This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This rainbow peanut noodle recipe is made with colorful fresh vegetables, your choice of noodles, and the most irresistible peanut sauce. Delicious served warm or cold!
If you’ve never tried my Rainbow Peanut Noodles, it’s time! ♡
I have been making this Thai inspired peanut noodle recipe for almost a decade. And while the beautiful rainbow of colorful vegetables here always makes this dish a lifesaver at gatherings, there’s no denying that everyone falls in love with these noodles for one simple reason: that incredibly irresistible peanut sauce. It’s perfectly balanced with the most delicious combination of sweet, salty, (slightly) hot, spicy, and nutty flavors, and has this magical way of convincing even the pickiest of eaters to indulge in a wide variety of vegetables.
I am also a huge fan of this recipe because it is easy to make and endlessly flexible. Serve these Peanut Noodles hot or cold, as a side dish or appetizer, with or without meat, using whatever pasta and favorite vegetables you have on hand. If you want to add a protein, I’ve found that shrimp, chicken, steak, and tofu mix particularly well here. I’m also particularly prone to using these noodles to pack weekday lunches, making a large batch over the weekend, and then doling out the extras in tupperware for the next week. And I’m telling you, the flavors of this sauce get better as the week goes on.
I’ve updated the notes below to include new options on how to customize the noodles for gluten or, yes, peanut allergies too. Plus, I’ve also added suggestions for other fun toppings (mango! Thai basil! Fried garlic!) that you can add as well.
So gather your favorite colorful vegetables and let’s make peanut noodles together!
Ingredients for rainbow peanut noodles
Here are some quick notes on the ingredients needed to make this rainbow peanut noodle recipe:
- Noodles: I usually make this recipe with whole grain noodles or soba, but rice noodles, ramen, or any other type of pasta you like best will work here.
- Rainbow vegetables: For the photos here, we used a mix of bell peppers (red and yellow), carrots, red cabbage, and scallions. But this recipe is very flexible when it comes to vegetables, so read the notes below about possible other vegetables you can add as well!
- Peanut sauce: Made with a blend of creamy natural peanut butter, low sodium soy sauce, lime juice, toasted sesame oil, honey, chili garlic sauce, fresh ginger and garlic. See notes below for ingredient substitution options if needed for this sauce.
- Cilantro: I love loading this recipe up with lots of fresh cilantro. But if you’re averse to the cilantro flavor, you can omit it (in that case, I’d recommend adding some Thai basil if you have any).
- Condiments: I love serving these noodles topped with finely chopped peanuts, extra cilantro and green onions, lime wedges, and/or toasted sesame seeds. Plus, if you have crispy fried garlic on hand, it’s also fabulous sprinkled on top.
Here are a few ways you can customize this rainbow peanut noodle recipe to your liking:
- Add a protein: Add your choice of cooked chicken, shrimp, steak, pork, scallops, or tofu.
- Add the handle: Add diced or thinly sliced mango to the noodles along with the vegetables.
- Add the Thai basil: If you have fresh Thai basil on hand, it’s an absolutely delicious addition to this recipe, too.
- Add different vegetables: Add any other raw vegetables that might work here, like avocados, bean sprouts, broccoli, radishes, red onions, peas, or zucchini.
- Make it spicy: Increase the amount of chili garlic sauce to taste or feel free to add some thinly sliced or diced fresh chilies (such as Thai chilies, serrano chilies, etc.).
- Prepare it without gluten: Use your favorite variety of gluten-free noodles and gluten-free tamari (instead of soy sauce).
- Make it without peanuts: Use almond butter or sun butter instead of peanut butter.
Other Favorite Noodle Recipes
Feel free to browse our entire collection of noodle recipes for more inspiration, but here are some of my personal favorites:
clock icon print cutlery icon flag icon flag folder icon instagram icon instagram icon pinterest icon facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon heart icon solid heart icon solid heart icon
This rainbow peanut noodle recipe is made with your choice of noodles, colorful fresh vegetables, and the most irresistible peanut sauce. Delicious served warm or cold!
Rainbow Pasta Ingredients:
- 12 ounces whole wheat pasta (or soba, ramen, or rice noodles)
- 3 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 small bell peppers, cored and very thinly sliced (I used one red, one yellow)
- 1 cup julienned carrots
- 1 cup chopped red cabbage
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (loosely packed)
- optional toppings: finely chopped peanuts, cilantro, green onions, lime wedges, and/or toasted sesame seeds
Peanut Sauce Ingredients:
- Make the peanut sauce. Beat all ingredients in a small bowl until well blended. Taste and sweeten with more honey if desired.
- Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. (Try to avoid overcooking the noodles.) Transfer 1/2 cup hot starchy water to peanut sauce. Reserve another 1/2 cup of the starchy water and set it aside for later. Drain the pasta, then return it to a large pot.
- Throw. Add shallots, bell peppers, carrots, cabbage, cilantro, peanuts, and peanut sauce to pot. Gently mix until everything is evenly coated with the sauce. If the sauce seems too dry, add some of the starchy water you’ve reserved and stir to combine.
- Serve. Serve hot, garnished with your favorite toppings.
Edit recipe: The peanut sauce recipe was slightly changed in 2022.