A delicious low-calorie peanut sauce recipe with ginger, garlic, sesame, lime, and a little heat! Pour this over spiralized summer squash noodles for a refreshing cold salad with staying power.
I have this mounting fear that one day I’ll have a child and that child will have a peanut allergy. What will I do? How will I relate to my own children if they don’t know what it means to wait all year for Reese’s Easter eggs? Answer me that.
It’s something that I can’t think about for too long. For now, we make peanut noodles.
Healthy peanut noodles, so that we can enjoy more peanut butter. [pray for my children]
The challenge in making a healthy peanut noodle recipe is that the peanut butter alone is so rich (high in calories) that it leaves little room to spare for noodles. And noodles? Ain’t doin’ us any favors. You can go through the whole process, lightening and tweaking, and still end up with something equivalent to a Big Mac. Delicious, but frustrating if you’re trying to be mindful.
We’ve got to get our flavor priorities straight. First priority: peanut butter. Since peanut butter is the main flavor here, I didn’t skimp. Instead, I reduced the amount of added oil and sugar that most traditional recipes call for, and honestly didn’t miss them at all—not in texture or flavor. The high fat content in peanut butter makes for a smooth, slick enough sauce. Any more oil would just be a means to thin the sauce without watering it down. As for sugar—ginger adds a good amount of natural sweetness, so I only added a teaspoon of brown sugar.
The second big swap was using spiralized summer squash in place of pasta—saving hundreds of calories and really letting the peanut sauce shine. It’s the best way to use veggie noodles, I think: when a rich sauce just needs a lighter base.
For the summer squash noodles, I picked up a super cheap Vegetti vegetable spiralizer for under $15 because I wasn’t too sure I’d love spiralizing and wanted to try out something fairly low-risk. It’s small and easy to clean, and certainly gets the job done. Now that I know I love spiralizing, though, I really want to buy my friend Ali’s Inspiralizer. With that, I’d be able to make four different shapes of noodles and it’s just an all-around better machine.
Friends, I call this a success. The peanut sauce is packed with flavor and the raw veggies go a long way to fill you. For a cold salad, this is surprisingly hearty. If you’re a peanut sauce fan, this one hits every taste bud in just the right way – from salty to sweet to umami and back again. It’s rich and still bright and zesty. You won’t miss the pasta and you most definitely won’t miss the calories.
Light and Healthy Peanut Sauce Noodles Under 275 Calories
- 1 inch piece ginger peeled
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/3 cup natural creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice juice of half a lime
- 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons water room temperature, add them 2 TBSP at a time until desired consistency
- 3 summer squash peeled and spiralized (or zucchini)
- 2 large carrots grated
- ½ large seedless cucumber chopped
- 4 scallions chopped
- ¼ cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
- Make the peanut sauce: In a food processor or blender, combine the ginger, garlic, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, Sriracha, sesame oil, and 3 tablespoons room temperature water. Pulse until smooth, adding 1 more tablespoon of water if needed to give the sauce a pourable, silky consistency. *Do not add more than 4 tablespoons of water or the sauce will be too thin.
- In a large bowl, combine the summer squash, carrots, cucumber, and scallions. Pour the peanut sauce on top and toss well to coat all of the squash noodles and veggies. Divide the salad among 4 bowls and sprinkle the top of each with 1 tablespoon of chopped peanuts.
This looks scrumptious!!! Beautiful photography and delicious recipe! These two things along with your fluid writing, is just amazing! I can’t wait to try this but have one question…could PB2 be used in place of the peanut butter? Now. I know you have cut out fat in this due to the fat in peanut butter. Think it could have the same creamy consistency? Or would the fat be missed?
Love all the new writings and delicious recipes. You are greatly appreciated by me and many others.
Thank you so much Anne!! Wow.
I think peanut butter is key here, so keep it in place. But that said, I haven’t worked with PB2, so if someone has, let me know!
Hi Anne and Andie! I have PB2 at home, and will try this recipe out both ways and report back!!! :) This looks fantastic. I LOVE the thai peanut salads at my local favorite Thai restaurant, but I’m sure wont miss the calories (or the price!!)
Looks so great! I can’t wait to try it, love the gorgeous pictures
Looks delicious! What brand spiralizer do you use? I have been looking for a good one, that is also small and doesn’t take up much kitchen space. The one pictured above looks perfect.
Oh good question! I just added a note in the post! I used a Vegetti–it’s pretty cheap and nothing fancy, but it works well for what I need! It allows you to choose between making thin or thick noodles, which is nice. I picked mine up at Target, I think, for like $14.99, but you can also get them at Bed, Bath & Beyond and I’ve even seen them at the grocery store. The link in the post is for Amazon and it’s only like $11.
Thank you :)
I love peanut sauces but it is a little scary how rich they can be – thanks for creating a lighter version! My brother is allergic to peanuts, so it was only after he went off to college that we started making peanut dishes…we’ve been making up for lost time ever since! He sometimes makes the same dishes with almond or cashew butter, though, and likes them quite a lot.
I have to admit–I do love almond butter and went through a real almond butter and jelly phase. I’ve even made almond butter dressings that I like a lot! The only thing about almond butter is that it’s a little warmer and sweeter than peanut butter so it doesn’t quite lend to the savory as well for me. But maybe I’m just a weirdo.
Thanks CakePants :) (awesome name!)
Do you mean summer squash, instead of spaghetti squash? otherwise, i’m very confused!
Oops, I just saw it has it listed correctly in the actual recipe!
Ah yes I mean summer squash! I just edited the post. Haha I always mix those up when typing for some reason. Thanks for the catch!
I am so glad you are posting recipes again. I have tried many of your recipes (old and new!) and love when your blog shows up on my Feedly. Also, when I saw the IG picture/story of Daniel, I cried (it was so sweet!) and showed it to everyone I know. I am so, so happy for you and your continued success.
Oh my gosh thank you so much, Olivia! That’s so sweet! I’m really, really happy : )
Andie, LOVE the looks of this recipe. Do you know what the protein content is for a serving? Side note: I’m a couple of chapters into your book. Relating to it all so, so much – a little painful to realize that with some of it, it’s as if I could be reading a book about my own life but I know working through all of that will be worth it on my journey. Thank you!!
Hi Kathryn! Thank you! Protein is 11g per serving, which is pretty good considering there’s no added protein source besides peanut butter and peanuts. Full Nutrition Information: Calories 272, Fat 17g, Carb 20g, Fiber 6g, Sugars 8g, Protein 11g
And thank you so much about the book. It’s amazing to me how similar so many of our journeys are. We all struggle so much with so many of the same themes in life, and while it’s hard and sad on one hand, it’s also nice to know we have friends for the ride, isn’t it?
Wishing you strength :)
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HI Andie, I am with you on the peanut butter, love it! That and hot sauce so your talking my language here. With all the summer veggies coming in this is perfect, thank you so much!I have to tell you, anytime I am feeling really low and thinking about eating something not so good ( did I just type that? ) I look at your book. I love it, bought it right away and keep it right here by me. Thanks again for sharing!
Pam, this is so kind. Thank you. Thank you so much xo
I’m always here.
ummm yes! It’s hard to go wrong with these ingredients (ginger, garlic, soy, sesame oil) together, but I’ve usually done something with tahini and not PB. I’ll try this soon! But, pssst: I’m probably gonna eat it with real pasta. Don’t judge ;)
Nooo judgment on the real pasta swap :) We all gotta do what we gotta do xo
I want a bowl of this for a late night snack right now! I’ve never actually tried spiralizing veggies and i think it’s about time…
Thanks, friend! You’ve got to try spiralizing. I was hesitant, too, but then I just bought a Vegetti and that was that. I’m kinda hooked :)
The recipe looks amazing! Just to let you know, this recipe and the last one did not seem to want to print correctly, not sure why.
Oh no! Question–have you tried updating your browser? It seems to me that Chrome, Firefox, and Safari work with updated browsers. I’ll have my developer look into it! Thanks for letting me know!
This recipe was FABULOUS!! Such yummy flavors with just a hint of sweet and spicy. I left out the cucumber and added an extra zuccini.
Ah this is so great to hear! Thank you for making it, Andrea! YOU, my friend, have the best name :)
Great common sense here. Wish I’d thhguot of that.
This recipe is AMAZING!! I love a nice healthy dish that makes me feel like I’m indulging. The peanut sauce is to die for, thank you so much!! I knew when I saw you post this that I had to try it and I finally had an excuse to use my sprializer!
Thank you Caitlin! I’m so so happy you loved it!
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This was delicious! I didn’t think my husband would like it as he does not like squash, but he added some roasted chicken we had in the fridge and absolutely loved it…I had fun making the squash noodles for the first time and the peanut sauce was fab! Chicken Marsala tonight:)))) XOXOXOXO
A-mazing Carol! Thank you for another day-brightening report :)
With both of my grandchildren allergic to peanuts and tree nuts my daughter and I wsed sunflower butter with great success in most recipes. I’ll be trying this one and will let you know. Just discovered the Vegetti this summer and am having fun making zuchinni noodles.
Oooo let me know how it works with Sunbutter! I’ve never tried! xo
Hey Andie! First off, I just want to say you have been an absolute inspiration to me. I have read your blog for about 3 years now and whenever I find myself a little down and out, or needing a recharge I always turn to your site to help pick me up. Whether it’s just to be cheered up with one of your hilarious posts, or try a new recipe, or get the motivation to get an extra workout in that week because you have shown us all it’s not easy but it’s do-ABLE if we stick with it! I just ordered your book and can’t wait for it to arrive!
Back to food, the photography in this post is absolutely tantalizing and you inspired me to buy a vegetable spiralizer “do-hikie”! I have no idea what I’m doing with it and it’s been sitting in my drawer because I’m a little scared to use it. I’ve even bought multiple packages of zucchini and keep roasting them because I’m too “weak sauce” to follow your recipe! I’m happy to say I’m jumping into the fire this Sunday and have all the fixings to give this a go! Thanks again for the courage and fun posts to keep me on my toes…..also, if you have second I’d love any feedback you have on my new blog that was inspired by all your stories over the years! All my best….Jen @ http://www.lifelovepursuitfoodhappiness.com
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I made this sauce last night and it is amazing!!! I read so so so many blogs and see so many recipes I want to try, but normally end up going back to the same few things. In 2016 I want to try more new meals, make healthy eating feel fun and satisfying, not like a chore. But now I just want to make this sauce over and over again. I had it warmed up over tofu noodles and carrots, zucchini, broccoli, peppers, and sugar snap peas. Incredible! Thanks Andie, and congrats belatedly on your engagement!
Ali! Thank you so much!! I’m so happy to hear it :)
I love peanutty sauces. This can be even less with using PB2 (powered peanut butter). It’s awesome! Thank you.
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