Asian Noodle Salad

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Asian Noodle Salad is a fabulous fusion salad, loaded with colorful vegetables and tossed in an unforgettable Asian inspired dressing. This is an amazingly easy Asian pasta salad recipe!!

titled (shown in bowl with chopsticks) asian noodle salad


 

Asian Noodle Salad

I do love a bowl of warm, creamy pasta. But when it’s hot outside, I want something cool, crisp, and healthy — and that’s just what this cold Asian noodle salad is!

Asian pasta salad is the perfect dish to bring to a barbecue this spring and summer.

It’s unique yet has flavors people know and love, it’s not coated in mayonnaise, and it is loaded with colorful veggies.

Plus, this is a great option for those at your party who are vegetarian or vegan. Make sure they get to it first, because this salad goes fast!

Need more protein in your meal? Try my Sweet Summer Chicken Asian Salad, my Copycat PF Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps, or serve ginger beef stir fry over Asian sesame rice instead!

dry spaghetti with chopped veggies and peanuts

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Pasta – This Asian pasta salad recipe is already pretty healthy as is, but feel free to swap the spaghetti with a whole wheat variety instead.
  • Veggies – We use a delectable combination of carrots, green and purple cabbage, edamame, and sweet peppers.

    Save time by grabbing pre-shredded cabbage and matchstick carrots instead.

    Sweet peppers can be swapped with any combination of red, yellow, or orange bell pepper. Slice into small strips instead.

    Edamame will most likely be in the freezer section. Be sure to remove the beans from the pods if they only come whole.
  • Green Onion and Cilantro – These simple ingredients really add a big dose of flavor! If cilantro isn’t your thing, flat-leaf parsley or Thai basil are decent substitutes.
  • Dressing – A simple, homemade creation of ingredients you may already have in your pantry.

    Opt for fresh ginger or garlic if possible, though you can use powdered in a pinch.

    Ginger paste is another suitable substitute. Use the same amount as you would freshly grated ginger.
cooked spaghetti in a glass bowl

Tips for Making Cold Asian Noodle Salad

  • Combine tasks. Cut up all the veggies while you’re waiting for the pasta water to come to a boil and then the noodles to cook.

    Multitasking makes this Asian noodle salad recipe come together that much faster!
  • Use your kitchen tools. Create long, thin strips of carrot with a vegetable peeler and shred the cabbage quickly with a mandoline.
  • Chill the pasta. Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain and transfer to an ice bath.

    This cools the noodles down quickly, stops them from cooking further, and removes any excess starch.
  • Make dressing in a jar. A quick shake means it’s ready to go!

    This also allows you to store (and transport) the dressing easily if you’re making this Asian noodle salad ahead of time.
sliced veggies in glass bowl

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Quality kitchen knives You have a few veggies to chop up in this recipe and anytime you cut, chop, or slice, good quality knives make it easier and safer.

    You can help prolong the quality of your knives by honing them regularly.
  • Cutting Board A big good solid cutting board is a necessity. I have many cutting boards but always come back to this one.
  • 4 or 5-quart pot – Great for soups, roasts, frying, and cooking pasta for salads like this one… I use my 5-quart pot all the time.
asian noodle salad tossed with tongs

Asian Pasta Salad FAQ

What can I use instead of spaghetti?

For Asian pasta salad, I really recommend sticking with spaghetti. It’s cost-effective, easy to find, and holds up well in the dressing.Soba noodles are the next best option, in my opinion. They will either be in the international food aisle or in pre-cooked packages near the produce section.

Can I make this Asian noodle salad recipe ahead of time?

You sure can! Prep the veggies and cook the noodles according to the recipe, then toss the noodles with just a tablespoon of dressing so they don’t stick together.Store in the refrigerator up to a day in advance. Add the remaining dressing just before serving Asian noodle salad to keep the veggies nice and crisp.

Does Asian noodle salad have to be kept chilled?

Actually, no! Because this cold Asian noodle salad doesn’t contain any mayonnaise or dairy, it is safe to sit out for a few hours at potlucks and cookouts.

serving of asian noodle salad on white plate with utensils

Enjoy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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low bowl of asian noodle dish with chopsticks

Other Easy Salad Recipes

Asian Noodle Salad (with Ginger Soy Dressing)

Donna Elick
Asian Noodle Salad is a fabulous side salad recipe. With crisp veggies and an unforgettable Asian inspired dressing, it's a favorite anytime!
5 stars from 2 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Asian
Method Stovetop
Servings 6

Ingredients
 

  • 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 4 carrots peeled, sliced thin
  • 10 mini sweet peppers, red and yellow, sliced
  • 1 cup edamame, cooked
  • 1 1/2 cups purple cabbage, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups green cabbage, sliced
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup peanuts, chopped
  • sesame seeds

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, or 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions
 

  • Cook spaghetti according to directions on box. Once done, drain and place in a bowl of ice water until cooled. Drain again.
  • While the pasta cooks, place dressing ingredients together in a jar and shake.
  • Assemble by placing spaghetti in a bowl and topping with all the veggies, cilantro, peanuts, and sesame seeds. Pour the dressing on just before serving and toss until evenly coated. Serve immediately.

Donna’s Notes

If making ahead of time, toss the spaghetti noodles with about a tablespoon of the dressing before layering on the veggies.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 530cal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 773mg | Sugar: 17g | Fiber: 8g | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 3mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): asian pasta salad

Originally published April 2018, updated and republished June 2023

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4 Comments

  1. This recipe looks really good, but I'd never use spaghetti. Spaghetti is fine with a pasta sauce because you can twirl your fork around and get a good amount of the long strings on a fork with the sauce. In a salad with lots of tiny hard veggies – not gonna happen. Too hard to eat. If you're feeding kids a real nightmare for them. I'd use a different pasta. I don't even use spaghetti noodles in spaghetti as I'm a senior and I find it difficult with arthritis.

  2. Totally agree on that one. The more I read, the more I was picturing mini farfalle or bowties as my replacement pasta. Also, no nits in our salad due to allergies. The sesame oil will be replaced with a white balsamic.

  3. 5 stars
    Made this today and it was so good! The flavors all went together nicely, and the spaghetti noodles were not a problem!

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