Spicy Asian peanut butter pasta is the perfect base for tossing in fresh stir fry veggies and chopped cooked chicken for an easy weeknight dinner. You can adjust the heat from mild to hot, whatever your family loves best!
Delicious creamy peanut butter pasta is the not-too-spicy dinner your kids will love.
You can top it with fresh veggies and your favorite protein, but we love it best with this honey garlic chicken recipe that only takes 5 minutes to prep.
Got a picky eater on your hands? You can serve the stir fry veggies separately and let your family mix and match their favorite toppings for the final dish or eat them on their own.
The ingredients for peanut butter pasta are so easy, you probably already have most of them in your pantry:
- Peanut Butter: Whatever creamy-style peanut butter you love.
- Soy sauce
- Minced garlic
- Honey: I used plain honey for years, but I'm now obsessed with Mike's Hot Honey seasoned with chiles. It adds just the right amount of heat to this dish without being too spicy. Use whatever honey your family enjoys.
- Long pasta: fettuccine or thin spaghetti are our two favorites
For the finished dish, you'll want these fresh produce items:
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Red bell pepper
- Shredded carrots
- Green onions
- Cabbage slaw mix: You can buy the prepared cabbage slaw bag or simply shred a fresh green cabbage on your own.
See recipe card for quantities.
Step 1: Prepare the peanut butter sauce
Set a large pot of salted water over HIGH heat for boiling your pasta.
Meanwhile, add the peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, and red pepper flakes to a small mixing bowl and whisk them together.
The sauce will be VERY thick at first.
Boil the pasta for the lowest time listed on the package so it is al dente.
About 2 minutes before the pasta is finished, strain 1 cup of the boiling pasta water into a heatproof measuring cup.
Pour ½ cup of the pasta water into the prepared peanut butter sauce and stir.
Strain the pasta and set aside.
Step 2: Prep the veggies & assemble
While the pasta is boiling, you'll have time to chop the red pepper and green onions.
Place them in a bowl with the cabbage and carrots.
Once the pasta has been strained, add the thinned down peanut butter sauce to the empty pasta pot. Be sure to do it OFF the burner or the peanut butter may burn.
Whisk the sauce briefly, the heat of the pot will begin to soften the sauce even more. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to coat.
Adjust the thickness of the sauce by drizzling in as much of the reserved ½ cup of pasta water as needed to reach your desired consistency.
Add the prepared veggies to the pasta and toss to combine.
I recommend topping this dish with our favorite honey garlic chicken thighs but shredded rotisserie chicken would work well, too.
Hint: The amount of pasta water you'll need to thin the sauce will depend on the shape and brand of noodle you choose. Some absorb more liquid than others.
This recipe is best served immediately after preparing it.
If you need to reheat it, you may wish to add a splash of chicken stock to the dish before microwaving to help moisten the pasta which will thicken in the fridge overnight.
If you're serving it over rice, you may wish to double the recipe for a larger portion.
Honey garlic chicken would be a perfect protein topping for this pasta. But, you could also use our healthy chicken tenderloins from the air fryer, frozen shrimp, or roasted red peppers and pineapple for a vegetarian version of the dish:
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