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.

bowl of Asian Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing

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 on a plate

I’m proud to report that, by the end of summer, my friends and I could be ranked among 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.

Classic Asian Noodle Salad

Homemade cold pasta salads like today’s 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 left over, 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.

Two bowls of Asian Noodle Salad

How to Make Asian Noodle Salad

This Asian noodle salad recipe 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 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 salad is part of that celebration, and I’m excited to share it with you today!

bag of Mann's broccoli cole slaw and ingredients to make an Asian noodle salad

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 is lovely as a light side dish 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 with Sriracha Peanut Dressing

More Healthy Salad Recipes

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

Asian Noodle Salad

4.95 from 18 votes
Asian Noodle Salad with Creamy Peanut Dressing. A flavorful, easy, and healthy cold pasta salad recipe! Easy to make ahead and feeds a crowd.

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins

Servings: 10 servings (as a side), 6 as a main

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.
  • 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.

Notes

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

Serving: 1(of 10)Calories: 256kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 8gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 181mgFiber: 4gSugar: 10g

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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!

photo collage of Asian noodle salad

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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72 Comments

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  1. This is my third time making this recipe and it ALWAYS comes out so good! It’s so refreshing, yet filling. Perfect for a family meal and the leftovers keep really well. I think the flavor is best after it has been in the fridge overnight.5 stars

  2. I melted the peanut butter first a bit( I doubled it) to make it easier to whisk into the other ingredients. Also, I thought it was too tart, so next time I will only put in half the vinegar. Also, I added about a teaspoon of sesame oil…what a big difference! I was in an experimenting kind of mood and I had some Frank’s Red Hot Sweet Chili sauce that in the fridge. I added about a half of cup..it added great flavor!5 stars

  3. Just made this last night, YUM! I don’t like raw broccoli, so I skipped that but added a bunch of chopped up steamed asparagus, plus edamame and shredded chicken. So delicious! I’m about to have leftovers for dinner and can’t wait ?

  4. I used your dressing recipe for a noodle salad with slightly different toppings. It was a huge hit at a baby shower and lots of people asked for the recipe. Thanks!!5 stars

  5. Oh my gosh this is surprisingly SO delicious! ! It’s been so hot in Minnesota the last week, so I wanted something filling but cold! This is PERFECT! The box of noodles I bought was a 16oz which is double what the recipe calls for. So I cooked the whole thing and just doubled the amount t of sauce mix! Boy am I happy! The carrots and special broccoli mix has the perfect amount of crunch too.  I wasnt sure how this would turn out because I’ve never cooked with such an array of ingredients before, but it was easy as heck and turned out great! 10/10 will make again! 

     Also shout out to my boyfriend for finding the recipe hehe 5 stars

    1. Cassie, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this! Thanks for sharing this review—keep cool over there in Minnesota!

  6. WOW! A huge hit at both of the parties we took it to and I can’t get enough. We made this because my girlfriend is vegan and we were going to a couple of potlucks where the hosts had recommended we bring side dishes but we still wanted to make sure that we brought something that was hearty enough for my girlfriend that it could suffice as her meal in case there weren’t any other dishes that were vegan. I’m not normally a fan of vinegar based sauces but this dressing is to die for and the creaminess of the peanut butter really balances it out. I did make a couple of modifications: I couldn’t the broccoli slaw at my grocery store so I ended up using one that was mostly cabbage with some cauliflower stalks and I also added roasted brussel sprouts (and I might add some tofu or something else to give it some more protein if we’re making it as a meal in the future). I make a lot of asian dishes so I already had everything in the house except for the veggies so it was a relatively cheap grocery shopping trip to get everything for this recipe and it will definitely be something I make again in the future.5 stars

    1. Delaney, I am so happy to hear how much you enjoyed this and enjoyed reading about your tweaks as well. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  7. Ok, this salad was ridiculously good! We paired it with Tyler Florence’s Seared Ahi Tuna!
    It was amazing! This will be in our weekly dinner rotation all summer long. We especially loved the dressing. We used Pad Thai noodles cause that is what I had on hand!
    Thanks for the awesome recipe!5 stars

  8. I make this for us VERY often. My recipe is nearly identical to this one, but I do not use olive oil in mine. If you need the sauce to be a bit thinner, add some chicken or veggie broth to it. Use whatever veggies you have on hand. Add cooked chicken to make it a one-dish meal. It’s delicious!5 stars

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