a pair at the grocery store or a restaurant
Spiralized Zucchini Pasta with Peanut Sauce (raw, vegan, GF) – Similar concept but uses spiralized zucchini for the noodles rather than rice noodles. Zucchini noodles are surprisingly filling; much more so than rice noodles
Pan Seared Caribbean Citrus Mahi Mahi with Brown Rice Noodles – Scott loved this meal and the noodles
Caramelized Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Chickpea “Peanuts” (vegan, GF) – This is how to make ‘peanuts’ without using peanuts; or how to turn chickpeas into candy. A can of chickpeas disappears faster than ever before as you eat half the tray standing in front of the oven, just don’t burn your mouth
Homemade Peanut Butter – Peanut sauce made with homemade peanut butter is a special delicacy
Raw Pasta Salad with Creamy Lemon & Herb Dressing (raw, vegan, GF) – Using spiralized zucchini as the noodles and the dressing is bright, creamy, and really makes this salad pop
Peanut Sauce Baked Tofu (vegan, GF) – Peanut sauce makes a wonderful marinade for tofu, tempeh, or just about anything
Do you like peanut sauce?
If you have any favorite recipes for it or recipes incorporating it, link them up since I can’t get enough of the stuff.
Made the peanut sauce and it was perfect. Served it with my Korean Rice Noodle Pancakes and it was so yummy. Thank you so much.
Thanks for trying the recipe and glad it came out great for you!
So many lovely recipes. Thank you.
This looks yummy!
Where did you get that super cool green specked bowl?
Anthropologie, years ago.
Love this dinner idea! Colorful and perfect!
Thanks Lori! It’s one of those little treasures from the archives that I dusted off :)
All nice recipes. Thanks so much and have a great weekend!
This was delicious! I’ve never had peanut sauce before, but I gave it a try, and I really loved it! It doesn’t look nearly as pretty as yours, but what a quick and tasty dish! This is especially helpful since I’m on a low histamine diet, and cannot use soy sauce. I was really missing a simple stir-fry. Thanks for the idea!
Glad you enjoyed this and I don’t usually cook or use soy sauce b/c it’s so salty and I don’t do well with excess sodium and it’s nice to be able to make flavorful foods without salt, isn’t it!
I’ve been meaning to try this recipe for ages and am having serious noodle cravings. I get rice noodles at a local Asian market. Any idea how many ounces you use since you give the measurement for it in cups? Do you usually break the noodles to measure in cups? Thanks!
Basically just a few big handfuls of noodles, or scoops of them. Portion out oodles like you’d use normally use when you make & eat noodles. This is not a highly scientific process :) Just put some noodles in a big bowl for you and your family, top with veggies and peanut sauce. Enjoy!
I have never made peanut sauce since every recipe I have seen has ingredients that I either would never use again if I didn’t like their recipe or couldn’t be found. Thank you for “demistify” this with normal ingredients. I’m going to pin this so 1) I don’t lose this and 2) I can make this week before my daughter comes home for weekend – bet she would like this too
Glad I could de-mystify and break it down for you. Yes, it’s super simple to make once you realize what the major components are and from there, you have options. You need the PB, an acid (vinegar, OJ, etc), sesame oil, and then things like soy, tamari, etc are optional. LMK how it goes!
Just made this! Yummy Yummy Yummy!!! :D I added chili powder to mine for a little kick.
Glad you enjoyed! Great idea on the chili powder!
wonder if cilantro, lime, jalepeño, and bean sprouts would be good in the noodle dish?
i eat meat, but i’m staying with my friend whose wife’s a vegetarian, so i’m having to think/cook in vegetarian these days, so first place i thought of was your site. i made that Sweet Potato Red Pepper and Coconut Milk Soup. brilliantly simple and so freakin’ delicious. i doubled the recipe and it was gone in two days. i’m making it again (and doubling it again) and plan on roughly chopping and tossing in some Trader Joe’s Thai Lime & Chili Cashews.
I think it would be great (wonder if cilantro, lime, jalepeño, and bean sprouts would be good in the noodle dish?)
And I LOVE those TJs’s nuts (Thai Lime & Chili Cashews) – love them, as in I can’t even buy them b/c I will eat the whole bag and my mouth will be on fire :) Glad you loved the soup so much!
Looks weird but appetizing. Knowing that it’s easy to prepare, makes it a must try. I hope I get it right so that it may look the same with your pictures. I haven’t tried putting peanut butter on anything other than on a bread. This is a first. Thanks.
Simple but gorgeous – all the colors and textures make this so appetizing. And you’re right – peanut sauce has a way of elevating simple to amazing… I’m featuring this post in today’s Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution as always). Thanks for always inspiring me with your creations…
Thanks for featuring them & I haven’t forgotten, just so busy! Soon I hope…. :)
This is probably the best peanut sauce recipe I’ve seen in a while! And 5 minutes?! You can’t beat that!
Fast, easy, delish. The name of that tune!
I have never liked any peanut sauce I’ve made myself, but I don’t think I’ve ever used sesame oil. So maybe I’ll give it another shot. I’ve been buying Archer Farm’s peanut sauce at Target, which is really, really good.
I like to mix it with a little oil to turn it into a salad dressing for romaine, grilled chicken, shredded carrots, sometimes pineapple chunks, always cilantro and a few chopped peanuts on top.
Or I do the same ingredients only tossing everything with noodles. It’s perfect good for you comfort food.
Add sesame oil (it’s KEY!) and you will never, ever go back to buying Archer Farms :)
What a simple recipe and what colorful pics! Awesome! :)
I’m all about quick dinner– thanks for sharing!
LOVE peanut sauce on noodles. My kid hates it. But he loves peanut butter.
These noodles are a total win Averie!! A girl can never have enough peanut sauce!
This looks wonderful and I adore peanut sauce and use tahini a lot in sauces too, yum!
I LOVE peanut sauce, but unfortunately, my husband doesn’t. I need to make this for lunch – just for myself! :)
he’s crazy! lol
Thanks for the pin, too!
And for the first time ever, just got a comment reply notification in my inbox from you – good job on the plugin!
Can’t even believe this comes together in 5 minutes! Looks delicious. I love that you include how long the peanut sauce will keep in the fridge too, very helpful info!
And just the sauce itself, in a jar, will keep for a very long time. Longer than a week (or more). Commercial PB has plenty of preservatives and pair that with vinegar and you’ve pretty much got something that will last for a long time…but to each her own, obviously, with how long it will last. Plus, it’s so easy to make, you can make it in small batches but I do like to keep a big jar on hand!
I love that you are offering a peanut sauce that can be low in sodium, the number one killer re heart disease in this country. I know you feed your family a healthy diet – thank you for this, Averie, my favorite food-blogging neighbor. X0 Liz
I am *extremely* sodium sensitive. My body just does not process it well, at all. And for my own personal sanity and not wanting to blow up like a balloon, I never cook with soy sauce, add salt to things, etc. And my hubs is a recovering high blood pressure person (thanks to me cooking without salt!) and so it’s a win-win!
Too funny-made rice noodles this week too! Your sauce sounds great!
great minds think alike!
Averie, this looks amazing! I never made peanut sauce but now I have to! I have a ton of veggies to use too!! I think this dish will be tomorrow or Friday’s meal!! I love how simple it is!!
yes you the PB Queen right along with me, you need to make it, for sure!
Dinner from counter to table in 5 minutes? That’s my kind of meal! :-)
Peanut sauce is one of my all time favorite things. The wonderful thing about it is that even if you don’t have very much, a little bit in the dish goes a long way! It is my all time favorite dip for spring roll wraps. Your wraps, btw, look absolutely incredible! I am thinking I need to try out this sauce on my zucchini noodles very soon.
Yes a little DOES go a long way. To the point that even after I make it and clean up the kitchen, hours later I can walk into the kitchen and smell the traces of it!
You are a big fan of everything peanut, Averie! :) I am not a peanut person but cashews would make a great sauce for this meal as well, don’t you think?! :)
Cashews are great, too, but I do love peanut sauce!
I thought about this meal all day! LOL I went to the grocery store and made it for dinner. Total hit!!!! Amazing! Thanks for the great recipe! :)
So glad it was a hit!! WOOT!!! You’re the first (and fastest!) person to make this. Thanks for trying it and LMK how it went!
Beautiful photography! This recipe looks very doable on a weeknight. Thanks for sharing!
I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE peanut sauce, but have never made it!
I actually tied your peanut sauce once and it was amazing! Everyone loved it! This dish looks so colorful and fun – I know my girls will love it!
AVERIE!! Oh no you didn’t girl! Did you know that peanut sauce is… ummm… pretty much my favorite sauce/dressing ever? Yep, I make my own and use it as a salad dressing! And your comparison to frosting on a cake.. yes yes and yes. I load my dishes with extra peanut sauce so I can have spoonfuls and lick the plate/bowl when I’m all done. Can I join you, Scott, and Skylar at the dinner table for the rest of the month?! :)
And did you know tomorrow is national peanut day? I’m sure you already knew that! I am such a food-holiday nerd now.
I knew it was that day and I have something in store for it :)
And I figured you’d be a peanut sauce fan and glad my cake analogy rang true! I almost took that out but then thought, well, I really DO feel that way :)
Yes to peanut sauce! The veggies in this are so great.
I’ve never been a fan of peanut sauce, as I think it tastes like peanut butter that’s trying to be savory and put on meat and vegetables, but I’ve only had it in restaurants, and I’m not always a fan of restaurant food, so I’m looking forward to giving this recipe a try for a nice quick dinner.
Can you imagine if the two of us were married? It’d be all peanut butter, all the time.
So, uh…wanna get married?
Totally! and we’d produce peanut butter children :)
Oh gosh. Peanut sauce. I can’t even begin to describe the abominations–I mean miracles, clearly–that I’ve made by smothering homemade peanut sauce over things, from salads to plain rice. In short…wholeheartedly agreed!!
miracles happen with peanut sauce is involved :)
This is one of the best dishes I’ve seen in a while—love the colors, love the flavors, love the photos!!!
I love to make giant batches of peanut sauce and put it on, well, everything! Haha. Everytime someone tastes it they gasp and ask for the recipe. When I blurt out only a few ingredients, they don’t believe me and think I am keeping a super secret recipe from them. Haha. This looks incredible. I use the new Trader Joe’s rice noodles that are in the refrigerated section :)
I didn’t even KNOW about those TJs noodles! Going there later today and will check ’em out!
Hooray for peanut noodles! These look amazing! I somehow haven’t eaten any peanut noodles for the entire summer–that clearly needs to change ASAP. :)
sesame oil? pb? agave? – uh, i could probably eat that sauce on it’s own. hehe
I’m a peanut sauce girl too. What a great weeknight meal – love all the veggies you incorporated!
thanks for the Pin, too!
Yum, Yum, Yum!
I’m going to tuck this away and incorporate into weeknight dinners!
I couldn’t agree more! Peanut sauce is amazing! I make a modified version of Rachael Ray’s hot and cold sesame noodles…drool- favorite meal? Maybe! I like the sauce on just veggies too. Deliciousness.
I didn’t even know she had that recipe – I need to google it!
Oh mah goodness. This looks ridiculous! As you know, it’s still quite warm here in CA so I’m still looking for lighter dishes that are EASY before I break out the soups and stews (even though I’m dyin’ to!) and this looks like it needs to make my weekly rotation for sure.
Yes it’s hotter here now than it was all summer and so easy no-bake/no-fuss dishes like this one are the way to go!
Oh, yum. You’re right, peanut sauce makes anything amazing. My heart seriously fluttered a little when I saw that pic of peanut butter in the bowl with the other ingredients to make the sauce, lol.
I’m glad I gave you some heart palpitations :)
What a remarkably easy weeknight meal. And fresh. And delicious looking. I’m sold. Peanut sauce is so divine, and I hate that I’m never sure if restaurant versions have fish sauce in it … but if you make it yourself, bingo!
the fish sauce situation in restaurants & not only is it not vegan but it’s LOADED with sodium, which is a no-go for me!
Beautiful & full of flavor! Can’t wait to try this and I love your photos :)
And thank you for the Pins!
Mama saaaaaaaaid knock you out.
Yum! I am making this asap! Looks amazing. My little girl will eat tons of veggies when I make your peanut sauce for her to use as a dip :)
Well LMK how the lil one (and you!) like it!
This is so colorful (and served in a gorgeous bowl!). I love peanut sauce and totally agree with you about the addition of sesame oil–I have really developed a taste for it and always have it around. I use peanut sauce as salad dressing and veggie dip too. My husband likes it with soba noodles and chicken and I like it on my zucchini noodles.
I never even knew I had a taste for it til maybe 5-6 years ago when I realized THAT’S what peanut sauce IS…that tell-tale sesame taste just speaks to me! Bowl is from Anthro and they still have them!
This looks amazing! I think you probably know I like peanut sauces for my stir fry dishes. I just always forget the peanuts LOL. Love the addition of the tomatoes too. MMMMM
The tomatoes happened to be in the veggie drawer and so in they went!
I love love love peanut sauce! I usually make mine with a dash of liquid aminos, too. I love serving it with spring rolls, but I have to try these rice noodles!
Spring rolls, yes! Forgot about linking up that recipe but am going to insert that recipe from my archives right now!
Peanut sauce is by far one of my favorite things. I used to make peanut sauce noodles once a week and just add in different vegetables or proteins each time!
I love peanut sauce, too. It really is super easy–it was one of the first things I learned to make when I graduated college.
It’s a 15-second ‘recipe’ which is why I always am baffled when I see people pay tons of money for small jars of it!
This is beautiful!
I LOVE peanut sauces! Here’s one I posted about recently using peanut flour ( or butter): http://eatmovebalance.com/thai-inspired-red-cabbage-and-zucchini/
I havent used peanut flour in years – oh wow, the memories of that stuff when it was all the rage a few years back on blogs!
Now this is the kind of meal I could have every day and never get tired of.
Oh and your Turquoise plate is gorgeous! I’d eat in it every day. :)
Thank you – it’s from Anthro and they still have them in stock!
OMG I love love looooovvveee peanut sauce!! Your statement about liking a bit of food with your vat of peanut sauce speaks to me deeply. :op
Funnily, as Often as I make peanut sauce, I don’t have a single recipe for it up on my blog because I end up eating what I make before I can take pics. Haha
I like to add tamarind for the dash of tang in my sauce. Also a teeny tiny bit of jaggery to add a little more sweetness.
Averie, just lovely. I too, am a fan of super quick dinners, especially this time of year when things start getting hectic. Who has an hour to prepare dinner?
Lovely & simple.
Exactly – and even if I did, I don’t have the desire to do it at 6 or 7 or 9 pm!