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Rainbow Peanut Noodles

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This rainbow peanut noodles recipe is made with colorful fresh veggies, your choice of noodles, and the most irresistible peanut sauce. Delicious served warm or cold!

Rainbow Peanut Noodles

If you’ve never tried my rainbow peanut noodles before, it’s time! ♡

I’ve been making this Thai-inspired peanut noodles recipe for nearly a decade now. And while the gorgeous rainbow of colorful veggies here always make this dish a showstopper at gatherings, there’s no denying that everyone falls in love with these noodles for one simple reason — that insanely irresistible peanut sauce. It’s perfectly balanced with the most delicious blend of sweet, savory, (slightly) spicy, tangy, nutty flavors and has this magical way of convincing even the pickiest eaters to enjoy a wide array of veggies.

I’m also a big fan this recipe because it’s easy to make and endlessly flexible. Serve these peanut noodles hot or cold, as a side dish or entrée, with or without meat, using whatever favorite noodles and veggies that you happen to have on hand. If you feel like adding in a protein, I’ve found that shrimp, chicken, steak and tofu mix in especially well here. I’m also especially partial to using these noodles for weekday lunch meal prep, making a big batch over the weekend and then portioning the extras into tuppers for the week ahead. And I’m telling you — the flavors in this sauce just get better and better as the week goes on.

I’ve updated the notes below to include new options for how to customize the noodles for gluten or, yes, even peanut allergies. Plus I’ve also added in suggestions for other fun ingredients (mango! Thai basil! fried garlic!) that you’re welcome to toss in too.

So round up your favorite colorful veggies and let’s make some peanut noodles together!

Rainbow Peanut Noodles Ingredients

Rainbow Peanut Noodles Ingredients

Here are some brief notes about the ingredients you will need to make this rainbow peanut noodles recipe:

  • Noodles: I usually make this recipe with whole wheat spaghetti or soba noodles, but rice noodles, ramen noodles, or just about any other type of noodles that you love best will work here.
  • Rainbow veggies: For the photos here, we used a mix of bell peppers (red and yellow), carrots, red cabbage and scallions. But this recipe is very flexible when it comes to veggies, so please see notes below about potential other veggies that you’re welcome to toss in too!
  • Peanut sauce: Made with a mix of natural creamy peanut butter, low-sodium soy sauce, lime juice, toasted sesame oil, honey, chili garlic sauce, fresh ginger and garlic. See notes below about ingredient substitution options if needed for this sauce.
  • Cilantro: I love loading this recipe up with lots of fresh cilantro. But if you are averse to the flavor of cilantro, you are welcome to leave it out (in which case I would recommend adding in some Thai basil if you have some).
  • Toppings: I love serving these noodles topped with finely chopped peanuts, extra cilantro and green onions, lime wedges, and/or toasted sesame seeds. Plus if you happen to have any crispy fried garlic on hand, it’s fabulous sprinkled on top too.

Mixing together rainbow peanut noodles

Potential Variations

Here are a few ways that you’re welcome to customize this rainbow peanut noodle recipe to your liking:

  • Add a protein: Add your choice of cooked chicken, shrimp, steak, pork, scallops, or tofu.
  • Add mango: Add diced or thinly sliced mango to the noodles along with the veggies.
  • Add Thai basil: If you happen to have any fresh Thai basil on hand, it’s an absolutely delicious addition to this recipe too.
  • Add different veggies: Add any other raw veggies that might go well here, such as avocado, bean sprouts, broccoli, radishes, red onions, snap peas, or zucchini.
  • Make it spicy: Increase the amount of chili garlic sauce to taste or feel free to toss in some thinly sliced or diced fresh chiles (such as Thai bird chiles, serrano peppers, etc).
  • Make it gluten-free: Use your preferred variety of gluten-free noodles and gluten-free tamari (in place of soy sauce).
  • Make it peanut-free: Use almond butter or sunbutter in place of the peanut butter.

Rainbow Peanut Noodles with Cilantro

More Favorite Noodle Recipes

Feel free to browse our full collection of noodle recipes for more inspiration, but here are a few of my personal faves:

Bowl of rainbow peanut noodles with lime, cilantro and peanuts

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Rainbow Peanut Noodles

  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x

Description

This rainbow peanut noodles recipe is made with your choice of noodles, colorful fresh veggies, and the most irresistible peanut sauce. Delicious served warm or cold!


Ingredients

Scale

Rainbow Pasta Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces whole wheat pasta (or soba, ramen, or rice noodles)
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 small bell peppers, cored and very thinly sliced (I used one red, one yellow)
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (loosely packed)
  • optional toppings: finely chopped peanuts, cilantro, green onions, lime wedges, and/or toasted sesame seeds

Peanut Sauce Ingredients:


Instructions

  1. Make the peanut sauce. Whisk together all ingredients in a small mixing bowl until combined. Taste and sweeten with additional honey if desired.
  2. Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta in a large stockpot of salted boiling water until just barely al dente. (Try to avoid overcooking the noodles.) Transfer 1/2 cup of the starchy hot water to the peanut sauce. Reserve an additional 1/2 cup of the starchy water and set it aside for later. Drain the pasta, then return it to the large stockpot.
  3. Toss. Add the scallions, bell peppers, carrots, cabbage, cilantro, peanuts and peanut sauce to the pot. Toss gently until everything is coated evenly in the sauce. If the sauce seems too dry, add in some of the reserved starchy water and toss to combine.
  4. Serve. Serve warm, garnished with your favorite toppings.


Notes

Recipe edit: The peanut sauce recipe was slightly edited in 2022.

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88 comments on “Rainbow Peanut Noodles”

  1. This dish looks and sounds delicious!  Is it possible to serve this dish cold?

    • Thanks Tiffiny! And yes, you can most definitely serve these noodles cold (in fact, we sometimes prefer them that way!) : )

  2. This was delicious and so fast & easy! I will definitely be making this again.

  3. Do you think this would freeze well? Would you cook it completely and then freeze or freeze the separate components?  I’m thinking of making this for a new baby meal train. 

    • Hey Lisa! Unfortunately we don’t think this particular recipe would freeze well. Noodles by themselves like this are tricky to freeze successfully. We hope you enjoy the recipe though, and congrats on your new addition! :)

  4. Loved this recipe!! I did freeze a batch as well for when our littlest one arrived, peanut sauce frozen on its own and all the veggies prepped and frozen in a bag together. We made the pasta as were sautéing everything and it was an absolutely wonderful quick meal. Prep seemed to be the hardest thing with the arrival of our third. We defrosted the peanut sauce in the fridge a day in advance but kept the veggies frozen until we threw them in the pan. Hope that helps someone :) best fresh but still great after freezing!

  5. These turned out to be very tasty, but a little too rich. I would recommend using less of the sauce (I used less to begin with), and perhaps changing the ratio slightly so it’s a little less sticky, but still has that thick peanut noodle texture. Peapods make a nice addition. 

    • Thanks Roxanne, and thanks for your recommendations! We’re sorry you found the sauce a little too rich, so we appreciate your feedback!

  6. I have made this three times so far, its my go to meal for lunches during the week – it is extremely satisfying and it tastes great cold.  In fact, I think it tastes better on day two and three.  I made it with brown rice noodles and fresh ground peanut butter.  Have you heard of anyone making it with almond butter?  I am curious because I may try it that way and would love a tip if so.  Thanks again!!!  Wonderful recipe!!

    • We’re so glad you like it Nicole, thanks for sharing! And we haven’t tried this with almond butter ourselves, but according to Google, other people have! :) If you try it, let us know what you think!

  7. These are so delicious! I have not tried peanut sauce before and don’t usually eat peanuts but loved it! So flavorful and I may try almond butter too. I used GF noodlkes and it was great. I love all of your recipes that I have tried! Thank you☺

  8. We love this!  It is on the rotation in our household.   Do you habe the nitritional information for it?  Iloaded the recipe into my fitness app and the info seems off.  Could you share if you do?  Thanks!  
    Ps – I have diabetes and sometimes substitute zuchini noodles for the pasta – delicious too! 

  9. A delicious recipe!
    Your photos are amazing – I so need to learn how to do that! They make the dish look awesome.
    Thanks!

  10. This is a great, go to recipe for me after me work. Yum yum yum!

  11. Great recipe! I went ahead and made 16oz of pasta instead of the recommended 12oz and there was plenty of sauce for it. Since my boyfriend is not a huge vegetable fan (though this is probably the recipe that is going to change that) I did chicken in a separate skillet with edamame. I can’t wait to make this again, it’s definitely going in the rotation. FYI – I did sub apple cider vinegar for the rice vinegar and it worked perfectly.

  12. This was outstanding! I omitted the oil (trying to eat oil-free) and it was still fantastic. Added a little more sriracha as garnish. Next time I think I’ll add even more veggies…and there will be a next time!

  13. This is seriously the best peanut noodle recipe EVER!!! I enjoyed every bite saying to myself “I can’t beliieve this is soooo good!” Thank you for sharing such an easy, healthy, economical and delicious recipe. Sooooo Goood! Pinned it to my faves.

  14. This was so delicious! I made it for my daughter when I was visiting–she loved it and was happy to have leftovers to take to work the next day. The peanut sauce was awesome–I did add the sriracha because we love spicy food and it was perfect! Thanks Ali for another great recipe!

  15. I have made this numerous times with many different veggies, but it is always amazing because OMG that peanut sauce!

  16. The best recipe I’ve ever tried. Thank you!

  17. I can’t wait to try this recipe!! I’ve been looking for something flexible like this that I can use as a side or main dish. I’ve tried many of your other recipes and always enjoyed them! So thanks for sharing such yummy stuff!

  18. This dish seems like a must-make, even though I’m trying to be on a lower carb diet. I wish I could eat peanuts, but sunbather is an excellent substitute. Really looking forward to trying it.

  19. I’m a relatively new cook as my wife is physically unable to now and I followed your recipe to a T, but the vegetables were raw because nowhere did it tell me to cook them!
    HELP!

    • Hi Bryan,

      Yes, the vegetables are actually meant to be raw for this salad. But if you prefer, you are welcome to sauté them in a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes to soften them before mixing them with the noodles. Wishing you all the best as you care for your wife, and hope that you can find some recipes you love here. :)

  20. WOW these were good. We added your crispy tofu and everyone loved it!

  21. These noodles were easy and delicious! Hubby loved them. I couldn’t find chile garlic sauce at HEB in Houston (believe it or not) so I subbed a thai garlic sauce and it worked fine. The grated ginger gave it a nice punch of flavor. Made a few additions: fish sauce and rice wine vinegar, more lime juice. Also added blanched snow peas cut in half, plus red pepper flakes cuz we like it hot. However, next time I won’t dress all the noodles at once unless we plan to eat them quickly–the whole wheat spaghetti absorbed most of the sauce overnight and became kind of sticky and dry by lunch the next day. Otherwise, this recipe is a keeper and I’m sure it will be repeated often. I love recipes like this that are easy to tweak to your personal tastes.