Vegetarian Noodle Salad

6.3.2021

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
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cold noodle salad

Vegetarian Noodle Salad


  • Author: Simple Green Smoothies
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

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.


Ingredients

Scale

For Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (unsweetened)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons water, 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 raw green beans, halved
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely sliced
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage (red or green, or both!)
  • 3 green onion stems, finely sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (preferably toasted)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (on top)

Instructions

  1. Prepare noodles according to the packet directions. Drain, rinse and set aside to cool.
  2. For Dressing: mix together all dressing ingredients, using water only if needed to loosen. 
  3. Steam green beans until just cooked, tender but still crisp. Drain under running water to cool.
  4. Chop and slice salad veggies while green beans are cooking.
  5. Place salad ingredients in a big bowl and toss with dressing.
  6. Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro, then serve at room temp. Keeps up to 4 days in fridge.

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.

  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Healthy

Keywords: noodle salad, cold noodle salad, noodle salad recipe

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
DIY FREEZER SMOOTHIE PREP ON A BUDGET
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 plant-based diet. I also found myself again along the way.

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Recipe rating

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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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