An amazingly flavorful, satisfying meal is easy to make at home with these Peanut Sauce Noodles with Tofu! This dish is full of nourishing vegetables and satiating tofu, with a slightly spicy and creamy peanut sauce. Perfect for a simple yet delicious weekday or weekend meal!
Do you sometimes crave a hearty yet healthy meal with all the veggies, protein, and a satisfying carb? I’ve got you! Plus, this recipe is super simple yet really packs a flavor punch as well. There’s just something about a creamy noodle dish that really hits as comfort food.
I love meals like this for a weekday lunch that feels special, or a great dinner that helps kick the takeout craving. This dish is also perfect to make in advance to have lunches on-hand in the fridge for 2 to 4 days – in this case, you can store the sauce separately and add in as you’re re-heating everything.
These Peanut Sauce Noodles with Tofu are creamy and delicious, with lots of texture as well and bright flavor from the toppings like green onion (aka scallions) and fresh mint! But, feel free to substitute fresh cilantro and/or parsley, and you can also top these with red chili flakes for some extra spicy heat.
Substitutions You Can Use for This Dish
These Peanut Sauce Noodles with Tofu are brimming with bell peppers and it’s totally versatile to add in other veggies you may have in your fridge and pantry such as:
Simply cook those along with the bell peppers until they’re crisp-tender (you may want to retain some texture in the finished dish, but you can cook to your preferred tenderness). Keep in mind that the smaller you cut the pieces, the faster they will cook.
Regarding noodles, you can use many different types. This is the case for most of my noodle recipes. Here I used brown rice noodles, but those come in a variety of shapes/types. Feel free to use your favorite and experiment with different kinds!
For the spicy heat in this dish, the recipe for the Sauce uses sambal oelek or chili garlic sauce. In my experience, you can find both of these in most grocery stores but I’ve linked to Amazon as well. Alternatively, you can use sriracha or your favorite hot sauce. Or, if you don’t like spicy heat, you can omit. I also topped the dish with red chili flakes in the photos, as I like a bit of kick!
How this Dish Comes Together
I usually first put on the water to boil for the noodles. Does anyone else feel like their noodle/pasta cooking water always takes forever to boil?! Hehe. Maybe it’s just me.
Then open your package of tofu and drain away the water, then grab a plate and pat dry the tofu on the plate with some paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. You can rest a pot on top of the tofu (while the tofu is wrapped in towel) while you slice/chop the bell peppers and scallions. Or, you can use a tofu press like this one. This process helps to make the tofu firmer and less likely to break up during cooking. It also helps the tofu capture more of the recipe flavor in my opinion.
Slice the peppers or dice them. I did both (sliced the yellow and orange, and diced the green). You can slice the scallions at this time too, for later! Slice the tofu thinly. I did this by cutting the tofu twice across the middle (so that it’s a third as thick), then stack them up again and make a cut down lengthwise. Then proceed to make thin slices cross-wise.
Then grab a large pan and add 1 tsp sesame oil and set to medium heat. Cook the tofu strips in a single layer for around 5 minutes, then carefully flip and cook another 5 minutes. Avoid tossing them around to much, as they may break. Then remove them from the pan and set onto a plate. Back in the pan, add the other tsp sesame oil and cook the bell peppers, and you just want them to be crisp-tender (preference though, feel free to make them softer).
While those are cooking, whisk the sauce together.
Then add all the ingredients back into the pan and gently toss. You’ll probably use up most of the sauce, but may have some remaining. Top with sesame seeds, fresh herbs, and scallions. And, red chili flakes with more chili sauce if desired.
If you make this recipe, please let me know by leaving a comment here and tagging me on Instagram @janetsmunchmeals!
Other Delicious Noodle Recipes
Peanut Sauce Noodles with Tofu
- 4 oz. rice noodles
- 2 tsp sesame oil divided
- 1/2 block extra firm or super firm tofu sliced in thin strips
- 2.5 bell peppers used yellow, orange, green
- 1/4 cup +2 tbsp peanut butter
- 3-4 tbsp warm water start with 3 tbsp then add another tbsp after whisking sauce, to thin further as desired
- 3 tbsp soy sauce used reduced sodium type
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger or substitute around 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1.5 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sambal oelek or chili garlic sauce these are spicy chili sauces available in most grocery stores
- 2 tbsp maple syrup or substitute agave syrup
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 3 tbsp thinly sliced scallions
- chili garlic sauce
- Cook rice noodles according to package directions – be careful to not overcook, as you want the noodles to not break up when tossed with sauce and other ingredients later. When they are done cooking, drain and rinse them with cool water, then toss them with a touch of sesame oil. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, drain and gently press excess water out of tofu with paper or kitchen towels. Thinly slice and in a large pan with a bit of sesame oil, lightly brown the strips on several sides. This takes approx. 10 min. Do not stir the tofu around a lot during cooking, as this may break the pieces. Transfer strips to a plate.
- While those are cooking, cut the bell peppers. I cut the yellow and orange peppers into thin strips and the green pepper I diced small.
- Back in pan, add the other tsp sesame oil and add sliced bell peppers to pan and cook for around 5 min, stirring periodically. Then add the green peppers and cook another 3 min, stirring periodically.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the sauce ingredients very well until smooth. Add the sauce, cooked noodles, and tofu back to the pan with the peppers (once the peppers are cooked as described above).
- Gently, toss together, adding the desired amount of sauce.
- Serve immediately and top with sesame seeds, sliced scallions, and extra chili garlic sauce (as desired).