Peanut Chicken Zucchini Noodles

This flavorful peanut chicken zucchini noodles dish is a healthier and wholesome dinner that has lean protein, plenty of vegetables, and a delectable savory peanut sauce. Feel free to switch up the vegetables and meat, or skip the meat and replace with more vegetables or tofu. Readers have raved about this recipe for years and it’s a team favorite, too.

One reader, Sam, says: This is absolutely amazing!! We’ve made it so many times, it’s a biweekly meal for us! I add more chicken because we just love it for lunches too! Thank you!”

peanut chicken zucchini noodles on a white serving tray with a fork

peanut chicken zucchini noodles

This peanut chicken zucchini noodles dish works on so many levels because it’s:

  • simple and light
  • fresh-tasting and flavorful
  • ready in 40 minutes
  • pretty healthy
  • super versatile – you can change up the vegetables and protein!

We’re replacing regular noodles with zucchini noodles, but TRUST ME when I say you won’t even miss regular pasta. The zucchini noodles soak up every bit of the savory peanut sauce.


Tell Me About Peanut Chicken Zucchini Noodles

  • Texture: Tender vegetables, shredded chicken, and zucchini noodles are coated in a rich, indulgent sauce. The garnishes – sesame seeds, cilantro, peanuts, chopped green onion – add more flavor, of course, and crunchy textures.
  • Flavor: The peanut sauce is easily the star of the show. As you can imagine from the ingredients used, it has a massive and sophisticated flavor that’s all at once sweet, savory, and lightly spicy.
  • Ease: You’ll need to prep your veggies, spiral the zucchini, and make the sauce, but they’re all easy tasks.

2 images of spiralized zucchini and veggies in a skillet

Choosing the Right Ingredients

Don’t stray from the ingredients listed because each one serves a purpose to round out the flavors in this dish.

  • Zucchini. Some stores sell zucchini noodles in the produce section, but you could also do this yourself at home with a spiralizer. If you’re not into zucchini noodles, you can use regular pasta (cook it first) or cut the zucchini into thin strips. See the recipe notes.
  • Vegetables. You can use any vegetables, really, but I like using shredded carrots, cabbage, and sliced pepper. Make sure you thinly slice whichever vegetables you use.
  • Sesame oil. Sesame oil is essential to this dish because of its unmistakable flavor – it cannot be skipped! You’ll also need a little in the peanut sauce, too.
  • Chicken. I usually boil skinless boneless chicken breasts for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through, and then shred it. But you could also use up leftover chicken or buy a rotisserie chicken and shred the meat – whatever makes it easy for you. You could also use cooked beef, shrimp, salmon, tofu, or whatever your heart or diet desires.

2 images of peanut sauce in a glass bowl and diced fresh ginger

Easy Peanut Sauce

The peanut sauce is made from only a few ingredients: peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, fresh ginger, rice vinegar, and a little Sriracha for a kick. This recipe is a very loose adaptation of Vietnamese peanut dipping sauce and Chinese peanut sauce – the main difference is that my version features honey. Many readers end up making this peanut chicken zucchini noodles meal more than once, so my advice is to keep your pantry stocked with the sauce ingredients!

  • Use Rice Vinegar. Sweet and delicate rice vinegar is a KEY signature flavor of this dish. Avoid using white wine or white vinegar, which are much too harsh. If you must, you can use cider vinegar, which is milder, but your sauce will not taste the same. Again, rice vinegar is best.

You’ll just need to whisk all of the ingredients together on the stove for about 5 minutes, or until the peanut butter has melted down and the flavors thoroughly combine. I usually do this as the vegetables cook to save some time.

peanut chicken zucchini noodles in a pink skillet

zoomed in image of peanut chicken zucchini noodles

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peanut chicken zucchini noodles on a white serving tray with a fork

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 peanut chicken and veggies dish. The sauce is inspired by two delicious Asian peanut sauces: Vietnamese peanut dipping sauce and Chinese peanut sauce. Keep in mind that it’s a very loose adaption as neither usually contain honey.


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)*
  • Optional Toppings: 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, handful of chopped cilantro, 1/2 cup peanuts, 1 Tablespoon 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. Zucchini: Some stores sell zucchini noodles in the produce section, but you could also do this yourself at home with a spiralizer.
  2. Chicken: I simply boil chicken until cooked through– about 12-15 minutes, then shred 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: Rice vinegar is best for this sauce. Do not use white wine or white vinegar– they’re too harsh. Apple cider vinegar works as a substitute.
  4. Substitutions: See Choosing the Right Ingredients and Easy Peanut Sauce sections above for explanations of possible substitutions.

Keywords: peanut chicken zucchini noodles, thai chicken zoodles

overhead image of peanut chicken zucchini noodles on a white serving tray

107 Comments

  1. I never review recipes but this deserves it! Made this tonight and it came out amazing! I ran out of peanut butter so used 1/2 peanut butter and 1/2 homemade cashew butter- I couldn’t tell the difference so it was a good substitute. The only other change I made was serving it with a wedge of lime. Asian cuisine is frequently based on a balance of salty (soy) and sweet (honey), spicy (hot chili sauce) and sour (lime), so the lime helps to balance this dish. Thanks for the recipe! My hubby asked for it to be in the weekly rotation.

  2. Francycardona says:

    OMG I made this last night and it was so good, definitely a keeper. Love it

  3. I made this last night for the first time and it was fantastic! (I’ll admit that I poured it over some Jasmine rice) The sauce is absolutely delicious and was a big hit with my husband. Definitely a make-again!

  4. This was awesome! But I had a question- When I made it, it turned out a bit soupy. Like real soupy. I think it might have been the zucchini noodles? I squeezed some of the liquid out with paper towels but maybe not enough? I ended up just using a serrated spoon, which worked fine, but I’m wondering if I did something wrong?

    1. Mine turned out the same way! Next time I might drain the cooked vegetables before adding the peanut sauce.

  5. Love!!!!! May be my new favorite. I did have to make a couple of substitutions but minor ones. I did use dry ginger 1/2 tsp., and a pinch of red pepper flakes since we don’t keep sriracha on hand. Also I didn’t have chicken on hand but I do keep Kirklands canned chicken on hand and used that. It was fabulous! Mine was a little juicy but not bad. If I was making it for others I may make some rice so if they had to have some carbs to think their meal was complete they could and that would soak up some of the wonderful sauce.

  6. WOW this dish is awesome! I recently got a Kitchenaid Spiralizer reached for some recipes and came across this blog.  
    I messed up and combined my spiralized sweet potato  with my zucchini (zoodles)so had to cook longer.    Also didn’t have any cabbage so at the end just threw in some bean sprouts instead.  Despite the overcooked/soggy noodles it turned out amazing.  One of my fav dishes reminds me so much of a lighted up Pad Thai.  Thank You

  7. SHUT UP with that sauce! So good. My husband was worried there wouldn’t be enough for the veggies because he kept tasting it with the spoon. We added red pepper flakes and crushed peanuts for fun and texture before pouring on the veggies. Also, zoodle-ing is the funniest thing ever. I felt like a kid again making this recipe! 

  8. Such a wonderful dish, love that it’s full of veggies (and gives me another way use up summer zucchini from the garden!). The sauce is the star of the show! Will definitely be making this again! Thank you, Sally! 🙂

  9. Yummy! Easy to make and my family loved it.

  10. This is one of the best recipes EVER! An immediate hit, and it’s definitely going into our regular rotation. Super simple and SO delicious. We don’t have a spiralizer so I used a potato peeler to make long thin “zoodles” and it worked great!

  11. I made this tonight and WOW, this recipe is a keeper; the printout made it into my baking binder instead of the recycling bin! My picky 2 year-old loved the “noonoos” (“noodles”) and my husband and I enjoyed the flavor, texture and uniqueness of this dish. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! It’s perfect as-is.

  12. Happy to find this recipe to change up my spiralizer veggies. I prepped everything early and it’s a bit of work assembling everything. I salted and drained my zucchini after spiraling, but the dish did come out watery??? The peanut sauce is one of the best ever! Even watery. It’s super tasty. Looking forward to the cold leftovers! If I could solve the watery issue it would be amazingly perfect!

  13. I love this recipe! It’s great just the way it is… I made a quick meal using the peanut sauce and it was awesome and I wanted to share. Spiralized sweet potato and sauted it in olive oil. Added cooked shrimp, cilantro a little peanut sauce until cooked. Tossed with roasted peanuts, fresh mango and remaining peanut sauce. It was so easy and very delicious. You could add vegies or what ever! EVERYTHING tastes great in this peanut sauce.

  14. OH MY GOODNESS! Soooooooo tasty. I absolutely love this recipe. My parents and I truly enjoyed this. THANK YOU.

  15. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! My husband and I absolutely loved it. I added some sliced zucchini and used whole wheat spaghetti, which I think may have helped with the soupy situation some other people seemed to have? I did simmer the sauce for 2 min instead of just warming it, and that seemed to do the trick! I also highly recommend chili garlic sauce for the heat factor, and I acted on someone else’s comment about using shredded coleslaw mix… such a good idea!!! I added edamame too, do try!

  16. Made this tonight with my 4 year old. A new family favorite!

  17. Hi. I loved this recipe and have already shared the link to some family members. I have tried lots of your sweet and bread recipes, but am definitely going to try more of the savoury ones. My husband said it was one of the best things I have ever made, and that he thought about having more but was full. Like others, I used bagged coleslaw instead of shredded cabbage. I also chopped up some snap peas and added them a little later so they were still on the crisper side. Delicious!

  18. 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)!

  19. 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

  20. 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!

  21. 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!

  22. 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!

  23. 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!

  24. 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!

  25. Danielle Flagg says:

    delicious! was a huge hit 🙂

  26. 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!

  27. 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

  28. 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.

  29. 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!

  30. 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!

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