Sesame Noodle Salad

Sesame Noodle Salad, so quick and easy! Thin noodles infused with a sesame, honey, soy sauce dressing.

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


Honey Soy Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin 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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  • Laura

    I’ve been making this recipe from here for what feels like 10 years! Such a crowd pleaser! People constantly ask me to make it. I always add a tomato and sometimes prosciutto. It’s even better the 2nd day.


  • Becky G.

    Excellent! Very tasty, I made it with homemade chive spaghetti noodles. 1/3 semolina, 2/3 organic all purpose flour. Super tasty!

  • Jill Zumwalt

    I made this tonight here in the Sierras, on a warm summer night. I used whole wheat thin spaghetti, extra peanuts, cilantro, peppers and added garlic, salted shrimp. So yummy and great up her where I I have limited access to ingredients. Anyone can have some frozen shrimp and nuts to add pisazz to a meal. All of the textures in a salad make it fabulous.


  • 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.


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jenny, I’m so glad you liked it! Isn’t it easy?

      • Jenny C

        The best recipes are the easy ones. Look forward to trying many more of your wonderful dishes. I make your food so much that my daughter comments ‘What did Elise make for dinner tonight’? :)

  • 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!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Betsy, I might try 1 Tbsp of peanut butter to start and see how you like it!

  • Cam Donald

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

  • Cam Donald

    I used Chinese noodles instead. This is a delicious recipe. My hubby really liked it. I wonder what it might be like served warm with shrimp. Hmmm. Maybe I will try that sometime.

  • Rae

    I made this recipe but found just a sprig of fresh cilantro would be better and no sesame seeds. Those with dentures found the seeds got between the denture and the gums, irritating. Otherwise I loved it the sauce was delicious and I used Lancia Spaghettini noodles, was great

  • Kate Runyon

    This was so yummy delish Elise! I made a smaller amount of pasta when I made it…hubby was working that night and I was eating solo…so I had some sauce leftover. I used it the next day on a cold rice salad with stir fried tofu! Another winner! Thank you so much for all your super inspiration!


  • Anna

    A perfect use for the gluten-free brown rice spaghetti that I bought by accident! I used up an old lime and included a little sriracha in the dressing, and added shredded cabbage with the other veggies. I’ll definitely be making it again, because not only did it turn out AWESOME (thank you, Elise!), I also have an entire pound and a quarter left of that danged spaghetti… not that I’m complaining, now!

  • Tracy

    This is a fantastic salad recipe. Made it for a BBQ and everyone loved it. I added 1 clove of crushed garlic to the dressing after heating and it was a nice addition.


  • Claire

    I love this recipe and have made it many times. I want to bring it to school (I’m a teacher) tomorrow for a potluck, but must leave out the peanuts since many students have an allergy. What do you recommend replacing it with – maybe almonds or cashews? Or just leaving nuts out entirely?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Claire, I would leave the nuts out entirely, the salad will not suffer.

      • Claire

        Great, thanks for the quick response! I’ve been a lurker for about 8 years, and yours is a daily go-to site for me. Many of your recipes have become oft-requested family favorites, especially the tuna-arugula pasta, the tuna noodle casserole, and this dish! Thank you so much for your wonderful, tried-and-true recipes and stories about your family.

  • Angie

    This is one of my favorite salads of all time. It’s good, light and so easy to make.


  • Lisa Morgan

    This is just what the doctor ordered during this heat wave! Beautiful. Thanks, Elise.

  • RD

    I love cold sesame noodles and this recipe is easy to prepare and delicious. It has been hot here in Walnut Creek, CA (around 100F today) so I made this for dinner last night. I used 9 oz. of soba buckwheat noodles as that was what I had in the pantry. Will definitely make it again. Might add a couple of cups of cut up chicken next time. And you can always play around with the vegetables (peas pods, bean sprouts, julienne-cut carrots, etc.)

  • Tomoko

    Yet another party favorite from your amazing recipe collection.

    No left overs and several requests for recipe secret!

    Thanks for always brightening everyone’s meals!

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your website! :)

    Thanks! So glad you are finding the site useful. :-) ~Elise

  • Diane

    Tried this last week & loved it!…Tasty & refreshing. :)

  • Claire

    I make this recipe all the time, since first discovering it here a couple of years ago. I always serve it with the Ginger Soy Whiskey Chicken from Steamy Kitchen, which is a great asian-fusiony complement. This is a great dish for dinner parties because you can make it in advance, it doubles easily and makes a lot, and everyone LOVES it. Elegant, creative, yet accessible.

  • Laura

    I made this salad too and I loved it. I think I’ll try it with some chicken and maybe mango next time.

    Thanks so much Elise! I love your blog :)

  • Lea

    Sooooooo yummy! I added some shredded cabbage to the pasta during the last minute of cooking, and also some fresh edamame to the finished product. I have been eating this for lunch all week – delicious. Thanks for your awesome website!

  • Uma

    I tried this out last week and it was very good. I mixed everything the previous night including mixing in the peanuts and cilantro and it was very good when I had it for lunch the next day. Perfect work lunch.

  • Renee

    This was a REALLY good recipe. My take on it was to use macadamia honey and teriyaki chicken.

  • Nathan

    Suggest adding:

    To sauce:
    1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar (good quality like Lucini Gran Riserva Balsamico)

    To salad:
    1 chicken breast (~0.9 lb), cubed (oil/salt/pepper, broiled)

  • nicole

    I’m hoping to make this soon — it looks so yummy!
    Since it’s a cold salad, did you rinse the noodles after draining them?

    No, no need to rinse. ~Elise

  • typome

    Wow this was so good! I was actually sad when I took my last bite, that’s how good it was.

  • Nathan

    Not to cast a shadow on your other excellent recipes, but I think this one might be the best, most robust recipe you have yet posted. I make it all the time.

  • Claire

    This was great! I reduced the oil a bit and added some grilled chicken for protein and it all worked well. Thanks for the recipe.

  • sara

    This is the best salad! I made it and have since shared it with friends. Everyone loves it. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Tammy

    I made this last night (with two substitutions: a little tahini for the dark sesame oil in lieu of another trip to the store and an addition of stir-fried chicken for my carnivorous husband)… WONDERFUL! And I get to enjoy the rest for lunch! Thnaks for the fantastic idea on another nasty, hot day in Ohio!

  • beth

    Very yummy! Thanks for the recipe, Elise. I’d actually made something along these lines the night before, thinking about your post but hadn’t printed out the recipe. It wasn’t nearly as good as yours, which I made the next night. :) The dressing on this one is light, and lovely.

  • stephanie

    this was really very good. i made it with rice noodles from the Asian market, and because i didn’t have the peanuts, i put in about a 1/4 c. of Asian peanut sauce. my husband is not a pasta person, but we loved the fresh flavor with a bit of spice.

  • Samantha

    I made this with rice noodles, and it definitely needs time to marinate, so that the noodles have time to soak up the dressing. Otherwise, it will be too oily. I also added cubed pan fried chicken breasts, yum! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Sibyl

    I just made this tonight and its delicious! I used canola oil – it was fine. The recipe made plenty for 4 side dishes, but it was so good we all had seconds and its gone. I also only chilled it for an hour with all ingrediants added. Easy, fast and so good! I bet the recipe could be doubled too.