Dandan noodles made with zoodles (zucchini noodles) for an easy, nutritious meal on the go or quick one-pan dinner at home. This Chinese recipe is similar to instant noodles cups, but this version of Dan Dan noodles is low carb and gluten free!
I know, you’ve got holidays on the brain. But can we talk about something? Meal prep. It tends to go out the window come November. At least in our house. I’m like, just eat all the leftovers and call it a day. But meal prepping leftovers, well… oops. This holiday season, I am determined to keep meal prep alive, starting RIGHT NOW!
Today we’re making Asian veggie noodle jars! Kinda like the instant soup jars I posted last year. Same concept, but different recipe. That’s right, we’re spicing up that work desk lunch. No take out needed. This lunch is more budget friendly and saucy. Plus, it’s mention healthy. But you knew that, right?
Let’s discuss what’s in the jars. That fun word. Dan dan noodles. Or is it dandan? Hmmmm…
P.S you can easily make this as a quick meal instead of meal prep. Instructions are in the recipe notes!
What is dandan noodles anyway?
This tasty noodle dish (which, by the way, can also be spelled Dan Dan noodles) originates from Chinese Sichuan (pronounced sih-chwahn) cuisine. If you order the meal in China, the sauce is made from preserved vegetables, chili oil, sichuan pepper, pork, and scallions. The spicy sauce is served with noodles, which can be dry or in a broth-based soup.
Here in the U.S., dandan noodles are not usually very spicy, and sometimes not spicy at all. Typically, the sauce is made with sesame paste or peanut butter, so it is actually on the sweeter side. It’s not a super spicy dish like some Asian foods can be.
What are dan dan noodles made of?
There are at least 11 different varieties of noodle dishes that can be found in Chinese cuisine, and the noodles themselves fit into one of these categories:
- Cellophane (Glass) Noodles
- Egg Noodles
- Rice Noodles
- Wheat Noodles
Traditionally, dandan noodles is served with wheat-based egg noodles. Of course, this means the traditional way of preparing the dish is not gluten-free. So naturally, I fixed that problem…
MY version of dandan noodles IS gluten free, and it’s low carb too – because I skip the wheat noodles and use oodles of zoodles instead!!
In a nutshell, we’re redefining “instant noodles” in a cup for lunch! Does this sound like a tasty idea? I hope you think so, because I LOVE this easy meal prep recipe!
This is my shortcut recipe option to enjoying tasty gluten free, Asian style dandan noodles… I mean zoodles. And guess what? They are meal prep friendly, so you can make and take them for work, school, or wherever you go!
The sauce can be made ahead and packaged on the side for dan dan zoodles to go. Oh, and you can freeze the meal too. It reheats in just a few minutes, so no matter how crazy of a day you have, you can still have dinner on the table in 10-15 minutes!
How to Meal Prep Dandan Noodles
Here’s what you need to make 4 large zoodle cups:
FOR THE SAUCE – You can make this ahead of time and serve it later with hot zucchini noodles or traditional noodles in a to-go cup or bowl!
- Tahini or any nut butter butter (no sugar added)
- Garlic, minced
- Gluten-free soy sauce (or tamari). We used kikkoman’s gluten free soy sauce.
- Freshly grated ginger
- Prepared chili oil – or Asian chili paste
- Honey or sugar
- Toasted sesame oil
- Chinese black vinegar – SHORTCUT! – Mix 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar with 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 1 tsp water. Or, if you don’t have balsamic, simply use red wine vinegar.
The sauce prep is key! Then all you need are your veggie noodles of choice, toppings, and 4 large jars to fill. Super easy!
Don’t feel like meal prep? No prob! You can easily make these dandan noodles in one pan, then serve it right away!
Mix the sauce in a large pan with the veggies noodles, stir fry for 2-5 minutes until combined, then serve with cilantro, nuts, etc. Dan Dan noodles dinner all in one pan! Say that 5 times fast. Haha.
Okay let’s make it.
With a protein (pork), lots of veggies, and zucchini noodles, these Dandan noodles cups are a perfect meal all on their own. Although, if you want to serve it in bowls or cups to go, you can serve the dish along with:
Alright my friends, let’s keep each other accountable! Comment below or hit reply in your email…. How will you meal prep this holiday season?
I have a make ahead holidayish meal plan coming up soon! That should help. Also, if you’re wondering about the kikkoman’s gluten free soy sauce, check out the instagram post and stories from yesterday!