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Peanut noodle salad combines chewy glass noodles with vibrant, crunchy vegetables in a rich, creamy, savory, irresistible peanut lime dressing. A nourishing vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free glass noodle salad ready in just 20 minutes!

completed Thai Peanut Noodle Salad [Glass Noodle Salad] plated in a white bowl
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What Are Glass Noodles?

Glass noodles (also called cellophane noodles, fensi, bean thread noodles/ vermicelli, or mung bean noodles) are a type of gluten-free, dry, packaged noodle typically made from mung bean or sweet potato starch. They are usually a white or brownish color and, once cooked, become transparent, hence earning the nickname ‘glass noodles.’

Glass noodles come in several thicknesses, the most common being thin strands like vermicelli. They cook in just minutes and have a chewy texture (not sticky) and very neutral flavor, which makes them great for adding to saucy dishes like stir-fries, soups, and salads like this peanut noodle salad.

Fresh and Crunchy 20-Minute Peanut Noodle Salad

Just last week, we whipped up a large batch of crunchy peanut salad. Deciding to play around with the leftovers, we discovered this crunchy noodle salad and are obsessed. It’s fresh, crunchy, slightly chewy, and loaded with creamy, savory, aromatic, slightly spicy (optional), umami-packed flavor while remaining dairy-free and vegan for a satisfying summery side or main.

This light and satisfying salad is quick and easy to prepare with simple, inexpensive ingredients in just 20 minutes (even less if boiling and rinsing the noodles) and is loaded with fiber, nutrients, antioxidants, and healthy fats. It’s also make-ahead friendly and travels well, perfect for serving a crowd at potlucks, picnics, and cookouts!

Looking for more simple noodle dishes? Check out our chilled sesame noodle salad, warm cucumber soba noodle salad, or veggie chow mein.

The Ingredients and Substitutes

ingredients for Thai Peanut Noodle Salad [Glass Noodle Salad] measured out against a white surface

The Sesame Peanut Noodle Salad

  • Glass noodles: These may be labeled as glass noodles, bean thread vermicelli/noodles, or cellophane noodles.

This cold noodle salad will also work with rice noodles (vermicelli or ribbons), brown rice noodles, or soba noodles, but adjust the cooking instructions accordingly.

  • Vegetables: This vegan peanut noodle salad relies on several fresh ingredients for a combination of textures (especially crunchy) and flavors.
    • Cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes)
    • Edamame (steamed/ cooked)
    • Cucumber (use thin-peel, low-seed varieties like Persian/ English cucumber)
    • Carrot (any color)
    • Shredded cabbage (purple or green)
  • Fresh herbs: A combination of cilantro (or flat-leaf parsley) and, optionally, some green onions (scallions) will add a fresh, aromatic finishing touch to the cold noodle salad with peanut sauce.
  • Peanuts: Use chopped, unsalted peanuts. Lightly roast/toast them for enhanced flavor. You can optionally also sprinkle over some sesame seeds (raw or toasted).
  • To garnish: (all optional) We love garnishing this cold glass noodle salad with lime wedges and red pepper flakes (or finely sliced red chili).

The Peanut Dressing

  • Peanut butter: We prefer the color and texture of creamy peanut butter (chunky or smooth), though natural peanut butter will also work. We recommend looking for an option with minimal ingredients and no added sugar.

For a peanut-free version of this noodle salad, you could try using almond butter or sunflower seed butter.

  • Aromatics: Using fresh garlic and ginger adds a full-bodied aromatic flavor.  
  • Soy sauce: Use regular or reduced-sodium soy sauce. If you’re gluten-free, use coconut aminos or tamari instead.
  • Lime juice: To add brightness and tang, use fresh lime juice (or lemon juice).
  • Rice vinegar: This slightly sweet vinegar pairs with the lime juice for more acidity.
  • Sesame oil: You only need a tiny amount of toasted sesame oil to provide subtle yet delicious, toasty, nutty undertones.  
  • Olive oil: To help the sauce coat the noodles with a silkier mouthfeel. Omit if preferred.
  • Water: To thin the peanut noodle salad dressing to the desired consistency. Use canned coconut milk (full-fat or lite) for a creamier dressing.

To make spicy peanut noodle salad, add red pepper flakes or hot sauce, like sriracha, to taste. If you think it needs it, a small amount of sweetener, like maple syrup, agave, or coconut sugar, may also help balance the acidity (and spice if using) in this sauce.

What Else Could I Add To Cold Asian Noodle Salad?

  • Protein: Make more of a complete meal (and a heartier one, at that) with the addition of cubed marinated or crispy tofu or tempeh. Other mock meats (like vegan chicken pieces or vegan shrimp) will also work.
  • Spinach: Finely ribboned to add extra nutrients and color.
  • Bean sprouts: To add a refreshing, light, crisp crunch.
  • Other vegetables: Boost the color, nutrients, and/or texture in this crunchy noodle salad with the addition of:
    • Blanched/steamed broccoli or broccoliniSliced red onionSnow peas/ mangetoutSugar snap peasJulienne bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow)Julienne radishes
    • Sliced avocado (add just before serving)
  • Fruit: Add some sweetness to the cold peanut noodle salad with finely chopped pineapple, mango, or apple.

How to Make Peanut Glass Noodle Salad

How to Cook Glass Noodles?

Glass noodles are quick and easy to prepare by soaking or boiling them. Our preferred method for cold glass noodle salad is the former, which helps to keep them sturdy.

  • 1) Add the noodles to a large, heat-proof bowl.
  • 2) Pour over enough boiling water to completely submerge the noodles.
  • 3) Leave them to soak for 7-15 minutes until they’re tender.

Alternatively, boil the noodles for just 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to overcook them, or they’ll become mushy.

How to Make the Cold Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce

  • 1) First, cook the glass noodles, then drain them and optionally rinse them with cold water (to cool quickly) or set them aside to cool.
  • 2) Meanwhile, mince the garlic and ginger and combine all the peanut butter dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar, mixing/whisking well.

If the peanut butter is a little thick, warm it in the microwave for just 10-20 seconds.

  • 3) Then, rinse and finely dice the cucumber, shred the cabbage, halve the tomatoes, and shred the carrots. Also, chop the cilantro (and green onion if using).
  • 4) Transfer all the chopped ingredients to a large mixing bowl and add half the dressing, tossing to coat thoroughly.
  • 5) Add the glass noodles and the remaining vegetables and toss well to combine. Add the peanuts just before serving, and optionally garnish the peanut noodle salad with lime wedges, red pepper flakes, green onions, and sesame seeds.

For the best flavor, allow the peanut noodle salad to sit for the flavors to meld for at least 30 minutes before garnishing and serving.

Recipe Notes

  • Tweak the dressing: Adjust any ingredient to create your preferred flavor profile. We recommend starting with less soy sauce from the get-go to season to taste.
  • Cook the noodles until tender: If you cook noodles until al dente, they will firm up when chilled, so it’s actually better to cook them thoroughly.
  • For a low-carb version: Try using zucchini noodles.
  • To save time: Where possible, use pre-prepared (sliced, shredded, etc.) vegetables.

What to Serve with peanut noodle salad?

Enjoy this peanut noodle salad chilled or at room temperature, either alone as a light main or as a side alongside:

Storage Instructions

You can prepare the peanut dressing in advance and store it in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. It can separate, so stir it well between uses.

Store any leftover glass noodle salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. It’ll taste even better on day two, though it’s best if left to come back to room temperature for 20-30 minutes before consuming.

We don’t recommend freezing it, as the texture of the fresh veggies will be ruined.

More Vegan Salad Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed Thai Peanut Noodle Salad [Glass Noodle Salad] plated in a white bowl

Peanut Noodle Salad [Glass Noodle Salad]

5 from 87 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Thai peanut noodle salad combines chewy glass noodles with vibrant, crunchy vegetables in a rich, creamy, savory, irresistible peanut lime dressing. A nourishing vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free glass noodle salad ready in just 20 minutes!

Ingredients 

Tamari Lime peanut dressing:

  • ¼ cup of soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon of sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Glass noodle salad:

  • 1 (8.8-ounce) package of glass noodles
  • 1 cup of shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup of cooked edamame
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • ¼ cup of sliced green onions
  • ½ cup of chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup of unsalted peanuts, chopped
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, garnish (optional)
  • Lime wedges, garnish (optional)
  • Green onions, sliced, garnish (optional)
  • Sesame seeds, garnish (optional)

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl or jar, add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, peanut butter lime, olive oil, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic, mix well, and set aside. In a medium pot, cook the noodles according to package instructions.
  • In a large salad bowl, add the cabbage, tomatoes, cucumber, edamame, carrot, green onions, and cilantro. Add half of the dressing and mix well.
  • Add the noodles to a large salad bowl with the veggies mixture. Add the remaining dressing and gently mix until well-combined.
  • Garnish to taste and enjoy warm or chilled.

Notes

  • Tweak the dressing: Adjust any ingredient to create your preferred flavor profile. We recommend starting with less soy sauce from the get-go to season to taste.
  • Cook the noodles until tender: If you cook noodles until al dente, they will firm up when chilled, so it’s actually better to cook them thoroughly.
  • For a low-carb version: Try using zucchini noodles.
  • To save time: Where possible, use pre-prepared (sliced, shredded, etc.) vegetables.

Nutrition

Calories: 596kcalCarbohydrates: 77gProtein: 16gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gSodium: 858mgPotassium: 747mgFiber: 8gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 3014IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 117mgIron: 4mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Method: Stovetop
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love peanuts and I love this peanut noodle salad recipe! I love the combination of flavors and texture! So good!

  2. I so love the chewy glass noodles on this Peanut noodle salad and all the flavors incorporated in it. So delish! Thanks.:)

    1. Right?! The combo of all of the different veggies with the noodles plus the sauce makes this dish extra special!

  3. 5 stars
    Lots of ingredients but so worth it. I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I will be using the dressing on my next Chinese chicken salad! So good!