6.3.2021

Vegetarian Noodle Salad

Spice up your summer with this colorful asian fusion noodle salad recipe that uses fresh veggies and a homemade plant-based sauce.

cold noodle salad

Who said salad has to be lettuce based? I’ve got a brand new recipe for cold noodle salad that’s gonna be a summer staple. Inspired by traditional Thai noodle salad, this recipe explodes with flavor. I can’t wait for you to try it!

fresh ingredients for a plant based salad

What is noodle salad?

…And why is it cold?! Noodle salads can be found in many different regions around the world. Hot and cold, mayonnaise based as well as drenched in Italian dressing, a salad with noodles is a tried and true dish that lots of people love.

I love Thai peanut sauce, and it works seamlessly in this version of a Thai-inspired salad. Because there are several sauces + more processed ingredients in this salad, it is higher in sodium. If you need to cut back, then try using dried red pepper flakes with a bit of olive oil instead of the chili sauce. The flavor does change, yet the sodium content goes down.

What noodles should I use?

Now onto the ever important question of what noodles to use. Here are my top picks: millet and brown rice ramen, egg noodles, soba noodles, fresh pasta noodles and rice noodles.

All of these options are a bit different, yet delicious. Make this cold noodle salad your own with your fav option.

delicious noodle salad

Cold noodle salad recipe

This colorful salad uses a mix of raw and cooked ingredients; typical of many noodle salads. If you’d like a hot option, then check out my vegetarian ramen recipe.

If you are able, make this salad a day ahead, then refrigerate. Giving the sauce + ingredients a bit of time to marinate really takes the whole dish to the next level. If you’d like to make this salad for a party, then don’t be afraid to double the recipe.

Tips for making a great salad

Pick noodles you love– I used egg noodles for my salad, yet I’ve also made this with gluten free ramen. It tastes great with both!

Pre-mixed cabbage slaw– When in a pinch, go for the pre-mixed slaw mix. Trader Joe’s has a great slaw mix that doesn’t already have the dressing mixed in. It’s just shredded cabbage and carrots. Using pre-cut veggies shortens your prep time as well as cuts down on dishes. #winwin

Fresh or frozen green beans work– I look at canned green beans as a last resort, and instead go for fresh or frozen. The flavor just can’t be beat!

Swaps for peanut butter- If peanut butter doesn’t work for you, then swap in almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower butter.

Soy free option- If you’re looking for a soy free cold noodle salad, then swap the tamari for coconut aminos. They have a slightly different flavor, yet work great in this sauce.

cold noodle salad ready to serve
cold noodle salad

Vegetarian Noodle Salad

This refreshing noodle salad is a great light lunch or yummy side for dinner. Take it to the beach and enjoy at sunset for the ultimate summer night.
5 from 4 votes
Pin Recipe Rate Recipe Print Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Plant-Based
Servings: 4
Calories: 440kcal
Author: Simple Green Smoothies

Equipment

  • stove

Ingredients

For Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp water, more if needed

For Salad: 

  • 6 oz asian noodles, egg, lo mein, ramen, etc
  • 1.5 cups carrot, julienned
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1.5 cups green beans, fresh + halved
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely sliced
  • 2 cups cabbage, shredded (red or green)
  • 3 green onions, stems finely sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, preferably toasted
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, on top

Instructions

  • Prepare noodles according to the packet directions. Drain, rinse and set aside to cool.

For Dressing

  • Mix together all dressing ingredients, using water only if needed to loosen. 
  • Steam green beans until just cooked, tender but still crisp. Drain under running water to cool.
  • Chop and slice salad veggies while green beans are cooking.
  • Place salad ingredients in a big bowl and toss with dressing.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro, then serve at room temp. Keeps up to 4 days in fridge.

Video

Notes

  • To make sure this salad is gluten free, read the label on the package of noodles to ensure it is certified gluten-free. 
  • Fresh, raw green beans are preferred, but in a pinch, canned can be used.

Nutrition

Calories: 440kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 302mg | Potassium: 684mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 9450IU | Vitamin C: 73mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 3mg
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Great vegetarian side dishes

If you loved this salad (and your guests could believe a vegetarian dish could taste so good!) then I’ve got some more great recipes for you to try. I love pulling in Thai-inspired flavors to my dishes, as evidenced by this delicious list of recipes:

Hundreds of recipes like these are available through my plant based meal planner, Rawk the Year. I needed something to keep my family eating at home together, and eating healthy meals. So, I created a meal planner full of recipes we actually eat, and I can’t wait to share it with you and your family too.

01
#1 Green Smoothie Of all Time— no joke!
02
HOW TO MAKE A MEAL REPLACEMENT SMOOTHIE
03
7-DAY WEIGHT LOSS MEAL PLAN
About Jen Hansard

Mom of 2, ran across the Grand Canyon and lover of smoothies, coffee & tacos. I transformed my family's health with a realistic plant-based diet. I also found myself again along the way.

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Ratings & Comments

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7
  1. Kim says:

    WOW! This salad is SOOO good. The flavors are on-point & perfect for summer night dinners!

  2. Lisa says:

    This is delish. Made it several times for different people and everyone loved it. I personally don’t think it needs the maple syrup but its great either way you fix it. You can add chicken too 🙂

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      You are so right, Lisa! We’re def not opposed to some chicken in this salad if that floats your boat!

  3. Sarah Mitchel says:

    I love the new food recipes you’ve been sharing— esp when they have some asian fusion. That’s my fav. Thank you so much! Can’t wait to make this.

  4. Danielle says:

    I have never bought egg noodles. Where do I even find them? Can I swap for other kinds or will it mess it up?

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      Egg noodles are commonly found in the international foods aisle of your local grocery store, along with other Asian food items. You can totally swap for other types of noodles like ramen, rice noodles or fresh pasta.

  5. Erin says:

    Just got some millet + brown rice ramen, and I’ve got fresh green beans from the garden. Can’t wait to try this! You had me at peanut butter <3

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