15-Minute Spicy Peanut Noodles – Drenched in spicy peanut sauce, this EASY recipe for peanut noodles is faster than calling for takeout! Homemade peanut sauce is amped up with sesame oil, ginger, soy, sriracha, and tossed with rice noodles for a great quick and easy lunch or busy weeknight dinner. Vegetarian and gluten-free comfort food that’ll keep you satisfied for hours! Adding your favorite protein is always welcome.
Table of Contents
- Easy Spicy Peanut Noodles Recipe
- Ingredients in Better Than Takeout Spicy Peanut Noodles
- How to Make Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce
- How To Add Protein
- Tips for the Best Spicy Peanut Noodles
- Recipe FAQs
- What to Serve with Spicy Peanut Noodles
- Storage Suggestions for Spicy Peanut Noodles
- Spicy Peanut Noodles Recipe
- More Easy Recipes with Peanut Sauce:
Easy Spicy Peanut Noodles Recipe
Treat your taste buds to a burst of flavor with this spicy peanut noodles recipe. Tender rice noodles are coated in a spicy peanut sauce. It’s a super fast and easy recipe that’s ready in just 15 minutes!
Boil the noodles, whisk together the peanut sauce, done.
My homemade peanut sauce is made with creamy peanut butter, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, a bit of honey or agave for sweetness, the fragrant goodness of sesame oil, vinegar for tang, and sriracha + cayenne pepper for the spiciness.
I love the tasty slurp factor of rice noodles contrasted with the crunchy peanuts that I finish the dish with. When you’re in need of a quick and easy comfort food for either lunch or a weeknight dinner, this recipe is perfect. Faster and definitely more economical than calling for takeout!
Did You Know?
Many cultures eat noodles on New Year’s Day to bring good luck, longevity, and prosperity!
How Spicy Is This Peanut Noodle Recipe?
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give them a 5. Right in the middle. However, we love spicy food and have a high tolerance.
But guess what? The spice level is completely adjustable!
- Craving Heat? – I suggest 2 to 3 tablespoons sriracha + 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Of course, add both of them slowly, and to taste, a little goes a long way! And if you don’t have fire breath yet, add more of either sriracha and/or cayenne. I personally prefer cayenne when I am solely trying to add heat and don’t want to try to combine a liquid into something else, but it’s up to you. If you want to add chilies like serrano or habanero, a tiny bit of either will really crank up the heat, too!
- Spice Wimp? – If you want to turn these into just a great peanut noodles recipe, rather than spicy peanut noodles recipe, use 1 tablespoon sriracha (or less) and no cayenne pepper. See how it tastes and adjust, if desired.
Ingredients in Better Than Takeout Spicy Peanut Noodles
To make this easy recipe for spicy noodles with peanut sauce, you’ll need these easy-to-find and very common ingredients including the following:
- Rice noodles (sometimes called ‘stir fry rice noodles’ or you can use pad thai noodles) – I like to use a wider noodle here rather than really thin ramen-like noodles but they will work
- Shredded carrots
- Creamy peanut butter
- Honey or agave syrup
- Toasted sesame oil
- Lite soy sauce (or coconut aminos or tamari)
- Apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
- Ground ginger or fresh ginger
- Cayenne pepper
- Fresh basil or cilantro, for garnishing
- Peanuts, for garnishing
- Lime juice from lime wedges, for garnishing
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
How to Make Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce
With 5 minutes of prep time and 10 minutes (at most) of cooking time, these Thai-inspired peanut sauce noodles are ready in a total time of 15 minutes. Faster than calling for takeout!
- Cook the rice noodles in a large pot of water according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking when done.
- While the noodles are boiling, if desired, you can saute the carrots in a bit of sesame or olive oil in a skillet. However, if you like a crisp-tender texture, I don’t find this is necessary. More on this in the Tips below.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the peanut sauce components together until creamy.
- Combine the drained noodles, carrots, and toss with the peanut sauce.
- Plate the noodles and top with fresh basil or cilantro, peanuts, and a lime wedge.
How To Add Protein
If you try to aim for a certain amount of protein with every meal, and want to toss in some protein here, I recommend the following:
Chicken – You can just make my Peanut Chicken with Peanut Noodles recipe (from which this recipe came from). Or, keep it really easy and use leftover baked chicken or some shredded chicken from a store bought rotisserie chicken.
Shrimp – Most frozen shrimp are already cooked. Thaw them and then toss them right into the noodle mixture!
Tofu/Tempeh – Pan-sear or bake the tofu or tempeh as you normally would. Then add it. If you’re a consumer of tofu or tempeh, you know what to do here.
Beef – Skirt or flank steak, or a thin cut of beef, like you’d use for carne asada, is great. Cook it how I instruct in that post and then combine into the noodles.
Pork – I recommend using leftover pork, such as from a slow cooker pulled pork recipe.
Tips for the Best Spicy Peanut Noodles
Perfectly Cooked Noodles: Rice noodles don’t have gluten so they tend to cook quicker than traditional pasta and become gummy if overcooked. So cook them only as much as is indicated on the packaging. And then rinse the cooked noodles immediately to halt the cooking process and prevent them from becoming mushy. This ensures a delightful, chewy texture in every bite.
Balancing the Sriracha and Cayenne Pepper: Adjust the amount of these spicy ingredients to suit your spice tolerance. Start with a conservative amount and add more gradually, tasting as you go, until you achieve the desired level of heat.
Salt to Taste: The salt in this dish can add up, so using low-sodium soy sauce and unsalted peanuts is a good idea if you’re watching your salt intake. However, in truthfulness, restaurant food tastes so good because they’re not shy with the salt. So if you feel it needs it, you can always season with salt at the end, but you can’t take it out if you accidentally add too much.
Dry Noodles?: Adding peanut sauce to warm noodles can cause them to absorb the sauce quickly, and to absorb lots of it! If your noodles are drier than you prefer, feel free to mix up a little extra peanut sauce (Leftover peanut sauce won’t go to waste, see the FAQs for what to do with it!) Or sometimes just a bit of extra soy sauce can quell noodle dryness.
Add Extras: You can add vegetables like onion, green onions, bell peppers, or a protein such as shrimp, chicken, or pork. See above for my Protein Suggestions.
I recommend using wide rice noodles which are sometimes called ‘stir fry rice noodles’. I use these noodles in my Thai Noodle Soup with Chicken recipe as well as in Pad Thai. You can also use pad thai noodles.
You can also use thinner rice noodles like I do in my Peanut Chicken with Noodles recipe. I wanted a thicker/wider noodle for this recipe to mix things up.
I do recommend sticking with rice noodles for authenticity and they’re easy to find in the Asian section of any well-stocked grocery store or big box store. If you absolutely cannot find them, another kind of long strand classic pasta like spaghetti noodles or angel hair may be substituted. You can also use soba noodles, however if you can’t find rice noodles, soba likely won’t be easier! Ramen noodles will also work in a pinch.
Yes you sure can if you’re making it for a bigger group or larger family event. Double everything, make sure to use a big enough mixing bowl, and always taste at the end and adjust the seasoning, to taste.
Yes and no. Yes, of course – if it’s making it ahead of time rather than not making it at all, I say go for it!
However, any kind of noodle dish whether it’s your favorite spaghetti and meatballs recipe, chicken pad thai, or these spicy peanut noodles do tend to be best when served hot and fresh. Noodles + sauce of any kind can go from dry to soggy if they sit. Being that this is literally such a fast and easy 15 min recipe, I recommend making it fresh.
Yes, great idea! You may want to make a little extra sauce to ensure everything gets tossed evenly in it.
I recommend sugar snap peas, snow peas, bell peppers, mushrooms, baby corn, or broccoli just to name a few.
Yes you sure can. See the above section for easy ideas and ways to incorporate it.
Technically yes, but in reality, just make it at home! It’s a 2-minute whisk-together little number and it’s so much better than store bought. Plus, in order to get the store bought sauce on the spicy side, you’re going to have to tinker with it and add either sriracha or cayenne, or both.
I recommend creamy, store bought peanut butter, and not of the ‘natural’ variety. I like using good old-fashioned no-stir peanut butter like Skippy or Jif. Because you’re going to be thinning it out with a variety of ingredients – including sesame oil, vinegar, and sriracha – if you start with one that’s already on the thinner side (and most of the natural or stirring-required types are thinner) the resulting peanut sauce could be pretty thin.
Technically yes, but I prefer smooth or creamy peanut butter to make the peanut sauce so that it whisks together nice-and-smooth. Then I add crushed peanuts for some crunch as a garnish but you can use crunchy PB and perhaps you won’t even need to garnish with crushed peanuts.
Don’t let leftover peanut sauce go to waste—it’s super versatile! Dip your fresh spring rolls or chicken satay skewers in it, add it to stir-fries for extra flavor, or turn it into a tasty salad dressing like I do in my crunchy peanut salad with chicken. Or put it over peanut chicken lettuce wraps.
In my opinion, toasted sesame oil add an undeniably authentic flavor sensation to the peanut sauce and you should not omit it. Look for toasted sesame oil, although it’s far more common to find toasted vs. not toasted sesame oil. You only need about a quarter cup but it’s really essential. If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area, their Toasted Sesame Oil is what I use but any brand will work.
What to Serve with Spicy Peanut Noodles
Since this is a meatless dish that even meat eaters will love, you can serve it with other vegetarian sides like a simple side salad, grilled vegetables or roasted veggies, and still keep it filling and satisfying.
However, if you want to make the peanut noodles more of a side dish, or are looking for a some more protein-packed and Asian-inspired main dishes I recommend the following:
- Better-Than-Takeout Cashew Chicken*
- Chicken Chow Mein
- Chicken Stir Fry with Noodles
- Ramen Noodle, Vegetable, and Chicken Stir Fry
- Chicken Pad Thai*
- Crunchy Peanut Chicken Salad
- Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- 15 Minute Sheet Pan Beef and Broccoli*
- Garlic Shrimp Stir Fry
*Denotes Fan Favorite!
Storage Suggestions for Spicy Peanut Noodles
Noodles of any kind are best when they are hot and fresh. Slurp, slurp!
However, if you do have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat gently in the microwave. I don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
If you noodles are dry or have absorbed much of the peanut sauce, which is common, whip up a bit more peanut sauce and drizzle it over them.
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Spicy Peanut Noodles
- 12 ounces rice noodles
- ½ cup matchstick carrots or shredded carrots
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup honey or agave syrup
- ¼ cup toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lite soy sauce, or coconut aminos, or tamari
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sriracha, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 to 2 teaspoons ground ginger, or to taste (or about 2-3 tablespoons freshly grated ginger)
- pinch cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
- ½ cup diced salted peanuts, for garnishing
- ⅓ cup fresh basil or cilantro, finely minced for garnishing
- Salt, optional and to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, optional and to taste
- Noodles – Boil the rice noodles according to the package directions, taking care not to overcook them. Drain and rinse. While the noodles boil, carry on with the rest of the recipe. Tips – I used wide rice noodles, labeled as stir fry noodles for this recipe. You can also use pad thai noodles or thinner rice noodles if you prefer. Ramen noodles or traditional pasta noodles may be substituted, but they are not my personal preference in this recipe.
- Carrots – If desired, saute the carrots in a large skillet with a bit of olive oil for about 2 minutes over medium-high. However, I don't bother because I like a crisper texture. If you like softer/mushier vegetables, then you may consider sauteeing them.
- Peanut Sauce – To a medium bowl, add the peanut butter, honey (use agave to keep vegan), toasted sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauce (use coconut aminos or tamari to keep gluten-free), sriracha, garlic, ginger, optional cayenne, and whisk to combine, taste, and make any necessary flavor adjustments. Tips – I use creamy old-fashioned peanut butter like Skippy or Jif. I don't recommend stir-required peanut butter because they're already thinner than a classic peanut butter, and you're going to thin it out even more and your peanut sauce could end up too runny. Start slowly with the sriracha and/or cayenne (or omit the cayenne) if you are worried about the heat level. Sesame oil has a very strong flavor and if you're not used to it, it could be overwhelming so start with a bit less potentially at first, like 2-3 tablespoons. However, for authentic flavor, you need it and I believe will want to use 1/4 cup.
- In a large bowl, combine the noodles, carrots, drizzle the peanut sauce over the top, and toss to coat and combine evenly.
- Garnish with the diced peanuts, fresh herbs to taste, and salt and pepper, if desired, and serve immediately. Recipe is best warm and fresh, but leftovers will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat very gently in the microwave or as desired.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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More Easy Recipes with Peanut Sauce:
Peanut Chicken with Peanut Noodles – Easy, ready in 20 minutes, tastes better, and way healthier than takeout! Peanut sauce automatically makes everything taste amazing!
Crunchy Peanut Salad with Chicken — Crispy fried chicken with crunchy cabbage, carrots, peanuts, cilantro and the EASIEST and BEST homemade peanut sauce that coats every bite!! A salad that you’ll CRAVE over and over!!
Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps – Easy, ready in 20 minutes, healthy, and the peanut sauce is the best! Great flavors and textures in every bite of these irresistible wraps!
Thai Peanut Chicken Salad – Eat the Rainbow with this easy, healthy salad that’s ready in 20 minutes! Juicy chicken and crisp vegetables are tossed in the best peanut sauce!
Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken – The easiest peanut chicken ever and your slow cooker does all the work! Topped with crunchy peanuts, cilantro, green onions, and the peanut sauce is irresistible!
Easy Chicken Satay With Peanut Sauce — Look no further from this FAST and EASY recipe for authentic-tasting Thai chicken satay. The chicken is so tender and juicy and there’s plenty of homemade PEANUT SAUCE to dip it into!
Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce — Healthy rolls that taste just like your favorite Asian restaurant makes!! Fill them with your favorite veggies along with shrimp, chicken, or tofu – totally customizable! The homemade peanut sauce for dipping is AMAZING!!