Spicy Peanut Butter Ramen Noodles

$0.83 recipe
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.87 from 96 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. I love to upgrade ramen noodles and these Spicy Peanut Butter Ramen Noodles might be my favorite so far! They’re 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, and 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 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 Noodles?

You can add all sorts of proteins or vegetables to your Spicy Peanut butter Ramen Noodles 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 noodles instead of the seasoning packet.

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

4.87 from 96 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 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Total 10 minutes

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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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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Video

Overhead view of a bowl of spicy peanut butter ramen with a fork in the middle

How to Make Spicy Peanut Butter Ramen Noodles – 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. Quick, easy, and tasty. If you don’t like it sweet, add less brown sugar. I jazzed it up with sautéed onions, garlic, and carrots. Finished it with sesame seeds and peanuts with a squeeze of lime juice… delicious.

  2. This recipe is great, and even better with a few tweaks. I like to sauté some vegetables first – today asparagus, carrots, and red pepper – and add them back in at the end. I add a little ginger paste and sesame oil to the sauce, throw in some leftover cooked chicken, and some cilantro on top. So delicious.

  3. This recipe is great, and even better with a few tweaks. I like to sauté some vegetables first – today asparagus, carrots, and red pepper – and add them back in at the end. I add a little ginger paste and sesame oil to the sauce, throw in some leftover cooked chicken, and some cilantro on top. So delicious.

  4. I love all things Budget bytes and these were delicious BUT soupy! Odd. I wish I’d used 2 packs of ramen. Next time I will.
    Thanks for another great recipe!

  5. I’ve made this countless times, it’s such a delicious, quick, cheap meal. I use about half the brown sugar and JIF peanut butter (don’t judge lol) and it’s great. Especially if you’re a peanut butter lover, give this a shot!

  6. My family and I LOVE this recipe! I have used your website as a cooking/recipe source for years, I do have a request. . . could you add a “cooking mode” feature? I’ve starting seeing it be a part of other sites and find it incredibly useful. Thank you for considering this addition.

  7. Made this as a quick, easy lunch while I’m sick. Added more spice to it because it’s helping ease the congestion. This is such a great comfort food and simple to make.

  8. Super tasty! I had some ramen from the co-op that was definitely smaller than the standard grocery store ramen, and my noodles were extra saucy. I am going to buy a stash of ramen from the dollar store to keep on hand so I can make these often. I added a dash of rice vinegar for acid, they were excellent!