This cold Thai noodle salad recipe is an easy gluten free and plant based dinner that is ready in less than 30 minutes! It’s perfect for an easy weeknight dinner or side dish for a party.
My version of noodles back then consisted of absolutely zero vegetables, so times have definitely changed, but still. This is the perfect way to satisfy your pasta craving on a warm day.
This recipe is peanuty, fresh, crunchy, satisfying and comes together in under 30 minutes. Make it gluten free by using rice noodles, up the protein with some chicken or shrimp, or make it spicy with lots of red pepper flakes.
There’s tons of different textures in here too which I love. Perfectly cooked noodles, crunchy vegetables, a creamy peanut sauce, and more crunchy toppings like sesame seeds, crushed peanuts or eve cashews if you like!
How to make this recipe
To start, you’ll want to bring a pot of water to a boil. For this recipe you can use either rice noodles, soba noodles, or really any kind of noodle you want. Just cook the noodles according to the package instructions.
Meanwhile, prep the sauce and the veggies. I like to slice the veggies into thin strips using a mandoline, and shred the carrots in a food processor, but you can cut them into larger pieces if you like.
Once the noodles are done cooking, rinse them with cold water. This will stop them from cooking and also lower the temperature because you want to eat this salad cold. Toss the noodles with the prepared veggies.
Toss about ½ the sauce with the noodles/veggies until well combined, then add as much more as you like until it reaches your desired sauciness level. I usually add all of the sauce, but add as much or as little as you like!
Sprinkle on top some chopped cilantro, scallions and crushed peanuts (or no peanuts which I actually prefer!).
Add some extra red pepper flakes for some spice, lime wedges for tang, or serve exactly as is.
Does it keep? As prepared, this recipe will keep in the fridge for about 5 days. Store it in an air tight container to keep it nice and fresh.
Can I add other vegetables? While I listed some of my favorite additions to this, you can put basically whatever you want in a salad. You can use any veggies in this recipe or even add some baked or air fried tofu, tempeh, chicken, or chickpeas for added protein.
How should I serve it? You can serve this Thai noodle salad exactly as is for a simple lunch, or serve it alongside some maple glazed salmon or grilled chicken for a delicious summer dinner!
What noodles are best? I used regular brown rice spaghetti noodles for this dish. You can use rice noodles, regular spaghetti, vermicelli, whatever you like!
If you’re using regular white rice pad Thai style noodles, you usually just soak those in hot water instead of boiling them. Always follow the package instructions because different noodles have different cooking methods.
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Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Cook noodles according to package instructions.
- When the pasta is done cooking, rinse it with cold water and add it into a large serving bowl.
- Add in the veggies and stir together.
- Pour half the sauce over the pasta and mix together. Keep adding sauce until it reaches your desired sauciness (a real word!). I ended up using almost all of the sauce, but you may want less, depending on preference. The sauce stores well in the fridge so don’t feel like you need to use it all!
- Top with fresh cilantro, scallions, peanuts, and sesame seeds.