THAI PEANUT CHICKEN & NOODLES
This healthy version of Thai Peanut Chicken & Noodles tastes incredibly authentic – and I should know – I’ve had my fair share of Thai food (even in Thailand itself)! I am supremely jealous of my husband since I made this his weekly meal prep and not mine. It’s loaded with all the best veggies, tender chicken, and a velvety peanut sauce that has just the right balance of sweet, savory, sour, and spicy. I’m in love! You might also like my Paleo Beef Broccoli 😉
Did you know? Brown rice noodles qualify as a low-glycemic food, meaning, they have a lower impact on blood sugar levels. Studies show a low-GI diet may help with weight loss and blood sugar levels, and could lower the risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. (source)
It all starts with the chicken! I always choose chicken raised with “no antibiotics ever” meaning the birds were kept in sanitary conditions apart from diseased birds (hence, no need for antibiotics). The label “organic” requires the birds have access to the outdoors, and be fed organic, vegetarian feed (versus other chicken parts). The label “all natural” just means that the end product contains no artificial additives and is minimally processed. It doesn’t guarantee the quality of the meat itself or that the birds were raised in a humane environment.
I’ve also mentioned how I marinate my chicken in baking soda (at least for Asian stir-fry dishes) because it helps tenderize the meat. A little reduced sodium soy sauce adds flavor – you can also use gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos for Paleo. If you’re making this Paleo, you’ll also want to substitute cashew butter and dry-roasted cashews for the peanut butter and dry-roasted peanuts.
Tips for perfect stir-fry:
- Cut meat into very thin bite-sized pieces or strips, about a quarter inch thick. This ensures quick, even cooking and tender bites.
- Marinate meat in baking soda for 10 minutes to tenderize, about 1 teaspoon per pound of meat, then rinse. This makes such a difference!
- Have your veggies and sauce ready to go before you start cooking. Stir-fries come together fast and you don’t want things to overcook while you’re cutting up veggies or measuring out sauce ingredients.
- Heat your oil up nice and hot before adding your meat! I use avocado oil, perfect for high heat cooking.
- Don’t crowd the pan with meat, or it will boil instead of brown! My general rule is eight ounces of meat at a time, but you might get away with up to pound at a time if you have a large wok.
- Cook meat over medium-high for only 3-4 minutes, stirring twice for even browning. Then, set your meat aside on a plate and add veggies to the same pan.
- Cook veggies separately until crisp tender over medium-high heat. Harder vegetables like carrots can take up to 6 minutes to cook (unless they’re shredded). Your typical stir-fry vegetables (beans, broccoli, cabbage, mushrooms, peppers, snow peas, zucchini) are done in 4 minutes. Delicate leafy greens, green onions, garlic, ginger and bean sprouts only need 2 minutes or so.
- Finally, add your cooked meat, sauce, and cooked noodles together with veggies and simmer over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. That’s it! Everything you need for a perfect stir-fry every time.
You can use whatever vegetables you like in this recipe! For lower carbs, use shirataki noodles in place of the brown rice noodles. For Paleo, use sweet potato or zucchini noodles. Or, you can experiment with udon noodles, ramen, or soba noodles!
Here is the printable recipe for this Thai Peanut Chicken and Noodles. I hope you’ll rate and comment below if you try it 🙂
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Thai Peanut Chicken & Noodles
- 24 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast cut into ¼" thick strips
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce*
- 1 tbsp. avocado oil divided
- 1 cup red pepper sliced
- 1 cup carrots shredded
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- 3 stalks green onion sliced
- 3 tbsp. dry-roasted peanuts* chopped
- 4 oz. dry brown rice noodles*
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter*
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 tbsp. honey
- 1 1/2 tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce*
- 1 1/2 tbsp. lime juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp. natural rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp. sriracha sauce optional
- 2 tsp. fresh ginger grated or minced
- 1 tsp. (1 clove) fresh garlic minced
*See above for substitutions.
- Combine chicken with baking soda and reduced sodium soy sauce and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, wash and cut veggies and set aside.
- Combine sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl or blender.
- Start cooking rice noodles according to package directions.
- Rinse chicken to get rid of excess baking soda (optional).
- Heat teaspoon of oil in a wok or skillet over medium-high heat, adding half chicken once oil is almost smoking. Cook chicken 3-4 minutes, stirring twice for even browning, then set aside on a plate. Repeat for second half of chicken.
- Without rinsing wok or skillet, add remaining teaspoon of oil and veggies.
- Stir-fry over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, until veggies are crisp-tender.
- Add cooked noodles, cooked chicken, and sauce to the pan with veggies and stir to combine.
- Simmer for 1-2 minutes over medium heat.
- Serve hot or divide evenly into six meal prep containers to enjoy all week! Leftovers will keep in the fridge in an airtight container up to one week.
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