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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.