Almond butter noodles are a delicious and nutritious plant-based meal that can be prepared in just 15-20 minutes. This creamy, protein-packed dish combines the nutty flavor of almond butter with savory Asian ingredients like ginger, garlic, sesame, and tamari. The result is a quick and easy weeknight dinner the whole family will love.
Learn everything you need to know to make flavorful almond butter noodles at home. We'll go over tips for choosing the right noodles, making the sauce, adding mix-ins like veggies and tofu, and how to store leftovers. With a few simple ingredients and easy steps, you can have a fresh, homemade meal on the table in no time.
Selecting the Right Noodles
One of the great things about almond butter noodles is that they pair well with almost any type of Asian noodle. Rice noodles, soba noodles, udon noodles, ramen noodles, and zoodles can all be used to create this nutty, creamy dish. Consider what you have on hand or what you're in the mood for.
Rice noodles are a popular choice as they are gluten-free and have a pleasant chewy texture. Look for flat-pad Thai-style rice noodles or thin vermicelli noodles.
100% buckwheat soba noodles add great flavor and nutrients. Check the label to ensure they are made solely from buckwheat flour.
Udon noodles are thick, chewy Japanese noodles usually made from wheat flour. Their heft stands up well to the almond butter sauce.
Ramen noodles, whether fresh or dried, provide traditional ramen flavor. Use just the noodles, not the seasoning packet.
Zucchini noodles or other veggie noodles like hearts of palm and carrots make a lighter, low-carb option.
The cooking time will vary based on the type of noodle, so check the package instructions. Rice noodles generally take just a few minutes in boiling water or broth.
Making the Almond Butter Sauce
The sauce is truly what makes these noodles stand out. An almond butter base is enhanced with aromatic ingredients like garlic, ginger, sesame oil, tamari, rice vinegar, chili paste, and a touch of sweetener. Here's how to prepare this tasty almond butter noodle sauce:
Whisk together the almond butter and liquid ingredients like broth, non-dairy milk, or water to form a smooth, pourable consistency. The sauce should coat the noodles but not be too thick or gloopy. Add more liquid as needed.
Sauté minced garlic and ginger for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Then add to the sauce mixture along with other aromatics and seasonings.
Tamari or soy sauce provides saltiness. For less sodium, use coconut amino.
Rice vinegar adds a tanginess that balances the richness of the almond butter.
Sesame oil gives a nutty, toasted flavor. Opt for toasted sesame oil if possible.
Maple syrup or other liquid sweetener offsets spiciness and balances flavors.
Chili garlic paste, sriracha, or red pepper flakes bring heat. Adjust to your desired spiciness.
Whisk vigorously until the sauce is smooth, creamy, and well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Vegetables and Protein
One of the great things about almond butter noodles is how versatile they are. You can add any vegetables you like, making it easy to use up the produce you have on hand. Protein like tofu or edamame also turns this dish into a complete meal.
Here are some tasty mix-ins to try:
- Julienned carrots, bell peppers, cabbage, zucchini
- Mushrooms like oyster, shiitake, maitake
- Leafy greens like spinach, bok choy, kale
- Green onions, bean sprouts, snap peas
- Crispy baked, broiled, or pan-fried tofu
- Shelled edamame, mung beans, chickpeas
For extra flavor and texture:
- Toast sesame seeds, peanuts, or almonds to sprinkle on top
- Garnish with sliced green onions, cilantro, or Thai basil
- Add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice
How to Make Almond Butter Noodles
Now that you know how to choose noodles and prepare the sauce, let's go through the easy steps for assembling almond butter noodles:
1. Cook the noodles according to package directions until just tender but not mushy. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
2. Prepare the protein and vegetables. Bake, broil or pan-fry tofu if using. Wash, trim, and slice vegetables.
3. Make the almond butter sauce by whisking together all sauce ingredients.
4. Sauté aromatics and vegetables in a little oil over medium-high heat for 2-5 minutes until starting to soften.
5. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the cooked noodles and prepared protein to the pan and pour over the almond butter sauce. Gently toss everything together using tongs.
6. Cook for 1-2 minutes more until heated through and the noodles are well coated in the sauce.
7. Serve garnished with any desired toppings like green onions, toasted nuts, sesame seeds, cilantro, lime wedges, etc. Enjoy your fresh, homemade almond butter noodles!
Almond butter noodles make great leftovers, so consider doubling the recipe. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. The noodles may dry out a bit, so add a splash of vegetable broth or non-dairy milk when reheating to restore moisture and creaminess.
Here are some tasty ways to repurpose leftovers:
- Toss with salad greens for an almond butter noodle salad
- Stuff into a pita or wrap with veggies for an easy portable meal
- Enjoy chilled as a cold noodle salad
- Use almond butter sauce to dress steamed veggies or grain bowls
Can I use peanut butter instead of almond butter?
Absolutely! Peanut butter is the traditional nut butter used in many Asian noodle dishes. The flavor will have a more pronounced peanut taste compared to the milder almond butter.
Do I need to use gluten-free tamari?
If avoiding gluten, be sure to use a gluten-free tamari or coconut amino. For those who can tolerate gluten, regular soy sauce works great.
Can I skip the sweetener in the sauce?
The small amount of sweetener balances flavors, but you can leave it out if you prefer. Taste the sauce and add a squeeze of lime juice for acidity instead of sweet.
Do the noodles need to be Asian noodles?
While rice, soba, udon, and ramen noodles are traditional, you can use whatever noodles you have. Spaghetti, linguine, or gluten-free pasta work too.
Can I make it kid-friendly?
Absolutely! Omit the chili paste or sriracha to tone down the spiciness. Use a milder nut butter like cashew or sunflower seed butter. Serve with rice or quinoa for a well-rounded meal.
Almond butter noodles make for a quick, simple, and nutritious dinner the whole family can enjoy. In less than 30 minutes, you can prepare servings of protein-packed noodles coated in a creamy, flavorful almond butter sauce and loaded with fresh vegetables. Store leftovers to enjoy throughout the week.
Now you have all the tips, tricks, and how-to steps for making delicious almond butter noodles anytime. Get ready to whip up this easy plant-based meal on hectic weeknights or impress guests at your next gathering.
Almond Butter Noodles
- 8 oz noodles (rice noodles, soba, udon, gluten-free pasta, etc.)
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth or non-dairy milk
- 2 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp maple syrup or agave nectar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 cup mixed vegetables (carrots, bell pepper, mushrooms, etc.)
- 1 block firm tofu, diced (optional)
- Toppings: green onions, cilantro, toasted sesame seeds, lime wedges
- Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Whisk together almond butter, broth/milk, tamari, sesame oil, rice vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, and ginger.
- Stir fry vegetables 5 minutes. Add cooked noodles and sauce, cook 1-2 minutes until heated through.
- Add diced tofu if using.
- Serve topped with green onions, cilantro, sesame seeds, lime wedges.