Elevate your summer gatherings with this Asian-inspired Ramen Noodle Salad—the best side dish that combines sweet, tangy, and crunchy flavors effortlessly. Made in just 30 minutes, this quick and easy family favorite is perfect for potlucks, barbecues, picnics, or any occasion that calls for a delicious and refreshing salad.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-make, delicious summer side dish, this ramen noodle salad is just the ticket. Jam-packed with fresh and vibrant vegetables, this recipe is a light alternative to those heavier side dishes. It’s great to serve in the summer as it is yummy and filling, but it won’t weigh down those enjoying it.
Are you craving a crunchy, tangy summer salad? Get your taste buds ready to go on an adventure with this fantastic ramen noodle salad. This crowd-pleasing noodle salad combines crunchy ramen noodles with vibrant vegetables and a tangy dressing. It’s a refreshing awakening for your palate, perfect for those hot summer days. Make sure to serve this up at your next potluck.
Why You’ll Love Ramen Noodle Salad
- Refreshing and Cooling: This salad is served cold, making it an ideal choice for those hot summer days. The combination of crisp, refreshing vegetables and cold, crunchy ramen noodles makes for the perfect summer bite.
- Versatile and Customizable: One of the best qualities of this crunchy ramen noodle salad (aside from its flavor) is its versatility. This delicious cold salad can be easily customized to suit your flavor preferences. Use whatever fresh vegetables you can get your hands on this season, change the dressing a little, or utilize just one type of cabbage. No matter what you choose, this is a great salad to enjoy this summer.
- Quick and Easy to Prepare: During the summer, people typically want to spend less time heating the house by cooking and more time enjoying the great outdoors. This salad is quick and easy to put together with minimal cooking time, allowing you to return to your regularly scheduled fun in the sun rather quickly.
- Perfect for Picnics and Barbecues: Summer usually means several outdoor gatherings and fun social events. This ramen noodle salad is an excellent choice to bring to picnics, summer cookouts, or summer potlucks. Its vibrant colors and refreshing flavors make it a welcome addition to any spread.
The full printable recipe card with measurements and instructions is found at the bottom of the post.
- Vegetable oil
- Crushed ramen noodles
- Sliced almonds
- Tri-color coleslaw
- Fresh sliced snow peas
- Sliced red bell pepper
- Sliced yellow bell pepper
- Drained mandarin oranges
- Drained water chestnuts
- Sliced green onions
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- Granulated sugar
- Fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Toasted sesame oil
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
How to Make Ramen Noodle Salad
- Step One: In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the oil once hot. Add the crushed noodles and almonds. Cook, often stirring, until toasted and lightly golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Place on a plate to stop cooking and set aside.
- Step Two: Make the dressing. Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, lemon juice, sesame oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Step Three: In a large bowl, add the slaw, snow peas, bell peppers, mandarin oranges, water chestnuts, green onions, cilantro, and the noodle almond mixture.
- Step Four: Add the dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately with a sesame seed garnish if using.
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What to Serve with Ramen Noodle Salad
Serve this Ramen Noodle Salad alongside your favorite summer entertaining recipes.
- Burger Hobo Packets
- Chipotle Chicken Skewers
- Ginger Lime Chicken
- Honey Sriracha Chicken
- Chicken Fajita Foil Packets
Variations and Substitutions
- Add some protein: You can add a protein source to this ramen noodle salad to make it more substantial or serve it as a main. Grilled or roasted chicken, shrimp, tofu, or thinly sliced beef are excellent choices. You can even add extra flavor by making extra dressing and using it as a marinade for your protein.
- Noodle variations: While traditional ramen noodles work perfectly, you can experiment with different types of noodles. Soba noodles, udon noodles, or even rice noodles can be substitutes, depending on your preference.
- Dressing variations: Modify the dressing to suit your taste preferences. You can add ingredients like lime juice, miso paste, peanut butter, or sesame paste for additional depth of flavor.
- Add extra herbs: Enhance the freshness of the salad by adding other fresh herbs in addition to the cilantro, such as mint, Thai basil, or parsley.
- Add some spice: If you enjoy some heat, add sliced chili peppers, crushed red pepper flakes, or a drizzle of hot sauce to the dressing. This will give your salad a spicy kick that complements the other flavors.
- Add acidity: Add tangy and zesty flavors to your noodle salad by incorporating pickled vegetables. Pickled ginger, radishes, or cucumbers add a delightful contrast to the salad and provide a burst of acidity.
Leftovers, if there are any, of this Ramen Noodle Salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container. Leftover salad, however, is rare because this dish is amazing.
Can I Freeze?
It is not recommended to freeze ramen noodle salad. Freezing this recipe can have a negative effect on the texture and the freshness of the salad itself. It can also cause the dressing to separate and the noodles to become soggy.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Wait to add noodles and almonds: It is a good idea to wait until it’s time to serve the salad before adding the noodles and the almonds. This will ensure they maintain their crunchy texture and don’t get too soggy from soaking up the dressing.
- Crush the noodles well: To add a variety of textures, you will want to crush the noodles well but leave uneven pieces. When the noodles are different sizes, it can make the salad more texturally pleasing.
- Double the noodles: If you want even more texture and crunch, double the number of noodles you use in this salad. Just ensure you add an additional tablespoon of oil during the toasting process.
- Get creative with garnishes: to add extra appeal to this delicious salad, get creative with some fun garnishes. You can sprinkle your salad with toasted sesame seeds, additional fresh herbs, or even some sliced green onions.
What is Ramen Noodle Salad?
Ramen noodle salad is the perfect salad to serve in the summertime. It combines crunchy ramen noodles with other salad ingredients like red cabbage, green cabbage, purple cabbage, and more.
The vibrant bell peppers, fresh snow peas, and sweet mandarin oranges add a freshness like no other. Add the tangy salad dressing to the mix, and this ramen noodle salad is perfect for your next bbq.
Can Ramen Noodle Salad be a Main Dish?
Absolutely! ramen noodle salad has to ability to shine as a main dish. Commanding attention with its vibrant colors, tantalizing textures, and bold flavors, this salad is fantastic when transformed into the star of the show.
With the combination of hearty ramen noodles, an abundance of fresh veggies, and a zesty dressing, this salad makes a satisfying and well-rounded meal. Plus, you can customize it by adding protein like grilled chicken or tofu to make it even more substantial.
Whether you’re looking for a light and refreshing lunch or a veggie-packed dinner, don’t underestimate the power of ramen noodle salad.
Are Ramen Noodles Healthy?
While ramen noodles may not win any awards for being healthy, they have a certain charm that keeps us returning for more. On their own, they’re a mischievous treat—quick, convenient, and oh-so-comforting. However, pairing them with creativity and fresh ingredients can transform them into a healthier and more balanced dish like this ramen noodle salad.
How to Make in Advance
If you want to make this crunchy ramen salad in advance, there are a few important things to note. Firstly, you will want to ensure you don’t add the noodles until it is time to serve the salad. You don’t want them to get too soggy, ruining the crave-able crunch of the dish.
Secondly, you will want to store the ingredients in the fridge until you are ready to serve. This will make sure that the salad is perfectly cold and fresh.
Can I Use Cooked Ramen Noodles?
You should simply toast your ramen noodles to make this recipe. This is because toasting your ramen will add the delicious crunch you expect from this dish. If you want to cook your noodles fully, that is fine, but they will provide a different texture.
Can I Add the Seasoning Packet?
Adding the seasoning packet to this salad is your choice but not recommended. This is because the flavor packet that comes with Instant Ramen is generally used when consuming the ramen hot and in a soup format. Adding the packet to this ramen noodle salad recipe will change the entire flavor profile of the salad itself and add quite a bit of extra sodium.
Can I Use Any Flavor of Ramen Noodles?
Yes. The flavor for instant ramen comes from the flavor packet included with the noodles. If you aren’t using the flavor packet, the flavor you choose to use won’t have any effect on the dish.
Other Dressing Ideas
While the classic dressing for this ramen noodle cabbage salad is delicious, there are plenty of other dressing ideas to explore.
- Peanut-Sesame Dressing: Combine peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey, garlic, and ginger for a creamy and nutty dressing. It adds a delightful Asian-inspired flavor profile to the salad.
- Citrus Vinaigrette: Whisk together fresh citrus juice (such as orange, lemon, or lime), olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt and pepper. This vibrant and tangy dressing pairs well with the crisp vegetables in the salad.
- Spicy Sriracha-Lime Dressing: Mix sriracha sauce, lime juice, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and a touch of soy sauce for a spicy and zesty dressing. It adds a fiery kick and a citrusy brightness to the salad.
- Creamy Avocado-Lime Dressing: Blend ripe avocado, lime juice, Greek yogurt (or sour cream), garlic, cilantro, and a drizzle of olive oil until smooth and creamy. This dressing lends a luscious and creamy texture and a refreshing citrusy taste.
- Sesame-Ginger Dressing: Whisk together sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, grated ginger, garlic, and a dash of red pepper flakes. This dressing delivers a delightful combination of nuttiness, tanginess, and a hint of spice.
Feel free to adjust the ingredient quantities based on your taste preferences, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors and combinations to create your signature dressing.
This delicious summer salad takes approximately 20 minutes of preparation and 10 minutes of cooking time. It is ready quickly, making it an excellent choice for an impromptu get-together.
This recipe makes 16 servings of fantastic salad. It is wonderful for serving a crowd at any get-together or BBQ.
Summer Side Recipes
You’ll also like this Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli Ramen.
Ramen Noodle Salad
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 packages ramen noodles 3oz packages, crushed
- 1 ½ cups sliced almonds
- 2 lb tri-color coleslaw
- 8 oz fresh snow peas sliced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper sliced
- 1 can mandarin oranges 15oz can, drained
- 1 can water chestnuts 8oz can, diced, drained
- 4 green onions sliced, green parts only
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- sesame seeds for garnish, optional
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 6 tbsp granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ½ tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Once hot add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the crushed noodles and almonds. Cook, stirring often, until toasted lightly golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place the mixture on a plate and set aside.
- To make the dressing, whisk together the vegetable oil, sugar, lemon juice, sesame oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- In a large bowl, add the coleslaw, snow peas, bell peppers, mandarin oranges, water chestnuts, green onions, cilantro, and the noodle almond mixture.
- Add the dressing and toss to combine. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.