Sesame Noodles with Swiss Chard and Chicken

March 24, 2021
18 Ratings
Photo by Alexandra Stafford
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Adapted from a recipe in Chrissy Teigen's cookbook Cravings.

I've added a heap of Swiss chard to make this more of a stand-alone dish, but know that it's optional or replaceable—spinach, shredded cabbage or romaine might be nice as would julienned carrots or sweet potatoes.

Many other adaptations can be made here, too: If you're vegetarian, leave out the chicken. Sub in protein of your choice—oven-baked tofu might be nice. For the peanut oil, use grapeseed, canola, or olive. For the red wine vinegar, use rice, white balsamic, apple cider—any vinegar really. If you prefer chicken thighs, use them. I'm typically a thigh person, but I actually prefer breasts here.

Chili oil—I never know what to buy when I see this ingredient, so I make my own: simply heat neutral oil or olive oil with crushed red pepper flakes over medium heat until the oil just begins to shimmer. Remove pan from heat. Let cool, then strain (or don't) into a storage vessel. I think I use about 1/4 cup pepper flakes per cup of oil—it's very spicy. —Alexandra Stafford

What You'll Need
  • 8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 8 ounces dried fettuccine
  • 6 ounces Swiss chard, leaves removed from stems, torn into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1/4 cup well-stirred tahini
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chili oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  1. Fill a large saucepan 2/3 full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Salt it so that it tastes good, add the chicken breast, and remove the pot from the heat. Cover and let the chicken sit until cooked but very tender, about 15 minutes. (If you’re using two smaller breasts, decrease the time by about 3 minutes.) Remove the chicken from the water (don’t throw it away!) and cut into it to check its doneness; if it’s still a little pink, return it to the water for another minute or two. Remove the chicken to a plate and let it rest while you cook the noodles.
  2. Bring the water the chicken was cooked in back to a boil over high heat. Add the fettuccine, and cook to al dente according to the package directions. Place the chard in a large colander.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce: in a small bowl, whisk together 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil, the peanut oil, tahini, soy sauce, vinegar, chili oil, honey, cayenne, if using, and garlic until smooth. Note: It's very spicy without the cayenne, but if you like heat, start with 1/4 tsp. cayenne, then add more to taste.
  4. Drain the pasta directly over the chard, and shake the colander to allow water to drain out. Transfer chard and noodles to a large bowl. Toss with the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil.
  5. Shred the chicken with your hands into the bowl of noodles and chard. Add the scallions. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Molly
  • Andrea Christensen
    Andrea Christensen
  • Emily Clark
    Emily Clark
  • liz andrew
    liz andrew
  • Alexandra Stafford
    Alexandra Stafford
I write the blog alexandra's kitchen, a place for mostly simple, sometimes fussy, and always seasonal recipes. My cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs is available everywhere books are sold.

22 Reviews

JennyDodson February 3, 2023
Brilliant technique with the chicken. Lovely sauce, this is a super recipe, and making it is almost as fun as eating it. Going to make more sauce and try it on rice today.
Kelsey F. June 13, 2018
This was great. I didn't have chili oil so I substituted sriracha and it definitely needed some more of a kick! I'll add more cayenne next time to make up for it. Also, substituted kale for the chard and loved this method of recycling the water with all the goodness from the chicken and the starch from the pasta.
Molly December 29, 2017
This was delicious and easy. I think next time I'll add some other veggies to it to bulk it up a bit - maybe some shredded carrots and bell peppers.
farmlynn December 17, 2017
Delicious, fast, easy -- I doubled the amount of chard relative to the rest of the recipe, because yada yada yada. An excellent one-pot dish.
tina March 8, 2017
I ate almost all of it in one sitting just now. Dear lord i just drank some water and i dont feel too good. It was so yummy, i just kept putting it in my mouf.

I used lee kum kee chili oil, sold at most asian grocers. I also added a tablespoon of pb and the end result was super creamy and rich. Safflower oil and 3 garlic cloves. Also didn't have breasts, used 2 thighs that had bone and skin on. Boiled it for about 25 minutes. That chard wilting technique is so smart. Great recipe and super easy to make. Thanks! :)
Alexandra S. March 14, 2017
So happy to hear this!
janet March 3, 2017
omg this was so delicious! thanks for the recipe :)
i love how it's all a one-pot dish and how the water is used 3 different ways!
Alexandra S. March 4, 2017
Yay! So happy to hear this.
mer January 31, 2017
Delicious and easy. I'll be making this many times. Love it with lots of chard. I assumed the 2 teaspoons of sesame oil were meant to be toasted sesame oil...if not, that is a delicious option to try too :-)
I've also been using the poaching technique for cooking boneless turkey breasts to have on hand for sandwiches, tossed salads etc. THe turkey stays moist and tender. Our local organic turkey farmers sell what are called turkey tenders (small boneless turkey breasts) . If tenders are unavailable then larger turkey breasts could easily de-boned and cut into a few pieces prior to poaching.
Alexandra S. February 1, 2017
So happy to hear this, Mer! I've been loving the breast-poaching technique as well — your turkey tenders sound lovely! Would be so nice to have a local source. I use toasted sesame oil as well! I should make a note. Thanks!
Jordan December 21, 2016
Have a peanut allergy - what would you suggest substituting for the peanut oil?
Alexandra S. December 21, 2016
I love grapeseed oil, but you could use olive oil or canola, too.
Andrea C. December 19, 2016
I could seriously eat sesame noodles, of nearly any variety, everyday. Delicious!
Alexandra S. December 19, 2016
Leslie December 19, 2016
I made this for dinner last night and it was absolutely delicious.
Alexandra S. December 19, 2016
Yay! So happy to hear this!!
Emily C. December 19, 2016
Alexandra S. December 19, 2016
Fresh T. December 18, 2016
Ha! I just read this book from the library and had a bunch of recipes earmarked.... now I must try this one too! Thanks for hot chili oil tip!
Alexandra S. December 19, 2016
You must!
liz A. December 16, 2016
perfectly unfussy & adaptable. adding it to my weekend ;)
Alexandra S. December 16, 2016