Noodle bowls with peanut-sesame sauce are a quick, simple, and delicious vegetarian meal that is sure to please even your picky eaters. I mean, they’re made with peanut butter. How could you go wrong?
Bowls are a really popular thing right now. A quick scan of Instagram reveals a bevy of jealousy-provoking bowls. They’re usually assembled in rustic-looking, asymmetrical bowls that appear to have been hand-thrown and they almost always include a fan of avocado. Sarah Forte from Sprouted Kitchen wrote an entire book (<–affiliate link) about them. I know it sounds like I’m being facetious, but I promise I’m not. I’m pretty jealous that I don’t eat more beautiful food like this.
Anyway, every time I look at a bowl – be it a noodle bowl, a rice bowl, a quinoa bowl (even though I hate quinoa)….whatever kind of bowl, I make a mental note that I need to make more beautiful bowls of food. Not only are they gorgeous, they’re usually very simple combinations of food and my ability to make them is really only limited by the fact that I don’t want to pack twelve different tiny Gladware containers with all of my ingredients in order to eat them for lunch. However, I eat dinner at home pretty much every night, and summer break is coming up (six weeks!!!), so maybe I can resolve here and now to try to make more meals in bowls.
I’ve actually been making soba noodle bowls with peanut-sesame sauce for years now. I first discovered them when I bought the book How to Boil Water (pasta pies, penne alla vodka, and…sesame noodles. I traded that book to McKay’s years ago and the versions of these recipes on my site are all mine, but they were definitely inspired by those early cooking experiences driven by that book, which I would to this day recommend as a great cooking basics resource for a beginner.
This recipe comes together in less than 30 minutes. In fact, the most time-consuming step is boiling the water to cook the noodles, which cook in three minutes. I included zucchini noodles, which I made with my Inspiralizer (<–that’s an affiliate link, because I❤️my Inspiralizer), but if you don’t have a spiralizer, you could use a julienne peeler ( Do you like “bowl” meals? What’s your favorite?
Yield: 4-6 servings
10 minPrep Time:
10 minCook Time:
20 minTotal Time:
- 8 ounces uncooked soba noodles
- 2 medium zucchini, spiraled or cut into julienne
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- cucumber, for garnish (optional)
- chopped roasted peanuts, for garnish (optional)
- chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
- Cook the soba noodles in salted water according to package directions. Drain the noodles, reserving one cup of the cooking water.
- Transfer the drained noodles back to the pot and add the zucchini. Set over medium heat and add the peanut butter, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, until the peanut butter coats the noodles and the zucchini has softened, 3-4 minutes.
- Thin the sauce with the noodle cooking water until it reaches desired consistency. Serve immediately, garnished as desired with cucumbers, peanuts, and cilantro.