A couple months ago, Bryan and I decided to give cutting back on carbs from our diets a try. The upside of being late to the “low-carb” party is that there are a lot of resources on reducing carb intake available. After doing some research, we’ve agreed on starting slow, changing one thing at a time is the best approach for us. Together, we came up with a list of small, achievable goals for reducing carbs in our diet. At the top of the list is eating less bread and pasta. (Growing up, we ate rice on a daily basis as main source of energy, we are not ready to give it up just yet).
For the last couple of years, if you follow any food bloggers online, you have probably heard of zucchini pasta or zucchini noodles. It’s a fun and delicious way to eat zucchini and also, a great alternative to pasta. The other day, I was having a pasta craving but I had to follow the “goal” we set for each other. Naturally, making zucchini noodles seems like a great idea.
About this recipe:
I have made this dish a couple times before and after several trials on the sauce, I settled with this one. The creamy peanut sauce inspired by thai cuisine gives the zucchini noodles a fresh yet balanced flavor and a gorgeous color similar to tomato sauce. If you are a pasta lover and need a low-carb version, this might hit the spot!
How do I turn a zucchini into noodles? This is probably the first question that came to mind if you decide to try this recipe. There are many different ways to make zucchini noodles actually, depending on which tool you use. A vegetable spiralizer is by far my favorite tool! It works fast and requires the least amount of effort compared to a knife or a julienne peeler. I highly recommend.
The sauce I used for this dish is similar to the thai peanut sauce. Typically cilantro is added into the thai peanut sauce. For this recipe, I choose to go with fresh basil leaves. It’s sweet and fresh fragrant, is a wonderful addition to the overall flavor. Another difference between my home-made sauce and the traditional thai peanut sauce is the use of paprika over chili flakes. Paprika helps to liven up this dish with a appealing bright red color. Together with the texture of the zucchini noodles, this creamy peanut sauce are the essence of this dish.
I hope you enjoy making this creamy peanut chicken zucchini pasta recipe. Thank you for stopping by and see you next time!
- 1 pound chicken breast or boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch bite-size cubes
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons cooking wine
- 4 medium zucchini
- Creamy pasta sauce:
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon grated garlic
- 1 lime, juiced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 16 fresh basil leaves, slice into long-thin strips (chiffonade)
- a handful of roasted and chopped peanuts
- fresh basil leaves
- lime wedge or slice
- Combine grate ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, peanut butter, sugar, paprika and sliced fresh basil leaves in a medium-size bowl, mix well and set aside.
- Cut the zucchini into noodles or "spaghetti" with a vegetable spiralizer.
- Cut the chicken into 1-inch bite-size pieces.
- Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat until shimmering, add the chicken to the pan, cook 5 minutes or until no longer pink, toss in salt, pepper and cooking wine, continue cooking for another 2 minutes, stir to mix well.
- Push the chicken to the side of the pan, add zucchini noodles and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour the sauce over the noodles and cook for 3-4 minutes until the noodles are tender but lightly crunchy, toss the noodles with pasta tongs while cooking to make sure the sauce is spread evenly.
- Transfer the noodles and chicken to a plate with pasta tongs.
- Pour the sauce over the zucchini noodles and chicken.
- Garnish with fresh basil leaves, lime wedges, roasted peanuts and serve immediately.