Low Carb Peanut Chicken Zoodles
Note: This recipe was first posted on my original blog, Celebration Generation, on September 29. 2020. It was transferred over to this blog - existing comments and all - on 9/27/2021
You know, for the amount of zucchini we go through in this house, I’m honestly kind of shocked that I’ve only had 2 Zoodles recipes up, before today.
Not that the addition of one more makes a huge difference, but hey - here we are.
... so when we’re making zoodles - 9 times out of 10 - it’s going to be one of those 3 recipes.
My husband and I both love zoodles, for various different - and overlapping - reasons.
We both love zucchini, so that’s a pretty good start!
Zoodles are inherently gluten-free, and (when properly cooked!) nicely take the place of any of the thicker wheat noodles, IMHO.
As a nonstarchy vegetable, zucchini noodles are FAR lower in carbs than almost any other noodle option. Wheat noodles, gluten-free corn or rice noodles, even sweet potato zoodles are higher in carbs.
The only option I can think of that is lower in carbs would be shirataki noodles... and they basically have no nutritional value at all.
Some veggies are a bit more difficult to cut up into noodles - or put through a zoodler / spiralizer. Some veggies break easily while being spiralized, or fall apart easily in cooking.
Zucchini is SUPER easy to turn into spirals, and it’s even sort of fun to do so.
In terms of cooking, they really just need a couple of minutes of heating up, and that’s it. You don’t want to overcook them or they CAN turn to mush.
Overcooking is easy enough to avoid, though, especially on a thicker setting like we use
If you have a bunch of zucchini to use up, not only does a zoodler make quick work of readying them for cooking, but it’s REALLY easy to plow through a bowl of them. If you’re trying to increase your vegetable intake... zoodles are an easy way to do so.
The fun thing is that plowing through a bowl of zoodles doesn’t necessarily FEEL like increasing your vegetable intake, or being a responsible adult at all. Bonus!
Zucchini is touted as having all sorts of health benefits, from being anti-inflammatory and having antioxidant properties, to boosting energy, being good for lowering blood sugar, and good for the eyes.
So, even beyond the fact they’re gluten-free and low carb, they’ve got a LOT more going on for them on the nutrition front.
The vast majority of the dietary decisions in this household revolve around my diet, whatever that happens to mean at the moment.
I’ve been gluten-free for years, which has means a lot less gluten for my husband. Sometimes I’m low carbing, sometimes I’m cracking down even further and going AIP.
Throughout all of this, I try my best to make sure my husband isn’t *suffering* as a result.
Of this recipe specifically, he says:
“I love Peanut Chicken Zoodles! This doesn’t feel like a ‘replacement’ thing to me, it’s a great standalone meal. Everything in it works well with the zoodles as its own thing.
It doesn’t need to be a healthier version of something else, it’s just GOOD!”
Now, we may never have really fully gotten on the zoodles bandwagon, given our first exposure to spiralizing.
Many years ago, I bought a handheld spiralizer. It had kind of a conical interior, looking somewhat like an inverted cheese grater.
It was awful.
It took so long to try and get anything out of it, and basically did end up grating the zucchini. I never really figured out how to use it, and never once produced anything resembling spiralized noodles from it.
I can’t remember how I heard of the spiralizer we have been using for the past several years - This one.
It was something like $22 at the time, we had been seeing all kinds of enticing zoodle recipes at the time, and we figured we’d give it one last shot.
There was basically NO learning curve to this one. Super easy to use, we were churning out piles of beautiful veggie spirals in minutes!
There are two plates that make wider/thicker zoodles, which is what we use for these zoodles. Aside from that, we’ll use some of the medium / smaller ones to spiralize other vegetables for salads and such.
In particular, We love running beets and carrots through it, using a very fine spiralizer plate. It basically makes veggie vermicelli!
Not only is that pretty to pile on a salad, the texture is fun to eat. Again, a great way to encourage upping your veggie intake, IMHO.
Low Carb Peanut Chicken Zoodles
Ok, enough raving about zoodles in general, let’s talk about this recipe!
When we recently made up a batch of this, it was mostly as an excuse to use up some of the purple cabbage we started growing this year.
They’re tiny and adorable, just LOOK:
Anyway, we are big on eating bright, multi-coloured food whenever possible.
We love the way it looks, we love the variety of textures involved, and - on top of that - having a ton of (natural!) colours in your food covers a lot of bases, nutritionally.
Plus, it’s just pretty, and we can be shallow and silly like that. Seriously, have you SEEN my Low Carb Tuna Mango Poke Bowl Recipe?
Anyway, this recipe works up quickest and easiest when you take a couple minutes to prepare the sauce and all the vegetables before even taking the chicken from the fridge.
I like to lay everything out on a plate to keep on hand, ready to go.
See, even THAT is pretty:
... maybe I’m weird, but I just really enjoy all the bright summery colours on display here. It’s just so... Happy!
Once you’ve got all of your veggies sliced, spiralized, ribboned, etc and your sauce is whisked up and ready to go, slice up your chicken, dump it in the pot, and you’re only 10-15 minutes away from eating, at that point!
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On to that recipe!
Low Carb Peanut Chicken Zoodles
- ½ cup Unsweetened smooth peanut butter
- ¼ cup Soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon Calamansi or Lime juice
- 1 tablespoon Ginger puree
- 1 tablespoon Rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoon Sesame oil
- ½-1 teaspoon Crushed chilis
- 2 Garlic cloves pressed or finely minced
- Salt and pepper
- 2 Small boneless skinless chicken breasts or 1 large
- Olive oil
- 2 Medium zucchinis spiralized into thick “noodles”
- ½ Red bell pepper thinly sliced
- ½ cup Thinly sliced purple cabbage
- ½ cup Ribboned carrot
- 2 Green onions thinly sliced
- ¼ cup Cilantro finely chopped
- Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients, season with salt and pepper, set aside.
- Note: If the sauce doesn’t come together smoothly, heat in the microwave for 20 seconds or so, and whisk again.
- Trim chicken breast, if necessary. Slice into bite sized pieces.
- In a medium-large nonstick pan, heat olive oil. Add chicken to the pan, season with salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is browned on all sides.
- Pour sauce into the pan, continue cooking until sauce is hot.
- Add zucchini, pepper, cabbage, and carrot to the pan, toss to coat. Cook for 2 minutes or so, just until the zucchini is heated through and slightly softer.
- Add green onions and cilantro to the pot. Mix well and serve immediately.