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Under 30 Minutes

Lighter Sesame Noodles

Whole-wheat spaghetti complements the zesty sauce while adding fiber. A little less peanut butter plus a lot more vegetables make this a no-guilt meal.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Lighter Sesame Noodles

Source: Everyday Food, May 2008


  • Coarse salt
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets, stalks peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti 3 minutes less than al dente. Add broccoli, bell peppers, and onion. Cook until pasta is al dente and vegetables are tender, 3 minutes more. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta and vegetables.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together peanut butter, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, oil, garlic, and red-pepper flakes. Add hot pasta and vegetables; toss to coat, thinning sauce with a little pasta water, if necessary. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Cook's Note

You're likely to have most of the ingredients for the easy no-cook sauce (including heart-friendly peanut butter) in your pantry.

Reviews (23)

  • MageQueen 11 Sep, 2014

    This recipe is awesome! It's tasty as-is, or you can just make the sauce and throw it on pretty much anything you want to be delicious. I use it to dress up leftovers a lot.

  • Coleman Boys Mama 4 Jan, 2014

    A great recipe! I did stir fry the veggies and garlic to keep them crisp tender. Served it with the squash potstickers (also from this site!) and edamame. A great vegetarian meal!!

  • HockeyMomForLife 18 Oct, 2013

    My 15 year old daughter has decided that she would like to try being a vegetarian. I am really trying to be supportive but finding meatless meals that taste good isn't easy....until now! She loved this and I know its because of the peanut butter sauce. Thanks for this life saver of a recipe Martha! :)

  • gil33 14 Jul, 2013

    Everybody loved this!!! Crowd pleaser!

  • claritygolden 24 May, 2012

    Wow, great recipe! My normal peanut noodle recipe has more ingredients, which I didn't have today. I looked for a simpler recipe I could make without going to the store. This came out great! I used soba noodles as that's what I had on hand, and I didn't have as many veggies as it called for. In fact all I had was shredded carrot, and while I definitely would have liked some more veggies it was still good without them. If I have it I'd also add some ginger and green onions to the dressing.

  • marisa12 11 Oct, 2011

    I love these noodles. They are as delicious straight from the pot as they are from the fridge the next day. It is a great recipe if you have a big appetite with little time to cook.

  • mkvangorden 22 Jul, 2011

    Delicious peanut sauce! Very easy and quick recipe. The noodles are great cold. Added scallions and julienned seedless cucumbers.

  • optic747 18 Oct, 2010

    I used an 8 oz package of soba noodles and it made about 4 servings. Very yummy!

  • Geelova 5 Oct, 2010

    I have made this twice now

  • gitinoam 7 Sep, 2010

    I just made this and both my hubby and I thought it came out great! I just read the comments and think that I will definetly put green onions in next time. I put a full teaspoon of chili flakes in as well so that it'll be just a bit spicy. This was so easy to make!

  • chefbarbi77 17 Aug, 2010

    I agree with a lot of the comments... green onions a must! It just gives it that authentic Thai flavor. I think I will double the sauce as well and maybe try a pinch of ginger too and a dash of onion powder. I'm glad the fish oil isn't included in this recipe, but a lot of people use that for this dish. I just never did like it. You can also use edamame(don't know if I spelled that right).. it's fab in this!!!

  • Wendyla 31 Mar, 2010

    this turned out delicious - I went for the full tsp of chili flakes to give it some bite. Also, instead of a regular onion, I chopped about 4 green onions (scallions) and sprinkled them on after I mixed the dressing and broccoli/red pepper mixture with the pasta, and sprinkled the whole thing with about 2 tsp. of toasted seasame seeds. Delcious hot and ate the leftovers cold........YUM!

  • EWjunk 16 Jan, 2010

    we really enjoyed this. I agree it serves 6. I added some grated ginger to the sauce because I love ginger

  • talarc 6 Jun, 2009

    i thought this was delicious, but i definitely think it serves 6 people, not 4. i will definitely be making this again!

  • shiloh78 11 Jan, 2009

    Oh my goodness! So delicious. I added one shredded, broiled chicken to this also.

  • janeset 24 Sep, 2008

    I love, love this dish!!! I use soba noodles and add shrimp or chicken. Yum!

  • Bistro 24 Sep, 2008

    I absolutly love this dish. Omit the peppers, add carrot ribbon and shirmp for something different.

  • kiltfire 24 Aug, 2008

    This was a joy to maken n n n n n n n n n n n n n and to eat! I recommend Lighter Sesame Noodles to beginners and adventurous chefs alike.

  • kiltfire 24 Aug, 2008

    This was a joy to maken n n n n n and to eat! I recommend Lighter Sesame Noodles to beginners and adventurous chefs alike.

  • bigbrains2000 30 Jul, 2008

    Yummy! Added chicken and doubled the sauce. Was good when made for dinner but omgosh was this delicious snacking right out of the fridge and the day after cold. Would be a really great dish to bring to a BBQ with or without meat.
    Will make again!

  • karaheald 7 Jun, 2008

    Easy and delicious, ate room temperature for dinner (yummy!), and even better the next day cold for lunch

  • mmalloy1 31 May, 2008

    This was an easy delicious meal. It is even great cold.

  • RunTMC 22 May, 2008

    This was quick and quite easy. I added some seasoned tofu cut into very small pieces and that really filled out the dish. It was great as leftovers right out of the fridge.

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