Sesame Noodle Salad

Easy sesame noodle salad that’s ready in less than 30 minutes! This is a great side dish or light dinner for the summer and so, so easy to make. It has lots of noodles, rotisserie chicken, cabbage, and green onions tossed together with a quick and easy sesame peanut sauce.

overhead shot of the final dish.

Cold, noodle-y salad with a simple peanut sauce (dressing?) is on my summer salad list for sure this year. If you’ve been reading this here blog you probably already know that for me summer = pasta salad. Well, all year = pasta for me, but during the summer I trade the hot pasta recipes for cold and delicious pasta salads like this sesame noodle salad.

Which, by the way, is not authentic and very, very, very loosely modeled off of Chinese sesame noodles. It’s definitely an Americanized version turned pasta salad and a nod to my favorite take-out style sesame noodles that I like to eat warm. Consider this sesame noodle salad its cold summertime cousin, although it’s just as easy to make and equally as delicious.

Recipe Highlights

  • We are using whole wheat spaghetti to make this noodle salad. You can use regular, but the whole wheat pasta has a nice bite and chew that you don’t get with the other.
  • I use rotisserie chicken for this recipe because, hello, it’s easy. But, it’s also a great way to use up any plain leftover chicken you might have on hand.
  • The cook time for this recipe is about 10 minutes with a prep time of 15 minutes. While the noodles are cooking, you can make the peanut sauce. All in all, you need less than 30 minutes total time for this recipe. A plus during the summer, for sure.

It’s perfect for potlucks, BBQs, and picnics as a side dish or make it for a light dinner. Either way, it’s an easy summer recipe.

ingredients for the recipe.


  • Whole-wheat spaghetti noodles
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Honey
  • Water
  • Minced garlic cloves
  • Minced fresh ginger or ginger paste
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Shredded rotisserie chicken
  • Shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix – I use the bagged thin-sliced cabbage (sometimes called angel hair cabbage).
  • Chopped salted peanuts
  • Sliced green onions or scallions

How to Make the Recipe

Boil the noodles following the package directions or until they are al dente – this usually takes about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by mixing the peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, water, garlic, and ginger in a large bowl.

Once the noodles are done, drain and then rinse them under cold water. Drain them really well and then place them in the bowl with the sauce.

Add in the chicken and cabbage and mix, mix, mix until everything is evenly coated with the sauce and well combined. Garnish with the peanuts and green onions and serve.

More Ways to Dress It Up

  • Trade the spaghetti for soba noodles or even ramen for a different twist.
  • Feel free to add more veggies – julienned or diced red bell pepper, blanched broccoli, or blanched snow peas would work well, too.
  • For some texture, sprinkle some sesame seeds over the top.
  • Instead of red pepper flakes try adding some sriracha to the sauce.
  • For a tangier sauce, use the same amount of rice vinegar instead of the water.
chicken sesame noodles in a white bowl.

Make-Ahead Tips

You can definitely make parts of this dish a day ahead, but it’s not a good idea to assemble it ahead of time. The noodles will absorb a lot of the sauce, leaving it dry after sitting in the refrigerator.

You can make the sauce ahead and refrigerate it in an airtight container a few days in advance.

You can also cook, drain, and rinse the pasta ahead of time and keep it in its own container in the refrigerator for up to a day in advance. When you’re ready to serve it the next day, toss all the components together before serving.

Make this cold sesame noodle salad for a light weeknight dinner or make it to share at all of your summer get-togethers. The Asian-inspired flavors are so good and perfect in this cold pasta salad.

Happy Cooking,

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tongs holding the noodles.

More Cold Pasta Salad Recipes


Sesame Noodle Salad

sesame noodles with chicken in a bowl.

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This sesame noodle salad is ready in less than 30 minutes! It’s a great side dish or light dinner for the summer and so, so easy to make. It has lots of noodles, rotisserie chicken, cabbage, and green onions tossed together with a quick and easy sesame peanut sauce.

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Salads
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: American


  • 8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
  • ¼ chopped lightly salted peanuts, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced


  1. Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Once cooked, drain and rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the peanut butter with soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, water, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Place the noodles in the bowl and toss to coat them with the sauce.
  4. Add in the chicken, cabbage, peanuts, and green onion, toss again until thoroughly incorporated.


Make-ahead tip: If you want to prep this ahead, do all of the steps except wait to combine everything. So store the noodles, sauce, and vegetables separately in the fridge and then combine them before serving. If you combine them before storing, the pasta will soak up the sauce.


  • Calories: 465
  • Sugar: 9.1g
  • Sodium: 502.8mg
  • Fat: 16.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 11.7g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 53.6g
  • Fiber: 7.5g
  • Protein: 30.4g
  • Cholesterol: 52.5mg

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