Sesame Noodle Salad

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Is it hot where you are? We’ve had an unseasonably cool several days, but the weather reports assure us that that’s about to change.

This sesame noodle salad is a perfect cold noodle salad for a hot day. Make the noodles and the dressing ahead of time and let the noodles soak in all the flavor from the dressing (sesame oil, honey, soy sauce).

Then toss it with green onions, cilantro, bell pepper and peanuts right before serving. Yum!

Sesame Noodle Salad

You can also add cubed cooked chicken to the salad to make it a more substantial meal, or some tahini for a creamier sesame flavor. If you take it to a potluck picnic, double the recipe! This one is a crowd pleaser.

Recipe and photos updated, first published 2006

Sesame Noodle Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6


Honey Soy Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper or chili powder (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce (less if using tamari which is more concentrated than soy sauce)


  • 12 ounces of vermicelli, thin spaghetti, or angel hair pasta
  • Salt
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds


1 Prepare the dressing: Put the dressing ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

2 Cook the pasta: Put the pasta in a large pot in salted boiling water (1 Tbsp salt for every 2 quarts of water). Cook al dente, according to the directions on the pasta package. Drain.

3 Toss with dressing, chill: Stir together the cooked pasta and the dressing in a large bowl until the pasta is well coated. Cover and chill for several hours.

4 Stir in cilantro, peanuts, green onions, bell pepper: When ready to serve, mix in the cilantro, peanuts, green onions and bell pepper. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

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Sesame Noodle Salad

Showing 4 of 38 Comments

  • Pam

    I made this yesterday for a Canada Day BBQ pot luck. A few attendees have food allergies so I separated the nuts and veg in various containers which allowed them to add the ingredients as the chose. When they were done I tossed all ingredients as posted and I must say, it was absolutely wonderful! This morning I received requests for the recipe and I forwarded your URL. Thank you Elise!

  • Jenny C

    I made this on Friday but left out the red peppers. I loved this pasta! Will make again. Thank you again Elise for another great recipe.

  • Jane

    Hi Elise,
    How would you prepare some grilled chicken to go along with this noodle salad?

  • betsy

    hi could you add a couple tablespoons of peanut butter (as I saw some added tahini) ? or would it be too thick and not light and refreshing? thanks!

  • Cam Donald

    I forgot to say I also added a cooked, diced chicken breast to this. Yummy!

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