Ramen Noodle Salad
This cold ramen noodle salad features red and green cabbage, green onions, edamame, crunchy ramen noodles and tangy dressing.
About this Recipe
This classic ramen salad recipe is packed with flavour and texture thanks to crunchy bites of ramen noodles and plenty of fresh veggies. It’s also easy to make and can be on the dinner table in just 15 minutes.
The recipe features a sweet and tangy dressing that’s delicious with the shredded cabbage, snap peas, red bell pepper, carrot, cashews, edamame and of course, crunchy ramen noodles.
This salad has it all and makes a great side dish or works as a light main dish, especially if you add an additional protein such as baked tofu or tempeh.
Take it along to your next potluck or summer BBQ, serve it at a family gathering or whip it up for a quick and tasty weeknight meal.
Either way, it’s sure to be a hit and is the perfect salad to turn salad skeptics into salad lovers!
- Vegetarian & vegan (dairy-free, eggless).
- Quick and easy to make.
- Ready in less than 15 minutes!
- Great side dish.
- Light main on its own or with added protein.
- Make it for a healthy meal prep.
- Perfect parties and potlucks.
- Family-friendly meatless meal.
This section covers a few notes on each ingredient and possible substitutions. You’ll find the complete ingredient list with amounts in the recipe card at the end of the post.
Ramen Salad Ingredients
- Cabbage: You’ll need both green cabbage and red cabbage, about 4 cups of each or 1/2 a small head. If you only have one variety, you can use 8 cups of that.
- Bell Pepper: The recipe calls for red bell pepper but you can substitute another colour if that’s all you have.
- Carrot: You’ll need 1 large carrot. I would recommend grating the carrot but you could also cut it into matchsticks.
- Snap Peas: Look for sugar snap peas or substitute snow peas.
- Edamame: Shelled frozen edamame is a great option for convenience. If not, you can buy edamame
- Green Onion: Also called spring onion or scallions.
- Ramen Noodle: Use 1-2 packages of dry instant ramen noodles, since we will be discarding the seasoning packets you can purchase any flavour. I would start with 1 package and see how that is for you. You can always add more! I like it both ways.
- Nuts: Use roasted peanuts or cashews for topping. I would recommend using cashews because they add a slight sweetness and soften slightly in the dressing for a nice texture. If not, sunflower seeds, peanuts or slivered almonds work.
- Sesame Oil: This is for flavour so do not substitute another oil.
- Olive Oil: Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil. The olive oil can be substituted with another vegetable oil.
- Rice Vinegar: The recipe uses unseasoned rice wine vinegar but you can use seasoned if that’s what you have. Apple cider vinegar would work in a pinch.
- Maple Syrup: Use pure maple syrup or substitute agave syrup. Honey would also work.
- Tahini: A nice, creamy, slightly sweet tahini is best! I like Arz Fine Foods and Soom.
- Miso: Use white or yellow miso paste. You could also use red miso paste but it will have a stronger flavour.
- Garlic: Use 1 garlic clove or you can substitute 1 tsp ground garlic, if needed. I recommend grating or pressing it for a smooth texture.
- Ginger: You can use 1 tsp grated ginger or substitute 1/2 tsp ground ginger if that’s all you have.
This section features a quick visual overview of making the recipe with a few tips and tricks. Scroll down to find the detailed written instructions in the printable recipe card.
Make the Dressing
Add all of your dressing ingredients to a bowl and mix well: sesame oil, olive oil, rice vinegar, tahini, maple syrup, garlic, ginger, salt and black pepper.
Quick Tip: You can mix the dressing in small bowl then pour it over the salad, or simply mix it up first in the large bowl you’ll be making the salad in.
Prepare the Salad
In a large bowl, add all of the salad ingredients and toss to combine: red cabbage, green cabbage, bell pepper, carrot, edamame, peas, cashews (or peanuts) and half of the green onions. Add a little pinch of salt and pepper as well.
Quick Tip: I’d recommend a mandolin to slice the red and green cabbage but a food processor shredding attachment also works. If you have neither, thinly slice with a sharp knife.
Combine and Enjoy
Break and crumble the ramen noodles over the salad and add the dressing if you didn’t mix it right in the salad bowl.
Toss until all the veggies and noodles are coated in the dressing.
Quick Note: You can use 1 or 2 packs of instant ramen noodles. If you want it to be more like coleslaw with a bit of crunch, use one pack, if you want more noodles, crunch and bulk, use two!
Serve your ramen salad topped with the remaining green onions and sesame seeds, if you like!
- If you’re making the salad ahead of time, add and toss the noodles right before serving so they stay crunchy.
- For shredding the cabbage, a mandoline or the shredding attachment on a food processor work great.
- To save time, you can use pre-shredded packaged cabbage or coleslaw mix to replace the cabbage and carrot. You could also substitute a broccoli slaw mix.
Yes. To make this salad nut-free, omit the cashews and add sunflower seeds instead.
Variations & Additions
- Add 2-3 portioned mandarin oranges.
- Use broccoli slaw, kale slaw or Brussels sprouts slaw instead of cabbage.
- Other veggies that work well are cucumber or celery.
- Instant chow mein noodles work in place of ramen noodles or try a mixture of both.
- You can simplify the salad and just do coleslaw mix, dressing and ramen noodles.
- For a lower-calorie salad, use 1 package of noodles instead of 2 and reduce the nuts to 1/4 cup. You could also omit the edamame though it does add protein to the salad.
- If you’ve added the dressing, the salad will keep for 2 days or so before it gets soggy.
- If you store the dressing separately, the salad mix will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.
- This recipe is not suitable for freezing.
- The dressing can be made in advance. It will store well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- For best results, add the ramen noodles just before serving so they stay crunchy.
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The best cold ramen noodle salad with crunchy noodles, red and green cabbage and plenty of bright colours, flavours and texture! Serve as a tasty side dish or pair with your choice of protein for a main dish.
For the Ramen Noodle Salad
- 4 cups green cabbage, finely shredded (about ½ a small head, 250 g)
- 4 cups purple cabbage, finely shredded (about ½ a small head, 250 g)
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced (130 g)
- 1 large carrot, grated (95 g/1.5 cup)
- 1 cup sugar snap peas, chopped (115 g)
- 2 cups cooked edamame (285 g)
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1–2 pkgs. dry ramen noodles, discard flavor packets* (115 g)
- ½ cup roasted cashews or peanuts (75 g)
For the Sesame Dressing
- Make Dressing: In a large bowl, add sesame oil, olive oil, vinegar, tahini, maple syrup, garlic and ginger. Season with salt and pepper, then whisk well to combine into a smooth consistency. If you’re making the dressing ahead of time, whisk it up in a small bowl or storage container.
- Prepare Salad: To the bowl with the dressing, add cabbage, peppers, carrots, snap peas, edamame, cashews and half the green onions. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add Noodles & Mix: Using your hands, break apart the ramen noodles into the bowl. Add the dressing if you didn’t mix it up in the salad bowl. Toss well to combine. Note that if you’re making the salad in advance to reserve the noodles until just before serving.
- Serve: Serve topped with the remaining green onions and toasted white or black sesame seeds, if you like.
*You can use 1 or 2 packs of instant ramen noodles. If you want it to be more like coleslaw with a bit of crunch, use one pack, if you want more noodles, crunch and bulk, use two! Either way, you can start with one and always add the second.
Dressing can be made 1-2 days ahead of time. If you are making this salad ahead of time, add and toss the noodles right before serving so they stay crunchy.
For shredding the cabbage, a mandoline is great for this or the shredding attachment on a food processor. I like a mandoline for this salad. If you’re tight on time, you can buy equal volume of pre-shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix at your grocery store.
For a super quick and easy ramen cabbage salad, use 1 bag of prepared coleslaw mix, 1-2 packages of ramen noodles and the dressing recipe.
Substitute sunflower seeds for the nuts if you need a nut-free recipe. If you only have one variety of cabbage, that’s ok.
- Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe
- Calories: 456
- Sugar: 13 g
- Fat: 28 g
- Carbohydrates: 42 g
- Fiber: 8 g
- Protein: 14 g
Keywords: crunchy ramen salad, ramen noodle salad