This simple vegan cold noodle salad with peanut sauce is an easy vegetarian and dairy-free lunch recipe that can be made ahead and only takes about 15 minutes to make. Peanut Lime Noodle Salad is the perfect recipe for a stunning but simple outdoor lunch – especially at the end of summer when it’s so hot you just want something light, refreshing, easy, and healthy! This chilled noodle dish is completely plant-based and also easy to make oil-free and gluten-free.
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They joke that vegans only eat salad, but this, my friends, is no ordinary salad. This is a chilled, peanut-lime noodle salad. And it’s about to be your new favorite easy vegan meal!
At least, it’s totally become ours. And honestly, I don’t know how we didn’t think of this sooner.
You see, we LOVE noodles in this house: Cooked into a vegan chicken noodle soup, smothered in T’s homemade marinara sauce or our cheesy vegan pesto, and have even been known to eat them right outta the pot! What I’m saying is, we eat a lotta noodles.
But by the end of summer, our love for noodles is totally squandered by our hatred for eating/cooking hot food in the midst of a heat wave. *sigh*
Enter, the Chilled Peanut Lime Noodle Salad…
Why We Love Peanut Lime Noodle Salad
- This cold noodle salad is easy to make, and the only cooking time required is the boiling of the noodles. (And you can even do that ahead of time!)
- It’s light while being filling at the same time; and because it’s mostly veggies, it doesn’t bog you down in the heat – perfect for soaking up those last bits of summer weather by the pool.
- Peanut lime noodle salad is filled with delightful flavors and never disappoints! If you’re not sure what you want for dinner, then this is what you want for dinner!
Ingredients in Cold Peanut Lime Noodles
The ingredients for this noodle salad are actually quite simple and easily found, but you can totally customize this based on what veggies you have in your fridge.
Here’s what we used:
- pad thai noodles
- coleslaw mix
- red bell peppers
- shredded carrots
- fresh ginger
- peanut sauce (AKA satay sauce)
- And for topping, you’ll need chopped peanuts and limes.
Substitution Options for Vegan Noodle Salad Recipe
As I said, one of the really nice things about this noodle salad is how easily adaptable it is to your personal tastes or needs or simply what you have in the kitchen or garden!
For the noodles: We experimented with a LOT of different kinds of noodles when making this dish: Anything from rice noodles to udon noodles or even soba noodles will work. And in a pinch, so will plain old spaghetti noodles (slightly overcooked).
For the coleslaw mix: You can replace the coleslaw mix with 3-4 cups of shredded green/purple cabbage.
For the veggies:
- Feel free to swap in bok choy, green or napa cabbage, even anything from shaved brussels sprouts to bean sprouts!
- Small pieces of broccoli would be a wonderful addition, as would some broccoflower or romanesco. If you like things extra spicy you could throw in some minced chili peppers and balance them with some lemongrass or even lemon balm…or not. It’s TOTALLY up to you!
- I’m thinking some shiitake or oyster mushrooms would be a fantastically meaty addition to this dish, but you may want to saute them a bit before adding.
- You can even throw in some bits of air-fried tofu or re-hydrated soy curls – go nuts!
Notes on Peanut / Satay Sauce
- When we say “peanut sauce,” we mean a spicy, peanut butter-based satay sauce popular in Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Malaysian dishes (among others), not a sweet peanut sauce you’d put on waffles or ice cream.
- Feel free to use your favorite store-bought bottle (We love Sky Valley!) or homemade recipe like this one from The Viet Vegan.
- Be mindful that many traditional satay sauce recipes/brands use non-vegan ingredients like fish sauce and sometimes shrimp paste. In the case of a recipe, you can easily make it vegan by either omitting the fish sauce entirely or using a vegan fish sauce.
How to Make Peanut Lime Noodles
Getting dinner or lunch on the table has rarely been easier: Cook your noodles, cut your veg, bring it all together and enjoy!
Step 1: Cook the noodles.
Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package. Rinse with cold water and set them aside. Allowing the noodles to dry will also allow them to absorb more of the dressing when you bring it all together.
Step 2: Assemble the salad.
We do this in 3 steps:
- In a large bowl, toss all your chopped veggies.
- Then, add the noodles and toss them gently with the veggies.
- Finally, pour in the peanut/satay sauce and toss until everything is completely coated.
How to Serve Chilled Noodle Salad
Serve this peanut lime noodle salad cold or at room temperature topped with chopped peanuts and a generous spritz of fresh lime juice.
These chilled noodles make a great make-ahead work lunch. They’re also the perfect light and fresh by-the-pool meal.
Cold Peanut Lime Noodles + Wine Pairing
If you’re serving this chilled noodle salad by the pool for lunch, I love pairing it with an off-dry German Riesling. The slight sweetness and low alcohol will balance any spice in the peanut sauce and provide a light and refreshing intermission between bites.
Vegan-Friendly Rieslings: For quality, affordable, and vegan riesling options, we love Dr. Loosen!
- If you want something with a little sweetness, try the Dr. Loosen Dr L Riesling (2020).
- If you want more of a dry style, check out Dr. Loosen Dr. L Dry Riesling (2019).
- They also make a sparkling riesling which is a fantastic option for a low-key celebration: Dr. Loosen Dr L Sparkling Riesling.
If you want a red wine, our go-to is Beaujolais! Beaujolais has low tannin and low alcohol and can be served slightly chilled which enhances this very juicy quality that is great for balancing a bit of spice without overpowering the veggies.
How to Store Leftover Noodle Salad
Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week. Freezing Peanut Lime Noodle Salad is not recommended.
More Make Ahead Vegan Lunches
And if you like Asian-inspired vegan recipes like this, check out this list of the Top 40 Asian Vegan Food Blogs.
When you make these cold peanut lime noodles, be sure to snap a photo of the deliciousness and tag @theplantpowercouple on Instagram. We LOVE seeing your photos!
Brittany and Terrence Roche
Yield: 8 servings
This simple vegan cold noodle salad with peanut sauce is an easy vegetarian and dairy-free lunch recipe that can be made ahead and only takes about 15 minutes to make. Peanut Lime Noodle Salad is the perfect recipe for a stunning but simple outdoor lunch - especially at the end of summer when it’s so hot you just want something light, refreshing, easy, and healthy! This chilled noodle dish is completely plant-based and also easy to make oil-free and gluten-free.
10 minPrep Time:
10 minCook Time:
20 minTotal Time:
- 1 (8-oz) pack pad thai noodles
- 1 (12-oz) bag coleslaw mix (about 3-4 cups)
- 1 cup thinly sliced red bell peppers
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup sliced scallions
- 1/2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 1 cup vegan-friendly peanut sauce ( homemade or store-bought )
- Chopped peanuts
- PREP: First, chop all the veggies and cook the noodles according to the directions on the package. When cooked, drain the noodles and rinse with cold water before setting them aside.
- ASSEMBLE: In a large bowl, toss all your chopped veggies. Then, add the noodles and toss them with the veggies. Finally, pour in the peanut sauce and toss until everything is completely coated.
- SERVE: Serve Chilled Peanut Lime Noodle Salad cold or at room temperature topped with chopped peanuts and a generous spritz of lime juice.