Asian Noodle Salad

Picnicking in Madison, Wisconsin is a competitive sport. Each summer, the city hosts weekly outdoor concerts, and thousands of residents flock, unfold their blankets, and pull out the most epic collections of picnic food that I have ever witnessed. When we lived in Madison, I attended almost every one, and today’s recipe for Asian Noodle Salad is the dish I most often loved to bring. It’s fresh, feeds a crowd, and was a long-standing favorite amongst our friends.

Asian Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing. This is the BEST cold pasta salad recipe! Whole wheat pasta mixed with crunchy veggies in a sweet and spicy peanut sauce. Packed with flavor, healthy, and filling too! @wellplated

I was ill prepared for my first Wisconsin concert. I arrived ten minutes before showtime with a half-empty bottle of wine and nothing else. Rookie mistake. In addition to listening to music and eating, the other primary activity at these outdoor concerts is to compare your picnic spread to those of neighboring groups. Forget the solo cups and PB&J—at the Madison concert scene, you best go big or go home.

Asian Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing. AMAZING cold pasta salad. Quick and easy, lightened up from the original, and everyone always asks for the recipe! Great for a cookout side dish or add chicken to make it a full meal. @wellplated

I’m proud to report that, by the end of summer, my friends and I could be ranked amongst the picnic elite. Everyone brought something homemade to contribute, we used real forks and plates, and I even invested in a set of wine glass picnic sticks.

Homemade cold pasta salads like today’s Asian Noodle Salad are my go-to contribution for any picnic or cookout. This recipe tastes excellent both cold and at room temperature, travels well, and is a universal hit anywhere I bring it. It also tastes fabulous leftover, so when my friends and I go overboard and bring more food than we can finish (the best kind of picnic problem), I’m happy to keep the leftovers  for lunch the next few days.

Asian Noodle Salad with Creamy Peanut Dressing. Quick and easy to make, lightened up from the original, and the sweet and spicy peanut dressing is ADDICTIVE! @wellplated

This Asian Noodle Salad is easy to throw together and requires zero cooking beyond boiling the noodles. Do not, however, be deceived by its two simple steps—Asian Noodle Salad is a flavor monster. Creamy peanut butter, zingy ginger, sweet honey, and a kick of Sriracha combine to create complex layers of flavor that will keep your fork wandering back to the bowl.

In addition to being addictive, this Asian Noodle Salad is also healthy and packed with veggies, thanks to a product I’ve been adding to my slaws and cold pasta salads for years, Mann’s Broccoli Cole Slaw. I’m ferociously committed to eating my daily veggies, but to be honest, I don’t enjoy washing and chopping them. Mann’s sells a wide variety of pre-prepped vegetables (we go through 3-4 bags of the broccoli a week), so when Mann’s asked me to contribute a recipe to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of its Broccoli Cole Slaw, I said yes right away. This Asian Noodle Salad is part of that celebration, and I’m excited to share it with you today!

Our family LOVED this Asian Noodle Salad. Whole wheat pasta, crunchy veggies, and peanuts, topped with an irresistible creamy peanut dressing. My new go-to cold pasta salad! @wellplated

Broccoli Cole Slaw is the perfect way to sneak veggies into this Asian Noodle Salad, because its mild taste is almost imperceptible, and its thin cut blends seamlessly with the thin noodles. The overall effect is similar to a spiralized veggie pasta, minus the work of actually having to spiralize (plus, we still get to eat pasta!). The broccoli and noodles tangle together, and the rich peanuty sauce coats every morsel.

Translation: the euphoria of a total pasta binge, despite the fact that the majority of what you are shoveling into your mouth is vegetables. Healthy eating VICTORY!

Asian Noodle Salad with Sriracha Peanut Dressing — EASY, healthy, and everyone always asks for the recipe! Perfect for a light summer side or add chicken to make it a full meal. @wellplated

This Asian Noodle Salad is lovely as a light side or lunch. To make it more hearty, I also like adding shredded chicken and edamame for a protein boost. I haven’t tried it with tofu yet, but I think it would be an excellent vegetarian option as well.

Asian Noodle Salad

Asian Noodle Salad with Creamy Peanut Dressing. A flavorful, easy, and healthy cold pasta salad recipe! Easy to make ahead and feeds a crowd.

Yield: Serves 10 (as a side), 6 as a main

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 8 ounces long, thin whole wheat pasta noodles such as spaghetti (use soba noodles to make gluten free)
  • 24 ounces Mann's Broccoli Cole Slaw (2, 12-ounce bags)
  • 4 ounces grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey (use light agave nectar to make vegan)
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (gluten free if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha pepper sauce or garlic chile sauce, plus additional to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
  • 3/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the noodles until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and rinse briefly with cool water to remove the excess starch and stop the cooking, then transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the broccoli cole slaw and carrots.
  2. While the pasta cooks, whisk together the olive oil,  rice vinegar, honey, peanut butter, soy sauce, Sriarcha, ginger, and garlic. Pour over the noodle mixture and toss to combine. Add the peanuts and cilantro and toss once more. Serve chilled or at room temperature with additional Sriracha sauce as desired.
Asian Noodle Salad can be served cold or at room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 (of 10)

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 256
  • Total Fat: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 181mg
  • Carbohydrates: 29g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 8g

If you like this Asian Noodle Salad, don’t miss these other easy and healthy cold pasta salad recipes!

A skinny version of the Asian Ramen Salad that everyone loves!

Asian Ramen Salad

The best ever Italian Pepperoni Pasta Salad, made better with real, fresh ingredients. Easy to make and ALWAYS a crowd favorite! @wellplated

Healthy Italian Pepperoni Pasta Salad

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad — EASY recipe and a hit everywhere I bring it! Healthy version made with fresh ingredients and the best homemade Caesar dressing. @wellplated
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

I am sharing this recipe in partnership with Mann’s. Thanks for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue to create quality content for you!

About Erin Clarke

I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, lover of bourbon, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN...


  1. I love broccoli slaw! I might make this and leave out the noodles entirely, so it can really shine :)

  2. I like the sound of this salad.  I would probably use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic, though, because fresh garlic for me has a strong, too long lasting flavor.

  3. Just pinned this yummy recipe! I love noodle salad’s and the dressing for this one sounds perfect.

  4. Erin, that pasta looks amazing! I can’t wait to make it and bring it to my next beach day picnic!  My boyfriend is a little picky but he would LOVE this! Thanks for sharing!


  5. Made this tonight! yum! My husband loves it too.

  6. Wow, I expected to see thin rice noodles for this recipe but this is fantastic. Looks so delicious (:

  7. shawnna griffin Reply

    hey girl- those picnic’s sound like so much fun! This looks so yummy!

  8. As much as Matt and I *adore* peanut butter, I fail to incorporate it enough into our savory meals. This looks so so good! The perfect picnic meal bursting with flavor. :)

  9. Hi Erin! I recently found your blog via Pinterest! I am drawn to it for several reasons! The biggest is how extremely healthful and flavorful your recipes are! Your grammar and writing are exceptional as well :) :) I just made this Asian Noodle Salad and I must write you to tell you I LOVE IT. The sauce, wow! You nailed that. I am going to use that as a lettuce wrap dip in the future. At my local grocery store, I only found 12 oz bags of Broccoli Slaw. I used 2 of those and it turned out great. This feeds tons of peeps and on the cheap! Wheat noodles–$1, broccoli slaw-$4, cilantro–$.59, carrots–$.50, sauce ingredients–approx. $2 since you use small portions of all the ingredients and I had most on hand. WOW, great deal!! Thanks for this! I look forward to trying out more of your recipes. (One more thing–I doubled the sriracha since we like spice around here!) –Leah from Indiana

  10. Hi Erin, I made this salad today and it is so, so good! It’s impossible to convey with words or photos (yours are gorgeous though!) how amazing the flavors are here! Thank you so much for this recipe! We used shredded cabbage in place of the slaw. Also, if you’re serving this to picky eaters, it should be stated that the peanut butter does not dominate here, especially if you serve the chopped peanuts as a topping on the side. Cilantro on the side too and that was enough to please everybody! Thanks again from Austria!

  11. Pingback: July 2016: A Review | Once In A Blue Spoon

  12. I’ve made this salad twice and it’s a winner!  We love the sauce, the crunch, and especially that it’s a bright, healthy dish. It was the main course at dinner last night for five friends, and all asked for the recipe. So Erin, thanks for another recipe I can use as a go-to salad or entree in these hot days of summer. Wish I could send you the photo, since it was a lovely bowl to behold. 

  13. Wanted to let you know that I stumbled onto your site a few days ago and made this last night — it was delicious! I added baked chicken tossed in hoisin sauce for a little extra protein but my boyfriend and I both decided it was a keeper. I love your regular combinations of veggies, protein, and a carb. It makes a balanced plate and a tasty meal. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

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