This time of year I start craving salads and fresh garden vegetables. Maybe it’s because of the bright sunny days, vibrant green grass and budding trees that brings the feelings of happiness and new energy. Whatever the reason, I get in the mood. Pasta salads are a great way of making a salad into a heartier meal. I had a mini taste test among family and friends, and while they liked all of the noodle salads that I served, this Spicy Peanut Chicken Udon Noodle Salad was the very favorite. Everyone loved all of the bold and tangy flavors.
For ease and convenience I used a rotisserie chicken from my local grocery store. I really like the flavor of rotisserie chicken and it really shines in this recipe. You can add more fresh veggies to this recipe if you’d like or eliminate all veggies if you want a noodle-only salad. I like the addition of crunch and bright colors the bell peppers, green onions and cilantro add. Next time, I might also add some sugar snap peas and julienned carrots.
I have to confess. I’m addicted to peanut sauce. I’m in love. It has such a contrast of crazy flavors that work so well together. This recipe is quick, easy and outstanding. I hope you enjoy!
- 16 ounces dry Udon noodles (can substitute linguini)
- 2 cups diced rotisserie chicken
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup cored assorted mini peppers (or regular colored bell peppers)
- ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
- ½ cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
- Peanut Sauce:
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ⅓ cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled & minced
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce (reduce for milder flavor, if desired)
- Cook noodles according to package directions, drain well. (Allow noodles to drip-dry well so that they can absorb more sauce.)
- Once noodles are thoroughly drained, toss together remaining salad ingredients except chopped peanuts and 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro and set aside.
- In a food processor or blender, combine all peanut sauce ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Drizzle half of the peanut sauce and gently toss with salad ingredients. Continue adding peanut sauce until the salad is well coated and add half of the chopped peanuts (you may need all of the sauce or less depending on your desired taste).
- Place the salad in a serving dish and top with remaining peanuts and sprinkle with remaining cilantro.