Stir Fry Chicken with Peanut Sauce

Why go out for chicken stir fry when you can make it easily at home?  This Thai-inspired stir fry chicken with peanut sauce recipe is ready in about 20 minutes. You get chicken, crisp-fried veggies, and a creamy peanut sauce over it all. 

It’s just enough for one person. I made it with rice stick noodles, but you can use plain rice or brown rice if you prefer.  I first tried a completely different recipe, from a usually reliable source, but I found it just lacked flavor. 

This one has peanuts (naturally), honey, hoisin sauce, and a generous squirt of lime.  The lime brightens up the flavor, and the honey adds a hint of sweetness.

I used freshly ground peanut butter (the sort of peanut butter they sell at health food stores), but the kind in the jar is fine too.  If you use the freshly-ground peanut butter you may need to add more oil. That will make it easier to mix the ingredients together. It should spread easily and you should be able to toss it over the cooked chicken and the vegetables.




Use whatever vegetables you have on hand, such as:  bell pepper, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, or onions.  You can mix and match to suit your own taste.  Whatever you use, you’ll need about 1 1/2  cups.

If you’re making regular rice, start that first.  The rice stick noodles cook like pasta, just faster.  Bring the water to a boil and then cook the noodles about three minutes.

For the rest of the recipe, make the sauce first.  Then cook the chicken.  Once the chicken is done, set that aside and cook the vegetables.  Put the chicken back in the pan, and then add the sauce. Don’t let the sauce cook too much, just enough to heat everything up.

You can speed up the process by using mixed frozen veggies (not the bell peppers though, they tend to get soggy). That way, you save time cooking and chopping.

There is one “problem” though with this recipe. The kitchen still smells so good after you finish dinner that you want to eat it again.

Substitutions and Variations for Stir Fry Chicken with Peanut Sauce

  • Add some slivers of garlic and fresh ginger to the chicken when you cook it.
  • Make it spicier with sriracha or cayenne flakes.
  • Let the chicken cool, toss fresh, raw veggies in a bowl (use double the amount),  and eat it cold as a salad.
  • Skip the chicken, and just make it with the sauce, veggies, and rice stick noodles

More Chicken Recipes for One

sichuan chinese chicken and eggplant with garlic sauceSichuan Chinese Chicken and Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

If you can’t get takeout, make this sichuan chicken right at home.  It’s faster (and tastier too).

 


chicken mango stir fry
Quick Chicken Mango Stir Fry Recipe

An Asian-inspired stir-fry that’s ready quickly.  Meaty chicken thighs with crispy-tender veggies and sweet mango. It’s both colorful and delicious.

 

chili garlic chicken thighChili Garlic Chicken

Clear your head and delight your taste buds with this spicy chicken. Think wings, but easier.

 

easy singapore noodles with chicken

Singapore Noodles

A simple chicken stir fry all mixed up with noodles and vibrant veggies.  It’s easy and flexible too. Use the veggies listed or swap them for your favorites.

 




Indian Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

The beauty of this Indian royal chicken cooked in yogurt recipe is that it’s delicious and can be made fairly quickly.  You can just serve it with naan or make some rice to help soak up the sauce.  I have adapted this from Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick & Easy Indian Cooking, which is a great guide for making Indian meals that don’t require a lot of fuss. Plus, she wisely sticks to ingredients that are fairly easy to find outside of India. Her recipe is for four people, my version is dinner for one person.

I made a few other minor changes as well.  The original recipe calls for both dried and fresh coriander.  I don’t generally have fresh coriander (and if I did, it would spoil), so I used a bit more dried instead. 

Make sure to remove all of the whole spices before serving. You don’t want to crunch down on a clove or a cardamom pod!

She calls for slivered almonds, but all I had was ground almonds, so I used that.  I am a big believer in using what you have and not buying special ingredients for a single purpose.  You can substitute slivered, or blanched if that’s easier.  You might even use whole ones, or throw them in the mini-chopper to chop them up.

There’s also a fun bit of chemistry here.  When you add the raisins to the hot pan, they plump up and temporarily revert back to grapes!




Substitutions and Variations for Indian Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

  • try it with ghee (clarified butter) instead of oil, sliced onions, and ginger paste (full recipe here)
  • add potatoes, curry leaves, tamarind paste, and coconut milk (recipe here)
  • make it Hyderabadi style with tomatoes, cashews, red chilis, saffron and turmeric

More Chicken Recipes for One Person

one person chicken curryEasy Chicken Curry Recipe

A super easy recipe largely with pantry staples. It’s got a rich, creamy sauce spiked with cumin, garam masala, and jalapeño peppers. Ready in about 15 minutes.

 

chili garlic chicken thighChili Garlic Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Buffalo chicken with a lot less mess.  The garlic adds zest and the chili brings the heat. Cheaper than wings too!

 

crispy lemon chicken thighCrispy Lemon Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

“Fried” chicken without the splatter.  It’s got three kinds of lemon and a touch of brown sugar. Good hot or cold.

 

chicken mango stir fryQuick Chicken Mango Stir Fry Recipe

A bright and colorful tangle of veggies and chicken. If you don’t have fresh vegetables, a frozen stir fry mix will work just fine. Just cook them a bit less.

 




Pasta with Olives Tomatoes and Capers Puttanesca

In a hurry for dinner?  Pasta is your friend.  This pasta dish with olives, tomatoes, and capers (or pasta puttanesca) has a slightly racy name.  Nobody really knows why.  One theory says the dish was popular with the ladies of the evening because it was easy to cook and the ingredients were cheap.  Another says that the sauce’s aroma helped lure in customers.

Whatever the reason, it certainly is budget friendly and you can make it in about 20 minutes.

Whoever is responsible created a dish that’s packed with flavor.  There’s pungent little bits of garlic, slightly briny capers, and nutty Niçoise olives. 

Capers, in case you don’t know, are the buds of a Mediterranean plant that are picked and then pickled (try to say that three times fast).  I always thought Niçoise  olives were a variety, but I found out today that they’re really called Le Calletier.  Niçoise is just the method of curing them.

I adapted this recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook. They suggested using whole canned tomatoes, and then squeezing them out and chopping them up.  That’s too messy for me. You can use crushed tomatoes, purée, or even tomato sauce in a pinch.

Traditionally, this recipe also includes anchovies.  However, I am a fish wimp. The strongest fish flavor I like is salmon.  Also, anchovies were $32 a pound.  Nope. Not happening. Nuh uh.

The other great thing about pasta puttanesca is that you can use canned tomatoes, jarred capers, dry pasta, and spices you probably already have sitting on your shelf.

Save the rest of the tomatoes for pasta alla norma.

The remaining capers will keep indefinitely in the fridge once opened.  They’re great with smoked salmon, lemon, and dill for a weekend brunch.




 

More Pasta Recipes

pasta with broccoli, mushrooms, and chicken sausagePasta with Broccoli, Mushrooms, and Chicken Sausage

Sweet Ialian-style chicken sausage, crisp bell peppers, and meaty mushrooms, all swirled together. It’s a fast and easy dinner.

 

pistachio pasta pestoPistachio Pesto Pasta Recipe

A recipe inspired by a murder mystery (of all things). This is a twist on the usual pesto.  Because what would a mystery be without a twist?  No pine nuts and there’s broccoli instead of basil. The basil is just a garnish.

penne with feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and olivesPenne with Feta Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Olives

Sweet tomatoes balanced by salty feta and tender pasta, combine for a delightful summer meal.  Drying the tomatoes intensifies their flavor.

 

smoked salmon pasta with tomato cream sauceSmoked Salmon Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

A velvety smooth sauce, with just a hint of cream.  The smoky, salty salmon complements the sweet tomatoes.  Check your grocer for salmon ends.

 

butternut squash cream sauce pastaButternut Squash Cream Sauce with Penne

Sweet butternut squash, savory/sweet roasted garlic, and creamy parmesan added just at the end. Feels far more indulgent than it actually is.

 




Goat Cheese Caramelized Onion Pizza

Sometimes, meals are carefully planned. Other times, it’s pure serendipity. I spotted goat cheese on sale at the market and grabbed some. When I got home, I remembered I had some leftover pizza dough in the fridge. I decided to put them together and make a goat cheese caramelized onion pizza.

You can approach this recipe two different ways.  If you make the crust yourself (not hard, but it does take time), it’s a weekend meal. Buy the crust pre-made (you can get it at grocery stores or even your local pizzeria), and it’s a 30 minute meal. So, dinner in half an hour!

I made my own crust (following Smitten Kitchen’s easy recipe), but if you’re in a rush, you don’t have to. By the way, she says to roll out the crust, but I find it works better if I just place it on the baking sheet and gently press outward from the center with my fingers. 

If you do make the dough, it makes enough for one generous dinner serving, or two lunch servings.  It will keep in the fridge for several days, so you don’t have to eat it all at once.  Take it out and let the dough come to room temperature before you start working with it.

Cooking, of course,  is often a process of taking what you already know about food and flavors, doing a bit of research (in cookbooks or online) and combining bits of ideas and techniques.  I often find myself taking bits and pieces from two or three recipes and putting them back together in different ways.

In this case, I started with the pizza crust recipe I already had. Then I added the goat cheese. I took the caramelized onions and the bell pepper from one recipe, the spinach from a second, and the garlic oil from a third.   You can always mix and match to suit your own taste, or the ingredients you have on hand (see more in the Substitutions and Variations section).

Also, I don’t normally post “in progress” photos, but the pizza looked so good I couldn’t resist!

goat cheese caramelized onion pizza_1




 

Substitutions and Variations for Goat Cheese Caramelized Onion Pizza

  • Use roasted red peppers instead of fresh
  • Try a splash of balsamic vinegar
  • Add sliced mushrooms and basil
  • Substitute arugula for the spinach
  • Toss in some sun-dried tomatoes

More Pizza Recipes

white pizza without ricottaWhite Pizza Recipe Without Ricotta

Like white pizza, but not a ricotta fan? This recipe has no ricotta at all.

 

tortilla pizza for oneHomemade Tortilla Crust Pizza

A pizza shortcut! Topped with bell peppers and sausage. Quick, and delicious.

 

rosemary potato roasted garlic pizzaRosemary Potato Roasted Garlic Pizza

I like to call this “potato chip pizza.” A whole different take on the usual pizza. No tomato sauce, and easy on the cheese. The potatoes end up golden brown and crisp.

 




Fried Egg Burrito

Fridays are tricky. Sometimes, I want to make a big feast because the week is over.  Other times, I just want something quick and easy so I can relax. This fried egg burrito recipe is perfect for the days when I’m leaning toward the quick and easy side. That’s why I have a list of “15 minute meals” on the blog.

Fried egg burritos are also versatile. You can have them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (make two).  And, they’re ready in about 10 minutes.  So, they’re not only delicious and easy, they’re dinner in less than 15 minutes. It’s faster (and tastier) than takeout. Plus, since you made it yourself, you know exactly what’s in it.




I added some Monterey Jack cheese to the eggs, then tossed in a bit of jalapeño pepper and topped that with some salsa and sour cream to serve.  You can use pepper jack cheese or cheddar or any other mild cheese you like.

Substitutions and Variations for Fried Egg Burrito

Like any other burrito, this is endlessly customizable.

  • add some canned beans or refried beans
  • cook up some chorizo sausage
  • if you like it less hot, use bell pepper instead of the jalapeño
  • add a spoonful of chipotle peppers
  • top with guacamole

More Egg Recipes

eggs with spinach and chili pepperEggs with Spinach and Chili Peppers

Great for a light meal, brunch, or breakfast. Only one skillet needed, and you get a healthy dose of greens too.

 

cherry tomato basil frittataCherry Tomato Basil Frittata

Just four basic ingredients and you’ve got breakfast (or a light lunch). Or, add spinach, mushrooms, or more veggies to make a bigger meal.

 

egg chili cheese burritoEgg Chili Cheese Burrito Recipe

Another easy egg dish. This one is a wrap, with refried beans and scallions. It’s a bit heartier, but still super-easy and fast (with canned or pre-cooked beans).

 

shakshouka for oneShakshouka for One

Popular all over the Middle East and Mediterranean, shakshouka is great for lunch or brunch. Or add bread (to scoop up the sauce) and make it dinner.  There are lots of variations, but I added my own spin with some spinach.

 




Greek Lamb Breast Recipe

Great for a cold weekend, this Greek lamb breast recipe requires very little active preparation time.  Just make the marinade, zip it in a bag, and let it sit.

The longer this marinates the better.  You can leave it for an hour (if you don’t have lots of time), but it’s better overnight, or all day while you do something else.

I let this sit in the fridge for two days (because I unexpectedly ate out), and it was divine.

It cooks slowly in a low oven, just enough to heat the house a bit, but not so much that you’ll overheat yourself (this is, incidentally also a great way to cook roast beef, low and slow).




The recipe is adapted slightly from a recipe I found on Epicurious.  That was for lamb chops or a leg of lamb.  I reduced that marinade recipe and substituted the NY Times’ lamb riblet slow roasting technique instead of grilling.

If you don’t have breast of lamb, you can use a lamb chop instead.  Just let it marinate, then broil the chop 3-5 minutes per side, depending on how thick it is.

Tools and Ingredients for Greek Lamb Breast Recipe


Cuisinart 12-Inch Pan with Glass Cover

This pan is shallower than most roasting pans, which means it’s easier to remove your food. The relatively small size makes it a great option for smaller portions (and smaller ovens). It’s also great for pan pizza for one (the pizza fits perfectly).

While I don’t usually like nonstick surfaces, this one has held up nicely since I bought it two years ago. I haven’t used the glass cover with the pan, but fits over my other pots and pans (so I can see what’s cooking).


Oxo Good Grips Kitchen Tongs

A good pair of tongs is invaluable when cooking.  These are easy to hold, and they lock back together for storage.  Use them to turn meat, or pick up and turn food in the oven, without burning yourself.

The ends are nylon so they won’t scratch your nonstick pan. Dishwasher safe if you have one.  I’ve had mine for eight years (!) and they’re in perfect condition. Worth every cent I paid for them.

More Lamb Recipes

lamb breast provencale with rosemaryOne Person Slow Roasted Lamb Breast Provencal Recipe

About 15 minutes prep, then a slow roast in the oven yields tender, moist lamb, topped with garlicky bread crumbs.

 

leftover roast lamb eggplant spinach saladLeftover Roast Lamb, Eggplant, and Spinach Salad

A salad of earthly delights, with luscious lamb, tender eggplant, earthy spinach,  and crisp cucumbers. Served with a garlicky lemon mayonnaise.

 

spinach lamb meatballsSpinach Lamb Meatballs

A bit of serendipity and some cross-country collaboration and poof! Meatballs! Made with cumin, spinach, and just a touch of piquant vinegar to balance the flavors.

 

lamb kofta meatballsLamb Kofta Meatballs

Don’t like eggs? Or don’t have any? These meatballs hold together with no eggs, and no bread crumbs.

Flavored with toasted nuts, cumin, and sweet minty green cardamom: a feast both for your mouth and your eyes!




Indian Fish Fillet in Yogurt Sauce

This week’s recipe was going to be something else, but then I realized I hadn’t defrosted it.  Oops. No matter, this  Indian fish fillet in yogurt sauce recipe will do quite nicely instead.  You’ll just have to wait for the other recipe!

This is adapted from The Wednesday Chef , who in turn adapted it from Madhur Joffrey.  Since the amounts are smaller, you don’t have to heat up the oven. You can make this in the toaster oven instead. It heats up more quickly and it’s easier to clean too!

All you have to do is lightly fry some onions, pour them onto a tray, season and mix the yogurt, and then pour all of that over the fish.

It’s maybe ten minutes of prep, and 20 minutes of baking.  While it bakes, pour yourself a glass of wine or a beer or make some rice to go with it. Or both.

You end up with a rich, creamy sauce that tastes indulgent (but isn’t, since it’s yogurt, not cream).   So no need to feel guilty.

The garam masala, ginger, and cumin add a bit of bite, but not too much (unless you want it spicier, of course). It’s pretty easy and approachable for Indian food.




Substitutions and Variations for Indian Fish Fillet in Yogurt Sauce

  • Add some curry to the sauce for more kick
  • Try pan frying the fish (about three-five minutes per side); add the yogurt sauce at the end, off the heat so it doesn’t curdle
  • Add half a hot chile pepper

More Fish Recipes

easy canned tuna curryEasy Canned Tuna Curry

Turn a can of tuna into a full meal. Just add some pantry staples, heat it all up and you’re ready to eat in just a few minutes.

 

greek fish with lemon and tomatoesGreek Fish with Lemon and Tomatoes

Bring the flavors of the Mediterranean to your dinner plate with this quick, single pan fish recipe. Make a simple marinade, let it sit, and then pan fry.

 

pan-fried tilapia with lemon butter saucePan Fried Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce

A splash of citrus, a bit of mustard for bite, and a sprinkle of rosemary add a lot of flavor without much effort.

 

easy mediterranean fish stewEasy Mediterranean Fish Stew

Bring the warmth and sunshine of the Mediterranean to your dinner table, even on a cloudy spring day. This dish is full of flavor from fish, tomatoes, garlic, and citrus.

 

 




Shakshouka for One

Shakshouka doesn’t roll off the tongue when you try to say it.  Maybe it’s a Middle Eastern market?  Or a new folk dance?  It is Middle Eastern spicy poached eggs, either Tunisian or Israeli (depending who you ask, or which ingredients you use). If you make it with onions and bell peppers, it’s Israeli.  On the other hand, if you serve it up with feta or potatoes then it’s Tunisian.

This shakshouka for one recipe is actually two recipes that I mind melded together (one from column A and one from column B) to get what I wanted.

Also, for some reason, I thought it had spinach.  So, I washed and chopped 1/4 C of spinach. Only to find out there was no spinach in either recipe.  I added it anyway. Why waste perfectly good spinach? Besides it adds extra color and flavor, which I think worked out well.

The real recipe ingredients are poached eggs, tomato, onions, bell peppers, and some cayenne for kick.

I’m calling it lunch here, but it works well as a light dinner too. You can put the whole thing together in only 20 or 25 minutes.

So, easy, and no fussing. The hardest part is making sure you don’t break the egg yolks.

Serve it with lots of crusty bread to sop up the sauce.




Substitutions and Variations for Shakshouka for One

  • Slice and fry up a potato in some olive oil, then proceed with the rest of the recipe
  • Add some sliced spicy sausage (merguez would work beautifully)
  • Sprinkle it with some feta cheese
  • If you do break the eggs, just scramble them

More Egg Recipes

egg and tomato gratinEgg and Tomato Gratin for One Person

“Fast” food doesn’t have to mean heavy and greasy. This egg dish is different. Great for brunch or a light lunch.

 

cherry tomato basil frittataCherry Tomato Basil Frittata

Delicious food doesn’t have to be complicated. This recipe has only four ingredients. And you probably have most of them already.

 

egg chili cheese burritoEgg Chili Cheese Burrito Recipe

A quick meal with a bit of a kick. Ready in about fifteen minutes with pantry and fridge staples.

 

eggs with spinach and chili pepperEggs with Spinach and Chili Peppers

Brighten your day with this delicious and colorful frittata. It’s another “fast” food meal, ready in minutes. And only requires one skillet too.

 




Moroccan Lamb Stew with Almonds and Raisins

The first time I made this Moroccan lamb stew I made a big pot of it for Passover. I was tired of the usual brisket and chicken for the holidays. So, mom and I made this instead.

It’s flavored with cinnamon, a touch of ginger, raisins, almonds, and lamb.  The lamb is cooked slowly, so it practically melts in your mouth.

While the full recipe is certainly worth making (and then freezing the leftovers), my freezer is tiny and too full of other food to do that right now.

So I “minified” the recipe (from The Book of Jewish Food) and made it for one instead.  Many Moroccan recipes call for somewhat exotic ingredients (if you’re a Westerner), such as sumac or ras el hanout.  This one doesn’t. It’s made entirely with ingredients that should be in any market.  And, once you start it cooking, there’s very little to do.

I have modified it slightly. She calls for honey and more water than I  have used. I left out the honey because I felt the raisins and the carrots (my own addition) were sweet enough.  I reduced the water, using just enough to soak the saffron. The lamb cooks nicely in its own fat, it doesn’t need the water.

I don’t have a slow cooker, but if you do, you could probably start your stew in the morning and have it ready when you come home from work.

Use a shoulder lamb chop with a round bone as it is easier to cut up. Shoulder cuts are also better for stews and long, slow cooking.

It’s great for a weekend dinner, washed down with some Zinfandel.




More Moroccan and Lamb Recipes

Moroccan Chicken and Bean Soup

Chicken with Olives and Tomatoes for One

Lamb and Lentil Soup Recipe

Greek Lamb Breast Recipe

Moroccan Lamb Stew Tools and Ingredients

Spanish Saffron

Yes, it’s pricey, but it adds a unique flavor and beautiful color. Luckily, Amazon is easier (and likely less expensive and fresher) than the stuff in the supermarket.  Soak it first, then mash it with a spoon to release the flavor and color. You only need a little bit and you can use the rest for other dishes.

The Book of Jewish Food

This book is part cookbook, part history, and part travelogue.  There are recipes from places you probably never thought of as “Jewish.” The ingredients aren’t always what you’d expect either. Sure there are recipes for challah, and potato pancakes, and noodle pudding.

But there’s also stuffed zucchini, meatballs in apricot sauce, lamb with artichokes, pita bread, and phyllo pastry filled with pistachios. She gives recipes, as well as a history of the people in each part of the world she covers. It’s like going on vacation, and sometimes traveling back through time, without leaving your couch.




 

Sloppy Joe Recipe for One Person

Have you ever gotten a a mad, out-of-blue craving for something?  A meal or a treat you just have to have?  This week, I had this crazy yen for Sloppy’s Joe’s. Unfortunately, most of the recipes I found were too big and had too much tomato sauce.  I wanted “sloppy joe’s” not “bathe in tomato sauce joes.” And, many of the recipes were also too bland. The only sloppy joe recipe for one person that I found was made with tofu. Nope.

Since I’d been feeling ambitious earlier in the week, I had fresh grass-fed beef on hand, and even homemade buns. If you want to make your own buns, try the recipe at King Arthur Flour’s website.

In order to boost the flavor, I added a bit of sriracha to the sauce and increased the Worcestershire sauce slightly.

The recipe includes two different amounts for the ketchup and the tomato sauce, so you can adjust the sauce/beef ratio to your own preferences.

Yes, it was messy. But it was also really good! I have put this under “dinner,” but really you could make it for a weekend lunch too, since it’s easy.




Sloppy Joe Recipe Substitutions and Variations

  • Make it with ground turkey or chicken instead of beef
  • Kick up the heat with chili garlic sauce instead of sriracha
  • Try half a chopped jalapeño pepper or red pepper flakes
  • Add some chili powder and mustard, then balance that with a bit of brown sugar

Grain Finished or Grass Fed Ground Beef

If you’re worried about who is packing your meat, and where it’s coming from, buy directly from the people who raise it.  It does cost a bit more, but it tastes better, it’s better for you, and you get peace of mind.

More Ground Beef Recipes for One Person

spicy stovetop chili recipeSmall Batch Spicy Stovetop Chili Recipe

Take your chili up a notch with a surprise ingredient (sriracha). Sure it may sound odd, but Asia got the peppers from South America, so it works out.  A small batch, so you’re not overwhelmed by chili.

compound butter cheeseburgerCheeseburger with Compound Butter

Adding butter (and some herbs) pops the flavor of your burger and also keeps it moist and juicy.

 

easy italian wedding soupEasy Italian Wedding Soup

Delicious soup in minutes! Just dump, heat, and eat. Make your own meatballs (see below), or use frozen (Trader Joe’s are great).

 

 

easy italian meatball recipeItalian Meatball Recipe for One

A mini meatball recipe that’s just enough for one.  Perfect for spaghetti and meatballs or the Italian wedding soup just above.