Peanut Butter Chicken is one of my favorite take-out fake-outs. It’s got all the flavor of a pad thai without the expense or hard to find ingredients. You can also make it with sunflower seed butter to accommodate for nut allergies.
This was historically one of my family’s very favorite meals. I originally shared it over here on May 16, 2008, almost eight years ago — when I didn’t know how to take a food picture that wasn’t blurry. We were deep in debt. Deep.
My husband and I were determined to get out of debt as quickly as possible. We were willing to do some pretty drastic things: give up most luxuries, sell as many things as we could, get extra jobs wherever we could. For the most part, the kids didn’t really notice.
Except at the dinner table.
Oh, don’t worry, they had plenty to eat. No one went hungry. Trust me. But, we did cut down on the amount of meat that we ate. In fact, we might have had meat about once or twice a week. Most meals back then were heavy on the carbs and veggies.
My body builder son still can’t believe I ever put him through that, but it was a balanced diet, just not very carnivorous.
One of the meals I made — when we did have meat — was this one. The sauce, a melange of peanut, soy, ginger, and red pepper flakes, is packed with flavor. Noodles easily make up for the scant amount of chicken. The original recipe called for twice the meat that I ever put in it as well as bottled dressing which is gross and expensive. I adapted it all to be healthier and cheaper.
What ingredients do you need to make peanut butter chicken?
- rice vinegar
- vegetable oil
- peanut butter
- soy sauce
- sesame oil
- red pepper
- linguini or thin spaghetti
- 1 medium carrot
- 2 chicken breasts
- green onions
- fresh cilantro
We didn’t eat Peanut Butter Chicken for awhile, thanks to my daughter’s peanut allergy. Even though she could have sunflower seed butter, I have tried not to rely on it too much. Recently, I made our old favorite and it brought the same smile to my face as it always did.
And, yes, it’s just as good with sunflower seed butter as it is with peanut butter. And it’s still a great way of stretching meats in budget meals.
I’ve made this as a freezer meal kit many times. Simply store the sauce and the cooked chicken mixture in separate containers. Thaw completely and then reheat the chicken while you boil fresh pasta. Mix it all together and you’re good to go, faster than you can call your favorite Thai takeout place.
Promise me you’ll make this! It’s so very yummy.
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 7 tbsp neutral oil
- 2 tbsp peanut butter almond butter, or sunflower seed butter can also be used
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger (grated)
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 16 oz linguine pasta or thin spaghetti pasta
- 1 carrots shredded
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast chopped
- 1 bunch green onion (chopped) you can get by with less
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro (chopped)
Whisk together the vinegar, the 5 tbsp. oil, the peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, ginger, and red pepper. Set aside.
- In a large pot of boiling, salted water, prepare the pasta according to package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil until very hot. Cook the carrot for 1 min. Add the chicken and green onions to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until chicken is cooked.
- Drain the pasta and toss with sauce and cilantro. You may toss chicken in as well, but we like to serve it atop the noodles. Otherwise, the chicken drops to the bottom and is not evenly distributed.
- Serve this dish hot or at room temperature.
- To freeze: store the sauce and the cooked chicken mixture in separate containers. Thaw completely in the refrigerator. Reheat before tossing with fresh cooked pasta.