Jun 27, 2012

Spicy Peanut Noodles with Chicken

It’s starting to get hot. Really, really hot!! I’ve been waiting for the upper 90s to pop up on the weather forecast until I could finally feel like summer has finally arrived! And the 90s have certainly showed up for the party! Just like any season, I have particular meals that I only make during the summer. They usually consist of bright flavors, fresh veggies and fruits and of course take little to no time to put together! This particular meal has an added bonus because the sauce contains a popular food in our household: peanut butter! I think at this very moment, we have three different jars of peanut butter, all opened, and each used for particular snacks/baked goods/meals. This dish couldn’t be more low key BUT it certainly doesn’t skimp on flavor!

Here’s what you need:


(Adapted from Cooking Light. Serves 2.)

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 ounces uncooked whole wheat linguine (2 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 large red bell pepped, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1/8 cup green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 1/6 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chile paste (start with 1/2 teaspoon if you aren’t a huge fan of spice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • handful of parsley

You can prepare the chicken in any way you want. If you feel like throwing it on the grill, that would taste wonderful with the peanut butter sauce. Living in a town home, the shared grill is not always the most convenient thing to use so we just baked the chicken in the oven for about 30 minutes. The sauce has so much flavor that just a little oil, salt and pepper is all the chicken really needs.

For the rest of the dish, bring a large pot of water to a boil and throw in the linguine. While your pasta is going, chop up the bell pepper, cucumber and green onions. If your peanuts aren’t already roasted, toast them up in a toaster oven for a few minutes or a dry pan on the stove. Throw everything into a large mixing bowl and set to the side.

Now it’s time to move on to the sauce. In a smaller mixing bowl combine the peanut butter, water, rice vinegar, chile paste, sugar and salt and give everything a good whisk. It’ll take a few stirs to work in the peanut butter but in just a few minutes the mixture should become creamy.

Once cooked through, strain the pasta and add it to the large mixing bowl with the veggies. Chop the chicken into bite sizes and it as well. To bring it all together, pour in the peanut sauce.

Toss everything until all the noodles and veggies are completely covered with the sauce and then you are ready to plate! Yum!

We were able to enjoy this meal out on the porch and not sweat while eating. That’s always the worst in the summer. You want to enjoy the opportunity to enjoy meals outside but add in the heat and humidity (at least down south) and a heavy, steaming hot meal is the last thing you really want to dig into! This is the ideal meal that avoids all of that! Plus, you really don’t have to do much cooking and instead it’s all about your mixing and tossing ability! The veggies need a little chopping but the chicken and pasta will do their thing on their own with little demand of you! Plus, you can’t deny how good the peanut sauce is! I think it’s really the highlight of this dish for me and will be for all peanut butter fans! For now, that’s spicy peanut noodles with chicken…in the shell of a nut!

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