This Cold Sesame Peanut Noodles recipe is made with the most irresistible peanut sauce recipe, and it’s easy to customize with your favorite noodles and veggies (plus optional chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu, if you’d like).
Meet…the ridiculously irresistible noodle recipe that’s perfect for just about any occasion in life. ♡
For example, looking for a quick and easy recipe for dinner tonight? These noodles can be ready to go and on the table in less than 30 minutes. Looking for an easy meal prep recipe for lunches and dinners for the week ahead? Done, these noodles keep in the fridge perfectly over the course of a work week, and that peanut sauce gets better and better with each passing day. Looking for a crowd-pleasing recipe to bring to a picnic or potluck, or maybe even bring to a friend in need? These noodles are wildly delicious, plus they’re easy to customize for various allergies (i.e. gluten-free or peanut-free) if need be. Looking for crazy-good vegetarian recipe that’s perfectly satisfying and filling? These noodles definitely hold their own as a main or side dish, although they would also welcome the addition of your favorite cooked chicken, shrimp, pork, beef or tofu, if you happen to be craving some extra protein.
These peanut noodles check all the boxes! And I think you are going to love them. I can at least vouch that we’ve been eating them all week long for meal prep lunches every day in our casa, and still haven’t grown tired of them yet. (Which says something, especially for the girl who gets bored with leftovers.)
Let’s make a batch!
Cold Sesame Peanut Noodles Ingredients:
To make this recipe, you will need:
Noodles: I used Chinese egg noodles that I happened to have on hand, and think they work really well here. But any favorite noodles (i.e. rice noodles, soba noodles, ramen noodles, spiralized veggie noodles, or even plain spaghetti) would work well here.
Veggies: I shredded carrots, cucumber and cabbage for this recipe. But feel free to add in any other raw veggies that you love. Plus lots of green onions (or diced red onions, if you prefer).
Cilantro: If you fall in the no-cilantro camp, feel free to omit this. But it’s my favorite fresh flavor to pair with a good peanut sauce.
Lots of toppings: Chopped peanuts (or your favorite nuts or sunflower seeds), toasted sesame seeds and fresh lime wedges are my go-to toppings here.
Sesame Peanut Sauce: Let’s talk more about that…
Sesame Peanut Sauce Ingredients:
This sesame peanut sauce recipe totally steals the show in this noodle dish. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and savory (plus however much spicy red pepper or Sriracha you might like to add). It’s quick and easy to make in just a few minutes. And it’s also easy to customize for food allergies. You’ll just need:
Natural peanut butter: Or almond butter or sunbutter, if peanuts aren’t your thing.
Lime juice: Freshly squeezed for the best flavor.
Low-sodium soy sauce: I recommend beginning with 2 tablespoons in your sauce, and then you can always add more. (Or use gluten-free tamari, if making this recipe GF.)
Rice vinegar: To balance out those flavors.
Honey or maple syrup: Optional, if you would like a sweeter sauce.
Toasted sesame oil: A must — one of my favorite ingredients!
Seasonings: 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder, ground ginger, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes (or you could use Sriracha instead)
How To Make Peanut Noodles:
Cook, drain and rinse your noodles. Cook them nice and al dente, according to package instructions. Then drain in a strainer and rinse with cold water until chilled.
Prep your sauce. Whisk everything together until combined. Then taste and season with extra soy sauce, salt and/or pepper as needed.
Chop your veggies. I like to enlist the help of my food processor with the grater attachment. But you can also chop everything by hand.
Combine everything. Toss your noodles, sauce and veggies together in a large bowl until combined.
Then…serve! Garnished with lots and lots of toppings! Or, refrigerate the noodles in sealed containers until ready to eat.
How To Customize Your Noodles:
As mentioned above, feel free to customize your noodles however you prefer. Some ideas could include:
Add protein: Cooked chicken, beef, pork, shrimp or tofu would be delicious mixed into these noodles (or served on the side)
Add extra veggies: Any other favorite raw veggies would also be delicious in this recipe. (Or you can also use spiralized veggie noodles in place of traditional noodles.)
Make them gluten-free: Swap tamari for the soy sauce, and rice noodles for the egg noodles. And, of course, always check to be sure that all ingredients are certified gluten-free.
Make them peanut-free: Just swap in your favorite nut butter. Or use sunbutter to make the recipe completely nut-free.
Make them spicy: I love sprinkling on extra crushed red pepper flakes, or stirring in Sriracha to make these extra spicy.
Meal Prep Ideas and Tips:
These noodles are the perfect vegetarian meal prep recipe! Just make them in advance, pop in your favorite meal prep containers, and they will keep well in the refrigerator for the work week ahead.
If you are looking for recommendations for meal prep containers, I own and love the following (all available on Amazon):
This Cold Sesame Peanut Noodles recipe is made with the most irresistible peanut sauce, and easy to customize with your favorite noodles and veggies (plus chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu, if you’d like). Perfect for weekly meal prep or served as a quick and easy dinner recipe.
Total Time: 30 mins
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
8 ounces Chinese egg noodles (or your preferred kind of noodle¹)
2 large carrots, grated² or diced
1 English cucumber, grated or diced
half of a small red cabbage, finely chopped
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup thinly-sliced green onions
toppings: chopped peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, extra cilantro, lime wedges
Sesame Peanut Sauce Ingredients:
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice
2-3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (optional)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon each: garlic powder, ground ginger, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes
Cook the noodles al dente according to package instructions. Drain, then rinse with cold water in a colander until the noodles are chilled.
Meanwhile, make your sesame peanut sauce. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until combined. Taste and add extra soy sauce, if needed. Also, if the sauce seems too thick (it should be thin enough to drizzle), whisk in a tablespoon or two of water.
Add noodles, carrots, cucumber, cabbage, cilantro, green onions and sesame peanut sauce to a large mixing bowl. Toss until evenly combined.
Serve cold, topped with your desired garnishes. Or transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
¹ Feel free to substitute in your favorite kind of noodles (such as rice, soba, ramen, udon noodles, or even plain spaghetti) if you prefer.
² I use my food processor with the grater attachment to grate vegetables quickly. But a hand grater would also work well!
This recipe would also be delicious with cooked chicken, steak, pork, shrimp or tofu added in.