Lunchbox – spicy peanut noodle salad

There has recently been a nut ban at work. A new starter is severely allergic and so last Friday, we all received an email urging us to bag up our nuts (not a euphemism) and remove them from the premises.

It was a sad day for us all.

That being said, the health and wellbeing of a nut allergy sufferer is obviously way more important than my desire for peanut butter on toast! No really. It is.

But still, what’s a foodie to eat from 9:30 to 6 if not nuts!? Here’s just a few of the things I had to take home:

  • Almond butter
  • Peanut butter
  • Cashew nut butter

I eat a lot of nut butter with apple, okay!

  • Muesli
  • Almond milk
  • Mixed nuts
  • Granola
  • Granola bars
  • Nut bars
  • Raw brownies (this one hurt bad)

You get the idea.

Lunchbox peanut noodle salad-10
Imagine a life without peanut butter! No satay. No butter. No cups!

Of course, now I know that nuts are forbidden Monday to Friday, 9:30 to 6, I can’t stop eating them at home! Peanut satay sauce, cashew nut smoothies, nut bars, peanut butter cookies, almond butter porridge, all the nut milks in the world. It’s a problem.

Apart from it’s not because it led me here. To this peanut noodle salad recipe!

Lunchbox peanut noodle salad-16

And boy is it good. It’s suitably spicy, yet also mild and creamy in a nutty kind of way, with a delectable CRUNCH from the colourful raw veggies and a toasted kind of flavour from the sesame oil and seeds. Also, you can twizzle the noodles around your fork and shove them in your mouth in one big spicy peanutty mouthful and everything just feels right. Right?

If only I could take it to work…

Lunchbox peanut noodle salad-20
Prepped and ready for work. Oh, wait.

P.S. Send nut-free snack suggestions. I’m in desperate need.

P.P.S I know this is the lunchbox series and the recipe should therefore be one I take to work, but for obvious reasons I will not be taking this one into work. Still works as a work lunch though. Say work one more time Sam.

To the recipe!



  • 75g soba noodles (or your noodle of choice)
  • 1 carrot, spiralised, finely sliced or peeled
  • 1 red pepper, finely sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, finely sliced
  • Wedge of red cabbage, finely sliced
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil or peanut oil (or any other oil!)
  • Optional: fresh red chilli, finely sliced

For the peanut sauce

  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 3-5 tbsp water, depending on the oiliness of the peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil, or whatever other oil you have lying around
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • Big pinch of chilli flakes


Sauce options

Ginger and soy dressing | Simple soy sauce | Chilli noodle dressing


Vegetarian options

Peanuts | Cashews | Tofu (cook it in some more peanut sauce, it’s so good!)


Meat and fish options

Grilled chicken | Grilled steak | Spicy beef brisket

Lunchbox peanut noodle salad-18


  1. Cook the noodles as per the packet instructions – usually for around 4-5 minutes. Once cooked, drain and rinse until cold. Stir in 1 tbsp sesame oil to prevent the noodles from sticking and set aside.
  2. To make the dressing, simply place all ingredients into a jar, pop the lid on and shake to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the noodles and veg and pour over as much peanut sauce as desired. Mix again, then serve with sesame seeds, fresh chilli and coriander.


Samantha x

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