Sesame Noodles with Peanut Sauce

The recipes this week have made me pleased as punch. First, the soup that has made me look forward to the gloomy winter ahead, so delicious it is! Then, the chocolate muffin recipe I’ve been searching for my entire life. Ok, that was a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea. And now this!

Sesame peanut noodles. I’ve been scared of recipes like this. I don’t know…peanut butter in a savory noodle dish? Hm, the thought is a little hard for me to embrace. But then (then!) I had a similar type dish in a delightful local restaurant and decided my life would never be the same if I didn’t try to make it at home.

So I went to my most trusted source and made this version and it is absolutely, utterly fantastic. Although it isn’t an exact replica of my restaurant fare, slightly less creamy and saucy, it is undeniably the perfect blend of a slightly sweet, lightly spicy peanut sauce and a hint of sesame.

The pasta has a tendency to get a little dry upon standing but resumes perfection once a tablespoon of very hot water is stirred in. I think next time I might even double the sauce to give it a little more sauce-factor, but despite that, this meal has allowed sesame noodles to be part of my world forever. And that is a wonderful thing.

Sesame Noodles with Peanut Sauce

What To ServeHoney Lime Fruit Salad 
Steamed broccoli or Buttery Peas with Thyme
Green Salad

One Year Ago: Truffle Hot Chocolate Balls
Two Years Ago: Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Sesame Noodles with Peanut Sauce

Yield: Serves 4-6

Sesame Noodles with Peanut Sauce

Note: To be honest, I think the chicken is a bit of an afterthought in this recipe, and while good, this could easily be made vegetarian by leaving out the chicken. Alternately, the chicken could be grilled or cooked in any number of ways since the shredded chicken is simply added to the noodles (just make sure the chicken is well seasoned with salt and pepper before cooking for great flavor). Also, if you like noodle dishes a bit on the saucier side, consider doubling the sauce and adding it gradually to the noodles until reaching your desired consistency. Finally, the original recipe stated to serve the noodles cold but I didn't - instead we ate these slightly warm, at room temperature even, and they were fantastic.


  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 2 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • Hot water
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 12 ounces dried spaghetti noodles
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 4 scallions (green onions), sliced thin on diagonal
  • 1 medium carrot, grated


  1. Toast sesame seeds in medium skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1 tablespoon sesame seeds in small bowl. In blender or food processor, puree remaining 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, hot sauce, and sugar until smooth, about 30 seconds. With machine running, add hot water 1 tablespoon (for a total of about 5 tablespoons, give or take) at time until sauce has consistency of heavy cream, slightly thickened but purable. Set blender jar or workbowl aside.
  2. Bring 6 quarts water to boil in stockpot over high heat. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to 6 inches from broiler element; heat broiler. Spray broiler pan or rimmed baking sheet lined with foil with cooking spray; place chicken breasts on top and broil chicken until lightly browned, 4 to 8 minutes. Using tongs, flip chicken over and continue to broil until thickest part is no longer pink when cut into and registers about 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Using 2 forks, shred chicken into bite-size pieces and set aside. Add salt and noodles to boiling water; boil noodles until tender, about 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain then toss noodles with sesame oil until evenly coated. Add shredded chicken, scallions, carrot, and sauce; toss to combine. Divide among individual bowls, sprinkle each bowl with portion of reserved toasted sesame seeds, and serve immediately.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Cook’s Illustrated

42 Responses to Sesame Noodles with Peanut Sauce

  1. Cath says:

    We love this meal! (Although I do quarter the peanut butter–I only like a taste of it.) In the summer, I make it in advance and chill it. It’s divine as a cold Asian noodle salad! Yum!

  2. Emy says:

    These looked interesting and I’ve never eaten peanut noodles before, (maybe it’s not so common here) so I really wanted to try this. I’m glad I did, it’s delicious! I thought 5 tablespoons of soy sauce might seem like too much, but the whole thing was perfect. I’m so glad I stumbled across this site, thank you! 🙂

  3. Amanda says:

    Made this tonight and we enjoyed it! My husband doesn’t like spicy foods so I left out the Tabasco. It still had plenty of spice thanks to the fresh garlic and ginger. I served it with some plum sauce and sauteed veggies. yum, thanks!

  4. Dana says:

    Hi Mel,

    I am allergic to soy. Do you have any options for soy sauce substitute in your recipes?


  5. Ashley says:

    This has been a favorite of mine for a while, but I have been trying to get more veggies into our family’s diet so the last time I steamed up a bag of sugar snap peas and a bag of baby carrots and tossed it in (and eliminated the shredded carrot called for) and it worked great!

  6. Jamie says:

    This was amazing! I made it last night and added some cilantro, juice of 1 lime, and some colorful bell peppers (oh and I doubled the sauce per your advice). This is one of my new favorite meals!

  7. Trish Burk says:

    OMG Mel! Just made these tonight and they were a hit with everybody! Yum-oh!

  8. Mckenzie says:

    These are soooo yummy!! I made them last week for my family of 6 and everyone…down to the 2 yr old loved them. I’m making them again this week. Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes. You are my new go-to blog for dinner planning!!

  9. […] Mix & Match Mama’s Chicken Suiza Enchiladas and totally bizzare sounding Corn & Bacon Pasta round out the list.  Plus, I think I even have pantry ingredients to make Peanut Sesame Noodles from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. […]

  10. Courtney G. says:

    Made this tonight. The entire family loved it!!

  11. […] delicious I cooked this week. Double the sauce, halve the noodles and add three types of […]

  12. Deb says:

    I cut the sauce recipe in half and served it with some pasta and sautéed shrimp for lunch today. SO good…will have to keep relegated to lunchtime when my peanut allergic son is at school, but I look forward to having it again!

  13. Analese says:

    This is such an amazing recipe! We’ve made it three times in the past month and are going for it again tonight. Thanks so much for sharing!

  14. tonya says:

    Oh my goodness!!! Mel, this is WONDERFUL!!! We had this for supper tonight & we hardly spoke (very unusual) because we were inhaling every last little bit!! I also made your banana bread & we are enjoying it right now with our nightly coffee…mmmm!

  15. Elizabeth says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and everyone loved it! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Shaynee says:

    We make this recipe from CI all of the time and we love it!

  17. Alison says:

    I made this tonight and it was EXCELLENT. The whole family (including a 6, 4, and 2 year old) enjoyed it. I added about 1/4 cup of coconut milk to the sauce, which worked out great. I will definitely be making this again.

  18. Dena says:

    Made this yummy dish this past weekend for my brother-in-law and his wife. They couldn’t stop raving about it! My husband even liked it and he’s not a spicy kind of guy. I didn’t have any hot sauce, so I substituted a little bit of red curry paste. Yummo! Thanks for another great and easy recipe Mel!

  19. Mel says:

    Lisa, I think so, although I haven’t tried it. I’d definitely start with just a pinch and work up from there so it isn’t too overpowering.

  20. Lisa says:

    Mel, can I use ginger powder instead of fresh in this recipe? – my family members are not fans of the fresh. Thanks for posting – love sesame everything!

  21. Teresa R. says:

    I tried this on Sunday and I wasn’t disappointed. I have loved every recipe I’ve tried
    from your blog. Thanks so much for sharing.

  22. Ruby says:

    I’m so glad to hear you tried and like the peanut sauce! I’ve been eating it(not this recipe though, must try it soon!)for a long time and love it! I do enjoy it cold and usually keep a big jar in my fridge for an instant lunch fix. 🙂

  23. Amy Tong says:

    Yum…I love peanut sauce noodles. Yours looks perfect and now, got me craving for a bowl! 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for sharing. I’m going to check out your chocolate muffin recipe next. 😉

  24. Angela says:

    So excited to try this recipe! Do you think by adding coconut milk I could make the sauce a little creamy? Maybe sub the water? Not sure if that would change the consistency of the sauce. I will be trying it tonight…. We shall see! Thanks for the great blog!!

    • Mel says:

      Angela – I think coconut milk would be a great substitution. It’s creamy as written in the recipe, it just isn’t overly saucy. I’d keep the water in the recipe and add in a little coconut milk to taste, perhaps? Let me know how you liked it!

  25. Michelle says:

    Yum- this wil surely be on my list to make this next week. I think I will use asian wheat noodles instead of spaghetti- and I love Anne’s idea to add peas and red bell peppers. And we will definitely be doubling the sauce, as I have two serious sauce lovers in my house!

  26. Anne says:

    I haven’t made this yet, but would suggest adding some plain yogurt or sour cream if you are hunting for a creamier, thicker sauce. I’m willing to bet that shrimp would be a fabulous alternative to chicken here, as would some fun veggies like snow peas and red peppers. We will try the vegetarian version this weekend! Thanks for the much needed inspiration.

  27. Rhonda says:

    I have made similar dishes and was always a little afraid of the outcome, but most are really good. I will give this one a try.

  28. Elizabeth says:

    This looks delicious! I love noodles.

  29. Julie says:

    I need to make this very soon!

  30. Peanut sauce makes everything better. This looks delicious!

  31. Juli says:

    Need to make these! Thanks!

  32. auntiepatch says:

    Is that right? 1/4 CUP sesame seeds? Seems like a lot of sesame seeds but I’ll try it!

  33. Ariane says:

    I just made a meal plan for the next couple of weeks and had the California chicken recipe down to make(which we love). Do you find that these noodles need a plain chicken flavor to balance whats going on with the pazaz in the noodles? Just wondering what you think.

    • Mel says:

      Ariane – I haven’t had the California chicken marinade in a while but my inclination is that the shredded chicken from that marinade would be fine to throw in this dish. I hope the flavors don’t war against each other but I think a flavored/marinaded chicken would be fine to use in this dish.

  34. Kim in MD says:

    I LOVE peanut noodles and this looks delicious! I have never tried CI’s version, but they are my trusted source for recipes, too. Well, them and your blog, Mel! 🙂

  35. I love peanut noodles and it is an unexpected flavor combo. This sounds like the perfect recipe for it.

    Don’t you love good recipe weeks??

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