A quick dinner full of spicy, Thai flavor and filled with the best vegetables!
A few weeks ago, I visited a dear friend in British Columbia for a fun girls’ week. Natalie is one of my absolute for besties – for life, I’m convinced. She and I were roommates in Costa Rica for a semester. She flew across the continent to be a bridesmaid in my wedding. And she’s always worked hard to keep in touch. Yep, Natalie’s a keeper.
Natalie and her family are also foodies! They’re adorable as they all work in the kitchen to put together a dinner. Her family provided me an abundance of food inspiration over the week – it was awesome! This is one of the dishes they made for me and, oh boy, what a tasty dish!! I immediately was asking for the recipe and planned on making it as soon as I got home.
It’s filled with delicious vegetables like snap peas, cauliflower, carrots, and mushrooms. Include a chicken breast for extra protein (or leave it out to make it vegetarian)! Served on top of any grain of your choice! I used whole wheat thin spaghetti but you could also make it gluten-free with rice pasta, quinoa, or brown rice. A million customization options are available to you in this dish – go for what suits your tastes and dietary needs.
The whole thing is tossed in a spicy peanut sauce. It’s made of all sorts of yumminess like red curry paste, red pepper flakes, and peanut butter. Every time I’ve made this, I can’t help dipping a spare snap pea or two (or ten) in the sauce while the rest cooks. It just tastes SO GOOD. It’s spicy, it’s rich, it’s peanut-y, and it’s amazing.
One quick note: I am not a Thai food expert. In fact, I’m not even really a Thai food novice. While these flavors and ingredients are found in Thai cuisine, it is just my take on a delicious dish. Is this an authentic Thai dish they would serve in Thailand? No, no, probably not exactly. Is it still amazing, like eat-twice-as-much-as-you-should amazing? YES. (I added this because I respect other cultures and cuisines so much and I do not want to claim authenticity where there may not be.)
Now, on to the recipe!! The dish is addicting. The ingredients are prime. And you may end up just drinking the sauce straight from the bowl! Enjoy!
Chicken Stir Fry with Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce
For the sauce:
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
3 Tablespoons red curry paste
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons red pepper flakes
For the stir-fry:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium white onion, sliced
1 or 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 size pieces
24 ounces frozen mixed vegetables (like a stir fry starter mix), thawed
10 ounces whole wheat thin spaghetti
chopped cilantro, salted peanuts, or lime wedges
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Stir together all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and sauté until completely cooked through, to 165 degrees. Carefully remove the chicken and place in a separate bowl for now.
- Add the vegetables to the skillet and sauté until warmed, starting to soften, but still somewhat crisp. This will take around 8-10 minutes, depending on your vegetable mix.
- Add the chicken to the skillet and add the sauce. Reserve 1/2 cup of the sauce, if a less spicy dish is desired. Stir together and heat until warmed, about 3-4 minutes.
- Serve the stir fry over the pasta and garnish, as desired.
Notes: You can also serve this gluten-free with rice pasta, brown rice, or quinoa.
Updated Notes: I tried this with two spiralized zucchinis, lightly sautéed and it was wonderful – great gluten-free option! I also swapped out the brown sugar in the sauce for 2 Tablespoons honey for a refined sugar-free version and I barely noticed a difference – highly recommended!
If you try these, I’d love to see the result! Tag your kitchen creations with #mesacookingco so I can admire your beautiful work!
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