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This Cold Peanut Noodle Salad is the perfect make ahead dish for hot summer days. Bring this healthy vegan peanut noodle salad to a picnic, BBQ, potluck, or just make it for yourself for meal prep. Makes a great side dish or light lunch, add your choice of protein to make it a full meal.

Cold peanut noodle salad on a large white platter.  Garnished with peanut sauce, basil, chopped peanuts and sesame seeds.

When the weather gets hot I find myself craving cold food. That is why I absolutley love this Cold Peanut Noodle Salad. With a peanut sauce modified from my Best Thai Peanut Sauce, and a bunch of colorful veggies, plus some whole wheat noodles, this is a super healthy make ahead meal or side dish. It’s also perfect for a potluck or BBQ because it can be made ahead of time and served cold.

Vegetables for cold peanut noodle salad in a glass bowl. Grated carrots, purple cabbage, red bell pepper, cucumber matchsticks, sliced green onion.

Ingredients for Cold Peanut Noodle Salad

A bunch of colorful, crunchy veggies, noodles and a lip smacking peanut sauce are what make up this noodle salad.

For Noodle Salad

  • 12 oz whole wheat spaghetti or any other noodles of choice
  • 2 tbsps toasted sesame oil
  • ⅓ purple cabbage thinly sliced
  • red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • ½ large cucumber peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 large carrot peeled and grated
  • 3 green onions sliced

For peanut sauce

Optional Garnish

  • Basil chopped
  • Sesame Seeds
  • peanuts roughly chopped
Peanut Sauce for cold noodle salad in a glass bowl.

An almost no cook summer meal

Other than boiling water for the noodles, this Cold Peanut Noodle Salad is no cook – just chop up some veggies, whisk together the peanut sauce and toss it all together with the noodles. I used whole wheat spaghetti and I found that 12 ounces of pasta was just the right amount. You could also make this with rice noodles, soba noodles or any other type of pasta you prefer.

Chopped purple cabbage, grated carrots, sliced green onion, sliced cucumber and sliced re bell pepper in a large bowl with cooked spaghetti

Substitutions

  • Feel free to use whatever vegetables you want. Keep in mind that sturdier vegetables hold up better when sitting in the peanut sauce. Something like mixed greens will wilt quickly.
  • I have not tried this peanut sauce with another nut butter, if you decide to try it please let us know how it turns out!
  • These Cold Peanut Noodles are vegan.
  • To make them gluten free, be sure to use a gluten free pasta, and sub tamari for soy sauce.
Cold Peanut Noodle Salad on a white platter

Make ahead tips for Cold Peanut Noodle Salad

If you want to make the cold peanut noodle salad ahead of time, I suggest storing the components of the salad separately and combining shortly before serving. After cooking and draining the pasta, be sure to toss with sesame oil so that the noodles don’t stick, You can toss the noodles with the vegetables and prepare the peanut sauce, but don’t add the peanut sauce to the noodles too far in advance. The noodles can absorb too much of the sauce, causing the dish to be dry.

How to Store Cold Peanut Noodles Salad

If you have leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Cold peanut noodle salad in a white bowl

What to serve with Cold Peanut Noodles

Although this could easily be a meal on its own, feel free to add some protein such as chicken, shrimp or tofu. It would also be great served with:

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Cold Peanut Noodle Salad

Prep 20 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Servings 8 Servings

Ingredients 

For Noodle Salad

  • 12 oz whole wheat spaghetti or any other noodles of choice
  • 2 tbsps toasted sesame oil
  • purple cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • ½ large cucumber peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 large carrot peeled and grated
  • 3 green onions sliced

For Peanut Sauce

Optional Garnish

  • Basil chopped
  • Sesame Seeds
  • peanuts roughly chopped

Instructions 

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions in well salted water. When pasta is done, drain and immediately toss in 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and set aside until ready to use.
  • While pasta is cooking, chop vegetables and prepare peanut sauce. For sauce, whisk together all ingredients for peanut sauce in a medium sized bowl, set aside until ready to use.
  • When ready to serve, add pasta to a large bowl, followed by chopped vegetables and peanut sauce. Toss everything together until well combined. Serve garnished with chopped fresh basil and sesame seeds if desired.

Notes

  • If making ahead of time, store peanut sauce separately until close to serving time.  Add peanut sauce to noodles and vegetables and toss until well combined.
  • For leftovers, store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 296mg | Potassium: 389mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2189IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner, Lunch, Salads, Sides
Cuisine: American
Did you like this recipe?Please comment, rate and share! And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @foxandbriar AND #foxandbriar so I can see what you made!
Hello! I’m Meghan.

I am so glad that you are here! I am the recipe developer, photographer, and writer here at my blog Fox and Briar. I am a passionate, self-taught home cook and believe that most things are better homemade and that good food doesn’t need to be complicated.

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hey Megan,
    I have tried many of your recipes in the past and all were a hit.
    I have never tried cold salad before, and I think It will be a good recipe during the hot days of summer.
    I cannot wait to grab these ingredients and try this recipe.
    Thanks for sharing such a lovely and convenient recipe as I can make few batches of it and enjoy it for 2/3 days.

    thanks again