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Top-down view of Spicy Tomato Peanut Sauce on brown rice, garnished with chopped peanuts and cilantro
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5 from 1 vote

Spicy Tomato Peanut Rice Bowls

An easy weeknight dinner, rice is topped with a Spicy Tomato Peanut Sauce that uses everyday ingredients. Make it vegan or with chicken.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy entree, spicy peanut sauce, spicy rice bowl, spicy tomato peanut sauce
Servings: 4
Calories: 290kcal
Author: sylvia


  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (Or substitute with one teaspoon dried garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups fresh tomatoes, diced (Separate into 2 cups and 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (We used all natural, unsalted peanut butter)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (If not vegan, you can swap this with honey. You can sub any sweetener you like here, such as regular white sugar, brown sugar, or maple syrup.)
  • 1/3 cup peanuts, roughly chopped (We used unsalted roasted peanuts. Reduce or omit the salt if you use salted peanuts).
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For chicken version

  • 1/4 pound chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

For serving

  • cilantro, minced
  • peanuts, roughly chopped
  • rice, white or brown


Make the Rice

  • If you're making brown rice, get that started as it takes about 40 to 45 minutes. White rice will be faster, usually about 20 minutes. The sauce itself takes less than 20 minutes, including prep so getting the rice started first is a good idea.

Make the sauce

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook until soft and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Turn the heat down and add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for one minute.
  • Transfer the onion mixture to a blender and add 2 cups of the tomatoes, the peanut butter, coconut sugar, and salt. Blend until desired consistency.
  • Transfer the sauce back to the saucepan and stir in the remaining 1 cup of tomatoes, the chopped peanuts, and the cilantro. Heat through.

Make the chicken

  • Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the cubed chicken and cook until done. If you're not eating with vegans, you can stir this into the cooked sauce.

To serve

  • Add rice to bowl, top with sauce, and garnish with additional cilantro and chopped peanuts.


Storage and Reheating

This will store well in the fridge for at least 2-3 days in a well-sealed container.
The sauce is good hot or cold, so if you have leftovers, it makes a great cold lunch. 

Replacing Fresh Tomatoes

If you don't have good quality fresh tomatoes, replace with canned, drained, diced tomatoes. 

Replacing Fresh Garlic

You can substitute 1 teaspoon of dried garlic for the fresh. 

Replacing Coconut Sugar

You can use any kind of sweetener you like. This is good with honey if you're not  vegan. 

Nutrition Information

Nutrition information is an estimate only, without the chicken, rice, or garnishes. 


Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 408mg | Potassium: 369mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 549IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg