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!
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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!
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 asian cold 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!
When it comes to creating the perfect cold peanut 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!
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.
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.
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.
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. They will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 4-5 days if stored correctly. When ready to enjoy a second (or third!) time, grab your ingredients and assemble.
If the sauce is a little too thick, add in a teaspoon of warm water and mix before pouring over the salad.
If you try this Cold Peanut Noodle Salad recipe, let us know what you think by leaving a comment and rating below! We’d love to hear about your favorite vegan noodle ideas! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for even more vegan recipe inspiration.
More Noodlicious Recipes to Try
Pasta is not only easy and inexpensive, but it’s also delicious. Before you take another spoonful of spaghetti and vegan meatballs, check out our Healthy Noodles guide for more fiber-filled and bean-based pasta brands.
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.
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.
Meal Prep: Portion the noodle salad into meal prep containers and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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