Quick, easy, and gluten-free Vegan Peanut Noodles are ready to enjoy in minutes. Filled with saucy noodles and lots of veggies, you can prepare this meal ahead of time for weekly lunches or for light and healthy dinners.
Skip the takeout tonight and try these easy Vegan Peanut Noodles instead! It’s a flavorful recipe loaded with veggies, nuts, and a creamy peanut sauce. All of the ingredients are gluten-free and vegan, making it the perfect dish to serve to a crowd or your family.
I love to layer plenty of crisp vegetables, noodles, and protein on a bowl full of these vegan peanut noodles. Customize it any way you like, whether that’s with more veggies, nuts, seeds, tofu, or tempeh. Drenching it all in the tangy and savory peanut sauce makes for a light dinner or lunch that’s easy to prepare ahead of time.
The peanut sauce in these noodles has an added zip and tang compared to my original easy peanut sauce recipe. A drizzle of this new and improved sauce adds a ton of flavor to a Cold Noodle Salad or a comforting Thai Quinoa Salad. Add some to any meal you like to make eating your daily vegetables fun and delicious!
Peanut sauce ingredients and substitutions
All it takes are a handful of ingredients and seasonings to make this smooth and tangy peanut sauce:
- Peanut butter – Use smooth, natural peanut butter without any added sugar to get the best results. The peanut butter at the top of a new jar is the smoothest and easiest to work with. You’re welcome to replace peanut butter with another nut or seed butter but just know that this will affect the overall flavor.
- Tamari – For a little umami flavor and saltiness. Swap it with soy sauce if you don’t need the recipe to be gluten-free. I like to use the low-sodium kind.
- Sriracha – A touch of heat in the sauce balances the flavors without being overwhelming. If you love spice, add a little more sriracha or sambal oelek to make spicy peanut butter noodles.
- Maple syrup – For a little sweetness. This can be replaced with cane or coconut sugar.
- Citrus – The acidity from lime juice, rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar is needed to round out the rest of the ingredients.
- Garlic and ginger – Use fresh if you have it!
- Onion powder – This adds a bit of savoriness to the sauce.
- Hot water – To smooth it all out.
What’s the best kind of peanut butter to use?
The smooth kind of peanut butter is best to use in these cold peanut noodles. It creates the creamy texture needed to coat the noodles.
If you only have chunky peanut butter, that’s okay but your sauce will be chunkier in texture rather than smooth.
I also always use a peanut butter that’s natural without any added ingredients like salt or sugar.
What kind of noodles are best to use?
You have the freedom to use any type of noodle you love or already have at home in this recipe.
Otherwise, you can use any type you have at home. Make these cold peanut noodles from long pasta (like spaghetti or fettucini), vegetable spiralized noodles (from zucchini, butternut squash, or spaghetti squash), or vermicelli.
Noodle bowl toppings
It wouldn’t be a healthy vegan noodle bowl without a mix-match of different toppings. Feel free to add as many or as little of these topping ideas as you please. You can even add some plant-based protein for more substance:
- Vegetables: Carrots, broccoli, cabbage, red peppers, vegetable slaw, pre-chopped bagged veggies (I like to get these at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s), cucumber, frozen mixed vegetables, or corn.
- Protein: Tofu Crumbles, Grilled Tofu Steaks, baked tofu, soy curls, Chili Garlic Tofu, edamame, or Teriyaki Tempeh.
- Nuts: Use roasted peanuts or any other nuts you have at home. For nut-free, use pumpkin, sunflower, or sesame seeds.
- Garnishes: Green onions, cilantro, and lime wedges.
How to make peanut noodle bowls
This cold noodle salad is a low-maintenance dish you can whip together in minutes. Simply cook the noodles, make the sauce, and throw it all together in a bowl! Here’s how it’s done, step by step:
Cook the noodles: Follow the directions on the package to cook your noodles. Afterward, rinse them under cold water.
Make the peanut sauce: Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
Assemble the noodle bowl: Add the noodles, veggies, and peanut sauce together in a large bowl and mix until sauce is incorporated.
Add Toppings & Serve: In individual bowls with plenty of toppings or pack it away for your weekday lunches.
Can it be made ahead of time?
To make this recipe ahead of time, keep the prepared peanut sauce in a sealed jar and the chopped veggies, tofu, or tempeh in airtight containers in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve, simply cook the noodles of your choice and mix everything together in a bowl.
You can also prepare this for weekly lunches. Make the noodle bowls as normal, place individual servings in airtight containers, and store them in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. It’s an easy lunch on the go!
If you’re using gluten-free noodles, they will probably taste best when heated since gluten-free noodles can get a bit hard after refrigeration.
Frequently asked questions
Store the peanut sauce in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 1 week. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month.
Gluten-free noodles are best prepared right before serving as they can become a little hard the longer they sit. If you do leftovers of gf noodles, just heat them up and they’ll be just as tasty.
Rice noodles are usually made from rice flour and water, making them egg-free, vegan, and gluten-free! Be sure to always check the package though just in case.
More vegan recipes with noodles
Your dinners and lunches will be loaded with flavor thanks to these Asian-inspired recipes:
- Vegan Ramen Noodle Salad – A fresh and oil-free salad perfect for lunch or to bring to picnics, potlucks, and BBQs.
- Thai Basil Noodles – A.K.A. drunken noodles! Inspired by one of the best street foods you can find in Thailand.
- Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup – Warm and comforting soup you can make on the stove, in the Instant Pot, or in a crockpot.
- Spicy Sesame Noodles – A homemade version of the Chinese takeout favorite.
If you make this recipe and LOVE IT, please give it 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐!
Vegan Peanut Noodles
- 8 oz spaghetti or other long noodles of choice (see notes)
- ½ cup carrots shredded
- ½ cup cabbage shredded
- 1 red pepper sliced thinly
- ½ cup smooth peanut butter + 1 TB
- 2 TB low sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tsp sriracha or samal oelek
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 2 TB lime juice or rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic grated or ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ginger grated or ¼ tsp powdered ginger
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- 1/3 cup hot water + more if needed
- 3 green onions/scallions sliced
- protein of choice such as peanuts, tofu or tempeh (see post for more options)
- lime wedges (optional)
- Cook noodles according to package directions then rinse with cold water.
- While noodles are cooking, mix sauce ingredients together.
- Add noodles, veggies, and peanut sauce together in a large bowl and mix until sauce is incorporated.
- Transfer to serving bowls and top with desired toppings such as your protein of choice, green onions and lime wedges.
Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist who empowers vegans to feel confident creating sustainable habits that align with their values and health goals. She shares easy plant-powered food to nourish your body + satisfy your tastebuds. Mary Ellen’s recipes and nutrition info have been featured on Yahoo News, Parade, VegNews, LIVESTRONG, Dr. Axe, Greatist, LIVEKINDLY, Brit+Co, Well+Good, and more. She lives in NJ with her husband & two sweet shih tzus, Firenze & Sophie.