Main Course/ Recipes

Chicken and Noodles in Spicy Peanut Coconut Broth

Hey there!

I get asked all the time how I come up with the recipes I post on the blog. Many times the recipes you see here are recreations of restaurant meals I loved, childhood favorites my mom used to make, or adaptations of recipes I see in magazines or cookbooks. Sometimes I’ll just see something a photo of a meal somewhere that really strikes me then I’ll sit down with pen and paper and write what I think is in it…then I’ll test it out—adding or subtracting ingredients as I taste through each step. Then I’ll usually test it again.Β  Then I’ll blog about it if it’s a winner! Well, the other night I was reading in bed (just started this book and cannot put it down!) and the main character of my book mentioned some sort of spicy peanut sauce.

Guys, it was ten o’clock at night and FOR THE LIFE OF ME I couldn’t stop thinking about that spicy peanut sauce. Does that ever happen to anyone else?

Well, I wasn’t about to get up and cook then (I probably would have but had already reached my dishwashing max for the day), so I grabbed my little notebook I keep next to my bed for this very reason, and started brainstorming ingredients in this fictional spicy peanut sauce.

I fell asleep on my notebook that night and the next morning, whipped into action. After a gallon of coffee, of course.

I wanted something soupy, but not a soup. Thinner than a “sauce” though! And creamy…definitely creamy. Enter this spicy peanut coconut broth.

I could seriously drink this with a straw—it’s that good.

Think coconut milk, red Thai curry paste, chicken broth, fish sauce, peanut butter, fresh ginger and a pinch of sugar to balance everything out. When it was all taste-tested to perfection, scribbled down in my notebook and covered with an entire forest of cilantro, I scooped everything into a large Tupperware container and drove 50 miles with it in the passenger seat to have for Adam and my dinner that evening…

Guys, I developed the recipe to serve four but we totally ate the entire thing ourselves while watching 3 1/2 hours of Downton Abbey (my first time—I loved it!!).

It happens.

Because of that, I can’t speak to how leftovers are. You might need to add a little more broth the next day because the noodles will soak most of it up overnight in the fridge.

To make a vegetarian version, just sub the chicken for more veggies (cooked sweet potato chunks, bok choy, carrots, celery…), the chicken broth for vegetable broth and leave the fish sauce out.

Don’t forget the straws spoons for extreme sauce slurping power!

Chicken and Noodles in Spicy Peanut Coconut Broth

serves 2,3 or 4

Print this recipe!


1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks

1 tbsp cooking oil, divided

1/4 tsp salt

6 oz egg noodles (about half a bag)

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

1.5 cups chicken broth

1 cup coconut milk

1 tbsp fresh minced ginger

1 tbsp red Thai curry paste

1 tbsp peanut butter

2 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 cup fresh minced cilantro


Heat 2 tsp of oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken, sprinkle with salt, and saute until cooked through—about 6-8 minutes. Transfer cooked chicken to a plate and set aside.

Add remaining oil to the pan along with minced ginger. Saute for about 30 seconds and then add the coconut milk, broth, red pepper flakes, sugar and fish sauce. Whisk in the curry paste and peanut butter and bring to a simmer. Add bell peppers and continue simmering for about five minutes.

Cook egg noodles in boiling salted water and drain.Β  Add noodles and chicken to the broth and heat through. Sprinkle cilantro over chicken and noodles and serve.


20 minutes

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  • Liz
    March 7, 2012 at 3:34 am

    Yum! That looks delicious and comforting. I’m surprised at the choice of egg noodles because they don’t seem to match the “Asian” aspects of the dish, but I LOVE egg noodles – flavor and texture – so this seems like a winner to me.

    You’ve just started Downton Abbey? Isn’t it addictive? I missed the first season because I don’t usually think I ike period dramas, but both my husband and I were sucked in from the first episode and watched them all through in 3 nights. (Would have been quicker if we’d had more time.) This seems to be my usual way… with Mad Men, Doc Martin (and the Harry Potter books…) miss out for the first season (or first 4 seasons, or first 6 books) and then watch/read them all in a row before the next comes out. No waiting that way! Oh, except with Mad Men, which I thought would be starting this past fall but really won’t be on until this month.

    • Deanna B.
      March 7, 2012 at 10:48 am

      That’s how I am too! Not with Harry Potter because it came out when I was at the prime age to read it but still. I totally just did it with the Hunger Games trilogy. I read all of them in a day because the movie comes out in 2 weeks.

      I did it with Sherlock too. I watched all the episodes in a day or two.

  • sahrish
    March 7, 2012 at 3:40 am

    Any idea for substitute for egg noodles?

    • Kristi
      March 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      I made it with buckwheat soba noodles (because my daughter has an egg allergy) and it was totally awesome.

    March 7, 2012 at 4:01 am

    This looks so good. . . I love all things involving coconut, red curry paste, and peanuts together! Thanks too for providing a vegetarian version!

  • Cassie
    March 7, 2012 at 4:39 am

    Delicious flavors. I love this Jenna!

  • Julia Steele
    March 7, 2012 at 4:47 am

    There is no such thing as too much cilantro. Looks great!

  • Christine
    March 7, 2012 at 4:54 am

    I get wrapped up in 2 or 3 of the reality shows (The Voice, Shark Tank, etc) and The Middle and Modern Family comedies.

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb
    March 7, 2012 at 4:56 am

    looks delicious!! i’ve heard downton abbey is fantastic!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    March 7, 2012 at 5:11 am

    Oh wow, Jenna, I think we’re soul mates because I have a notebook next to my bed for middle-of-the-night recipe scribbles (in addition to about 50 post its scattered around my daytimer, handbags, and a folder where everything is SUPPOSED to be organized for my blog), AND the idea of creating the perfect peanut sauce DOES keep me up at night! I was out for dinner at a Thai place last night and the peanut sauce was ok, but I’m already brainstorming ways to make it better!

  • Lauren @ What Lauren Likes
    March 7, 2012 at 5:13 am

    Lovee this! So pretty πŸ™‚

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    March 7, 2012 at 5:14 am

    I’m really trying to imagine the smell of this cooking in my kitchen right now.

  • Steph
    March 7, 2012 at 5:26 am

    This look so good! and Downton Abbey is amazing! I was sad when I finished the second season πŸ™‚ enjoy!

  • elizabeth @ chronic venture
    March 7, 2012 at 5:32 am

    yum! Jenna this look super delicious and comforting. Any twist on chicken noodle soup is a winner in my book!

  • Heather @ Bake, Run, Live
    March 7, 2012 at 6:10 am

    I am the same way with ideas, so I also keep a notebook by my bed. Last night the ideas hit me hard and it was all I could do to just write them down and not get up to go bake! The nice thing is, as most of my ideas involve chocolate, I am pretty much guaranteed to have sweet dreams πŸ™‚

  • Urban Wife
    March 7, 2012 at 6:21 am

    This looks amazing! We love spicy Asian food at our house. Like we’re obsessed much. Are you hooked on Downton Abbey now? It’s so hard not to be! Except I didn’t really care for that one scene in the first episode (Season 1) but whatevs. πŸ™‚

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
    March 7, 2012 at 6:24 am

    This sounds delicious! Peanuts + coconut milk…not sure it gets better than that.
    We just finished Downton Abbey last night, kind of sad I have to wait for season 3 now…I’m in love with that show.

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    March 7, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Eek, Jenna this looks amazing. I’m ready for Peanut coconut broth like pronto! I’m usually a mild to medium kinda gal…how “spicy” are we talking here? xo

  • Margarita
    March 7, 2012 at 6:42 am

    I write down my food combo ideas in desperate places, text it as a draft message in my cellphone, email it to myself, backs of envelopes, post its, etc. I really should keep a journal. This dish looks so good! Adam sure is a lucky man!

  • Kristin @ FoodFash
    March 7, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Yum! I’ve been in cold and dreary Portland all week and have been craving warmth and noodles. This veg version of this recipe is right up my frozen little body alley!

  • Jessica J
    March 7, 2012 at 6:47 am

    I love that this looks like traditional chicken and noodles but has a complete twist! I love egg noodles, so I am definitely going to try this one. And I always think of recipe ideas right before bed or when I am trying to sleep. I’ve started keeping a note pad by my bed as well πŸ™‚

  • Kelly
    March 7, 2012 at 6:53 am

    That looks amazing, will have to try it!
    So glad you are enjoying Downton! Now, are you watching Sherlock? Do you know about Benedict Cumberbatch? πŸ˜€

  • The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh
    March 7, 2012 at 6:57 am

    This is the perfect way to use the leftover no yolk fine egg noodles I have! Thanks!!

  • Lu
    March 7, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Wow! I have tried several of your amazing recipes, but this one is making me contemplate leaving work early to go make it.

  • Jacqueline@digintobooks
    March 7, 2012 at 6:59 am

    This looks delicious! Your story about how you came up with the recipe reminds me of how I invent recipes for my own blog-I take ideas or concepts from literature and connect the recipes to what I’m reading! It’s great being a lit nerd! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  • Christina
    March 7, 2012 at 7:01 am

    wow this sounds yummy!! My husband isn’t a fan of much spicy food.. but I may have to figure a way to incorporate a version of this into something!

  • Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)
    March 7, 2012 at 7:02 am

    I definitely think of recipes randomly in bed. Usually after my boyfriend wakes up in the morning, I can’t fall back asleep all the time, and I’m just laying there brain storming. Happened this morning even!

    That dinner looks delicious! I love anything thai and especially coconut!

  • Snack Girl
    March 7, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Wow! This looks really delicious – I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  • DessertForTwo
    March 7, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Oh yum! I have all the ingredients for this on hand! Must make tonight!

    Just got a new book: The Recipe Club. It’s kinda old, maybe you’ve already read it?

  • Kelan
    March 7, 2012 at 8:03 am

    I’m incredibly excited that I happen to have a cup of coconut milk in my fridge, plus I also randomly bought a bunch of cilantro with no planned use.

    You know it’s going to be a good day when you say “oh wow, that looks incredibly good. And I already have all of the ingredients?? SCORE!”.

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    March 7, 2012 at 8:06 am

    The Spicy Peanut Coconut Broth sounds good enough to just drink….lots and lots of!

    The colors are so vibrant and gorgeous, Jenna. Lovin’ this post and recipe!

  • Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner
    March 7, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Wow.. this looks amazing and the pictures make me want to try it that much more!

  • Stephanie
    March 7, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Oh yeah, baby. THIS is happening at my house!

  • Amanda
    March 7, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Yahoo! The boyfriend is having a root canal this afternoon, and I was wondering what to make for dinner…problem solved. He may have to slurp around the chicken, but I am now *stoked* for this recipe. Thanks, Jenna!

  • KjenNu
    March 7, 2012 at 9:36 am

    LOL! This is too funny. I was transfixed by the cans of coconut milk when I was (budget) grocery shopping yesterday, but I kept myself from reaching for it by saying – “but you don’t have any recipes to use it in!”
    I’ll definitely try this next week though.

  • Carissa @ ChoiceSustenance
    March 7, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Anything with peanut & I’m sold. This looks amazing. Thanks for giving the vegetarian version. I was planning to do it that way, but didn’t think of bok choy! That would be perfect.

  • Ashley
    March 7, 2012 at 10:12 am

    LOVE Downton Abbey!!!!

  • gia
    March 7, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Sometimes I LOVE to cook around that time. Then to have something good to wake up to is the best! Whether it is whole grain brownies or a healthy veg casserole type of a thing. πŸ™‚

  • Sharon
    March 7, 2012 at 10:30 am

    This is genius. This soup needs to be in my life, stat! I am recovering from my third, yes THIRD sinus infection this winter, and this looks like just the thing to finally kick that bug! Oh, and by the way Jenna…if you ever want to try to recreate the spicy Thai Chicken and Rice soup that Oliver’s market makes, I would be forever greatful! They make some of the best soups….their Italian Wedding soup is to die for also, as is their Carrot/Ginger. Have you ever shopped there? I think I might like Oliver’s Market even better than Whole Foods…

  • Aylin @ Glow Kitchen
    March 7, 2012 at 10:44 am

    I can imagine even skipping the noodles and slurping the broth for a warm, salty snack.

  • joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    March 7, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Love this explanation of how you develop recipes.. I was wondering how you come up with so many ideas! PS. Downtown Abbey recently got added to my Netflix queque even though I have no clue what it’s about (besides British people?) bc I keep hearing it’s great.

  • Lisa
    March 7, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Great post. I wondered when you were going to talk about books and fashion again!

  • Anna Jaye
    March 7, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Yum! This recipe appeals to me on so many levels. Thanks for posting!

  • Jenny@vegetarianhatesvegetables
    March 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I’ve been working on spicy coconut broth myself! Trying to get it as good as one I had at a Thai restaurant years ago. Yours looks good!

  • Morgan
    March 7, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Love it! Definitely going to crock pot the soupy sauce and then cook some beef in it until its fall apart tender πŸ™‚

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    March 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I love cooking with coconut milk. Add peanuts to the mix and we’ve got a winner! This is being put on the menu for next week!

  • Julia {The Roasted Root}
    March 7, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Ohhhh yeah, I think about spicy peanut sauce too…I love curries and peanut sauces so this recipe looks delicious. I’m not big on noodles, so I would probably substitute them out with quinoa or barley, but your recipe looks delicious!

  • Laura @ She Eats Well
    March 7, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    I love anything with a coconut milk base. It just tastes so comfort-foody.

  • Christine
    March 8, 2012 at 6:24 am

    I used the sauce/broth from this recipe to make a chicken curry dish last night, and it was DELICIOUS! Wow – you nailed the flavor combinations! I thickened it up a little so it was more of a sauce then a broth, and pretty much licked the bowl. Can’t wait to have the left overs for lunch. Thanks Jenna!

  • Moni'sMeals
    March 8, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Wow, the title says it all.

    I love a recipe like this. I can too obsess about a taste for hours after like you and the peanut sauce. But let’s get real, it is peanut sauce, it is very easy to dream about! πŸ™‚

  • Hilliary @Happily Ever Healthy
    March 8, 2012 at 11:39 am

    This looks delicious. Your pictures are beautiful I am loving all the bright colors! Where did you get your red bowls? I love them!

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
    March 8, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    I really need to keep a notebook by my bed. It would help with food ideas, and everything else I think I am going to forget by the time I wake up. This looks delicious! I love anything with a spicy peanut sauce!

  • Dominique
    March 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Jenna, I’m having this for dinner right now and my fiance and I absolutely love this recipe! I’m a fan of anything coconut so I knew it would be a hit but along with the red curry paste and peanut butter is just fantastic. I also added snowpeas just because we had them in the fridge. Again, fantastic recipe! We’re planning on having this for dinner again later this week.

  • Becky
    March 13, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Hi Jenna, just finishing up the leftovers at lunch today. Pretty sad because this recipe was kind of amazing. And I’m proud to say it also helped me get over my fear of fish sauce! I don’t cook much, but I love your blog and out of all the recipes I do try from the world wide web yours are always wonderful. Thanks!

  • Karen Chatters
    March 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Wow, that was delicious. I’m SO full!! SLUUUURPPPPP!

  • jane
    March 13, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    this was DELICIOUS!! my boyfriend and I made it tonight and are currently fighting over the tiny tiny tiny bit that is leftover..

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  • Suzanna
    March 16, 2012 at 8:16 am

    For some reason fish sauce creeps me out, and I’m not sure why. I love Thai food, so I know I like it, but every time I run across a recipe that calls for it I don’t make it. But this time I think I’m going to be brave and buy some! πŸ™‚

  • Linda
    March 27, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    This doesn’t just look amazing, it tastes amazing. One of the best new recipes I have made in some time. My teenagers loved it too! Thank you!!!

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  • Rose
    April 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    I just made this for dinner and it was delicious! I’m pretty sure I told about 10 of my friends that they needed to make this TONIGHT! The flavors were amazing and I am so excited about leftovers tomorrow. OH I also made Birthday Cake Popcorn yesterday and everyone raved about it at work today. TWO recipes TWO days in a row, I might have to make a ELR recipe challenge for the next couple of months. πŸ˜‰

    • jenna
      April 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      YAY! that brought a big smile to my face πŸ™‚

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    August 16, 2012 at 5:52 am

    […] months. It’s easy to make, convenient, and won’t weigh you down! Try this simple recipe for Chicken and Noodles in Peanut Broth from food blogger, Eat Live […]

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  • maggie
    June 27, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    just made it and just tried it. Love the combination of flavors. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Tiffanie
    March 13, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    This was fabulous, and the broth was unreal!! So glad you’re back πŸ™‚