Spicy peanut noodles are an easy dinner that's packed with nutrition along with some plant-based protein. The flavorful peanut sauce is a cinch to throw together! Toss it all together and you've got a stellar weeknight dinner that's ready in less than 30 minutes!
Recipe: $3.40 | Per Serving: $0.85
I love versatile recipes like this one! There are so many different ways to change it up and it's a great way to use up ingredients you have hanging around.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Great combination of flavor with the peanut sauce, a bit of heat, and lots of colorful veggies.
- An easy way to use up veggies you have in the fridge!
- A vegetarian dish that's sure to be a hit with meat eaters but also pairs well with chicken, pork, or shrimp!
- Healthy dish the whole family will love. LOVE. ❤️ Really. It is so good.
- Serve up the leftovers the next day!
The ingredients in this dish might seem like a lot, but it comes together quickly and easily.
- Veggies: Shiitake mushrooms, carrot, sweet bell pepper -- any color, and baby bok choy or another leafy green of choice.
- Aromatics: Green onions and garlic give the veggies more depth of flavor.
- Edamame: Buy them shelled to save time! If they're in the pod, just serve them on the side.
- Noodles: These noodles are made with 100% buckwheat, which is gluten-free, but be sure to check the package as most traditional noodles are made with wheat and buckwheat.
- Peanut butter: Use unsalted and unsweetened without any additional oil added. Sometimes I use this homemade peanut butter, or Valencia Peanut Butter from Trader Joe's. If you have salted peanut butter, start with less tamari or soy sauce and add more to taste in small amounts.
- Ginger: Use fresh for the best flavor.
- Rice vinegar: Helps to balance the saltiness of the peanut sauce. If you don't have it you can also use apple cider vinegar.
- Tamari: This is a naturally gluten-free Japanese sauce style of soy sauce, and the best option here. If you can't find it, use gluten-free soy sauce instead, but know that GF soy sauce is saltier than regular soy sauce!
- Red pepper flakes: We love them for a touch of heat, but you can use Sriracha instead. Add as much or little as you want.
- Sesame oil: Toasted sesame oil has more intense flavor.
- Garnishes: You can chop up the green tops from the green onions to sprinkle over the top and also add some chopped peanuts, black and/or white sesame seeds, and lime wedges.
Substitutions and Variations
- Add some meat. Shredded chicken is a good addition here for adding protein, but miso meatballs, bun cha meatballs, or shrimp are also delicious additions!
- Swap the veggies. The vegetables are completely interchangeable which makes this dish perfect for cleaning out the fridge. Some other options you can use include green, purple, or Napa cabbage, spinach, kale, and zucchini.
- Swap the noodles. You can also use Pad Thai-style rice noodles here, which are also gluten-free.
- No peanut butter. The best replacement for peanut butter in sunflower seed butter, but I have also used almond butter here!
How to Make Peanut Butter Noodles
Making this soba noodle recipe is pretty easy. Here's an overview of the main steps, but be sure to check out the recipe card for all the details.
- Prep the veggies as indicated in the recipe card. We'll be thinly slicing most of them. Keep them all separated until you're ready to cook.
- Cook the mushrooms in a mostly even layer in a little touch of oil, and stir fry until they have developed some color.
- Add the white part of the green onion, garlic, carrots, and a pinch of salt to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the sliced bell peppers and bok choy to the skillet.
- Cook just until the veggies are slightly soft and wilted.
- Combine the peanut butter, ginger, rice vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and lime juice together in a small bowl.
- Add the tamari and water to the sauce as needed to reach desired consistency and flavor.
PRO TIP: The sauce will be quite thick before adding the water. I use all three tablespoons of tamari and usually between 2-3 tablespoons of water. It will be very thick before adding the water. Be careful if using gluten-free soy sauce as it's often quite salty.
- Pour the frozen edamame into a heat-safe dish. Top with boiling water to thaw. Drain after about three minutes.
- Lastly, cook the soba noodles in boiling water to al dente. Immediately drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water. It's best to do this last since soba noodles can get pretty sticky!
PRO TIP: Gluten-free soba noodles are pretty sticky! In addition to rinsing you can also drizzle with sesame oil (or another oil) to help prevent them from sticking too much.
- Place the noodles, veggies, and edamame in a large bowl.
- Add the peanut sauce, reserving some of it for topping the noodle bowl.
PRO TIP: Feel free to add a little more oil or water to help loosen the sauce and the sticky soba noodles as you mix.
- Divide among four bowls and top with more peanut sauce, green onion tops, sesame seeds, and chopped peanuts. Serve each with a lime wedge to really brighten the flavor!
How to Store Peanut Butter Noodles
Similarly to other noodle dishes, you can store the leftovers in the fridge for several days in a sealed container. I would not freeze this dish.
When you're ready to enjoy it again, I recommend microwaving the dish for one minute before serving. This loosens up the sticky soba and makes it easier to eat. If you don't have a microwave, drizzle the dish with a tablespoon of boiling water to help loosen the noodles. Feel free to warm it up for longer if you'd like to eat it piping hot!
Drizzle with more sesame oil, tamari, or water at serving time to also help loosen the delightfully sticky noodles!
Expert Tips and FAQs
- Make a double batch of peanut sauce and use the extra as a dipping sauce. It's great with dumplings and spring rolls or you can drizzle it over a salad or grain bowl.
- If you use salted peanut butter you may need to use less tamari sauce. You want the sauce to taste salty and strong but not too much. This recipe is intended to be made with unsalted peanut butter so you can get tons of peanut flavor and umami richness without overdoing the salt.
- If using gluten-free soy sauce, start with just one tablespoon and avoid adding salt to the dish while cooking.
- Feel free to change up the veggies to create your own combination!
- Gluten-free soba noodles are quite sticky. Rinsing after cooking and tossing with a bit of oil helps.
They are a type of traditional Japanese noodle made from buckwheat (and often, wheat). They are sometimes found in large grocery stores in the international aisle, in an Asian market, or you can order them online.
No, they're not! Soba is often made from a combination of wheat and buckwheat. I usually use the King Soba brand of gluten-free soba as this is readily available in stores and online. Soba is a bit sticky in general, and gluten-free soba will be slightly stickier and starchier than regular soba.
Paleo: Not this one! You could make some modifications to get something similar by using coconut aminos instead of tamari, sunflower or almond butter instead of peanut butter, meat instead of edamame, and spiralized zucchini noodles instead of soba. It would be quite a different dish but would have a pretty similar flavor profile.
Vegetarian: Yes! Also vegan.
More Noodle Recipes
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Spicy Peanut Soba Noodles with Veggies
Noodles and Veggies:
- 2-3 teaspoons olive oil or other cooking oil of choice
- 6-8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms 170g
- 3 green onions minced, whites and greens divided
- 3 cloves fresh garlic minced
- 1 medium carrot julienned or shredded
- 1 large sweet bell pepper or two halves of different colors as shown here
- 9 ounces baby bok choy 250g (alternatively, use adult bok choy, cabbage, spinach, etc.)
- 2 cups frozen edamame beans, removed from pod
- 8-9 ounces uncooked gluten-free soba noodles 4 servings
- ⅓ cup peanut butter unsalted, unsweetened, no added oil preferred*
- 1 Tablespoon ginger grated from fresh
- 1 clove garlic grated from fresh
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar unsweetened, or apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil toasted preferred
- 2-3 Tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes more to taste, can sub with Sriracha if desired
- 2-4 Tablespoons water as needed, to thin sauce
- Green parts of 2-3 green onions from above minced
- ⅓ cup peanuts chopped or crushed
- 1 teaspoon black and white sesame seeds
- 4 lime wedges
Prep the Vegetables
- Prepare the vegetables: slice the shiitake mushrooms. Mince the garlic, mince the green onions, setting aside the green parts for garnish. Finely cut the carrot using a julienne peeler, mandolin, or shredded. Finely slice the bell pepper. Roughly chop the bok choy.
- Chop or crush peanuts and set aside.
Cook the Vegetables
- Warm the oil over medium heat in a large skillet or wok. Add the mushrooms in a mostly even layer and stir fry for 3-4 minutes, until they have developed color. (Do NOT add salt here.)
- Add the white part of the green onion, the minced garlic, the julienned carrots, and a pinch of salt. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the sliced bell peppers and the chopped bok choy and cook just until slightly soft and wilted, 2-3 minutes.
Make the Sauce
- Make the sauce: whisk sauce ingredients, except tamari/soy sauce and water together in a bowl. Add tamari and water as needed for desired consistency and flavor. I use all 3 Tablespoons of tamari and 2-3 Tablespoons of water. It will be very thick before adding the water. Set aside.
Soba Noodles and Edamame
- Pour frozen edamame into a heat-safe dish. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Scoop out 1-2 cups of water and pour over the edamame to thaw (drain after 3 minutes).
- Then add the soba noodles to the boiling water. Cook for about 1 minute less than the time recommended on the package (about 4-5 minutes) or until cooked but al dente. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water. Optionally, you can drizzle with sesame oil (or other oil) to help prevent it from sticking, but GF soba is very sticky, no matter what you do!
Assemble the Salad
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl and stir well to combine, reserving some of the sauce for topping if desired. Feel free to add a little more oil or water to help loosen the sauce and/or the sticky soba noodles as you mix.
- Divide among 4 bowls and top with green onion tops, sesame seeds, and chopped peanuts. Serve each with a lime wedge to really brighten the flavor!
This recipe was originally published in September of 2015. It has been updated to include more protein (edamame beans and a little extra peanut butter) but is mostly unchanged otherwise!