Entertainment, Health and Lifestyle

A Simple, Budget-Friendly Meal the Whole Family Will Love

Broke till payday? No worries when you know how to make Peanut Sauce Noodles — only three ingredients! What a fantastic, quick, anytime meal — kid-friendly, too. Even a fifth grader could get this meal on the table (with supervision).

First, I am going to give you the complete instructions as I would tell you over the phone. Then I will follow with the recipe as you would find a cookbook. Let’s get cooking!

Make sure you have these three ingredients: peanut butter, soy sauce, noodles.

Get a pan of water boiling on the stovetop, add the noodles, and cook for about seven minutes, or the amount of time in the package instructions.

In the meantime, get out another small pan. Place 1/4 cup peanut butter and 1/4 cup soy sauce in the pan over medium heat and stir well until incorporated. Add 1/4 cup of the water you’ve cooked the pasta in. Keep stirring until nice and smooth. (If you’ve used chunky-style peanut butter, you’ll still have the peanut chunks — perfect!)

Drain the pasta and put it back into the empty pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta. Stir. Serve to your hungry people.

That’s the basic recipe, and it is so good! And I can almost see all those hands in the air. Here are your answers:

This recipe multiples well — use equal parts peanut butter, soy sauce and water for the sauce, plus the amount of noodles desired.

While spaghetti, fettuccine or linguine are ideal, any pasta shape will do — even ramen noodles sans the spice packet (just check the cooking time as it may be much shorter with ramen noodles).

Stir-Fried Peanut Sauce Noodles: Cook the noodles and make the sauce (add red pepper flakes if you dare) and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet or wok. Add garlic and onion, then stir for 30 seconds. Add chicken, shrimp, or protein you have on hand. Stir. Add carrot and/or cabbage and cook until it starts to wilt. Add cooked noodles, bean sprouts (if you have them) and the prepared sauce. Toss for a couple of minutes or until noodles are well coated. This is not exact science, just a way to upscale!

Another idea: Noodles, peanut butter and Sriracha (instead of water) basically feels like poor man’s Pad Thai. Even better if you have an egg to put in.

Peanut butter: Use any style you have on hand — smooth, chunky or natural style (stirred well before adding).

Soy sauce: There are so many options here, but the best is the one you have in your pantry. You can certainly substitute soy sauce with Tamari or liquid aminos.

Microwave: You can prepare the sauce in the microwave; just make sure you check every minute or so. You’re actually melting the peanut butter into the soy sauce, and then stirring in the pasta water.



1/4 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup pasta water

8 ounces dry pasta


Cook the pasta.

Make the sauce by combining peanut butter, soy sauce and pasta water over medium heat and stirring until smooth.

Drain the pasta.

Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to coat.

Serves four, more or less.


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Mary Hunt

Mary invites you to visit her at EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/contact/, "Ask Mary." Tips can be submitted at tips.everydaycheapskate.com/ . This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

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