30 Minute Better Than Takeout Thai Drunken Noodles…with all the summer vegetables. Quick-cooking, gluten-free rice noodles tossed in a sweet and spicy Thai sauce with lean chicken, zucchini, garden fresh bell peppers, carrots, and summer basil. Every bite is filled with saucy noodles, delicious vegetables, and hints of sweet basil. It’s so good and much healthier than something you might find at your favorite Thai place. Major bonus? This is made mostly in one pan and without the use of your oven.
Something about August and this time before “back to school” always leaves me inspired to create quick-cooking Asian inspired recipes. Growing up, my dad would often make us chicken stir fry on busy nights. Especially during the late August and early September days when school was starting back up. With six kids all in school, and a newborn baby, our house was beyond chaotic, so quick-cooking stir fry was a go-to for my dad.
He’d simply cook the chicken with plenty of soy sauce, then throw in whatever he had growing in his summer garden…usually an abundance of bell peppers and fresh basil. He’d serve his stir fry over rice and top with peanuts. My dad kept his stir fry incredibly simple, full of vegetables, and a touch on the salty side. I remember it being so so good, but of course, I was just a kid.
Looking back Dad’s probably could have used a little more flavor and a touch more color. But we didn’t care, we all thought his stir fry was the bomb. I’ve made a lot of stir fry recipes since those days of eating dads. And I must say, I think I’ve gotten pretty good. Just a few weeks ago I shared a simple sweet Thai basil chicken, and last summer it was weeknight udon noodles. Today? It’s all about these Thai drunken noodles, a dish I’ve been wanting to make for years now.
If you’ve ever had drunken noodles at your favorite Thai restaurant then you know that these noodles are spicy, saucy, and a touch sweet. Very classic to many Thai dishes.
There are a lot of different ways people make drunken noodles, but more often than not, they’re made with a mix of chicken, rice noodles, fresh chili peppers, soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and plenty of Thai basil. I’ve actually kept these flavors all pretty similar, but my big addition? Lots more vegetables. I’m talking fresh zucchini, bell peppers, and carrots. I figured with a fridge full of produce, why not toss them all in with my drunken noodles?
The vegetables soak up all the sauce and become highly addictive. In fact, I might like the vegetables more than the noodles.
So here’s how you make these saucy, spicy drunken noodles. You ready for this? It’s very quick and simple.
Start out by boiling the rice noodles according to package directions. I like these rice noodles best. They’re a wide-cut noodle and really hold up well to all the sauce.
While the noodles are boiling, make the sauce. It’s a mix of soy sauce (you can also use coconut aminos as well), oyster sauce, and fish sauce. I then thin the sauce with a touch of water, which helps to balance all the saltiness.
Next, stir the chicken with shallots, garlic, and green onions. Add the vegetables, cook some more, pour in the sauce, add the noodles, toss, toss, toss. As soon as the sauce begins to thicken around the noodles stir in the basil. Once the basil hits the heat, it immediately begins to wilt…and yes, this also smells incredible.
Here’s the trick, once you’ve added the basil, the noodles really need to be plated and served. If you allow the noodles to sit too long in the sauce, they will soak it all up. Therefore, serve as soon as the noodles are done cooking and be sure to top with plenty of fresh basil.
If you are a vegetarian, you can easily omit the chicken from this recipe. I’d recommend adding sliced mushrooms or an addition bell pepper. Then just swap the fish sauce for additional soy sauce, and use hoisin sauce in place of oyster sauce. They won’t be traditional drunken noodles, but they’ll still be insanely delicious.
My favorite part? These noodles are so good leftover and would perfect for packing up for lunch the following day. My suggestion? Add salty peanuts to give the noodles a flavor lift and a little crunch too. Delish.
And with that, what do you think? Should we just make the second Wednesday of the month “better than takeout” night here on HBH? I’m clearly loving these fakeout, takeout recipes, so maybe I should just make them a monthly thing?
OH, and you know what could be fun? What if we even cooked these “takeout” recipes together on Instagram?! Let me know what you think!
Until then, let’s plan on drunken noodles tonight? YES.
If you make these better than takeout Thai drunken noodles, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
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Better Than Takeout Thai Drunken Noodles
Calories Per Serving: 274 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 8 ounces wide rice noodles
- 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce or liquid aminos
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons honey or maple
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound boneless chicken breast, cut into strips (optional)
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1-2 red Fresno peppers or jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into ribbons or chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, cut into ribbons or chopped
- 1 cup fresh Thai basil or regular basil, roughly chopped
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- 1. Cook the rice noodles according to package directions. Drain. 2. Combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, honey, and 1/3 cup water in a bowl. 3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken, if using. Season with black pepper and brown all over. Add the shallots, garlic, Fresno peppers, and green onions. Cook another 2-3 minutes, until the shallots are soft and the garlic is fragrant. Add the zucchini and bell peppers, cook another 5 minutes, until the vegetables have softened. Pour in the sauce and bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the sauce coats the chicken, about 5 minutes. 4. Stir in the noodles, carrots, and basil. Toss to combine, cooking another 3-5 minutes until the sauce coats the noodles. Serve the noodles warm, topped with additional basil. Enjoy!