30-Minute Veggie-Loaded Cold Peanut Noodle Salad

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A totally light and Veggie-Loaded Cold Peanut Noodle Salad! Toss ramen noodles with creamy peanut sauce, crunchy veggies like cucumbers and bell peppers, tons of fresh herbs, and a squeeze of lime juice. Then chill and serve! The perfect easy 30-minute meal for hot summer nights, make-ahead lunches, summer BBQs or cookouts, and everything in between.

Naturally Vegetarian and Dairy-Free. Easily Vegan and Gluten-Free.

An overhead shot of a large white bowl of peanut noodle salad on a peach surface. A blue and white striped cloth, fresh herbs, chopped jalapenos and a dish of peanut sauce sit alongside the bowl.
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Cold Peanut Noodles with Crunchy Fresh Veggies – The Most Satisfying Meal on a Hot Day!

You know those hot summer nights when the idea of cooking sounds totally unbearable? 😅

These easy, cold peanut noodles are a perfect low-cook recipe for those moments – creamy, crunchy, fresh, light, and zingy. Everything I crave on a warm day!

This chilled noodle salad is made with creamy peanut sauce, crunchy veggies, and tons of fresh herbs. Ready in 30 minutes or less!

Technically, you do have to turn your stove to boil a small pot of water – but it’s not for long. I like making cold peanut noodle salad with ramen or rice noodles because they cook much quicker than pasta. My favorite ramen boils in 4 minutes – very minimal cooking involved!

From there, it’s all about the creamy, zingy peanut sauce, which you can buy from the store or blend up in less than 10 minutes. Tossing the noodles with tons of fresh herbs and crunchy fresh veggies like cucumbers and bell peppers makes for a feel-good, satisfying salad. Just let it chill and dig in!

If it’s a warm summer week, I often meal prep a big batch of cold peanut noodles to keep in my fridge. You can enjoy this recipe all week as a light dinner, quick lunch, or easy side dish for your favorite grilling staples. A super versatile little summer superstar!

An overhead shot of ingredients on a wooden cutting board and an off-white surface: whole and sliced jalapenos, green onions, cucumbers, bell pepper, fresh herbs, peanuts, limes and lime juice, ramen noodles, and bowls of salt and pepper.
The stars of this recipe are the fresh ingredients – it’s loaded with vegetables like peppers and cucumbers and aromatic herbs. Tons of different flavors and textures!

The Easiest Homemade Peanut Sauce (Made in a Blender!)

While you can totally use store-bought peanut sauce for convenience on a hot evening, whipping up a quick homemade version takes less than 10 minutes and gives you total control of the flavor and texture.

Time well spent, IMHO!

An overhead shot of peanut butter, limes and lime juice, garlic, brown sugar, honey, ginger, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, and soy sauce in the bowl of a food processor.
My go-to homemade peanut sauce packs a big punch of flavor thanks to generous amounts of ginger, garlic, and lime juice.
An overhead shot of peanut sauce in the bowl of a food processor atop a cream surface.
Just blend until it’s thick and creamy – easy, no-cook, and ready in 10 minutes or less.

My go-to homemade peanut sauce recipe comes from my mom’s kitchen. I love so much because it packs a big punch of flavor thanks to ingredients like aromatic ginger and garlic, lots of fresh lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar for a little bit of zing.

Better yet, there’s no cooking involved – the blender does all the work. Just toss everything in and blend until it’s thick and creamy – easy!

Get the recipe! ⇢ Mom’s 10-Minute Creamy Peanut Sauce.

How to Make Cold Peanut Noodle Salad

These veggie-loaded cold peanut noodles are a low-cook dream. Assemble the salad in 30 minutes or less, then give it time to chill. The perfect dish for a hot summer night!

An overhead shot of peanut sauce being poured over a large glass bowl of ramen noodles, chopped veggies, peanuts, and herbs. The bowl is surrounded by dishes of salt, pepper, spent lime halves and lime juice.
To prepare the noodle salad, simply add all of the ingredients in a large bowl…
An overhead shot of peanut noodle salad in a large glass bowl atop a peach-colored surface.
…and toss to combine well. Enjoy right away or chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
1

Boil the noodles. I love using Asian-style noodles like Lotus Foods Brown Rice Ramen or gluten-free rice noodles because they cook extra fast. Simply cook the noodles in boiling water, then drain and rinse with cold water. Why? ⇢ Rinsing is typically a no-no with pasta, but it’s ok for this recipe! Cold water rinses the starches away so the noodles don’t clump together. It also helps cool the noodles, so they don’t wilt the snappy veggies and leafy fresh herbs.

2

Prepare the veggies and herbs. I always crave crunchy-fresh veggies on a hot night – so hydrating and satisfying! Thinly slice some cucumber, bell pepper, jalapeño, and green onions. Fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, and Thai basil also add a beautiful burst of freshness. Tip! ⇢ Take care of all the chopping while your water boils. If you’re making homemade peanut sauce, blend it up now, too.

3

Toss and chill the peanut noodle salad. Add the chopped veggies, peanuts, herbs, and lime juice into a bowl with the noodles and toss with plenty of peanut sauce. The lime balances out all the creaminess while the chopped peanuts add a little crunch. Either dig right in or pop the bowl in the fridge to chill for an hour or two.

An overhead shot of a large white bowl of peanut noodle salad on a peach surface. A blue and white striped cloth, fresh herbs, chopped jalapenos and a dish of peanut sauce sit alongside the bowl.
Garnish with more fresh herbs, chopped peanuts, and a drizzle of peanut sauce for extra creaminess.

Make-Ahead Cold Peanut Noodles

This chilled peanut noodle salad stores beautifully. It’s one of my favorite make-ahead recipes for meal prep lunches and easy summer entertaining! Keep it in the fridge for 4-5 days. The ramen may soak up the sauce but no worries – just drizzle more on for serving.

Serving Suggestions

Veggie-loaded cold peanut noodles are one of my favorite light lunches or dinners. It’s the perfect feel-good meal on a hot day when you need something simple but satisfying! If you prefer to make it a bit heartier, try tossing in some shredded chicken or grilled shrimp.

I also love bringing a cold peanut noodle salad to summer BBQs or cookouts. It’s a superstar side dish for grilled steak or Lemongrass Marinade grilled pork. No matter what you serve it with, these chilled peanut noodles are always a crowd-pleaser!

An angled shot of a large white bowl of peanut noodle salad on a blue and white striped cloth on a peach surface. Fresh herbs, chopped jalapenos and a dish of peanut sauce sit in the background.
An easy 30-minute meal for hot summer nights, make-ahead lunches, summer BBQs, and more!

I can’t wait for you to try this Veggie-Loaded Cold Peanut Noodle Salad! It’s such an easy-yet-satisfying lunch or dinner to enjoy all summer. You’ll be making this one on repeat!

If you do give it a try, be sure to let us know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo and tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. We LOVE seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy cooking!

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An overhead shot of a large white bowl of peanut noodle salad on a peach surface. Blue and white plates, fresh herbs, chopped jalapenos and lime wedges sit alongside the bowl.

30-Minute Veggie-Loaded Chilled Peanut Noodle Salad

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  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Entree Salads & Bowls, Side Dishes, Pasta Recipes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai-Inspired, Asian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This veggie-loaded cold peanut noodle salad is my favorite low-effort dish to make when it feels too hot to make dinner.

It’s light, fresh, and absolutely loaded with texture: tender and springy ramen noodles coated in creamy-dreamy peanut sauce and tossed with crunchy veggies like cucumbers and bell peppers and tons of fresh herbs. Then, just chill and serve – easy!

The beauty of this recipe is its versatility. Use your favorite noodles, change up the veggies based on what’s already in your fridge, or serve with protein for a heartier meal.

Check out the blog post, above, for lots more suggestions to get you started. ♡ Happy cooking!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces ramen noodles or rice noodles of choice (see Recipe Notes)
  • 1 cup peanut sauce, store-bought or homemade
  • ½ English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded as desired and thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup roasted and unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh herbs of choice (e.g. cilantro, mint, Thai basil, etc.)
  • 1 large, juicy lime, juiced (approx. 3 tablespoons)
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper, to season

Instructions

  1. Boil the noodles: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, generously season the water with salt. Add the ramen (or noodles of choice) and cook until tender according to package directions, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Drain the noodles and immediately rinse well with cold water. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside. Learn more!  How to Cook Pasta Perfectly Every Single Time!An overhead shot of cooked ramen noodles in a colander over a white pot atop a cream-colored surface.
  2. Prepare the veggies (and peanut sauce!). Meanwhile, as the water boils and noodles cook, chop all of the veggies. This is also a great time to quickly whip up a homemade peanut sauce – my go-to recipe is made with pantry staples and comes together in less than 10 minutes in a blender. Learn more!10-Minute Creamy Peanut Sauce.An overhead shot of peanut sauce in the bowl of a food processor atop a cream surface.
  3. Toss the peanut noodle salad: To the mixing bowl with the noodles, add all of the veggies (cucumber – green onions), chopped peanuts, fresh herbs, and lime juice. Season with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ground black pepper as desired. Drizzle the peanut sauce over top. Toss to combine well. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.An overhead shot of peanut sauce being poured over a large glass bowl of ramen noodles, chopped veggies, peanuts, and herbs. The bowl is surrounded by dishes of salt, pepper, spent lime halves and lime juice.
  4. Serve: Enjoy immediately or refrigerate to chill completely. I always like to serve these chilled peanut noodles topped with extra fresh herbs, chopped peanuts, and lime wedges for spritzing. Check out the Recipe Notes, below, for additional serving suggestions and inspiration. Enjoy!An overhead shot of peanut noodle salad in a large glass bowl atop a peach-colored surface. The bowl is surrounded by dishes of peanut sauce, salt and pepper, and spent lime halves.


Notes

Jess’ Tips and Tricks:

  • Best noodles to use: Feel free to use your noodle of choice with this recipe. I love Lotus Foods Brown Rice Ramen. A-Sha Ramen Noodles are also fantastic; theirs are a little wider cut. If you’d like to make this recipe gluten-free, rice noodles also work great.
  • Dietary restrictions: As written, this chilled peanut noodles recipe is naturally vegetarian and dairy-free. For vegan chilled peanut noodles, be sure to use a vegan-friendly peanut sauce. For gluten-free chilled peanut noodles, use your favorite gluten-free noodles and peanut sauce.

Portions and Serving Suggestions:

  • Portions: As written, this recipe yields a large batch of noodles, suitable for feeding 3-4 as a main dish (perhaps with another add-in, see below) or 8-10 as a side dish with other mains and sides.
  • Serving Suggestions: We love the flavors and textures of these chilled noodles all on their own, but you can easily add a protein to make it a little heartier. Feel free to toss with some shredded chicken or grilled shrimp for a more substantial meal with protein – you may want to use a little more peanut sauce to bring everything together.

Meal Prep, Make-Ahead and Storage:

  • 20-Minute Meal Prep: Most of the prep time required for this peanut noodles recipe comes from chopping all of the veggies. If you’d like to prep ahead, take care of all of this knife work ahead of time. At dinnertime, all you have to do is boil the noodles and toss it all together – easy!
    • Thinly slice ½ English cucumber, 1 bell pepper, 1 jalapeno pepper, and 4 green onions. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (10 minutes active prep.)
    • Finely chop ½ cup fresh herbs of choice. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (5 minutes active prep.)
    • Chop ½ cup roasted unsalted peanuts. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. (5 minutes active prep.)
  • Storage: Once assembled, these chilled peanut noodles store beautifully – it’s one of my favorite make-ahead recipes for meal prepped lunches and summer entertaining! Transfer to an airtight container, store in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days, and enjoy cold. The noodles will drink up a little bit of the peanut sauce as they sit, so it’s nice to drizzle a little extra peanut sauce over top before serving.

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Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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