Classic Ramen Noodle Salad is a fresh cabbage salad with a delicious Asian twist. A mix of coleslaw, vegetables, nuts, a sweet, tangy dressing, and crunchy ramen noodles, it’s just fantastic.
This is a great salad to pack for a picnic or to serve with dinner any time, and also perfect for summer potlucks where everyone begs for the recipe!
I think people who say they don’t like ramen noodles are liars. Lol. Are they healthy? Not really. But eaten every once in a while is fine and if you discard the spice packet and use the noodles in a dish like this crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad, who can resist them? Not anyone I know!
This is a classic salad that’s been around since I was a kid. So, basically forever. There’s a reason it has staying power, showing up at potlucks for decades.
Ramen Noodle Salad – Why We Love It
- Colorful: With green cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, snap peas, and nuts, this salad is so colorful and pops on a buffet table.
- Crave-able crunch: If you’ve only had ramen noodles boiled, you are missing out. In this salad, they’re used dry and have the best crunch!
- Fantastic flavor: The ramen and vegetables are coated in a sweet and tangy Asian dressing, making every bite so delicious.
- No cooking: No cooking the noodles and no boiling the dressing. Crush the dry ramen, chop the vegetables, whisk the dressing, toss, serve, and done.
- Quick and easy: It takes only 20 minutes to put this salad together, then you can serve right away or chill in the fridge for later.
- Scale it up: Our recipe serves 8, but you can easily double all the ingredients if bringing this to a potluck with more people.
Ramen Noodle Salad Recipe
A classic recipe. You know what that means! Many variations. Here’s what we include in our Asian Ramen Noodle Salad:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Dry Ramen: The ramen noodles do not get cooked. Instead, they get smashed into small pieces and then added to the salad. You can buy any flavor because we will not be using the spice packet. Toss it or use for another recipe.
- Coleslaw mix: Not prepared coleslaw with a dressing, just a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw.
- Red cabbage: We find that there is never enough shredded red cabbage in the bags, so we add in extra.
- Carrots: Ditto the red cabbage ^^
- Snap peas: One of our favorite green vegetables, delicious eaten raw with a subtle sweetness and satisfying crunch.
- Scallions: For an onion and slightly peppered flavor.
- Cashews: The addition of toasted cashews for another different texture and flavor. Feel free to use peanuts or almonds, if you prefer.
- Sunflower seeds: Shelled sunflower seeds have a mild, nutty flavor and a firm but tender texture. They’re great in this salad.
- Dressing: The simple, but flavorful dressing is made up of vegetable oil, rice wine vinegar, low-sodium soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and a little sugar which is necessary for balance. It’s awesome!
Possible Recipe Variations
We love our version of this salad, but there is a lot of room for adjustments depending on your taste. Here are a few ideas of how to switch it up:
- Use different veggies: Napa cabbage can be used. Don’t like snap peas? Replace it with red bell pepper, cucumbers, or shelled edamame. Or use broccoli florets instead. Another option is to swap some of the cabbage for broccoli slaw.
- Try a different nut: The cashews can easily be replaced with peanuts or sliced almonds.
- Toast the noodles: Gently toasting the dry ramen adds another layer of flavor.
- Include the spice packet: If you don’t mind the ingredients or sodium levels in the spice packet, go ahead and mix it into the dressing.
- Make extra dressing: We like the salad to be lightly dressed, but if you want extra dressing, feel free to make more and add a little at a time, as desired.
- Give it a winter twist: Add in some dried cranberries and mandarin oranges. Perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
- Make it a meal: Toss in cooked shrimp, roast chicken, or shredded rotisserie chicken for a hearty meal.
How To Make Asian Ramen Noodle Salad
The original recipe called for using the ramen noodle spice packet and also boiling the dressing ingredients. We don’t do either of those things. We simply shake the dressing ingredients in a sealed jar – incorporating everything just fine and no waiting for it to cool down. Crush the ramen, prep the veggies, make the dressing, combine, and serve (or chill for later.) Easy!
How to Crush the Ramen Noodles
Transfer ramen blocks to a plastic bag and using a rolling pin, gently crush the ramen into smaller pieces. It’s up to you how small you want the pieces. We like them small, but decent sized chunks, not tiny bits.
Make Ahead and Storing Leftovers
You can make this up to 6 hours in advance, but we really enjoy it best right after it’s assembled. Once the dressing is added, the noodles will begin to soften – not limp like cooked pasta, but softer. We prefer the vegetables to have texture and those noodles to be crunchy!
Salad ingredients and the dressing can be made 1 day in advance (stored separately in the refrigerator) before combining.
Once the salad is prepared, anything leftover should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and eaten within 2 days. The salad will continue to break down causing the cabbage to wilt and the noodles to swell, which is not ideal.
Other Ramen Noodles Recipes:
More Summer Salad Recipes:
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Ramen Noodle Salad
- 2 (3 ounce) packages ramen noodles , any flavor, spice packet discarded
- 6 cups (14 ounce bag) dry coleslaw mix
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup snap peas , halved
- 3 scallions , diced
- 1/2 cup toasted cashews , roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (shelled)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
- Transfer ramen blocks to a plastic bag and using a rolling pin, gently crush the ramen into smaller pieces.
- Place coleslaw mix, red cabbage, carrots, snap peas, scallions, cashews, sunflower seeds, and the broken up dry ramen in a large bowl.
- Pour vegetable oil, rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a jar. Seal tightly with a lid and shake to thoroughly combine.
- Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat evenly.
- Serve right away or cover and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
- Enjoy cold or room temperature.
- NOTE: We prefer serving this right away so the veggies maintain texture and the noodles stay crunchy, but you can chill for for a few hours prior. See article notes for more information and recipe variations.
Reader Questions and Reviews
We have a sesame allergy here, bummer. What other oil?
This sounds delicious. Going to make it as soon as possible but I think I will add a little shrimp.
I have made this for years except one season package goes into the oil mixture for a more pronounced flavor. either is great.
Yep! I mention that in the article as an alternative.
Do you have any suggestions to make this gluten free. I’m Celiac and everything but the Ramen I can have.
That’s a tough one Rhonda – I mean, it’s a ramen noodle salad where ramen is a main ingredient. Maybe just leave it out and cut back on the dressing?