Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef and Corn

Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef and Corn and breadcrumbs on top on a plate with fork holding a bite. The sauce is thick and hearty with ground beef, sweet corn kernels, chunky tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo, green chiles, parmesan cheese, and lots of smokey and spicy seasonings.
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Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef and Corn and breadcrumbs on top on a plate with fork holding a bite. The sauce is thick and hearty with ground beef, sweet corn kernels, chunky tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo, green chiles, parmesan cheese, and lots of smokey and spicy seasonings.

What could be better than a big ole pot of pasta with meat and tomato sauce?  How about a big ole pot of Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef, Corn, and Green Chile-Chipotle-Tomato Sauce!  The sauce is thick and hearty with ground beef and chunky tomatoes.  Then flavor bombs chipotle peppers in adobo, green chiles, and lots of smokey and spicy seasonings are added to bring in the warmth and a slight kick of heat.  Corn kernels are added for a pop of sweet and texture, and grated Parmesan thickens up the sauce and adds creaminess.  Finally, Pappardelle is mixed in and buttery toasted breadcrumbs are sprinkled on top for crunch.

You can make the sauce ahead and mix in the pasta right before serving for dinner on a busy weekend!  Your family will love it. 

CHECK OUT THE EASY RECIPE FOR SOUTHWESTERN GROUND BEEF AND CORN

WHAT MAKES THIS SOUTHWESTERN?

Southwestern cuisine is an adaptation of Mexican cuisine that you will typically find in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada.  It is similar to Tex-Mex which is also an adaptation of Mexican food.  

Some of the common ingredients in Southwestern cuisine are chile peppers, corn, and beans.  So, what makes this Pasta with Ground Beef Southwestern is honestly a loose interpretation of the cuisine.  It’s the addition of the corn, the green chiles and the chipotle peppers in adobo.  It’s not true Mexican, though Mexican was an inspiration.  And it’s not Italian, though it was also a big inspiration.  It’s a mash-up recipe which is how Southwestern cuisine evolved to begin with.

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For this recipe, you will need a large pot for cooking the pasta and a large pot or deep pan for the sauce. I used my dutch oven which is perfect for browning the beef, building the sauce, and then mixing in the pasta.

Oh, and mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR SOUTHWESTERN PASTA WITH GROUND BEEF

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below) 

For this recipe, you can make the sauce entirely ahead!  However, assuming that you just want to get ahead before cooking, then you can prep all of the ingredients for the sauce.  Open the cans of tomatoes, chiles, and paste. Mince the garlic cloves and the chipotle peppers. Measure out all ingredients and add to a bowl for adding to the cooked beef. Store ingredients in the fridge if doing this ahead of time.

Next, you can husk the corn and remove any corn silk. Using a large knife, cut the kernels from the cob.

Knife cutting corn kernels off cob for Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef and Corn and breadcrumbs.  The sauce is thick and hearty with ground beef, sweet corn kernels, chunky tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo, green chiles, parmesan cheese, and lots of smokey and spicy seasonings. 

Last, using the back of the knife, scrape down the cob to remove any remaining kernels and the corn ‘milk’. Save all corn removed in the fridge until ready to add to the sauce.

Knife cutting corn kernels off cob for Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef and Corn and breadcrumbs.  The sauce is thick and hearty with ground beef, sweet corn kernels, chunky tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo, green chiles, parmesan cheese, and lots of smokey and spicy seasonings.

COOK YOUR SOUTHWESTERN SAUCE

If you are cooking the sauce right before serving it, then you can start first by getting the pasta water going.  If you’re making the sauce ahead to reheat later, no need to worry about the pasta right now.

The sauce all cooks in one big pot, starting with the ground beef and then adding the rest of the ingredients.

Raw ground beef cooking in a pot for Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef and Corn and breadcrumbs.  The sauce is thick and hearty with ground beef, sweet corn kernels, chunky tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo, green chiles, parmesan cheese, and lots of smokey and spicy seasonings.

Diced tomatoes added to ground beef cooking in a pot for Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef and Corn and breadcrumbs.  The sauce is thick and hearty with ground beef, sweet corn kernels, chunky tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo, green chiles, parmesan cheese, and lots of smokey and spicy seasonings.

Once the tomatoes, tomato paste, green chiles, minced garlic, chipotle peppers in adobo, Beef broth, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper are in the pot, stir and bring to a light boil. Then reduce the heat down to lowest setting, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Tomatoes, chiles, and ground beef cooking in a pot for Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef and Corn and breadcrumbs.  The sauce is thick and hearty with ground beef, sweet corn kernels, chunky tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo, green chiles, parmesan cheese, and lots of smokey and spicy seasonings.

While the sauce is simmering, you can toast the breadcrumbs.

When there is just 2-3 minutes left in the sauce cooking time, remove the cover and add the corn. Stir to combine. Then cover again. At the end of the 20 minutes, stir in the parmesan cheese.  

Corn kernels added to pot of ground beef and tomato-chile sauce for Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef and Corn and breadcrumbs.  The sauce is thick and hearty with ground beef, sweet corn kernels, chunky tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo, green chiles, parmesan cheese, and lots of smokey and spicy seasonings.

Spoon mixing parmesan cheese into pot of ground beef and tomato-chile sauce for Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef and Corn and breadcrumbs.  The sauce is thick and hearty with ground beef, sweet corn kernels, chunky tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo, green chiles, parmesan cheese, and lots of smokey and spicy seasonings.

Boil the pasta until al dente. Using a Pasta spoon or tongs, transfer the cooked pasta directly from the cooking water to the meat sauce. Gently toss to combine.

Pappardelle pasta being mixed into pot of ground beef and tomato-chile sauce for Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef and Corn and breadcrumbs.  The sauce is thick and hearty with ground beef, sweet corn kernels, chunky tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo, green chiles, parmesan cheese, and lots of smokey and spicy seasonings.

RECIPE FAQS

How far in advance can I make this?

The sauce can be made up to 5 days ahead and stored sealed in the refrigerator.

Can I freeze this sauce?

Yes, though I recommend freezing it without the pasta and adding fresh-cooked pasta when you thaw and reheat it.  To freeze the sauce, first cool it down in the fridge.  Then transfer the sauce to a freezer bag or storage container and seal it airtight.  It will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.  To reheat, you can thaw in the fridge 24 hours ahead.  Then reheat it in a bot on the stove, covered, on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring often.

Can I use frozen corn kernels?

Yes, of course!  Just add them frozen to the sauce just as instructed for the fresh.  The frozen will thaw and warm in the same time the fresh will take to cook.

Can I substitute Ground Chicken or Turkey?

Yes, ground chicken or turkey can very easily be substituted into this recipe.  Cook according to the same instructions as the ground beef.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef and Corn

Get ready for BIG flavor with this Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef, Corn, and Green Chile-Chipotle-Tomato Sauce!  The sauce is thick and hearty with ground beef and chunky tomatoes.  Then flavor bombs chipotle peppers in adobo, green chiles, and lots of smokey and spicy seasonings are added to bring in the warmth and a slight kick of heat.  Corn kernels are added for a pop of sweet and texture, and grated Parmesan thickens up the sauce and adds creaminess.  Finally, Pappardelle is mixed in and is the perfect vehicle for carrying all of this goodness. You can make the sauce ahead and mix in the pasta right before serving for dinner on a busy weekend!  Your family will love it. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican, Southwestern
Keyword corn, ground beef, meat sauce, pasta, southwestern pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Meat Sauce

  • 1 pound Lean Ground Beef I used 90% lean
  • 1 teaspoon Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 15 ounces Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 4 ounces Green Chiles
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons minced)
  • 1 tablespoon Chipotle Peppers in Adobo, minced
  • 2 cups Beef Broth
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper

Final Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Corn Cob or 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 12 ounces Fettuccine Pasta, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Butter, salted

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. MEASURE. Open the cans of tomatoes, chiles, and paste. Mince the garlic cloves and the chipotle peppers. Measure out all ingredients and add to a bowl for adding to the cooked beef. Store ingredients in the fridge if doing this ahead of time.

  2. PREP CORN. Husk the corn and remove any corn silk. Using a large knife, cut the kernels from the cob. Last, using the back of the knife, scrape down the cob to remove any remaining kernels and the corn 'milk'. Save all corn removed in the fridge until ready to add to the sauce.

    Knife cutting corn kernels off cob for Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef and Corn and breadcrumbs. The sauce is thick and hearty with ground beef, sweet corn kernels, chunky tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo, green chiles, parmesan cheese, and lots of smokey and spicy seasonings.

Cooking Steps

  1. PASTA WATER. Fill a wide/large pot with 6-8 cups of water for the pasta. Heat on high to bring to a boil for dropping the pasta after the meat sauce is ready.

  2. COOK BEEF. Preheat a dutch oven or large and deep pot/pan on high heat. Add the olive oil and the ground beef. Break the beef up with a spatula and then let it cook, stirring every few minutes to break it up and brown on all sides. Should take about 8 minutes for all pink to be gone.

    Raw ground beef cooking in a pot for Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef and Corn and breadcrumbs. The sauce is thick and hearty with ground beef, sweet corn kernels, chunky tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo, green chiles, parmesan cheese, and lots of smokey and spicy seasonings.
  3. COOK SAUCE. Once the beef is cooked, add all of the other Meat Sauce Ingredients – tomatoes, tomato paste, green chiles, minced garlic, chipotle peppers in adobo, Beef broth, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir and bring to a light boil. Then reduce the heat down to lowest setting, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes.

    Tomatoes, chiles, and ground beef cooking in a pot for Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef and Corn and breadcrumbs. The sauce is thick and hearty with ground beef, sweet corn kernels, chunky tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo, green chiles, parmesan cheese, and lots of smokey and spicy seasonings.
  4. CORN & PARMESAN. When there is just 2-3 minutes left in the sauce cooking time, remove the cover and add the corn. Stir to combine. Then cover again. At the end of the 20 minutes, stir in the parmesan cheese.

    Spoon mixing parmesan cheese into pot of ground beef and tomato-chile sauce for Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef and Corn and breadcrumbs. The sauce is thick and hearty with ground beef, sweet corn kernels, chunky tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo, green chiles, parmesan cheese, and lots of smokey and spicy seasonings.
  5. PASTA. Once the pasta water is boiling (but no sooner than 5 minutes remaining on the meat sauce cooking time!), add a splash of Olive Oil and a pinch of salt. Add the pasta and stir so that it all is immersed in the water and doesn't stick it itself. Boil the pasta until al dente. Using a Pasta spoon or tongs, transfer the cooked pasta directly from the cooking water to the meat sauce. Gently toss to combine.

    Pappardelle pasta being mixed into pot of ground beef and tomato-chile sauce for Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef and Corn and breadcrumbs. The sauce is thick and hearty with ground beef, sweet corn kernels, chunky tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo, green chiles, parmesan cheese, and lots of smokey and spicy seasonings.
  6. BREADCRUMBS. Preheat a small pan on medium-low heat. Add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the breadcrumbs and stir to combine. Toast the breadcrumbs, stirring constantly, just until they start to brown.

    Breadcrumbs toasting in a pan for Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef and Corn and breadcrumbs. The sauce is thick and hearty with ground beef, sweet corn kernels, chunky tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo, green chiles, parmesan cheese, and lots of smokey and spicy seasonings.
  7. SERVE. Serve the Southwestern Beef and Corn Pasta on a platter or individual plates. Garnish with the breadcrumbs and parmesan. Enjoy!

    Southwestern Pasta with Ground Beef and Corn and breadcrumbs on top on a plate with fork holding a bite. The sauce is thick and hearty with ground beef, sweet corn kernels, chunky tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo, green chiles, parmesan cheese, and lots of smokey and spicy seasonings.

Recipe Video

Easiest Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken

Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken in a bowl. Chopsticks are sitting on top and scallion slices are on top.
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Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken in a bowl.  Chopsticks have noodles wrapped around and scallion slices are on top.  The pan of noodles is in background.

Get ready for slurping deliciousness taken to the next level!  This is my Easy Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken and it is heavenly.  We are not talking about a one-note stir fry dish.  Nope, this is a symphony of flavors with sesame, soy sauce, chili paste, garlic, ginger, and more.  The sauce is savory, tangy, nutty, spicy, and slightly sweet.  It pairs perfectly with the hearty ground chicken and egg noodles. 

While traditional dan dan noodles have a rather complex sauce, I have taken some shortcuts on ingredients, but definitely not on flavor.  The result is a super easy 30 minute family dinner you will love!

 

WHAT ARE DAN DAN NOODLES?

To be very honest, I looked through all of the local Chinese take out menus (there are at least 20 Chinese restaurants in my city of Hoboken, NJ!) and only came across Dan Dan noodles in a couple.  However, you will more often see other similar noodle dishes with Sichuan in the name.  Sichuan is a southwestern province in China, which is known for its bold and spicy flavors.  Sichuan cuisine typically uses lots of garlic and chili peppers, namely Sichuan peppers. 

Dan Dan Noodles originate from Chinese Sichuan cuisine.  They typically include chili oil, Sichuan pepper, ground pork, preserved vegetables, and scallions served over noodles.  However, for this recipe, I made a few changes to make it less spicy, leaner and easier for busy families.

For the spice, as mentioned, Dan Dan recipes typically have chili oil and sichuan peppers.  You can buy chili oil in some grocery stores and specialty asian markets, but I opted for a more widely-found Sambal Oelek Chili paste.

Bottle of Sambal Oelek chili paste with a spoonful in front for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.

Sambal Oelek is an Indonesian, ground raw chili paste with red chili peppers, vinegar and salt.  It’s easy to find and easy to use in a great many recipes where you want to add a kick, so it will not go to waste.  For the oil, I added Sesame Oil in this recipe.

To make this recipe leaner, I used ground chicken rather than pork.  However, you can use ground pork, chicken, turkey, or even beef.  

Finally, rather than preserved vegetables, I added fresh baby spinach leaves.  The spinach melts into the dish perfectly so that it brings vitamins and nutrients and helps to thicken and round out the dish.

Want more Asian Family Dinners?

If you and your family love making Chinese, Thai, Korean or other Asian recipes at home, then check out my Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with Tofu and Veggies or Asian Teriyaki Meatballs with Veggie Stir Fry & Noodles Dinner or try my Korean Beef Tacos or Korean Ground Beef Rice Bowls!

Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken in a bowl. Chopsticks are sitting on top and scallion slices are on top.

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

You will need a large skillet/frying pan for cooking the ground chicken and making the sauce, then mixing in the noodles. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning. 

You also need a medium-large pot for boiling the noodles.

You can buy already minced garlic and Garlic Press. Or you can peel the garlic and the ginger and mince together in a mini food processor.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR THIS DAN DAN NOODLE RECIPE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below)

Slice the scallions, separating the whites (for the chicken) from the greens (for garnish). If not already minced, peel and mince the garlic and the ginger (see notes on best ways to do this above in the Equipment section).

Scallion whites cut and separates from the greens with knife on cutting board for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.

Make the Sauce. Mix together in a bowl: the Peanut Butter, Sesame Oil, Chili paste, Honey, Vinegar, and Cinnamon. 

Measuring spoon adding honey to bowl of Peanut butter, chili paste, and other ingredients for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.

Peanut butter, chili paste, and other ingredients whisking in bowl for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.

Once combined, whisk in the Soy sauce and water.

COOK YOUR DAN DAN NOODLE RECIPE 

Cook the egg/rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Preheat a large skillet/frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoon of olive oil and then the ground chicken. Break up the chicken as it cooks and let it really get browned, cooking about 5 minutes.

To the chicken, stir in the minced garlic and ginger, plus the whites of the scallions and cook another 2-3 minutes.

Cooked ground chicken in a pan for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.

Then add the Chicken Broth scraping up all of browned bits from the bottom. Finally, stir in the Sauce, HALF of the scallion greens, and the spinach leaves. Let cook for a final 4-5 minutes until the sauce is thickened and completely coating the chicken.

Add half of the noodles to the pan (or all of them if you can fit them) and slowly toss to combine.

Spoon adding noodles to pan with chicken and sauce for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.

To serve, add some of the plain noodles to the bottom of the bowls (this is if they didn’t all fit in the pan with the sauce), then top with the saucy noodles and more meaty sauce. Garnish with the remaining green scallion slices and Enjoy!

Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken in a bowl. Chopsticks are sitting on top and scallion slices are on top.

RECIPE FAQS

Can I use frozen shrimp?

Yes, you can use fresh or frozen shrimp.  The key is to ensure that they are cleaned of the digestive tract along the back and that the tail is pinched off.  You could cook this recipe with the tails on, but it’s more difficult to eat as you have to bite off the tail and discard.  It’s really a personal preference.  If you use frozen shrimp, you want to thaw them in the fridge overnight or under running (not standing) cold water.

How can I make this more or less spicy?

The spice in this recipe is provided by the Sambal Oelek Chili Paste.  It’s a subtle heat that coats your mouth and lips.  Two teaspoons of the chili paste will give a very light heat; however, if you are concerned, then start with 1 teaspoon and once the sauce is mixed with the chicken (before adding the noodles) taste it to see if you want more heat.  If so, add another teaspoon at a time until you achieve the level you want.

What other veggies can I add to this?

So many vegetables would taste great in this recipe.  However, unlike spinach, which just wilts into the sauce in minutes, all other veggies will likely need to be cooked separately and then mixed in or kept separate.  You can pick the couple other veggies that you want to add and sautee them in a frying pan with a touch of olive oil, salt, and pepper until tender, but not mushy.  Once they are done, you can add a scoop of the Dan Dan sauce to their pan and cook for another minute to incorporate the flavors and then toss them into the complete dish.

Can I make this in advance?

Yes!  You can make the Dan Dan Sauce with Ground Chicken mixed and store in the fridge for up to 5 days in advance.  I would wait to cook the noodles until you are ready to eat and then toss them into the sauce after it’s warmed up.  

Can this be frozen?

You can make the Dan Dan Sauce with Ground Chicken mixed and freeze it WITHOUT THE NOODLES.  To freeze it, simply place it in a freezer bag or freezer container and freeze for up to 5 months.  I would wait to cook the noodles until you are ready to eat and then toss them into the sauce after it’s warmed up.  

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken and scallions in a pan on counter with chopsticks next to it.

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Easiest Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken

This Easy Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken is heavenly and takes slurping deliciousness to the next level.  It's a symphony of flavors with sesame, soy sauce, chili paste, garlic, ginger, and more.  The sauce is savory, tangy, nutty, spicy, and slightly sweet and pairs perfectly with the hearty ground chicken and egg noodles.  While traditional dan dan noodles have a rather complex sauce, I have taken some shortcuts on ingredients, but definitely not on flavor.  The result is a super easy 30 minute family dinner you will love!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword Dan dan, ground chicken, noodles, stir fry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Ground Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 lb Ground Chicken
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoon ginger minced
  • 5 Scallions WHITES only

Dan Dan Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons Peanut butter, creamy
  • 2-3 teaspoons Sambal Oelek Chili Paste (add more or less for heat)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 2 tablespoons Rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 2 cups Chicken broth

Noodles & Veggies

  • 16 ounces Fresh Linguine Egg Noodles or Rice Noodles
  • 1 cup Spinach (heaping cup or even 2 cups is good)
  • 5 Scallions, greens only

Instructions

PREP-AHEAD STEPS

  1. Slice the scallions, separating the whites (for the chicken) from the greens (for garnish). If not already minced, peel and mince the garlic and the ginger.

    Scallion whites cut and separates from the greens with knife on cutting board for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.
  2. Make the Sauce. Mix together in a bowl: the Peanut Butter, Sesame Oil, Chili paste, Honey, Vinegar, and Cinnamon in a bowl. Once combined, whisk in the Soy sauce and water.

    Peanut butter, chili paste, and other ingredients whisking in bowl for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.

COOKING STEPS

  1. Cook the egg/rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

  2. Preheat a large skillet/frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoon of olive oil and then the ground chicken. Break up the chicken as it cooks and let it really get browned, cooking about 5 minutes.

    Cooked ground chicken in a pan for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.
  3. To the chicken, stir in the minced garlic and ginger, plus the whites of the scallions and cook another 2-3 minutes. Then add the Chicken Broth scraping up all of browned bits from the bottom. Finally, stir in the Sauce, HALF of the scallion greens, and the spinach leaves. Let cook for a final 4-5 minutes until the sauce is thickened and completely coating the chicken.

  4. Add half of the noodles to the pan (or all of them if you can fit them) and slowly toss to combine.

    Spoon adding noodles to pan with chicken and sauce for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.
  5. To serve, add some of the plain noodles to the bottom of the bowls (this is if they didn't all fit in the pan with the sauce), then top with the saucy noodles and more meaty sauce. Garnish with the remaining green scallion slices and Enjoy!

    Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken in a bowl. Chopsticks are sitting on top and scallion slices are on top.

Recipe Notes

  1. You can use fresh or frozen shrimp.  The key is to ensure that they are cleaned of the digestive tract along the back and that the tail is pinched off.  You could cook this recipe with the tails on, but it’s more difficult to eat as you have to bite off the tail and discard.  It’s really a personal preference.  If you use frozen shrimp, you want to thaw them in the fridge overnight or under running (not standing) cold water.
  2. You can also cook the shrimp in a frying pan.  Preheat the pan on Medium-High heat, add olive oil, then add the shrimp.  Cook for 2 minutes, then flip and cook 1 more minute.
  3. The spice in this recipe is provided by the Sambal Oelek Chili Paste.  It’s a subtle heat that coats your mouth and lips.  Two teaspoons of the chili paste will give a very light heat; however, if you are concerned, then start with 1 teaspoon and once the sauce is mixed with the chicken (before adding the noodles) taste it to see if you want more heat.  If so, add another teaspoon at a time until you achieve the level you want.
  4. So many vegetables would taste great in this recipe.  However, unlike spinach, which just wilts into the sauce in minutes, all other veggies will likely need to be cooked separately and then mixed in or kept separate.  You can pick the couple other veggies that you want to add and sautee them in a frying pan with a touch of olive oil, salt, and pepper until tender, but not mushy.  Once they are done, you can add a scoop of the Dan Dan sauce to their pan and cook for another minute to incorporate the flavors and then toss them into the complete dish.