Gluten Free Nut Free Szechuan Chicken Noodle Salad Recipe
I just love it when I can make a really tasty meal from scrounging around in my pantry, don’t you? I love it even more when the meal I make seems like a lot of effort went into it and yet, in reality was so simple!
Such is the case with this gluten free, nut free Szechuan Chicken Noodle Salad recipe. It is a tad exotic, amazingly addictive and yet in all honesty was literally thrown together with what I had in my pantry, spice cabinet, fridge, and garden.
I don’t have a large pantry but it is stocked judiciously and well. I like food that is full of flavor and anything but boring. I also like to eat globally, embracing the flavors of food from all over the world. I have a variety of seasonings in my spice cupboard and while I only keep four oils on hand (olive, coconut, grapeseed, and sesame) I go a little wild when it comes to vinegars. I justify the space allocation because I don’t keep bottled salad dressing on hand.
The list of ingredients in this recipe may look long at first but I am willing to bet you have most of them lurking around your pantry. If not, every single ingredient in the recipe is something I use over and over again, so if you don’t already have it on hand, go get it. You won’t be sorry.
The base of this spicy Szechuan sauce is Sunbutter, making it nut free and adding a roasted depth of flavor to the sauce. The Sunbutter and rest of the sauce ingredients get dumped into a blender or food processor, given a whirl and it’s done – could not be easier. Tossed with gluten free spaghetti, some sliced red and yellow peppers, green onions, a handful of cilantro and left over chicken – this turned out to be a flavorful, filling meal that can be served warm, at room temperature or cold, perfect for making ahead and pot lucks!
I like a lot of sauce on my noodles and my hubby likes less (I guess you could say I am the saucy one in the family) so I toss the salad with about ¾ of the sauce and serve the rest on the side.
To make this recipe vegan, omit the chicken and use agave instead of honey.
- 1 pound gluten free spaghetti
- 6 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
- 1 1½ by 3 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup grapeseed or vegetable oil plus more for the pasta water
- ½ cup tahini sesame paste
- ½ cup creamy Sunbutter
- ½ cup gluten free soy sauce
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup mirin sweet rice wine
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
- ¾ - 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 1 red bell pepper julienned
- 1 yellow bell pepper julienned
- 4 scallions sliced diagonally (white and green parts)
- 1 cup cilantro coarsely chopped
- Black or white sesame seeds for garnish
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add a splash of oil to the water then cook the spaghetti according to the pasta directions. Drain.
Put the garlic and ginger in a blender or food processor and pulse several times to mince. Add the ½ cup oil, tahini, Sunbutter, soy sauce, vinegar, mirin, honey, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes and blend until smooth. Pour about three quarters of the sauce onto the hot spaghetti, add the chicken and toss to coat. Let sit for a few minutes so the noodles and chicken absorb flavor from the sauce. Add the peppers, scallions, cilantro and more sauce, toss well, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with any remaining sauce on the side.
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