Thai Peanut Noodle Salad

I don’t know about all of you, but after my weekend and the copious amount of calories ingested, I need some major detoxing! The only thing that sounds good right about now is a giant salad. And today is a two-for-one, so check out the post below this one for the other half to this recipe!

I’ve mentioned how much I love Kate’s Thai Peanut Noodles only about four-thousand times in the last year or so. I love them so much that I always overestimate how much I’ll eat and I end up making way more than my little family can handle. So then I put the extras in the fridge and I find myself sneaking back into the kitchen all night slurping cold noodles out of the container. The next day the huge container only has a small puddle of sauce with a few noodles in it and my husband always asks why have such a hard time estimating the size of tupperware I need when putting food away. What can I say? Apparently I’m just bad at estimating all together. Back to the cold noodle slurping though. I realized I really like those noodles cold. I also really love Asian inspired noodle salads which involves mixing a bunch of salad ingredients with some pasta and drenching it in a yummy dressing. It seems everyone has their own version and they all are pretty similar. I created mine to taste like the Thai Peanut Noodles so I can actually have this as a meal and get over the late-night cold noodle slurping habit.

This salad is awesome as a meal because it just combines everything in one pot. It’s a great luncheon salad for the same reason. I tested it out recently on a group of girlfriends (my girlfriends, not some random group of chicks like that kind of sounded like…) and they voted it a keeper. This is one of my new favorites and I think I’ll be making it a lot this summer because I love cold meals on hot days! All you vegetarians out there, just skip the chicken and you’ve got a nice hearty meal.

Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Add a spoonful of salt and then add your pasta. While pasta is cooking, start chopping those veggies.

You can really use any mix of veggies you want. I have a thing with rainbows, so whenever I make this type of salad I pick the vegetables purely based on color so I can have something in every shade of the rainbow. I think it makes for a happy salad and happy salad makes happy people. But use what you like, pretty much anything slathered in this dressing is going to taste good. For me, it’s this stuff:

See, happy right?? I mentioned you can play around with the leafy greens. I like to use both napa cabbage and romaine lettuce. If you’re eating this right away lettuce works great, and spinach is even good in there. However, if you’re taking it to a picnic, or serving it on a buffet or anything like that where it will sit a while, I recommend going heavy on the cabbage because it will stay nice and crunchy for ya.

As soon as your pasta is done drain it and run some cold water over it until it’s cool. If you’re not going to use it right away, add a drizzle of the salad dressing and stir to coat. This will prevent the noodles from getting all clumpy. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.

When you’re ready to assemble the salad, place noodles, veggies, and chicken in a large bowl.

Pour the Thai Peanut Dressing over everything, stirring as you go until you have enough to coat. I use it all!

Sprinkle peanuts on top and garnish with some cilantro if you want. And there you have one happy, pretty, and extremely delicious salad!

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Thai Peanut Noodles

Thai Peanut Noodle Salad

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5 from 1 review

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A cold pasta salad with fresh veggies and Thai peanut dressing.


8 ounce Linguine Fini (or regular linguine)
4 cups shredded greens: any combo of napa cabbage, romaine lettuce or even spinach
2 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, julienned
1/2 medium cucumber, halved and sliced
1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
3 cups diced grilled chicken
honey roasted peanuts (about 1/2 cup)

Thai Peanut Salad Dressing (save some time and make this part ahead!)


Boil noodles, then strain and rinse with cold water. (If you’re not going to use it right away, add a drizzle of the salad dressing and stir to coat. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.)

Toss noodles and veggies together and then toss with desired amount of dressing and serve.

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes


Sara Wells
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Wow! This was such a hit last night for dinner. Made the adults AND the kids happy, happy! And the peanut sauce is to die for. My husband actually said, “With food this good at home, we never need to eat out again!” Only thing I will do differently next time is handle a lot of the prep work earlier in the day- not when everyone is starving, and waiting for dinner. Thank you so much for all of your awesome ideas!

  2. This is now my FAVORITE food ever. I’m making it for the second time in as many weeks. It is probably the most delicious thing I’ve ever made!!! Thank you!!!!

  3. Made this tonight and LOVED it. I went easy on the cabbage, so we’re mixing the dressing in one bowl at a time. Also, since my husband is a “no cilantro- EVER” kind of person, I used parsley in the dressing and it was fabulous! Thanks!

  4. This is incredible. I omitted the cabbage & added broccoli slaw. Definitely making this again. Thanks!

  5. I absolutely loved the dressing here. I think the next time I try it I’ll cut out the cucumbers and red pepper (even though it’s really pretty!) I wonder what this dressing would be like as a dip…with fried chicken tenders..?

  6. DELICIOUS! So yummy. I will be making this again. Definitely a good idea for a bridal shower!

  7. Stayed up late to make this last night. Doubled the recipe because I knew it would be awesome. And I was right! 🙂 I can’t wait to have it for breakfast today!

  8. Made this for a teacher lunch, my “sample” was so good, it was hard to hand it over. Thanks.

  9. I just tried your salad and the dressing and was smitten so very much. Would there be any way to figure out what the nutritional information is?

  10. Hey–I just wanted to point out that this is AMAZING and I'm in love, as are my husband and kids.

    Also, the recipe makes a very big salad and it's deceptively filling. I doubled it (because I compulsively do that–woops) and we ate less than half. I would estimate it feeds 6 adults.

    Luckily, it was really good the next day, even after sitting in the fridge already mixed with the dressing and peanuts. I used lots of Napa cabbage, not so much red leaf lettuce, and lots of purple cabbage, and the other ingredients as listed. Thanks!

  11. Sara – we had this 3 times in the past 8 days. Once you buy the red cabbage you got to use it right? There wasn't any complaining, though!

  12. I just wanted to let you know, I am in love with this dish. It is sooooo good. I just made it and even my kids liked it!! Thanks for the great ideas!

  13. a friend made this for dinner a few weeks ago. I swear I've been thinking about it ever since! I am having it for dinner tomorrow and i can't wait!!!

  14. I just made this for dinner, and it was one of the most delicious salads I have ever eaten. Even my salad-hating hubby ate it, and enjoyed it! Thanks for a great recipe

  15. oh wait, sara, i'm not your mother-in-law, i'm kate's! sorry didn't look at who did the recipe. silly me!

    you girls are doing such a great job!!! thank you!

  16. oh my gosh!! i am making this tomorrow for dinner. i could drink a glass of peanut dressing! i love it that much! thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    love ya!

    your mother-in-law

  17. Julieeee(eeee) :)–

    Okay, I did something similar a few months ago and I think it'll work for you, too. I made the pies ahead of time, but I didn't do the whipped cream part until RIGHT before we left–like people were in the car, waiting to go while I was in there whipping the cream for the tops of the pies. I left the whipped cream in the bowl, covered it, and then put the bowl on ice. Once we were ready to eat the pies (actually, I did 20 tarts with the mini graham cracker crusts instead of the 2 pies), I piped the whipped cream onto the tarts with an icing bag and a 1M star tip. But if you're doing the full-size pies, you can just spread it on top right before you serve it.

    You'll run into similar, if not worse, issues with Cool Whip and it won't taste the same. And I think if you whip it up 24 hours in advance and THEN have it in the heat, it will really break down and the taste AND the presentation will be affected.

    Oh, and you're totally going to win. Those banana cream pies are killer.


  18. Dear Kate and Sara
    SOS. I am in need of some super advice. I have a ward party this Saturday and will be entering your banana cream pies into the pie contest. It will be outdoors at a park and I am wondering if the whipped cream will hold up? Would I be better off using cool whip so it will hold its shape? Should I make it the day before and let it refrigerate for 24 hours? Yikes! Help!

  19. Glad I'm not the only one totally addicted to the Thai noodles!! I made them for dinner last night and had FOUR helpings (and then some snacking too)! This salad looks like a way to make penance but in a really good way!! Thanks!!

  20. Looks soooooooooooooo good! In fact, I got everything to make it (except peanuts! Blast! I just saw them in the picture) at the store this morning!

  21. I too need something like this. And who doesn't like a good peanut dressing?

    And hey, good ideas for keeping my baby busy during dinner prep. I am for sure going to use those tonight.

  22. I'm loving how colorful this is!! And anything with peanut sauce is a winner in my book 🙂