An addictive Asian noodle recipe with nut or seed butter as the star of the show.
This is a versatile, easy to modify vegan main dish. Even if you are not vegan yourself, a plant based meal is easy on you heart and budget. Plus is is always good to have a meal to share with a vegan friend.
It is made with pantry staples except for chives – which grow in my garden for 8 months of the year.
In the time it takes to cook the pasta, the quick, no-cook sauce comes together. When the pasta is done, just stir everything together
Substitutions to try:
Original recipe: possible substitution
Peanut butter: almond butter (my favorite) or any other nut butter
I have not used a seed butter, but they should be fine. If you try one, let me know!
Soy Sauce : I make this with coconut aminos
Noodles: any pasta will work (It is easily made gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta.)
Sesame – leave out the sesame oil. I might add a little grated ginger if you have any.
Garlic – omit it. I might try garlic scapes or garlic chives if you can use them. Or add an equivalent amount of grated ginger.
Notes on substitutions:
Using a different nut or seed “butter” you may need to modify the seasonings slightly.
My favorite version of this recipe is the almond butter as I think it serves as a more subtle background for the other flavors. The peanut version features the peanut flavor more prominently.
Variations on this recipe involve adding raw or cooked vegetables like colored peppers, broccoli, or even protein like tofu or chicken.
I prefer to have my veggies on the side. But if I was going to add vegetables or protein I would increase the sauce by 50%.
My daughter uses lentil pasta to increase protein (and fiber) in the dish. She occasionally stirs in canned chicken and stir fried broccoli – which is obviously not vegan.
You can just stir all the sauce ingredients together, but I find this method easiest. I add the sesame oil to the nut butter in a serving bowl.
Next add the soy sauce or coconut aminos and rice vinegar, stirring well after each addition. I then add the sugar or maple syrup. At this point the water in the vinegar and the soy sauce may have caused the sauce to become less creamy and stiffer. Don’t worry.
Add very hot tap water about a tablespoon at a time. Stir well after each tablespoon. Stop when the sauce is creamy but not runny. It will thin a little from the moisture on the noodles.
Then add the garlic, chives and red pepper flakes.
Add the cooked pasta into the sauce and serve warm or at room temperature.
Peanut butter noodles stores well in the refrigerator, but the sauce soaks into the noodles. This makes the dish dry. To restore its creaminess, add about a tablespoon of water (for half recipe) and heat in microwave. Stir thoroughly. If not creamy add another tablespoon of hot water. Add water carefully and sparingly or the sauce will end up in the bottom of the bowl and will not cling to your noodles.
Peanut butter noodles is a good source of plant protein and unsaturated fat. It is an excellent source of zinc with about 25% of the zinc need for women (18% for men). It also contains about 20% of the fiber you need in a day and 10% of the potassium.
For more in depth information on the nutrient profile in this recipe, see The Sensitive Kitchen podcast, episode 015.
Peanut Butter Noodles (vegan)
- 12 ounces spaghetti, or other pasta (or gluten-free pasta)
- ⅔ cup smooth peanut butter Use more if crunchy is used.
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 4 teaspoons reduced sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 4 teasppons rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar or maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons chives or scallions (green only)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 2-4 tablespoons hot tap water
- Boil the water for the pasta. Cook pasta when water is ready.
- Chop the garlic and set aside.
- Measure the peanut butter and place in a large glass bowl or 8 cup measuring cup.
- Stir in the toasted sesame oil.
- Add the soy sauce and vinegar one at a time, stirring well after each addition.
- Stir in the sugar or maple syrup.
- Add hot tap water one tablespoon at a time. Stir well after each addition, until the sauce is creamy.
- Add the garlic, chives or scallions and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Stir the warm pasta into the sauce. Mix well to coat the noodles.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.