If you visit the Midwest, I challenge you to find a single potluck, family reunion, church picnic, or holiday meal that doesn’t involve some version of today’s crunchy Asian Ramen Salad. It is ubiquitous. It is my childhood. It is perhaps the best, most addictive side dish ever created.

Healthy and crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad made with cabbage coleslaw in a wooden bowl, topped with ramen noodles and mandarin oranges

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How do I explain this oriental ramen noodle salad to those of you who didn’t grow up in the Midwest?

If you’ve never eaten crunchy ramen salad, my hunch is that you might be skeptical of crumbling an uncooked ramen noodle packet (yes, I do mean the same ramen noodle packet that helped you survive college) over a bowl of bagged cabbage coleslaw.

You might not believe me when I tell you that canned mandarin oranges are mandatory.

That before the Brussels Sprouts Slaw, Creamy Cucumber Salad, Grilled Corn Salad, or even Mexican Corn Salad, THIS ramen salad recipe is the dish first inhaled by the hungry hoards.

Make ramen salad for your next potluck and you’ll see I speak truth.

A bowl of Ramen Salad with cabbage, mandarin oranges, and ramen noodles

I can’t specifically pinpoint the one single item that makes this salad so enduringly popular and outrageously addictive.

I suspect it lies somewhere between the crispness of the coleslaw, the toastiness of the almonds, the sweetness of the dressing, and the fact that crumbling uncooked ramen noodles over a dish and then declaring it a salad feels like a bit of a win.

I do know that as soon as I spy the cabbage ramen salad (or this Asian Cabbage Salad) on the buffet line, I barrel down upon it. This is the moment: seize it before it’s gone.

Ingredients for Ramen Salad, including cabbage, carrots, edamame, and mandarin oranges

5 Star Review

“This is excellent! My husband had two big helpings and declared it a winner. I’ve eaten many disappointing, oily versions of ramen salad, so I’m excited to have the perfect recipe.”

— Jill —

How to Make Ramen Salad

The original version in my childhood parish cookbook is a ramen noodle salad with seasoning packet. It calls for a waterfall of vegetable oil, three packets of ramen noodles, and the mysterious seasonings that come with it.

I decided to see if I could come up with a healthy adaptation of the classic cabbage ramen salad using real ingredients that would be as irresistible as the original church-lady version.

The final report: GLOWING.

Today’s recipe is just as obsessively good as any classic Asian ramen salad, but it’s better for you!

The Ingredients

  • Coleslaw Mix. Shredded cabbage forms the crunchy base for this salad. Use a coleslaw mix for an easy coleslaw ramen noodle salad, or shred your own.

Ingredient Swap

Instead of a traditional coleslaw mix made with cabbage, use broccoli slaw to make a broccoli ramen salad.

  • Shredded Carrots. To boost the vegetable content. They make the salad more colorful too.
  • Edamame. Not at all traditional but perfect in every way here. They make the ramen salad buttery and more satisfying.
  • Green Onions. For a bit of zip.
  • Mandarin Oranges. They add a delicious sweetness to the salad and are pretty much mandatory by all ramen noodle salad standards.
  • Ramen Noodles. For that classic, addictive crunch that gives the recipe its name.
  • Almonds + Sesame Seeds. Two bonus ingredients that become delightfully flavorful once toasted and help make this ramen noodles coleslaw crunch salad feel complete.
  • Dressing. A big opportunity to slim down this crunch ramen salad was in the dressing. I used a moderate amount of heart-healthy olive oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and honey. The revamped dressing is sweet and salty, well balanced, and loads better for you than the original.

The Directions

A sheet pan of toasted ramen noodles and almonds
  1. Toast the ramen noodles, almonds, and sesame seeds in the oven.
  2. Stir the dressing ingredients together.
  3. Toss it all together. Finish with the oranges and ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.

Meal Plan Tip

Fully assembled, Asian ramen salad can be made 3 hours in advance. In fact, I think it tastes better once the flavors have had a chance to marry.

If you wait to add the ramen noodles, nuts, and sesame seeds, you can make it 1 full day in advance. (The ramen noodles soften as the salad sits, so add them last.)

What to Serve with Ramen Salad

A bowl of Ramen Noodle Salad

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

The Best Baking Sheets

These are some of my must-have, most-used kitchen tools. I use mine almost daily!

Ramen salad in a wooden bowl with Mandarin oranges on top

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Looking for an easy crowd-pleaser for your next potluck, a stellar side, or a taste of the Midwest? You’ve found it right here.

Ramen salad in a wooden bowl with Mandarin oranges on top

Ramen Salad

4.96 from 21 votes
A better, healthy version of the classic crunchy Ramen Salad made with fresh ingredients. Cabbage coleslaw makes it quick and easy. A potluck favorite!

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 15 mins

Servings: 8 servings


For the Salad:

  • 1 package ramen noodles (3 ounces)
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 bag coleslaw mix (16 ounces)
  • 1 ½ cups shelled frozen edamame thawed
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 4 scallions thinly sliced (both white and green parts)
  • ½ cup canned mandarin orange segments in light syrup rinsed and drained

For the Dressing:

  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey substitute agave if vegan
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Crumble the ramen noodles onto a baking sheet and spread them in a single layer along with the almonds. Bake for 5 minutes, remove from the oven, add the sesame seeds, and toss, then bake for 1 to 3 additional minutes until fragrant and golden. Watch closely so that the mixture does not burn. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, briskly stir together all of the dressing ingredients: rice vinegar, olive oil, honey, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. (Alternatively, you can shake them together in a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid.)
  • In a serving bowl, toss together the coleslaw, edamame, carrots, scallions, and toasted ramen and almonds. Drizzle the dressing over the top, then toss again to combine. Sprinkle the oranges over the top, then refrigerate until ready to serve.


  • TO STORE: Leftover salad will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Serving: 1(of 8)Calories: 236kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 8gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gPotassium: 385mgFiber: 5gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 2475IUVitamin C: 27.9mgCalcium: 98mgIron: 2.3mg

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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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  1. I hesitate to rate the recipe before trying, but all those yummy ingredients combined sound heavenly. Can’t wait to try it.

    This is just an aside, but I loved when you mentioned soy sauce on eggs. I have a very dear Japanese friend from college days who introduced me to soy sauce and sugar in my scrambled eggs. She whisked the sugar into the eggs, and then lightly poured soy sauce on. Ayako also had a little sesame seed grinder & ground a few sesame seeds over the top of the eggs. (She gifted me with one of these grinders.) Your mention of the soy sauce made for a very warm memory of good times with Ayako. Although she left to go back to Japan at the end of our junior year, we have stayed in touch. I’ve only seen her once since 1974, and that was in 1999. She and her husband, Haruo, were staying at  Plaza Hotel in NYC. My son escorted me in on the bus from NJ, and was able to meet her. That evening, my husband joined us and we  had a lovely dinner together. We now instant message to stay connected.5 stars

    1. Hi Diane! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this wonderful story and for the kind review! I love hearing how my recipes bring up these fond memories!

  2. Hi Erin, I’ve  made the infamous Asian salad many times and love it, but now after checking out your recipe for the Ramen Salad, I just know that it is absolutely delicious and  it looks especially pretty..(you clever girl, thanks for sharing)…I’m going into town today  getting the items needed for your salad…I’ll  be making this salad over  and over again……5 stars

  3. I’m about to make this for the 2nd time. It’s delicious! I didn’t have sliced almonds, so I’m using sunflower seeds. They get a bit dark, but it adds so much flavor! Thanks so much for your efforts at making this a little healthier than the original recipe, and for sharing your ideas with us. Yummy!5 stars

  4. Unbelievably easy zucchini pie was huge hit. In this new age of hunkering down, this is my favorite new recipe. Please send me more incredibly easy recipes. This one didn’t last long enough.5 stars

  5. This Coleslaw was wonderful! Delicious and very easy to put together. I just made a single dish for me but toasted the noodles. almonds and sunflower seeds as that is what I had on hand. Thank you for this lovely recipe. Stay safe.5 stars

  6. Hi Erin. This salad is soooo good! My family and I loved it. I added about 1 tablespoon sugar to the dressing as our preference is on the sweeter side. It was in the frig for 3 hours before it was served. 
    I served it with your Orange Chicken recipe. They compliment each other well. I do have a question about the frozen edamame. I didn’t see if I was suppose to cook it so I boiled it for about 5 minutes. Is it necessary to cook it before adding it to the salad?5 stars

    1. I’m so happy that you enjoyed it, Mary! Thank you for sharing this kind review! For the edamame, you can just let it thaw, then add it to the recipe as directed.

  7. Great salad! I added Finely chopped romain and red bell pepper and omitted almonds but otherwise did exactly as written- super great also added well plated’s soy ginger salmon – super awesome!5 stars

  8. A definite summer favourite. Everyone I’ve made this for absolutely loves it. And so easy to make. I don’t know if leftovers really do last for three days in the fridge because we never have any leftovers. Delicious!5 stars

  9. I make this all the time but I use unsalted sunflower seeds instead of sesame seeds and apple cider vinegar instead of rice vinegar. I use the soy ramen and use some of the seasoning pack instead of soy sauce. I will try it the way you have just showed me which looks very good. Thank you.

  10. This sounds delicious and I plan on making it for my book club! Could I add shredded chicken to make it more of a dinner salad instead of a side? Also, when you say 8 servings, I’m assuming that
    would be for a side salad not a dinner portion? Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Kathy! You can definitely add shredded chicken to the salad. The serving size is closer to a side dish size. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

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