These cold peanut noodles topped with grilled chicken are more than a little bit addictive! They are great to make ahead of time so you can grab them for an easy weekday lunch or a quick weeknight meal!
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I workout several nights a week after work, so when I get home I'm not always in the mood to spend a lot of time making dinner. Or maybe I'm anxious to get to writing a new blog post for the recipe I was working on over the weekend! This means a collection of quick and fairly easy options is a must. This Peanut Noodle Salad is one of my solutions! It comes together pretty quickly, in right around 30 minutes as you can cook and do some of the prep at the same time.
The best prep order for this dish is to get the chicken marinating, then prepare the peanut sauce and prep the other ingredients. I leave the peanut sauce out of the refrigerator while prepping everything else so it does not get to stiff. It makes it easier to mix with the noodles. You'll want to get the chicken on the grill and then start the noodles, this way everything should be ready at about the "right" time. Don't worry if it's not, the dish will still come together just fine.
That's one of my favorite things about cold dishes, you don't have to worry about timing as much. The most important part is getting the peanut sauce on the noodles when they are hot, which makes it easier to mix!
I use round udon noodles for this recipe. They are available in most grocery stores. If you can't find them or if you prefer to use regular pasta something like this bucatini is a good substitute. Udon noodles often come in little bundles within the package so I use one bundle per serving.
If you want to meal prep this recipe, make the chicken and peanut sauce ahead of time. They will both keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator. And of course, you can chop up the veggies too. You do want to cook the noodles and combine them with the peanut sauce when they are still hot. I usually eat at least one serving of this while the noodles are slightly warm, but since it's a cold dish you can actually make the entire thing ahead of time and keep in refrigerator until your ready to eat.
It's designed to be a cold dish so no need to heat it up unless you want to of course. If you do, I recommend 30 seconds or so in the microwave just to warm the sauce up a bit.
One of the reasons I focus on recipes for two is if you are only cooking for yourself, the 2nd portion can make a perfect lunch for later in the week. The leftovers from this make a great lunch. I packed them in this cool Monbento box, which I love for taking lunch to work!
THINGS YOU MAY WANT FOR THIS RECIPE
Lunch Box – If you pack your lunches for work having a good container to store them in is key. I like lunch box options so you keep everything together. This stainless steel option is great for cold dishes and is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
Natural Peanut Butter – I love this peanut butter from PB and Company. It tastes great and is also vegan and gluten-free. I buy it at Whole Foods but you can also order it online if you can't find it in your local grocery store.
Cold Peanut Noodles with Grilled Chicken
For the chicken:
- 8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 tablespoon garlic olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons tamari
- dash ground cloves
- dash ground cinnamon
For the peanut sauce:
- ¼ cup natural peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon Sambal
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 5 ounces uncooked round udon noodles
- ¼ cup chopped red pepper
- ¼ cup chopped English, seedless cucumber
- ⅓ cup peanuts, chopped or crushed
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoon cilantro leaves, chopped
- Preheat the grill to about 400°F.
- Mix the garlic olive oil though cinnamon in a small bowl. Place chicken in a plastic bag and add marinade. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Whisk peanut butter, tamari, coconut milk and lime juice together in a small bowl. Add the ginger through sesame oil and mix well. Set aside.
- Remove chicken from marinade and place on the grill. Grill for 6 minutes per side, or until done. Remove from grill and let cool.
- While the chicken is on the grill, prepare the noodles according to the package directions. Drain noodles, and place in a large bowl.
- Add the peanut sauce to the noodles and mix well to coat all of the noodles.
- Slice or chop the chicken and add to the noodles. Add the red pepper, cucumber, peanuts and sesame oil. Toss so all ingredients are incorporated. Top with chopped cilantro.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve