Cold Peanut Noodle Salad

This crisp and creamy cold noodle salad is crazy delicious! Perfect for leftover veggies and perfect for any type of noodles. Schedule this into your meal prep asap!
post featured image
A bowl of cold peanut noodle salad with purple cabbage, carrots, peas, tofu, green onion, and sesame peanut sauce.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you. Please read my policy page.

Who can resist a colorful cold noodle salad? Not us! These Asian-style noodles with peanut sauce are refreshing and very versatile—and, even better, can be enjoyed year-round. Chilled savory noodles combined with fresh, crisp veggies and plant-based protein are a dazzling and delicious blend of fabulous flavors and tempting textures. What more can you ask for in a meat-free meal?

You’ll love how fun and easy it is to prep this recipe! If you don’t like taking a big chunk of time out of your schedule to food prep, do it in small steps. Wash and chop veggies while listening to your favorite audiobook one day, cook and store the noodles on another day, and finally throw it all together the next free moment you have. In the end, you’ll have at least a few mouthwatering meals to grab any time you want!

If you’re ready to prepare the most delightful (and nourishing) peanut noodle salad you’ve ever tasted, let’s get started!

Cold noodle salad in a meal prep container.

Why This Cold Noodle Salad is So Awesome

There’s nothing better than a no-heat, grab-and-go meal that’s ready for you any time. Here’s why we love this cold Asian noodle salad so much:

  • Easy and Inexpensive. Veggies, a block of tofu, and a pound of pasta are not only affordable but usually already in your fridge or pantry.
  • Incredibly Delicious. Varying textures and contrasting flavors are key to a successful salad. A mixture of crisp veggies and soft tofu along with a warm sauce and cool noodles make this the ultimate in taste sensation.
  • Very Versatile. Not only can you change up the type of veggies but also the shape of noodles, the flavor of the sauce, and the plant-based protein you choose. Throw this salad together using your own taste preferences and favorite foods.
  • Meal Prep Friendly. Simply slice up some veggies, whip up the sauce, and cook the pasta. After that, divide it up and seal it into containers for at least a few meals completely ready for the week. Yay!
Ingredients for the cold noodle salad added to a large mixing bowl.

Key Ingredients and Substitutions

When it comes to creating the perfect Asian cold noodle salad, your choice of ingredients can make all the difference. Let us help you transform this simple dish into a heavenly meal for any time of day. These whole food, plant-based ingredients are seriously full of flavor and texture. You’ll adore the silky noodles, the vibrant vegetables, and, most of all, the irresistible peanut sauce!

Ingredients for cold peanut noodle salad with labels.
  • Noodles: Even though spaghetti noodles are traditional, you can easily substitute for orzo, corkscrew, or penne pasta. Feel free to choose any noodles or pasta shapes you like.
  • Sliced Veggies: The thinner the veggies, the better. Chunks are great for roasting, but thin slices are the best for salad. Use a mandolin slicer if you don’t like so much slicing. Since the noodles and tofu are soft and neutral-colored, try to choose crisp, vibrant, and colorful vegetables for your salad.
  • Tofu: Any tofu will work in this recipe. If you want to give a try to raw tofu or marinated tofu, this salad may be even more tempting. For those who aren’t too excited about tofu, how about adding air fryer tempeh instead?
  • Peanut Sauce: This versatile sauce makes this recipe next-level delicious. Its creamy, savory, and slightly sweet flavor not only adds a little extra protein but brings in a whole lot of flavor. A little goes a long way! (Hint: Save some for topping tofu satay, dunking sweet potato fries, or leftover spring rolls.)
  • Nuts and/or Seeds: A little bit of crunch and contrasting color with nuts or seeds is a wonderful topping for the salad. Excellent choices include: black or white sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, or roasted cashews. You’ll get a small dose of healthy fat, vitamins, and minerals to boot!

How To Make This Cold Noodle Salad

The process of making this cold peanut noodle salad couldn’t be easier! Follow these simple steps and get ready to enjoy your refreshing salad in 30 minutes or less!

Step One: In a blender, combine soy sauce, peanut butter, garlic, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger powder, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, and water. Blend until smooth, adjusting consistency as needed by adding water gradually for a thinner peanut sauce. Set aside.

Peanut sauce for the cold noodle salad in a small bowl, garnished with sliced green onion.

Step Two: Cook the pasta following package instructions, then drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside. Prep vegetables while pasta cooks.

Step Three: In a large serving bowl, mix cooked noodles, purple cabbage, bell pepper, carrots, tofu, green onions, peanuts, and sesame seeds. Drizzle with peanut sauce and toss until well combined.

The cold noodle salad in a large mixing bowl after everything has been mixed together with the peanut sauce.

How to Serve Up This Asian Noodle Salad

Crafting a cold noodle salad is as much fun to make as it is to eat. With so many options for each of the ingredients, it’s almost impossible to get bored using this salad recipe. Use these tasty tips as a template for creating your own noodle salad recipes that fit your lifestyle and your family’s tastes. Here are some of our best suggestions for swaps and appetizing additions:

  • Perfect for Picnics – For a super easy picnic lunch, make a batch of these vegan noodle salads ahead of time. You won’t have to worry about heating them up, and they’re so colorful that they’re bound to brighten up your day.
  • Savory to Sweet – If you’re brave and adventurous, how about swapping the veggies for fruit? Thinly slice up strawberries, mangos, cucumbers, sweet red onion, and add in orange segments. Top with a scoop of noodles, sweet roasted chickpeas, peanut sauce (or, for sweet-lovers, Maple Cream Sauce), and candied walnuts.
  • Roll It Up – Don’t compost (or throw out) any remaining cold noodle salad, no matter how small. Save it for rice paper wraps! Fill lightly soaked spring roll rice paper wrappers with leftover salad, fold in the sides, and then roll up into cylinder shapes. Place in a sealed container in the fridge until ready to eat. Serve with more peanut sauce and possibly some sweet & sour tofu triangles for another appetizing meal.
A bowl of cold peanut noodle salad with purple cabbage, carrots, peas, tofu, green onion, and sesame peanut sauce.

Asian Noodle Salad FAQs

How do I store any leftover cold Asian noodle salad?

Storing your leftover noodles is a cinch! Our favorite tip is to keep all of the ingredients separate, if possible. That way, everything (including the sauce) can be used for another purpose as well as being the best way to keep all of the ingredients fresher longer. Feel free to store the veggies together, but try to keep the noodles, sauce, and tofu (or your choice of plant-based protein) in different sealed containers.

Can I make this Asian noodle salad recipe gluten-free?

Yes, you sure can! Simply use your favorite brand of gluten-free spaghetti instead. For an extra veggie-powered salad, whip up a batch of cucumber or zucchini noodles for a fresh, cool twist!

How long will this cold peanut noodle salad last in the fridge?

They will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 4-5 days if stored correctly.

Peanut noodle salad placed into meal prep containers.

Hungry for more? Subscribe to the World of Vegan weekly newsletter and join our community of over 1 million plant-passionate peeps on Instagram (@Vegan), Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube!

flower icon
Send This Recipe to My Inbox
Drop your email below to receive this recipe in your inbox. Plus, we’ll send you our favorite seasonal plant-based recipes weekly!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Cold Peanut Noodle Salad

Author: Michelle Cehn | World of Vegan
5 from 5 votes
This sesame peanut noodle salad is a delicious vegan lunch or dinner to meal prep for the week. It's versatile and can be made with any type of noodles—spaghetti, whole wheat noodles, soba noodles, and even ramen. It's loaded with colorful veggies and protein-packed.
A bowl of cold peanut noodle salad with purple cabbage, carrots, peas, tofu, green onion, and sesame peanut sauce.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Equipment

  • 1 Blender (to blend the peanut sauce)

Ingredients

Sesame Peanut Sauce

  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 pinches red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon water, plus more if needed to achieve desired consistency

Noodle Salad

  • 16 ounces whole wheat spaghetti, soba noodles, whole wheat spaghetti, or plain spaghetti
  • ½ cup purple cabbage, finely shredded
  • ½ cup red or yellow bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup carrots, shredded
  • ½ cup tofu, finely cubed
  • cup green onions, finely sliced
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Sesame seeds

Instructions

  • To a blender, add the soy sauce, peanut butter, garlic, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger powder, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, and water and blend until smooth. If desired, add additional water, one tablespoon at a time, to achieve a thinner peanut sauce consistency. Set aside.
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain, rinse with cold water to cool and prevent sticking, and set aside. Prepare the vegetables while pasta is cooking.
  • To a large serving bowl, add the cooked and cooled noodles, purple cabbage, bell pepper, carrots, tofu, green onions, peanuts, and sesame seeds. Drizzle peanut sauce on top and mix until combined.

Notes

Meal Prep: Portion the noodle salad into meal prep containers and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

Nutrition

Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 812mg | Potassium: 335mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1546IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 3mg
Course — dinner, Lunch
Cuisine — Amercan, Thai
Love this Recipe? Leave a Rating!And follow @Vegan on Instagram for more.
newsletter offer

Enter to Win Our Monthly Giveaway!

Drop your name below for a chance to win $400 of vegan meals from Purple Carrot, a $250 gift card to Vegan Life Shop, and $150 of cold pressed juices from Wonder Juice. You’ll also receive our weekly e-newsletter with plant-based recipes galore!

Thank you for subscribing!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.
Recipe Rating




5 comments
  1. 5 stars
    So good — One of my favorite recipes to meal prep for the week!

  2. Andrea White says:

    5 stars
    Love al the color! So delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    yum! I made this cold noodle salad with ingredients I already had in my fridge. It’s so simple and delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    Such a delicious salad… versatile and flavorful.

  5. 5 stars
    I cannot get enough of these peanut noodles! The sauce is truly addictive and really delicious on anything. But, I love how easy these are to meal prep and they taste even better next day. YUM!

Stay Inspired!

Thank you for subscribing!