With warmer weather comes lighter cravings, and this incredibly fresh Pad Thai-inspired salad has been one of our go-to meals this summer.
Vegetables like carrots, cucumber, and cabbage are thinly sliced or “noodled” and tossed in a bright, citrusy peanut dressing with a kick thanks to red pepper flake. It’s like summer in a bowl. Let us show you how it’s done!
This 30-minute noodle salad begins with making the sauce, which is inspired by Thai flavors.
The creamy base is your choice of either peanut or cashew butter. Lime juice is added for tanginess, garlic for zing, and red pepper flake for heat. Coconut aminos add saltiness and depth of flavor, while maple syrup (or honey) rounds it out with a little sweetness.
The result: A sauce so good you might be tempted to eat it by the spoonful!
Next come the veggies!
For a rainbow of colors (and antioxidants), we chose red bell pepper, carrots, kale, cucumber, snap peas, and red cabbage. But these could be switched up depending on availability and personal preference!
And to complete the rainbow and add natural sweetness, we added fresh mango.
We used mostly raw veggies to keep the salad fresh and crisp. But to enhance the flavor of the snap peas, you can (optionally) choose to steam them. This, of course, means the salad is no longer raw.
For garnish, we add cilantro for freshness and sunflower and/or sesame seeds for crunch.
And for a more filling meal and extra protein, you could optionally choose to top with Peanut Marinated Tempeh or Almond Butter Tofu.
How to Make Veggie Noodles
To make veggie noodles, we like using a vegetable peeler, mandolin, and/or knife, depending on the veggie. Using a spiralizer is also an option for some veggies. These are our preferred methods:
- Bell pepper – knife or mandolin
- Carrot – vegetable peeler or spiralizer
- Cabbage – mandolin or knife
- Cucumber – vegetable peeler, mandolin, or spiralizer
- Kale – knife
We hope you LOVE this noodle salad! It’s:
It’s the perfect plant-based side or meal for warmer weather! Serve on its own or with other Thai-inspired dishes such as our Green Pea Curry Hummus, Easy Tofu Pad Thai, or Pad Thai Spring Rolls.
More Noodle Salad Recipes
- Blissed-Out Thai Salad with Peanut Tempeh
- Thai Noodle Bowls with Almond Butter Tofu
- Vegan Macaroni Salad
- Roasted Broccoli Pasta Salad with Hemp Pesto
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
Raw Rainbow Veggie Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing
- 3 Tbsp peanut butter or cashew butter (to keep this dish truly raw, use raw cashew butter)
- 3 Tbsp lime juice
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 – 1 tsp red pepper flake (adjust to preferred heat level)
- 5 Tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari, but start with lesser amount as its saltier)
- 2 tsp sesame oil (optional)
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup or raw honey, plus more to taste
- 2 medium carrots, ribboned with a vegetable peeler
- 1 medium cucumber, very thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler or mandolin
- 1 cup (packed) red cabbage, very thinly sliced with a knife or mandolin
- 1 large red bell pepper, very thinly sliced with a knife or mandolin
- 2 cups chopped curly or lacinato kale
- 1 cup snap or snow peas
- 1 ripe mango, cubed
- Cilantro, chopped
- 2 Tbsp raw sunflower seeds or sesame seeds
- 1 batch Marinated Peanut Tempeh or Almond Butter Tofu (optional)
- Begin by preparing sauce. Add nut butter of choice to a small blender along with lime juice, garlic, red pepper flake, coconut aminos (or tamari, reduced amount), sesame oil, and maple syrup. Blend until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more red pepper flake for heat, maple syrup for sweetness, lime juice for acidity, coconut aminos for saltiness / depth of flavor, garlic for zing, or nut butter for nuttiness / creamy texture. Set aside.
- Next, prepare veggies. We prefer a vegetable peeler to make “carrot noodles,” a mandolin with a very fine-tooth blade to make angel hair-width cucumber noodles, a mandolin for the cabbage and red bell pepper, and a knife to slice the kale. Also cube mango (see instructions here!). Add all veggie noodles and cubed mango to a large serving dish.
- Optional: Steam snap peas by adding to a steamer basket inserted into a saucepan with 1/2 inch of water. Bring to a low boil, cover, and steam for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add to serving platter. Otherwise, serve raw.
- Add the dressing (reserving a little extra for serving) and toss to combine. Garnish with fresh cilantro and seeds of choice (we prefer sunflower or sesame seeds). Enjoy as is, or serve with our Marinated Peanut Tempeh or Almond Butter Tofu.
- Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days. Not freezer friendly.
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