Peanut Chicken Zucchini Noodles

Mixing up weeknight dinners with this wildly flavorful and healthy Asian inspired peanut chicken and veggies dish!

Mixing up weeknight dinners with this wildly flavorful and healthy Asian inspired peanut chicken and veggies dish!! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I made a resolution this year to cook more creatively. Meaning, try fresh new flavors and dinners I wouldn’t usually make. So far, I’m hardcore losing. There’s been a lot of chicken chili, cereal, more chicken chili, and leftover chicken chili. Don’t get me wrong, I love chicken chili and honey nut cheerios, but I desperately need to break free of this dinner rut.

Enter: simple, light, refreshing, ready in 40 minutes, wildly flavorful peanut chicken zucchini noodles. Nothing but pure protein, colorful veggies, and the most delectable and savory peanut sauce. Anything but boring, bland, and routine.

Mixing up weeknight dinners with this wildly flavorful and healthy Asian inspired peanut chicken and veggies dish!! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I think you’ll really love this dish because (1) very easy, (2) pretty healthy, and (3) you can change up the vegetables and protein. We’re replacing regular noodles with zucchini noodles and TRUST ME when I say you won’t even miss regular pasta. The zucchini noodles completely soak up every bit of the savory peanut sauce.

Let’s talk about the vegetables. Have you joined the masses in this crazy amazing incredibly strange yet totally awesome zucchini noodle movement yet? I’ve never been one to love pasta (it’s true!), but I love these zucchini noodles. Aka zoodles! To make the zoodles, I use the spiralizer. I love this contraption! It’s smaller than other spiralizers I’ve seen, but just as handy. To change the settings for different noodle sizes, you don’t have to pull out the blades or anything like that. Rather, you just turn a simple switch. And suctions on the sides help keep it in place on the counter as it’s spiralizing.

If you’re not into zucchini noodles, you can use regular pasta or cut the zucchini into thin strips. See the recipe notes.

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Cook down the vegetables first (keep those zucchini noodles aside for a sec). You can use any vegetables, really, but I like using shredded carrots, cabbage, and thinly sliced pepper. Cook them down with some garlic and sesame oil. The sesame oil is key in this dish; it cannot be skipped! That unmistakable flavor of this dish comes from the sesame oil, so don’t substitute. You can buy it in the Asian section of your grocery store. You’ll also need a little in the peanut sauce.

Once those veggies are cooked down, add the chicken and zucchini noodles. Instead of chicken, you can also use beef, shrimp, salmon, tofu, whatever your heart or diet desires. Use pre-cooked meat to save time. What I do is boil some chicken until cooked through right before I begin the other steps in the meal. Or you can use leftover chicken or buy a rotisserie chicken and shred yourself. So simple.

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Warm the chicken and zucchini noodles for a few minutes. Then, pour in that peanut sauce. The peanut sauce is made from only a few imperative ingredients: peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, fresh ginger, and rice vinegar. I like to add a little Sriracha to kick things up a bit. Don’t stray from the ingredients listed. Each one serves a purpose to round out the flavors in this Asian inspired dish. And you’ll definitely be making this meal more than once, so my advice is to keep your pantry stocked with the sauce ingredients!

PS: the peanut sauce made with fresh ginger tastes 3927x better than peanut sauce made with ground ginger.

The peanut sauce is easily the star of the show. It’s obviously flavorful– as you can imagine from the ingredients used– but it’s also sweet, savory, and lightly spicy. You’ll just need to whisk all of the ingredients together on the stove for about 5 minutes until the peanut butter has melted down and the flavors fully combine. I usually do this as the vegetables cook to save some time.

Look at all the colors! And yes, my skillet has hot pink edges.

Mixing up weeknight dinners with this wildly flavorful and healthy Asian inspired peanut chicken and veggies dish!! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Mixing up weeknight dinners with this wildly flavorful and healthy Asian inspired peanut chicken and veggies dish!! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

For a little crunch, let’s add some garnish like sesame seeds, cilantro, crunchy peanuts, and green onion. So good!

Print

Peanut Chicken Zucchini Noodles

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: Thai

Description

Mixing up weeknight dinners with this wildly flavorful and healthy Asian inspired peanut chicken and veggies dish! Keep in mind that the sauce ingredients are each important for the flavor. I do not recommend substitutions.


Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil (you’ll need more for the peanut sauce below)*
  • 2 teaspoons minced or chopped garlic
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cabbage (I use red)
  • 1 large bell pepper, thinly sliced (I use red)
  • 3 large zucchini, spiralized into noodles*
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cooked & shredded (about 23 cups)*
  • Toppings: 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, handful of cilantro, 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped green onion

Peanut Sauce

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (I use reduced sodium)
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil*
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar*
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 12 teaspoons Sriracha or any hot chile sauce

Instructions

  1. Heat 2 Tablespoons of sesame oil and the garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots, cabbage, and pepper slices. Cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are a little tender. (I usually begin the peanut sauce, step 2, during this time.) Once tender, add the zucchini noodles and shredded chicken to the skillet. Cook and stir for about 3 minutes until the zucchini is a little softer and chicken is warm. Turn off the stove and remove from heat. Set aside. (*If your skillet isn’t quite big enough, you can do this step in batches.)
  2. Combine all of the peanut sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk constantly until the peanut butter has melted and everything is combined. I usually use 2 teaspoons of Sriracha, but use the amount of heat you like.
  3. Once the sauce is heated through, pour over chicken/vegetables. Toss everything around until combined. Place on a serving dish (or not!) and top with sesame seeds, cilantro, peanuts, and green onion. Serve immediately.
  4. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for a few days. Reheat to your liking.

Notes

  1. Sesame Oil: The KEY in the signature flavor of this dish. I highly advise against using any other oil; the recipe will not taste the same. You can find it in the Asian section of grocery stores.
  2. Chicken: I simply boiled chicken until cooked through– about 12-15 minutes, then shredded it. If you have leftover shredded, chicken from another recipe, use that! Or buy a rotisserie chicken from the store and shred the meat.
  3. Rice Vinegar: Also KEY in the signature flavor of this dish. It’s a sweet and delicate vinegar you can find in the Asian section of your grocery. Do not use white wine or white vinegar– they’re much too harsh. Rather, you can use cider vinegar because it is more mild but your sauce will not taste the same. Again, rice vinegar is best.
  4. Spiralizer: I love this spiralizer! If you do not have a spiralizer, just cut the zucchini into super thin strips instead. Or use 1 pound pasta. If using regular pasta, you’ll want to cook it before using.

Keywords: peanut chicken zucchini noodles, thai chicken zoodles

Happy new meal-ing to us all.

Mixing up weeknight dinners with this wildly flavorful and healthy Asian inspired peanut chicken and veggies dish!! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Mixing up weeknight dinners with this wildly flavorful and healthy Asian inspired peanut chicken and veggies dish!! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Mixing up weeknight dinners with this wildly flavorful and healthy Asian inspired peanut chicken and veggies dish!! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Mixing up weeknight dinners with this wildly flavorful and healthy Asian inspired peanut chicken and veggies dish!! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

213 Comments

  1. Today was the first time I have ever made zoodles, and this recipe was absolutely delicious! Didn’t miss pasta at all. My sauce was not watery at all, it came out perfect! I have tried other peanut sauce recipes before, and none of them compared to this one! It is soooo yummy! I followed all of your directions exactly including cooking times and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out (maybe that’s why I didn’t have the soupy sauce problem)!

    1. I’m so happy that you gave this a try and enjoyed it, Melissa!!

  2. This was absolutely delicious and really easy to make. I’ve been on the lookout for carb free lunches and this is amazing. Thank you so much

  3. If using pre-cut zucchini noodles how much should I include. My grocery store sells the noodles. Thanks!

    1. I’d say about 6 heaping cups of zucchini noodles. They really cook down!

      1. Thanks so much!! And thanks for all your recipes, there’s so much love in each of them. My family loves when I make your food, can’t wait to try this one. Last night your chocolate chip cookie pizza was a huge hit.

  4. Paula Fisher says:

    Toasted sesame oil?

    1. You can use regular or toasted sesame oil.

  5. We made this tonight and it was delicious! I didn’t have any cabbage, but I had some mushrooms (that needed to be eaten tonight) but other than that we made it as instructed. The sauce is a keeper!

  6. Kathy Cleaver says:

    Just made this tonight — SO GOOD! I made a few adjustments: like others, I used one cup of bagged coleslaw cabbage; I only had chunky peanut butter but that worked great and I left off the sprinkled peanuts on the top. I also used “hot” honey which gave the sauce the perfect “kick”! We are definitely making this again!

  7. Irene L. Loewen says:

    This is a wonderful recipe about which everyone raved. Next time I will use 6 cups of spiralized zucchini (I probably had only 4) and I would not put all the sauce in at once.
    The only evaluative comments for improvement were made by me (no one else)!
    This is my first recipe from this site. I will certainly try more!

    1. So glad it was a hit and thank you so much for sharing!

  8. My husband and I love this one! Since it’s just us 2, I cut it in half (one boneless chicken breast is plenty for us), and substitute 4 Brussels Sprouts, sliced thin, for the cabbage. I also cut back on the amount of honey and soy sauce as we have to watch sugars and sodium but it still comes out great!

    1. I’m so happy you and your husband love this recipe! Thanks for the positive feedback, Mary 🙂

  9. Danielle Flagg says:

    delicious! was a huge hit 🙂

    1. Nicole Plowman says:

      What kind of rice vinegar do you use? I see rice vinegar and seasoned rice vinegar and I’m not sure of the difference.

      1. Nicole, seasoned rice vinegar contains sugar and salt (but more sugar) so it’s a lot sweeter than regular rice vinegar. I *think* this recipe calls for regular rice vinegar, otherwise it would specify seasoned rice vinegar. I have been making this recipe for over a year and always use the regular rice vinegar and it’s very, very good.

  10. Hi Sally, just wanted to let you know I love this recipe. I found it over a year ago and I have been making it ever since. The sauce is perfect!!
    I do swap out the zucchini for sweet potato because I feel they hold up better to the sauce so I just “spiralize” that instead. And because I use the sweet potato I omit the carrots and add a bag of broccoli and cabbage slaw. I’ve found a variety of vegetables work because the sauce is just so good!!! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!

    1. Perfect! Thank you so much for taking the time to report back, Alicia!

  11. any calorie numbers for this recipe?

    1. I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

  12. I never comment because the recipes I’ve chosen were horrible. I stumbled across the peanut zucchini noodle dish and “omg” awesome. I don’t eat zucchini’s or cabbage but this was delicious the sauce is gorgeous. Well done thank u

  13. This recipe was amazing! I followed it exactly as you instructed. It took me 40 minutes start to finish and will definitely be on my list of regulars. My first successful attempt at zoodles for dinner. I bought a value pack of already spiraled zucchini, yellow squash and butternut squash and they were fantastic.

  14. Jill Alexander says:

    This was absolutely delicious! I also bought the spiralizer that you recommended and it was so easy to use. The zoodles were so much better (and more economical) made fresh than any I could have bought. Thanks so much for sharing!

  15. My husband and I absolutely loved this dish! Neither of us had ever made (or really even eaten) anything with peanut sauce and we were both blown away by how simple and delicious this was. We added some broccoli and could have added even more veggies because there was quite a bit of sauce. Will definitely make this again!

  16. This is a family favorite. To add some crunch and reduce cooking time I skip cooking the zucchini. Makes for a great fresh and cold dish on a hot day.

  17. Delicious!! Definitely a keeper!!

  18. This was so good my husband even loved it! What is the nutritional information on it?

    1. I’m so glad you both enjoyed it, Amy! I’m unsure of the nutritional info, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

  19. Hi! Is there any adaptation to this to avoid the honey? Another sweetener?

    1. Hi Brittany! You can try another liquid sweetener you enjoy or even brown sugar.

  20. I have made this at least 20 times. We love it. I have gotten lazy with the zoodles and I just chop the zucchini.

    1. I’m thrilled you enjoy it so much, Roseann!

  21. Delicious recipe! I didn’t have enough zucchini so I added some rice noodles I had on hand. Thanks for sharing!

  22. This is one of my all time favorite recipes. I tried it for the first time two months ago, and I have made it too many times to count since! Love it! Thank you.

  23. Miranda Keeffe says:

    First it’s a lovely base. Personally spirlize the carrot makes a differecw and make zucchini a different thickness grade. Second not peanut butter but almond or less sugar content butter. Add hot chilli oil for your taste. Season and cook the chicken then the veg. Remove, add the champagne to deglaze with the almond butter sauce. A champagne almond reduction is sweet and savoury. It’s so good.

  24. Jan Gavaletz says:

    LOVED this! Just 2 of us, but we emptied the pan – so much for leftovers! Forgot to but zucchini but had fresh green beans as a sub. Sauce is spectacular. This will be a regular for sure. As always, thanks for a great meal!

  25. I made this too! I was worried that the peanut butter sauce would taste too strongly of peanut butter but it was so well balanced! I added a touch more soy and rice vinegar than the recipe called for- don’t skip out of topping with fresh peanuts and cilantro- makes a huge difference. Overall, DELICIOUS recipe. Definitely a new staple!

  26. I would like to make this tonight and I have all ingredients except for fresh ginger. Is ground ginger ok to use and if so, how much?
    Thanks for the recipe. The reviews make it sound fantastic so I’m excited 🙂

    1. Hi Patti, In a pinch you can use 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger. Enjoy!

  27. One word…WOW!!! I’m not a huge zoodles fan but I had leftover zoodles and zucchini from my CSA share I had to use so I thought I’d give this a go. I had zero issues with this being watery…the sauce was so so thick that any liquid in the dish was evened out with the sauce. We’re gluten free and low carb in my house so I switched the soy sauce for liquid aminos and the honey for harmless honey (by pyure I believe) and this was beyond amazing. I thought we had peanuts but we didn’t…I can only image how much the crunch would elevate this dish even further. My fiancé added extra sriracha on top of his and we both LOVED it. Another tip…if you have an instant pot, just throw your chicken in there with a cup of chicken broth for 12 minutes (quick release)…quickest and easiest shredded chicken out there! Thanks so much for this recipe…I’ll definitely be making it again and again!

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