This amazing pasta and peanut sauce is flavored with ginger, garlic, and sesame oil and is much lower in fat than comparable sauces.
When my family and I go on vacation, we either camp with our Coleman stove or stay in cabins or guest houses with kitchens so that we can prepare our meals and not have to worry about finding vegan food in remote places. But cooking can be tricky when we’re not in our own kitchen.
When we’re camping it’s obvious: We plan each meal exactly and bring every pot, utensil, and ingredient we’ll need to make each meal.
But staying at a cabin that promises a “fully outfitted kitchen” is always a gamble. Sometimes we’ve found little more than 4 plates and two pots, a tiny one and a huge one. Even the best outfitted rental kitchens are missing something, which is why I always try to come up with the simplest meals to cook on vacation, meals without too many ingredients to carry with us and that don’t use any special equipment.
Our standard easy meal while traveling is spaghetti with store-bought sauce. The three of us can eat 8 ounces of pasta and one jar of spaghetti sauce at one meal (along with steamed vegetables). This time, I decided to build off of that meal and save time and ingredients by cooking a full pound of spaghetti and saving half of it for a second night’s meal.
Since we always travel with a jar of peanut butter, it made sense to make a peanut sauce for the second pasta meal, using the soy sauce and cider vinegar I found in the pantry of the guest house. I kept the spicing simple, using only the basics that we’d brought with us or picked up at a grocery store along the way. Though simple, this turned out to be delicious!
We ate this in a garden filled with irises, dianthus, columbine, poppies, and other flowers I couldn’t recognize, gazing off into mountains painted red by the sunset. Nothing ever tasted so good!
Here’s another version with zucchini, mushrooms, bok choy, and edamame. Use any vegetables you like!
Pasta and Vegetables with Peanut Sauce
- 8 ounces pasta cooked
- 1/2 bunch broccoli cut into florets and stems peeled and sliced
- 14 baby carrots halved lengthwise
- 2 zucchini halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil (optional or to taste)
- 2-3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger root minced
- 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (I used chunky because that’s what we had)
- 1/2-3/4 cup hot water
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (replace with more water if you’re salt-free)
- 2 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2-4 green onions sliced
- Prepare the pasta and keep it warm. If you’re using pre-cooked pasta, bring it to room temperature.
- Begin steaming the broccoli and carrots. After a few minutes, or when the broccoli begins to turn bright green, add the zucchini and steam until all vegetables are tender but still crisp. The time will vary depending on the method of steaming you use, so just watch them carefully and don’t let them over-cook.
- While the vegetables are steaming, heat the sesame oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the peanut butter, and cook, stirring, until it is heated through. Slowly stir in the hot water and add soy sauce, vinegar, and cayenne. Stir until it is a smooth mixture, adding more water if it is too thick. Then add the cooked pasta and toss to coat.
- Once the vegetables are steamed, add them to the pasta and sauce. Mix well and serve sprinkled with chopped green onions.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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Wendy HolderDecember 7, 2009 at 2:18 pm
This probably the best pasta recipe I've ever made and enjoyed. Thanks for have such a helpful blog. My wife and I are both trying to eat a low fat vegan diet. Thanks
TiffanieApril 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm
This is hands down the best recipe I have encountered while going vegan. My husband and I decided to go vegan for one month to just get us out of our comfort zones and trying new things. That was four months ago and we still have the dish at least twice a month. Thank you for sharing your yummy recipes with us.
nicoleJuly 23, 2010 at 10:07 am
Hi Susan, I was just wondering if there is any substitution for the sesame oil seeing as I don’t have any around. If not, I can always buy some, but I would like to make use of what’s currently in my cupboard if possible. Thanks!
SusanVJuly 23, 2010 at 10:09 am
Tastewise, there’s not really any substitute for sesame oil. It gives a distinctive flavor that even sesame seeds themselves don’t contribute. You can just leave it out, and the dish will still be edible, but it will be missing a little something.
nicoleAugust 3, 2010 at 7:16 pm
Hello again..just wanted to say that I got some sesame oil and fixed this for dinner tonight, and the results were absolutely delicious! My sauce happened to turn out a little on the “liquidy” side though, so next time I might cut back on the hot water. I did use fresh ground peanut butter too, (which is obviously more on the chunky side), so I was wondering if that had any effect on the consistency of the sauce. Susan, what was the consistency of your sauce like? Either way the flavors were beyond tasty. I’ll definitely be repeating this recipe many times in the future. 🙂
Kristie MSeptember 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm
Thanks so much for the great recipe! It was so easy and even my 5 yr old nephew loved it! I have made 2 recipes from your site so far and both were awesome, even my I hate vegan food husband liked them. I will be back to make more!
thehauserfamilyFebruary 19, 2011 at 1:22 pm
It was a hit! Hubby and all 5 kids ate it! We will be eating this again soon!
MadelineJune 13, 2011 at 10:26 am
I get lazy and buy the Peanut Cilantro dressing from Trader Joe instead of making the sauce.. but the rest of the recipe lends itself! The dressing at TJ’s is low fat too!!!!! YUM! a great summer meal–I really enjoy your recipes!
AmyJune 13, 2011 at 10:46 am
I can’t wait to try this. i think I will put it in my meal plan for tomorrow!
NancyJune 13, 2011 at 11:47 am
I made this tonight and it was fantastic! I used brown rice pasta and it was perfect! Hit the spot. Thanks for all your posts.
Patricia BaughmanJune 22, 2011 at 6:34 pm
This was very good. I chopped up some cilantro and added it after it was cooked.
RadonnaMay 20, 2012 at 9:49 am
I make a similar dish but use no oil sautéed onion and multi-coloured bell peppers. I add some heat with red pepper flakes and a little sweetness with stevia. Probably maple syrup can be used for those that don’t like sweeteners. It tastes like a Thai dish.
BobbiAugust 2, 2012 at 10:43 am
We make this probably every two weeks and the kids (ages 13 and 15) LOVE it! They know what it is right when they’re coming downstairs because of the delicious smell that goes down the hall and up the stairs. Mmmmm! GREAT recipe! 😀
LindaAugust 7, 2012 at 7:09 pm
This was really good, and came together quickly. Used brown rice pasta (trying to decrease gluten) added PB2 mixed with water (amazing stuff), then added even more veggies (baby bok choy, snow peas & mushrooms). This will be a regular at our house!
MNAugust 21, 2012 at 4:56 pm
Love this recipe, Susan! I make it with reduced-sodium soy sauce which reduces the sodium content somewhat. I don’t think it affects the flavor any.
ShellyJanuary 27, 2013 at 8:27 pm
We made this in my home tonight for dinner and we were blown away. So simple and so, so, good. I got inspired to make my own dish like this after eating a frozen one last night, which I thought was pretty good. This version blew that one out of the water. Wow. =-)
Second recipe from this website that was a complete success. Very happy to have found your blog. You’re like some sort of a low fat vegan superhero, and I appreciate you!
LissaApril 26, 2013 at 2:55 am
Love this one….for me I make it with a little extra peanut butter as a rare creamy treat. Perfect for a late night fat Friday in my pajamas.
JessicaMay 3, 2013 at 8:01 pm
Susan, this recipe has become one of our family faves as well! Wondering if you have heard of PB2? I just picked up a sample yesterday and haven’t tried it yet, but I’m thinking it could work in this recipe and many others. We try to eliminate fat in almost every recipe and I am excited to try it. The website is bellplantation.com. I would love to hear what you think!
Susan VoisinMay 3, 2013 at 8:11 pm
Jessica, I don’t care for PB2 because it contains sugar. I’m less opposed to natural fat in peanuts and other nuts than to added sugar, so when I use peanut butter, I just use as little as I can of it.
cJune 10, 2013 at 4:54 pm
made this tonight with soba noodles and added extra sesame oil at the end… it was so delicious! thanks!
SallyJune 10, 2013 at 8:21 pm
I made this tonight for the first time. Delicious! My husband and I both loved it. This is the first recipe I’ve ever tried of yours (I’m newly vegan) and it for sure won’t be the last! Thanks!
KrazekatladyJune 10, 2013 at 8:55 pm
I am so glad you posted this recipe on Facebook. I made it today and my husband and I both loved it. I made a few changes to the recipe, I used rice noodles for the pasta and used rice vinegar instead of cider vinegar. The only reason for the swaps were to use what I had on hand. It tasted great 🙂 Thanks again for sharing.
waldrippApril 18, 2014 at 11:54 am
This was really tasty! I used rotini and it absorbed most of the sauce but that was ok with me. The taste of the veggies really came through. I like the simple seasonings, too. I’ll be making this again, and trying some of the suggestions for additional vegetables. Have you tried it with other butters besides peanut?
LarissaMay 15, 2014 at 3:49 pm
I have been making your recipes for the last few weeks since I stumbled upon your blog. I have to say, all of them have been FANTASTIC so far! Even my meat-loving husband has been raving about them each night. 🙂 This “pasta and veggies with peanut sauce” has been the biggest hit so far. We also enjoyed the “Southwestern Split Pea Soup,” “Ridiculously Easy Vegetable Gumbo,” and “Nava’s Hearty Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie.” I am looking forward to trying more of your recipes each day! You have a serious talent- keep it up!