Thai-style Chicken Peanut Noodles is a flavorful, restaurant-quality meal that features fresh vegetables, tender bites of chicken, and noodles in a tangy peanut sauce. It’s a healthy and filling meal for when you want a takeout-style meal without actually having to do takeout. And because I like to keep it simple and make it with ingredients I normally keep in my pantry, I won’t claim this to be an authentic Thai dish. It is, however, a totally delicious Thai-inspired dish that definitely satisfies my cravings.
Thai food has always been a favorite of mine. I love the freshness of it, and the bright, complex flavors. And while I do love to occasionally pick up takeout from one of our local Thai restaurants, it’s not an everyday thing. So when the craving strikes, it’s nice to be able to prepare a takeout-style meal from the comfort of home. And when you prepare it at home, you save some money while controlling the ingredients and making it just the way you like it. In fact, you can make this recipe vegetarian, gluten-free, or nut-free just by making easy substitutions (see more about this below).
This dish won’t leave you hungry either. It’s very filling and the recipe makes four generous servings. And if you’re feeding a larger family, just go ahead and double the recipe.
So let’s talk ingredients:
Noodles – Any type of thin noodles will work here. I buy blocks of dried noodles at my local Asian market, but you can use thin spaghetti or even gluten-free stir-fry rice noodles. Just make sure to cook them al dente, because they will continue to cook a little more when added to the sauce.
Vegetables – Use whatever you like and what you have on-hand. I used sliced onions, zucchini, asparagus tips, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Other suggestions for vegetables are broccoli florets, yellow squash, thinly-sliced carrots, and cabbage.
Chicken – I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breast for this recipe, but feel free to use chicken thighs if that’s your preference. When slicing the chicken, make sure you slice it against the grain of the meat. And if you want to make this vegetarian, just leave out the chicken and substitute more veggies or even firm tofu.
Toasted Sesame Oil – This is an ingredient you may not have on-hand, but it’s something that’s worth keeping in your pantry. It adds a particular type of nutty flavor that goes well not only in Asian dishes, but with vegetables, too. I like to roast green beans with garlic and toasted sesame oil for a tasty side dish. If you don’t want to buy sesame oil for this recipe, you can leave it out.
Ginger – I like to use fresh ginger, but you can use ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger in place of fresh.
Peanut Butter – While authentic Thai cuisine does often include peanuts and ground peanuts, peanut butter is not an authentic Thai ingredient. I use it in this dish, however, because it’s easy and because it makes a very delicious sauce. And if you want to make this nut-free, sunflower butter is a very decent replacement. Definitely don’t just leave out the peanut butter or sunflower butter, though, because you need it for flavor and to thicken the sauce.
Soy Sauce – I use reduced-sodium soy sauce to keep the sodium content under control in this dish. If you are gluten-free, be sure to use tamari instead of soy sauce.
Chicken Broth – Use a lower-sodium chicken broth or stock. If you want to make this vegetarian, use a vegetable broth or a chicken-flavored vegetarian broth.
Chili Flakes or Hot Sauce – If you want a spicy sauce, add hot chili flakes or hot sauce to your taste. Leave it out for a mild sauce.
- When making a stir-fry dish like this, timing is everything, so have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you begin cooking.
- Use a large, heavy pan or wok to make this recipe. You’ll need something that you can be heated to a hot temperature and that can hold a lot of ingredients.
- Serve with lime wedges, and add a squeeze of lime juice over the finished dish. You can also garnish with freshly-chopped cilantro, mint, or green onions.
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I hope you enjoy!
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For the Sauce:
- 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- ⅓ cup peanut butter
- ⅓ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- Chili flakes or hot sauce, to taste
For the Stir Fry:
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil (or other neutral-flavored cooking oil), divided
- 4 cups fresh stir-fry vegetables, sliced
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
- 6 ounces thin noodles, cooked al dente
- Salt and pepper
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Chopped fresh cilantro, mint and/or scallions (optional)
Prepare the Sauce
- Heat chicken broth over medium-low heat, just enough to allow the peanut butter to dissolve. Stir in peanut butter and other sauce ingredients. The peanut butter may not totally dissolve into the sauce at this point but that is OK. Allow to gently bubble and reduce slightly while preparing the noodles and stir-fry vegetables.
Cook the Noodles
- Cook noodles al dente according to package directions. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons avocado oil in a wok or large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add your vegetables, season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook while stirring for 5-6 minutes, or until they become slightly tender and golden around the edges. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add chicken and remaining tablespoon of oil to pan. You don’t want to crowd the pan, so cook chicken in batches, if necessary. Season chicken with a generous pinch of salt and pepper, and cook 3-4 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
- Add sauce, noodles, and vegetables to pan and gently toss to combine. Simmer for 2-3 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked through and vegetables are tender do your liking.
- Serve immediately and garnish with lime wedges, chopped cilantro, mint, or scallions.
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