Cold Peanut Noodle Salad With Grilled Chicken
These Thai peanut noodles topped with grilled chicken are more than a little bit addictive! They are great to make ahead of time making them an easy weekday lunch or a quick weeknight meal! It’s the ultimate cold peanut noodle salad, made with a creamy peanut sauce and a slew of veggies. It’s simple to make, and easily made vegan & gluten free! It’s loaded with flavor and crispy texture, thanks to all of the delicious & nutritious ingredients.
What can I have with this cold peanut salad?
This salad is great as a main dish and works perfectly for meal prep! I love it with the grilled chicken which gets a quick and easy marinade with either a sesame salad dressing or the peanut dressing. I tend to always have some store bought dressing in the fridge for my greens and Irresistibles Asian Sesame one is definitely one of my favorites. Not only are dressings great with greens but they can also be used as a marinade. If you don’t have one on hand no problem. I convert the peanut butter dressing to a marinade. Simply whisk together 1-2 tbsps with some water to thin it out a little and it becomes dual purpose - a marinade for the chicken and a rich and delicious dressing for the salad. You can have this salad with grilled shrimp or even some sliced and grilled pork or beef. I would use the same marinade for either of those. To keep this meat free I would definitely do a marinated and grilled tofu which would add a nice texture to the salad. If you wanted to eat them without any add in that is fine too - the addition of meat protein or tofu is just extra - they are wonderful on their own.
What kind of noodles can I use in this cold peanut salad?
Really and truly you can use any noodle you like. Personally I like a more robust noodle with mine - so I go with a brown rice pasta if I can’t get my hands on soba noodles. Soba noodles are my first choice. That is just me though - cause I tend to go Gluten free with my pastas. If that isn’t a factor then I would recommend whole wheat pasta for a more robust flavour or just any spaghetti of your liking. This would also be great with pad Thai rice noodles too. It really depends on what you have available and what your preference is.
Can I make cold peanut salad ahead of time?
This Thai noodle salad comes together easily and can be made in advance. Since the salad travels well, it’s the perfect dish to bring to picnics, road trips, potlucks and barbecues and leftovers make for the best lunches! All of the salad ingredients are pretty hearty and robust and will keep about three days after prepping. The dressing can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container for five days. If making ahead to take somewhere you can toss everything together without the dressing and pack it that way and pack the dressing separately. Then when ready to eat just toss with the dressing and enjoy. If you already dressed the salad and have leftovers they will last dressed for 3-4 days but the veggies may start to wilt a bit - still delicious just won’t have the same crunch.
Some easy ways to switch things up
- Add a different protein like grilled shrimp, pork, or beef
- Add some fruit to the mix like pineapple, papaya, mango.
- Use creamy cashew butter or a seed butter or chopped cashews or seeds instead of peanuts.
- Love noodles? Love extra veggies? Feel free to double the amount of any of the ingredient on the list.
- If you don’t like radishes try adding cucumbers or even some snap peas
Combining Thai-inspired flavors and ingredients to create a colorful salad is an easy and fun way to get some extra veggies in. I love the peanut butter dressing. It’s one I make often for a quick salad like this or a dipping sauce for my fresh spring rolls. It is what makes this salad so creamy and addictive. I’m sure you will agree!
I have partnered up with Metro Ontario to bring you this fabulous recipe, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Olive & Mango.
Servings: Serves 4
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Total time: 42 mins
For the peanut lime chicken
- 3 tbsp natural-style peanut butter (I used Irresistibles organic one)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 medium lime, juiced (2 Tbsp juice)
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- ¼ cup neutral oil (I used Irresistibles grape seed oil)
- ¼ tsp of this chili paste (I used sriracha)
For the chicken
- ½ cup of your favorite Asian sesame salad dressing (I used irresistible brand)*
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, or 4 thighs
- Salt and pepper
For the salad
- 8 oz. soba noodles or whole wheat spaghetti
- 1 tsp of neutral oil (I used Irresistibles grape seed oil)
- 4 cups finely shredded red cabbage, carrots and radishes
- 1 green or red bell pepper slices fine
- ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 4 green onions slices
- ½ cup peanuts, chopped (I used Irresistibles roasted peanuts)
- Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a plastic zip bag with dressing and let sit 30 minutes or overnight.
- To make the peanut dressing, combine all the ingredients in a bowl or blender. Whisk or blend until smooth. Set the dressing aside.
- Preheat grill or grill pan on medium high and grease well. Place chicken on grill, grill for 6 minutes per side depending on size of pieces. Check for doneness. Internal temperature should be 165 degrees. Once done remove and set on plate and let rest covered in foil.
- While the chicken is on the grill bring a pot of water to a boil and cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse briefly with cold water to cool it off. Let the pasta drain well. Set them in a large bowl and toss with 1 tsp of neutral oil to prevent them from sticking
- Shred the cabbage as finely as possible using either a knife or the shredding attachment of a food processor. Shred the carrots and radishes using a large-holed cheese grater. Finely slice the pepper. Roughly chop the cilantro and peanuts. Slice the green onion.
- Combine the cooled and well drained pasta in a large bowl with the cabbage, carrots, radishes,cilantro, green onion, and peanuts. Toss the salad until the ingredients are evenly combined.
- Slice the chicken. Serve the salad and peanut dressing on the side or toss the whole salad with it. I like to toss some of the dressing with it and reserve some for on the side. Slice and place chicken over it and serve. Serve with extra cilantro, chopped peanuts and lime wedges.
- You can use 1-2 tbsp of the peanut sauce for the marinade as an alternative to the dressing. If I’m using the peanut sauce I will whisk 1-2 tbsps of it with some water and then use it as I would the dressing.