My daughters grew up on this simple peanut noodle pasta and now it’s the first dish we think of when we’re planning a picnic. Just whip it up in the amount of time it takes to cook the pasta, throw it in an ice chest and go. It’s great warm or cold, has a very short ingredients list of basic pantry staples*, and can be dressed up or down depending on your preference.
*If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to download my free Kitchen Staples Checklist that will help you be ready to make any recipe on this site.
This mild, kid-friendly, peanut sauce takes one minute to cook in the microwave or you can heat it up in a saucepan. It works with crunchy or smooth peanut butter, but an all-natural kind is best. Top with chopped peanuts and perhaps some fresh greens or other veggies that you have on hand. If you want something fancier than a simple picnic pasta, add some of the optional toppings and pair it with grilled or stir-fried vegetables and a green salad dressed with a tangy balsamic vinaigrette.
Ingredients (serves 6)
1 lb of pasta
⅓ cup natural peanut butter
⅓ cup water
1 tsp garlic powder (or 1 clove, pressed)
2 T lemon juice or rice wine vinegar
2 T soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
½ -1 T fresh grated ginger (optional)
Pinch of chili pepper flakes
1 cup chopped peanuts
Toasted sesame seeds
Fresh greens such as arugula
Cook the pasta according to directions.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a glass, microwavable dish with a lid. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Whisk with a fork and microwave for another 30 seconds. Taste and determine if you want to add the optional sesame oil or more “kick” with chili pepper flakes.
Pour over cooked pasta and toss. Top with optional toppings right before serving. This dish can be served warm or cold, but is best served shortly after making it.