Quick, easy, versatile and very slurpable Peanut Noodles! Perfect for midweek dinners and meal prep and the only cooking required is boiling the noodles!
These peanut noodles are the perfect combo of raw, crunchy veg, and peanut sauce-y, slurpy noodles. They take barely any time to prepare and involve minimal cooking. I'd say that's a midweek dinner winner!
(For detailed measurements and instructions, see the printable recipe card).
Here's what you'll be needing for this peanut noodles recipe and why:
- Noodles - Any type you like. Soba noodles are my favourite noodles and are usually my go-to, but rice noodles are also great.
- Peanut Sauce - A blend of peanut butter and other tasty things to coat the noods. Almond butter also works well and if you're nut-free use seed butter instead.
- Raw veggies - I've listed some in the ingredients list but know that this recipe is really versatile. Just about any raw veggie works so use whatever you have in the fridge. As long as you keep the proportions similar you'll be golden.
- Peanuts - Chopped up and sprinkled over for texture. Any will do. Raw, salted, roasted etc. They are not essential though so if you don't have any don't buy them especially.
- Fresh cilantro - I know it's a love it or hate it kind of thing. Feel free to omit it.
TOP TIP - If you don't use fresh ginger very often, keep it in the freezer. It stays good for months and months and is grate-able straight from the freezer!
Are noodles vegan?
Many regular store-bought noodles are vegan. That's because a basic noodle dough is just made with some kind of flour (often wheat flour, buckwheat flour or rice flour), salt and water. However, there are a couple of ingredients you need to look out for that can make your noodles not vegan friendly. Those are egg and lecithin.
Obviously avoid any noodles labelled as "egg noodles" because they will, of course, have eggs in them. Rice noodles are pretty much always egg-free but as with any noodles, it's always wise to have a quick check of the ingredients list even if on first impressions you think the noodles look ok. Sometimes, especially with chow mein noodles, you will find egg hiding in there, either labelled as egg, egg yolk, egg white, egg protein or egg powder.
If you spot lecithin listed, know that that can be plant or animal-derived so unless either one of those sources is stated clearly on the label, or the noodles are marked as "vegan", it's best to check with the manufacturer. Often a Google search will give you the answer too.
Noodle varieties that are most likely to be naturally vegan are rice noodles, udon noodles, soba noodles and regular dried spaghetti or pasta noodles. The best varieties for this peanut noodles recipe are rice noodles, udon noodles or soba noodles.
How to make Peanut Noodles
This recipe is incredibly easy to make. Here's how it's done:
Step 1 - Add all of the sauce ingredients to a bowl.
Step 2 - Either blend or whisk them up. The colour will look different depending on which method you choose. Blending makes it lighter.
Step 3 - Chop the veggies.
Step 4 - Boil the noodles. Rinse in cold water then put in a large bowl.
Step 5 - Toss the sauce and veggies through the noodles.
Step 7 - Garnish with cilantro, lime and chopped peanuts or chopped fresh chili and sesame seeds.
- Slightly undercook the noodles. I tend to cook them for about 1 minute less than it says on the packet.
- Don't forget to rinse the noodles under cold water as soon as you've drained them to stop any further cooking.
- As soon as they are rinsed toss them in the sauce quickly so they don't get a chance stick together.
- The sesame oil adds a flavour that can't be replaced so I don't recommend skipping it unless you don't consume oil then feel free to omit it.
- Cut the veggies into bite-sized pieces. If they are too big it makes it difficult (and messy) to eat.
- The sauce coats the noodles better when it's not too thick.
These vegan peanut noodles make a great meal just as they are but can also be served as a side or packed up for lunches or pot lucks.
Meal Prep Tips & Storage
This recipe is just perfect for making ahead and meal prep. You have a few options:
- Prep ahead - Make the sauce and store it in a jar in the fridge. Chop the veggies and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge. Cook the noodles when you want them then toss it all together and serve. Dinner in approximately 5 minutes tops (depending on noodle variety and the cooking time)!
- Meal prep - Make everything as per the recipe, noodles and all, toss it all together and store in an airtight container in the fridge or divide up between meal prep containers. It will keep for 3 to 4 days. Save the chopped peanuts and cilantro for sprinkling on when you are about to eat it so they stay crunchy and vibrant.
- Double up - If you love sauce make a double batch of the peanut sauce. It keeps really well in the fridge for about 7 to 10 days if you made it with water as the liquid, and about 4 to 5 days if you used coconut milk. It will thicken up a little. Thin it with a little water or coconut milk. Use for making more noodles, dipping, stir-fries, marinating tofu or tempeh, drizzling on bowl meals and salads etc.
- Freeze - The sauce can be frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and thin as necessary with a drop of water or coconut milk. I do not recommend freezing the noodles and vegetables.
Make the peanut noodles recipe as is, or customize to suit what you like or have available. It's a great clear out the fridge kind of meal! Here are some ideas for possible variations:
- Switch up the veggies. Add more bell peppers, carrots or cucumber or add different vegetables like thinly sliced cabbage, fennel, raw broccoli, sugar snap peas, zucchini ribbons or blanched edamame beans.
- Use pre-shredded veggies in a bag to make things even quicker.
- Add cubed tofu, tempeh or vegan chick'n pieces.
- Sesame oil gives a lovely flavour but if you don't consume added oils or don't have any, feel free to omit it.
- Use spiralized sweet potato or zucchini (zoodles) in place of the noodles.
- Adjust the sauce ingredients to suit your taste. Add more or less garlic, hot sauce, maple syrup or ginger. Taste as you go to get it just how you like it.
- Use a different nut or seed butter. The sauce is great with almond butter or cashew butter and also works well with sunflower seed or pumpkin seed butter.
- Omit the cilantro or use parsley instead.
- Instead of cold peanut noodles serve them warm. Skip running the noodles under cold water and warm the sauce very gently in a pan. Toss them together then add the vegetables. If you do this it's best to stick to vegetables that are ok very slightly cooked by the heat of the noodles and sauce like bell peppers, carrots and onions. Steer clear of cucumber.
- If you don't have any noodles use pasta instead.
Natural peanut butter with just peanuts or peanuts and salt in the ingredients is best to use. If you have a not so natural variety though it's ok to use it as long as it isn't sweetened or flavoured in any way.
Either crunchy or smooth peanut butter is fine.
Yes. Omit the sesame oil.
You can use any noodles in this recipe. Just be sure to check they are vegan. Personal favourites are soba, rice or udon noodles.
Hungry for more?
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FOR THE PEANUT SAUCE
- ½ cup / 125 grams peanut butter , or seed butter (almond butter works well too)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce or Tamari , or coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil , omit to make oil-free
- 1 medium lime , zest and juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup , or brown or coconut sugar
- 2 to 3 teaspoons Sriracha , or other hot sauce
- up to ½ cup / 120 mls water or canned coconut milk , you might not need it all
FOR THE NOODLES
- 8 oz / 227 grams soba, rice or udon noodles
- 2 medium carrots , cut into matchsticks or ribbons with a potato peeler
- 2 bell peppers , sliced thinly
- ½ a cucumber , cut into matchsticks or ribbons with a potato peeler
- 4 green onions , chopped into rounds
- 1 handful peanuts , roughly chopped
- 1 large handful fresh cilantro , chopped. (coriander in the UK)
For the sauce
- Add all ingredients to a blender, starting with half of the water or coconut milk. Blend until smooth then add a little more water or coconut milk to thin as necessary. The amount you need will depend on how thick or runny your peanut butter is. Bear in mind that the noodles are easier to toss if the sauce isn't too thick. Set aside. If you don't have a blender, grate or mince the garlic and ginger very finely, then whisk everything together in a bowl. The colour will look different depending on which method you choose. Blending makes it much lighter.
For the noodles
- Prepare the vegetables and set them aside.
- Boil a large pan of water. Once it reaches a rolling boil add the noodles. Give them a stir to separate and cook until just tender. I tend to cook mine for about 1 minute less than it says on the packet. As soon as they are ready, drain through a colander or sieve and run under plenty of cold water to stop them cooking anymore. Be sure to shake any excess water out.
- Transfer the noodles to a large bowl. Pour over the peanut sauce and give it a good toss, then add the chopped veggies and toss those through too.
- Serve garnished with chopped fresh cilantro and chopped peanuts.
Nutritional information is provided for convenience & as a courtesy. The data is a computer generated estimate so should be used as a guide only.
Recipe adapted from Sam Turnbull's 15 Minute Peanut Noodles From Fuss Free Vegan.