This slightly spicy chicken noodle salad is a packed-with-flavor, 30 minute, one-dish meal your whole family will love. For more great ideas, check out the Quick Healthy Recipes page.
Main dish salads are one of my go-to meals for the summer. And recipes like this chicken noodle salad is one of my favorites because it can be made in advance (i.e., in the morning when it’s cooler…) and it’s a one-dish meal with all the carbs, protein, and veggies are included in one bowl.
Refreshing, easy, and made in just 20-30 minutes – yeah, I think you can see why it’s one of our standard summer meals!
There are quite a few Asian-type noodle salad recipes out there and I came up with this by combining a number I’ve used over the years. In addition to being delicious and easy, it’s also really flexible- you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand and even change out the chicken for shrimp or other leftover meat.
We just love the combo of a spicy peanut dressing, grilled, rotisserie, or any pre-cooked chicken, and veggies- it’s just about perfect on a warm night!
How to Make Spicy Chicken Noodle Salad
The nice thing about pasta dishes like this is that while the noodles are cooking, you can chop the vegetables and chicken, and mix up the spicy peanut dressing, making it quick to put together on weeknights. Especially if you have someone helping chop!
You can add more or less chili-garlic sauce (Sriracha), depending on the hotness you or your family can handle.
And here’s one of the benefits I enjoy of menu planning: plan a grilled chicken meal the night before and grill extra for this salad the next day.
Then it’s just a matter of mixing the noodles with all the ingredients to serve right away or keep refrigerated until you’d like to serve it (just give it another stir before serving) – voila, an even easier summer meal.
Plus, this is so good I could probably eat this salad once a week. Yu-um.
Note: this recipe mentions skimming peanut oil from the top of your peanut butter to use in recipes like this – here’s how and why to save your peanut oil.
Spicy Chicken Noodle Salad
- ½ to ¾ pound linguine or udon, or rice noodles*
- 3 cups sliced cooked chicken about 4 thighs or 2 breasts
- 1½ cups grated carrots about 2 large
- 1 medium sweet onion cut in half and sliced thinly
- 1 red bell pepper cut into thin matchstick-sized pieces
- 2 cups other vegetables: thinly sliced celery shredded cabbage, snow peas, corn, etc.
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce Sriracha, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or peanut oil, skimmed from the top of natural peanut butter
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, if you're a cilantro person...
- 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
- Cook the noodles according to the package directions. When done, drain the noodles and rinse with cold water to cool them before adding the rest of the salad ingredients.
- While the noodles are cooking, chop all the vegetables and meat.
- Make the dressing: Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, Sriracha, honey, ginger, garlic, and oil in a glass measure and whisk until smooth (you can also use a food processor to get the sauce really smooth).
- In a large serving bowl combine all the ingredients and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve topped with peanuts and chopped parsley or cilantro.
- Makes 8 servings
Note: this recipe was originally published in 2011 and has been updated with all new photos, formatting, and printable recipe. Enjoy!