Spicy Peanut Butter Ramen

$0.83 recipe
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.87 from 74 votes
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Consider this a PSA rather than a recipe, because this idea is certainly not new. But if you don’t know about adding peanut butter to your instant ramen noodles, I’m here to tell you that it’s something you definitely need to try. This Spicy Peanut Butter Ramen is super quick, filling, and can be customized a hundred ways. So let me show you the basics and then you can make it your own!

Overhead view of a bowl of spicy peanut ramen in a bowl with lime wedges
Shown with lime wedges (optional, not required for full flavor)

I’m not sure who to credit for this brilliant idea, but adding a dollop of peanut butter to instant ramen is likely a simplified version of Dan Dan Noodles, a spicy Chinese noodle dish that combines Sichuan chiles, sesame paste, and peanuts. The chile-peanut flavor combo has been around for ages, and for good reason! It’s absolutely addictive. You can check out a couple of authentic Dan Dan Noodle recipes here: Omnivores Cookbook or The Woks of Life.

What Kind of Peanut Butter to Use

I highly suggest using natural-style peanut butter, which means it’s just ground up peanuts and maybe a little salt, no sugar, no added oils. The peanut flavor is much stronger with this type of peanut butter than it is with the more processed and heavily sugared varieties.

If you don’t have a natural-style peanut butter available, you may need to reduce the brown sugar listed in the recipe below to make up for the sugar that is already in the peanut butter.

Can I Make it Not Spicy?

The chili garlic sauce doesn’t just add heat, it also adds garlic and acidity, which round out the sauce. So, to make a non-spicy version of this recipe you can add those ingredients individually, by making something similar to this Peanut Lime Dressing instead.

What Else Can I Add to my Peanut Butter Ramen?

You can add all sorts of proteins or vegetables to your Spicy Peanut butter Ramen to make it new and interesting every time. Here are some ideas:

  • Cooked Chicken
  • Shrimp
  • Red bell pepper
  • Spinach
  • Lime
  • Baked tofu
  • Red onion
  • Shredded carrot
  • Snow peas
  • Edamame
  • Sesame seeds

Do I Need the Ramen Seasoning Packet?

The recipe below is designed to be made without the seasoning packet that comes with the ramen. If you prefer to use the seasoning packet, you will want to skip the soy sauce, which adds salt to the ramen in place of the seasoning packet.

Ramen noodles being lifted from the bowl with a fork
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Spicy Peanut Butter Ramen

4.87 from 74 votes
Adding peanut butter to your instant ramen is an easy way to upgrade this inexpensive comfort food with more flavor and protein.
Ramen noodles being lifted from the bowl with a fork
Servings 1
Prep 5 mins
Cook 5 mins
Total 10 mins

Ingredients

Instructions 

  • Combine the peanut butter, chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar in a bowl until it forms a smooth paste.
  • Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, take ¼ cup of the water and stir it into the peanut-chili paste until it forms a smooth, pourable sauce.
  • Add the ramen noodles (without seasoning packet) to the boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes, or just until the noodles are tender.
  • Drain the noodles, then return them to the pot with the heat turned off. Pour the peanut sauce over top and stir to combine. Top with sliced green onions and serve immediately.

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Video

Notes

*You can sub sriracha for the chili garlic sauce, if needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 621.8kcalCarbohydrates: 69.2gProtein: 17.8gFat: 30.3gSodium: 2675.4mgFiber: 4.9g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Overhead view of a bowl of spicy peanut butter ramen with a fork in the middle

How to Make Spicy Peanut Butter Ramen – Step by Step Photos

peanut butter and chili paste in a bowl

Begin by stirring together 2 Tbsp natural-style peanut butter, 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce (or sriracha), 1 Tbsp soy sauce, and 1 Tbsp brown sugar until it forms a smooth paste.

jar of chili garlic sauce

This is what the chili garlic sauce bottle looks like, if you want to look for it in the store. You can find this in most major grocery stores, in the international aisle. If you can’t find this, you can use sriracha.

Hot water being poured into the peanut paste

Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat for the ramen. Once it starts boiling, take ¼ cup of the boiling water and stir it into the peanut-chili paste, until it forms a smooth, pourable sauce.

Dry ramen noodles being added to a pot of boiling water

Then add the instant ramen noodles (without the seasoning packet) to the boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes or just until tender.

chili peanut sauce being poured over the drained ramen noodles

Drain the cooked noodles, then return them to the pot with the heat turned off. Pour the peanut sauce over the noodles and stir to combine.

finished spicy peanut butter ramen noodles in the pot

These noodles are definitely best when served immediately, so don’t let them sit around! Top with a sliced green onion and enjoy!

Front view of a bowl of spicy peanut butter ramen noodles with a fork

TRY THESE OTHER INSTANT RAMEN RECIPES:

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  1. I make this quick, cheap, simple, homey dish at least once a week, every week. I even get cravings for it! Thanks Beth!!!!!

  2. This was SOOOOOOO delicious!!! I questioned the ratios at first, but glad I followed through with them as written because it was ABSOLUTELY DIVINE! I paired some kimchi along side, and next time, I may add an egg on top for some extra protein. But it’s GREAT as is. So mouth watering!

  3. Just finished eating it. It was so good! Yummy! Added ground ginger. Thank you.

  4. I’ve made this recipe twice already and love it! I used 1 tbsp of crunchy peanut butter because 2 tbsp felt too much and omitted the brown sugar as I used Skippy. Went with sriracha + minced garlic with a little bit of fish sauce and sesame seeds. Not sure if I can go back to basic instant ramen now!

  5. This is my go-to no time, no energy meal. It’s super quick, can add garnish with whatever is in my fridge or none at all, and gives me something warm to eat that’s interesting if I don’t have the energy to *really* cook or just haven’t gone grocery shopping. I’ve even made it in a larger batch adding chicken and frozen veggies for some guests for a super last minute dinner party. It’s a big hit for a small amount of effort, time, and money. I’ll keep making it over and over again.

  6. I have been making some version of this since my broke freelance days. Still make it often, but with better ingredients. Example: poached shredded chicken breast instead of canned. Super thinly sliced radishes. Sliced hard-boiled (but softer yolks) eggs. Last time, I also had a good handful of broccoli slaw left in the bag. Try dry roasted peanuts as a topper. I prefer gochujang, but that is just me. This is a winner in both the budget category and in the clean-out-kitchen column as well. Whoever came up with this back in the day deserves high praise, and a free case of ramen. And thanks for passing it on!

  7. So much yum! Added some frozen veggies in with the noodles but other than that, made it as is. I would add 2 tsps instead of 2 tbsp next time as it was a little too I’m eating peanut butter and noodles rather than peanuty noodles.

    Will definitely make again!

  8. Really didn’t enjoy, just a personal taste. I’m sure it’s great if this is your taste

  9. So good and really easy. I didn’t have chili sauce, but used red hot and red pepper flakes. I also added a little ground ginger. Will definitely be a staple in our house!

  10. This is my go-to comfort food recipe for when I’m lazy, tired, or just don’t want to cook. I’ve made it more times than I can count. I cut the chili garlic sauce to 3/4 tbsp because a full tablespoon was a bit much for my taste buds. I also add a tiny splash of lime juice and it’s fantastic. My usual toppings are green onions, sesame seeds, and a handful of chopped peanuts. Tonight I tried it with zucchini noodles instead of ramen and it was just as tasty!