Saucy Thai Chicken Peanut Noodles are made from quick cooking instant ramen noodles coated in peanut sauce for a dinner that can be on the table in under 20 minutes.
Today’s dish is an update of a recipe that I first published back in 2017, but frankly, I just never loved the photos. So I’m bringing it back today with some new photos and a few tips. But it remains the same recipe that has long been one of the most popular noodle recipes on this site.
If you already have the cooked chicken ready to go (it’s a great use for leftover chicken), these Thai Chicken Peanut Noodles comes together super fast. Here’s how to make it.
- Dry Ramen Noodles – Find these at any Asian / international grocery store, but every grocery store sells Instant Ramen, and they are certainly the most convenient. Toss out the flavor packets that come with them and what remains is a tender, curly, fast-cooking noodle that just needs to be soaked in hot water to serve.
- Cooked Chicken - Use leftover cooked chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken. You can also sear and then chop chicken breast or thighs before cooking the rest of the dish.
- Vegetables - Thinly sliced vegetables of any sort will cook quickly in the stir-fry. I typically use shredded carrots and thinly sliced bell peppers.
- Fresh Ginger and Garlic - It takes a few extra minutes to prep these ingredients, but their flavor really shines. Ginger paste (sold in tubes) can be a good option if you don’t have fresh ginger or want to save time.
- Peanut Butter - I always make this with regular commercial Peanut Butter (like JIF) which results in a really smooth and thick sauce. Natural and / or chunky peanut butter will absolutely work but will change the texture of the sauce a bit.
- Low-Sodium Soy Sauce - I test all of my recipes with low-sodium soy sauce (I buy Trader Joe’s), but any type of soy sauce will work fine. If using a full-sodium soy sauce, just be aware that the sauce may be a tiny bit more salty. You can balance it out with a pinch of added sugar or just squeeze some lime juice over the finished dish.
- Rice Vinegar and Toasted Sesame Oil - If you cook an occasional Asian-inspired dish, these are likely staples in your pantry. If not, you can still make the dish. Regular sesame oil will work in place of the toasted sesame oil. In a pinch, other types of vinegar will work instead of rice vinegar - red or white wine or even apple cider vinegar will change the flavor a bit but will work. White vinegar has a more intense flavor, so start with half the amount listed and add more, to taste.
- Hot Sauce - Only if you want some heat.
- Roasted Unsalted Peanuts - Don’t skip these! They add great crunch and flavor.
- Chopped Cilantro, Green Onions, Lime Wedges, or Sliced Cucumbers - Totally optional, but great for some added color and fresh flavor to the dish.
- Make it vegetarian - Any protein or vegetable will work in place of the chicken. Try it with tofu, sliced mushrooms, or a vegetarian meat substitute.
- Make it gluten-free - Try this with your favorite gluten-free noodles like soba or rice noodles. Just prepare the noodles according to package directions before adding them to the stir-fry. Use Tamari instead of soy sauce.
- Mix up the vegetables - Any vegetables work here. I’ve made it with any color bell peppers, broccoli florets, coleslaw mix, and snow peas to name a few. Just adjust the cooking time or steam the vegetables ahead (in the case of hearty vegetables like broccoli) so they are tender by the time the noodles are done.
More Ways to Use Quick-Cooking Ramen Noodles
- Thai Noodle Mason Jars with Peanut Dressing
- 30 Minute Shrimp Teriyaki Noodle Bowls
- Ginger Scallion Ramen Noodles
- Beef and Broccoli Ramen Stir-Fry
- Sesame Garlic Ramen Stir-Fry
- 20-Minute Chicken Ramen Stir-Fry
20 Minute Thai Chicken Peanut Noodles
Thai Peanut Sauce:
Noodles / Stir-Fry:
- 6 oz Instant Ramen Noodles (discard any flavor packets)
- 1 tablespoon Cooking Oil (I like grapeseed, vegetable or peanut)
- 2 cups Vegetables, thinly sliced or chopped (see note)
- 2 cups Cooked Shredded Chicken (see note)
- ¼ cup Roasted, Unsalted Peanuts, roughly chopped
- Chopped Cilantro, Green Onions, Lime Wedges, or Sliced Cucumbers (optional, for garnish)
- Bring a saucepan of water to a boil on the stove (or heat it in the microwave). Add noodles and soak in hot water until tender but still have some bite, 2 to 3 minutes. (Be careful not to overcook the noodles since they will continue to cook in the wok.) Drain.
- Whisk together ginger, garlic, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, water, brown sugar, toasted sesame oil, and hot sauce.
- Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add oil and then vegetables. Saute until vegetables are tender, 2 to 4 minutes (tough vegetables like carrots might need an extra minute or two).
- Add peanut sauce and chicken and cook everything together for a minute.
- Remove wok from heat and stir in noodles and peanuts. Top with chopped cilantro and / or green onions. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over top and / or sliced cucumbers if you'd like.
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