These spicy peanut noodles are an incredible fusion of spice and nuttiness in a single delicious dish. They have the perfect blend of heat, creaminess and comfort, and they're ready in just 15 minutes!
The perfect quick lunch is just 15 minutes away! These spicy peanut noodles are not only quick and easy to make, but they also pack a delightful blend of flavors that will make your next meal a real treat.
I love these peanut chili noodles not just because the sauce is so flavorful but also for the contrasting textures of tender noodles, crisp vegetables, and crunchy peanuts.
I make the noodles just with sliced red bell peppers, but you can also add mushrooms, carrot sticks, broccoli or any other veggies you like.
The leftovers store well, making these noodles ideal for meal prep or a flavorful lunch the next day.
Why you'll love spicy peanut noodles
- Flavorful and balanced — The dish offers a perfect balance of spicy, sweet, and savory, so it's a definite crowd-pleaser.
- Quick and easy — It comes together in just 15 minutes, making it an ideal choice for a fast weeknight meal.
- Super versatile — You can add any extra veggies or protein, such as marinated tofu, to make these noodles your own.
Ingredients and substitutions
Rice noodles — Rice noodles are the base for this dish, providing a gluten-free alternative to traditional wheat noodles.
They come in various thicknesses, so use your favorites (thinner for a more delicate texture, thicker for a more substantial bite).
You can substitute rice noodles with other gluten-free options like soba noodles (buckwheat) or glass noodles (made from mung bean or sweet potato starch).
Sesame oil — This adds a rich, nutty flavor to the dish. Use toasted sesame oil for a more intense flavor.
If you don't have sesame oil, you can substitute it with peanut oil or a neutral oil like vegetable or canola oil.
Red bell pepper — Red bell pepper adds color, crunch, and sweetness to the dish.
You can substitute it with other bell pepper colors (orange, yellow, or green) or use other crunchy vegetables like carrots, snap peas, or zucchini.
Garlic and fresh ginger — Freshly grated garlic and ginger add a flavorful, aromatic base to the sauce.
You can also use a garlic ginger paste if you like or go for jarred minced garlic and ginger.
Peanut butter — The star ingredient in this sauce, peanut butter gives it a rich, creamy texture and nutty flavor. You can use either smooth or crunchy peanut butter.
Tamari soy sauce — Tamari is a gluten-free soy sauce with a richer, less salty flavor than regular soy sauce. If you don't have tamari, you can use regular soy sauce or coconut aminos for a soy-free alternative.
Rice vinegar — Rice vinegar adds acidity and brightness to the sauce. You can substitute it with apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, but the flavor will be slightly different.
Maple syrup — Maple syrup adds sweetness to balance the flavors in the sauce. You can substitute it with honey, agave nectar, or brown sugar.
Spicy sweet chili sauce — This sauce contributes both sweetness and heat to the dish.
If you don't have spicy sweet chili sauce, you can use sriracha or another hot sauce and add a bit of sugar to balance the heat.
How to make chili peanut noodles
Prepare the rice noodles according to the package instructions. Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water to prevent them from sticking together. Set aside.
In a large pan or wok, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the sliced red bell pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes or until it starts to soften.
Add the crushed garlic cloves and grated fresh ginger to the pan. Stir-fry for an additional 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
Stir in the smooth natural peanut butter, adding a splash of water if needed.
Next, add the Tamari soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, and spicy sweet chili sauce. Adjust the spiciness according to your preference by adding more or less chili sauce.
Stir well to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce is heated through and slightly thickened.
Add the cooked rice noodles to the pan and toss them with the sauce and vegetables, ensuring they are well-coated.
Remove the pan from the heat. Garnish the noodles with a handful of crushed peanuts and sliced spring onions, and serve immediately.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days in an airtight container.
- Reheat the noodles in the microwave or add a splash of oil in a pan and reheat on the stovetop until hot.
- I don't recommend freezing this dish.
Recipe notes and tips
- You can easily modify the heat level in this dish to suit your taste preferences. For a milder version, reduce the amount of spicy sweet chili sauce or use a milder hot sauce. For more heat, increase the chili sauce, add more hot sauce, or include fresh chili peppers like Thai bird's eye chilies or jalapeños.
- Spicy peanut noodles are a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your meal. In addition to the red bell pepper, you can add thinly sliced carrots, snap peas, zucchini, baby corn, or broccoli. To add leafy greens, try including baby spinach, bok choy, or kale.
- This recipe is naturally vegan, but always double-check your ingredients (especially soy sauce) for hidden animal products.
- These noodles taste great hot or cold, so they're a great idea for your lunch meal prep.
If you liked this spicy peanut noodles recipe, you might also like some of my other easy vegan noodle recipes:
- Easy Vegan Garlic Noodles
- Vegan Pad Thai with Crispy Tofu
- Easy Garlic Tofu Stir Fry
- Instant Pot Lo Mein
- Vegan Chinese Jackfruit Stir Fry
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