Sesame Peanut Noodles with Chicken & Zucchini Is a Dreamy Summer Dinner Idea

In this creamy peanut noodle recipe, we swapped half the pasta for zucchini noodles to reduce the carbs and calories, and bump up the vegetables. Zucchini noodles can be found in the prepped vegetable section of your grocery store, or grab your spiralizer and make them from scratch. Two medium or one large zucchini should give you 6 cups.

a recipe photo Sesame Peanut Noodles with Chicken & Zucchini
Photo: Laura Kanya & Breana Killeen
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins

How We Made This Diabetes Appropriate

1. The benefits to eating vegetables are many, from helping to regulate blood sugar to reducing your risk of heart disease. (Check out the 10 Best Vegetables for Diabetes here.) Luckily, filling up your plate with veggies is easy with noodle-based dishes like this one. We swapped out some of the pasta in favor of zucchini noodles, which deliver a mild flavor and a similar texture to noodles. This stealthy technique keeps the serving size generous while keeping the carbs in check. Plus you'll be working toward the 2 to 4 cups of daily vegetable servings recommended for most Americans (the amount varies by age and sex).

2. We swapped out regular soy sauce for reduced-sodium soy sauce, which helps cut back on sodium. When combined with other flavors like toasted sesame oil, ginger and garlic, you'll hardly register the difference. If you're watching your sodium and want to decrease it even further, opt for no-salt-added natural peanut butter.

Tips from the Test Kitchen

I have some leftover cooked chicken. Can I use that instead?

Absolutely. This dish is great if you have leftovers. Be aware however that adding leftover chicken that's been salted, or rotisserie chicken, can add sodium to the dish.

Can I spiralize my own zucchini?

Yes! You'll need about 6 cups, which is approximately 2 medium or 1 large.

My child has a peanut allergy. Can I substitute something else in place of the peanut butter?

Other nut butters, such as almond or cashew, will also work. If all nuts are out, opt for tahini or sun butter.

What's the best way to grate garlic and ginger?

The fine teeth of a good microplane grater do the best job at grating garlic and ginger. If you don't have a microplane, finely chopping or mincing is a good alternative.

Can I substitute ground ginger or ginger paste for the fresh ginger?

Yes. While fresh ginger delivers the best flavor, ginger paste and ground ginger can be used in its place. If you're using ground ginger, use just 1/2 teaspoon to avoid overwhelming the dish.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes. This dish can be enjoyed warm or cold. Hold it for 1 day in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave if desired.

How can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Thick rice noodles, like those used for pad thai, will work in place of the whole-wheat pasta. Also, be sure to swap out the soy sauce for tamari.


  • 1 pound chicken tenders

  • 4 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti

  • 2 10-ounce packages spiralized zucchini noodles (about 6 cups)

  • ½ cup smooth natural peanut butter

  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • 2 teaspoons grated garlic

  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger

  • ½ - 1 teaspoon chile-garlic sauce or Sriracha

  • Sesame seeds and sliced scallions for garnish (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add chicken and spaghetti; cook, stirring occasionally, until the spaghetti is tender and the chicken is just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board. Add zucchini noodles to the pot; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Drain the zucchini noodles and spaghetti in a colander.

  2. Meanwhile, whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and chile-garlic sauce (or Sriracha) to taste in a large bowl.

  3. Shred the chicken with 2 forks or chop into bite-size pieces. Add the chicken, spaghetti and zucchini noodles to the sauce; toss until well combined. Serve topped with sesame seeds and scallions, if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

486 Calories
22g Fat
33g Carbs
40g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 1¾ cups
Calories 486
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 40g 80%
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 56mg 19%
Vitamin A 284IU 6%
Vitamin C 26mg 29%
Vitamin E 1mg 4%
Folate 54mcg 14%
Vitamin K 7mcg 6%
Sodium 635mg 28%
Calcium 34mg 3%
Iron 3mg 17%
Magnesium 62mg 15%
Potassium 501mg 11%
Zinc 1mg 9%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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