These rice noodles with peanut sauce are life-saving on busy weekdays! They are super creamy, flavorful and comforting. If you want to serve them with veggies, quickly sauté wok vegetables in a pan or skillet and add them to the rice noodles. Plus, they are vegan and gluten-free. You may also like these vegetable spring rolls with Thaï peanut butter sauce.
Why you'll love this recipe
Who doesn't like comfort food that's ready in 15 minutes but still homemade? I certainly do! These peanut butter noodles are so damn creamy and a little spicy (only if you add chili oil). No need to say that we have been making these on repeat.
- These vegan peanut noodles are ready in 15 minutes only!
- This recipe doesn't require any special ingredients that you can only find at the Asia market. I can guarantee you that you have everything you need in your pantry already or that you will find them at your local grocery store.
- It's naturally gluten free and vegan.
Key ingredients and substitutions
Aromatics: garlic and freshly grated ginger root form the base of this peanut butter sauce. Alternatively, you can use a pinch of ground garlic, ground ginger or ginger paste.
Scallions: to avoid wasting ingredients, you can use the white part of the scallions as you would use onions and the green part as toppings. Simply sauté the white parts with the garlic and ginger until fragrant.
Oil: we like to use chili oil because we like it spicy but you can replace it with your preferred cooking oil. If you don't have chili oil at home, you can combine 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil with about ½ teaspoon of chili flakes.
Sesame oil: it is an essential ingredient for any peanut butter noodle recipe. Sesame oil has a very strong flavor which is why you only need one teaspoon per 2 servings. We don't recommend substituting sesame oil in this recipe but if you absolutely need to, you should go with peanut oil.
Tamari: You can use any other gluten-free soy sauce (or regular soy sauce if you're not on a gluten-free diet).
Maple syrup: helps bind the sauce and adds a sweet touch that is very common in Asian cuisine.
Pure peanut butter: we recommend pure peanut butter that is made of 100% peanuts. It's the most flavorful and perfectly binds to all the other ingredients. However, most kinds of peanut butter will work for this sauce (e.g., creamy, roasted, crunchy). Make sure yours is not too sweet, nor too salty. If it has added salt, you might want to add a little less tamari/soy sauce to prevent the sauce from being overly salty.
Rice noodles: they are naturally vegan and gluten-free and work great to make vegan peanut noodles. Gluten-free rice noodle alternatives are soba noodles (make sure they are gluten-free) and konjac noodles (the famous 0-calorie noodles).
Elo's tips for the peanut sauce
Remove the pan from the heat before adding the water. This is the most crucial step and best tip we can give you to prevent the sauce from breaking.
Why did my peanut sauce break? When the sauce "breaks", the oil separates from the rest of the ingredients making it look weird and unappetizing. This usually happens when the sauce is getting too hot.
How do you fix a broken peanut sauce? To fix a broken peanut sauce, remove the pan from the heat source and let it cool for 1 or 2 minutes. Simply add a few drops of water and whisk energetically until creamy again.
Step by step with pictures
Prepare the ingredients. Peel and grate the garlic and ginger. Chop the scallions and put the green part aside. Slice a red chili to garnish (optional).
Cook the rice noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain them when cooked and run them under cold water to prevent them from sticking to each other.
Start making the sauce. Heat the chili oil and sesame oil in a pan until hot. Add the scallions, garlic and ginger and sauté for a few minutes over medium heat.
Add the peanut butter. Stir in the tamari and maple syrup. Let it bubble until the sauce slightly thickens as the maple syrup caramelizes. Then, stir in the peanut butter.
Add the water. Remove the pan from the heat source and add the water little by little. Use a whisk to stir until creamy. For more tips on how to make the peanut sauce and what to do if it separates, read our tips above.
Stir in the noodles. Add the rice noodles to the sauce. Use two spoons to swirl them around the pan until completely coated with sauce.
Peanut noodles with vegetables
To make these rice noodles with peanut sauce healthier and more filling, you can add sautéed wok vegetables. Vegetables that require little to no preparation are soybean sprouts, bell peppers in strips, carrots in strips or spinach. Simply sauté them over medium-high heat until soft and golden brown. Mix the noodles with the peanut sauce first, then add the sautéed vegetables.
Note that you can use fresh or frozen mixes. Nowadays, many grocery stores offer pre-packaged wok vegetable mixes. Most often the veggies are already washed and cut into strips. For detailed instructions, check the back of the package.
Frequently asked questions
Soba noodles and konjac noodles are great alternatives to rice or brown rice noodles. If you're on a gluten-free diet, make sure the soba noodles are made from 100% buckwheat because some brands contain wheat flour.
Konjac noodles are the famous gluten-free, 0-calorie noodles made from the konjac root. They have a relatively neutral taste (sometimes a fishy smell) and tend to be a little slimy. Always rinse them well before using them.
If you have leftovers or made an extra serving, you can store it in an air-tight container in the fridge for 2 days.
You can reheat the noodles on the stove over low-medium heat until hot or for 2 minutes in the microwave. If the sauce has thickened, add 1-2 tablespoons of water to the noodles and stir until creamy again.
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15-Minute Rice Noodles With Peanut Sauce
- 14 oz (400 g) rice noodles
- 4 cloves of garlic or garlic powder
- 0.8 inches (2 cm) of fresh ginger or a pinch of ginger powder
- 2-4 scallions
- 4 tablespoons chili oil or 2 tablespoon vegetable oil (+ ½ teaspoon chili flakes)
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons tamari or gluten free soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 2 heaped tablespoons pure unsalted peanut butter
- 6 tablespoons luke-warm water
- 1 mild red chili
- 2-3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Cook the rice noodles according to the instructions on the package (see step-by-step pictures in post above).
- Peel and grate the ginger and the garlic (or mince them finely with a knife). Wash the scallions and cut the white and green parts into thin slices. Save the green parts as a topping.
- Heat the chili oil and the sesame oil in a pan or skillet. When hot, add the garlic, ginger and the white part of the scallions to the pan. Sauté for 2 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the tamari and the maple syrup. Let it simmer for a minute until the sauce bubbles and slightly thickens. Stir in the peanut butter and remove from the heat.
- Slowly add the water to the sauce and whisk vigorously, away from the heat source. This prevents the sauce from "breaking" (see notes).
- Drain the rice noodles, quickly rinse them under cold water to prevent them from sticking and add them to the pan with the sauce. Shortly reheat everything over medium heat if necessary. Be careful not to let it go for too long or the sauce will break.
- Serve and top with the green part of the scallions, sesame seeds and fresh chili slices if desired.
- Fresh garlic and ginger can be replaced by garlic powder, ginger powder or ginger paste. Let's be real, if you're craving peanut noodles but don't have fresh ginger or garlic at home, the powdered spices do the trick, too.
- Pure peanut butter: we recommend smooth, unsalted peanut butter made of 100% peanuts because it's very flavorful and doesn't contain unnecessary ingredients. However, most kinds of peanut butter will work (e.g., creamy, roasted, crunchy).
- How do you fix a broken peanut sauce? Remove the pan from the heat source and let it cool for 1 or 2 minutes. Simply add a few drops of water and whisk until creamy again.
- Add wok vegetables: vegetables that require little to no preparation are simply soybean sprouts, bell peppers in strips, carrots in strips or spinach. Simply sauté them over medium-high heat until soft and golden brown. Mix the noodles with the peanut sauce first, then add the sautéed vegetables. Note that you can use fresh or frozen mixes.
More peanut butter recipes
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