Vegan rice noodle salad is refreshing and nutritious, both oil-free and gluten-free, and perfect for anyone looking for a healthy and satisfying meal.
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Why You'll Love This Recipe
This vegan rice noodle salad recipe is delicious and packed with nutrients and fiber from the fresh veggies. It's a great way to add more plant-based foods to your diet while keeping things light and healthy. Enjoy!
Ingredients, Notes, and Substitutions
Rice noodles. Traditional rice noodles are made from rice flour, water, and tapioca starch, making them an excellent choice for gluten-free noodle lovers. You can also find brown rice noodles. You’ll need to carefully review the labels to ensure that what you pick up in the grocery store is indeed gluten-free and vegan. Some ‘rice’ noodles can be spiked with whole wheat or other types of flour.
Lemongrass. Fresh lemongrass adds bites of zest to the dressing. Fresh lime juice and zest are already in the dressing, so that the best substitute would be lemon zest.
Fresh herbs. One of the delights of this recipe is using fresh basil, mint, and cilantro. If you don’t like fresh cilantro, add a little parsley or leave it out. All good! If you have Thai basil, it's an excellent substitute for regular fresh basil.
Fresh chili. Use a thinly sliced or diced Thai red chili or jalapeno. Substitute with red chili flakes or add a pinch of cayenne. You can also use a teaspoon chili paste like sriracha or Sambal Oelek.
Fresh veggies. Add whatever you like. We used green beans, mung bean sprouts, cucumber, and green onions, but there are numerous options. Green or red cabbage, napa cabbage, sugar snap peas, shredded carrots, red bell pepper, or other crunchy vegetables you fancy and be added.
Adzuki beans. Adzuki beans are firm black beans (another substitute) that are great in salads. Again, you aren’t limited, so use whatever type of beans you like, such as cannelloni beans or kidney beans.
Peanuts. A few unsalted peanuts give the salad extra crunch. If you want to skip the peanuts, add sesame seeds for a healthy, nutty flavor.
Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions.
Step 1: Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions. Add them with the veggies and beans in a large salad bowl when they are cool.
Step 2: Mix the noodles with the salad ingredients.
Step 3: In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients and add them to the salad.
Step 4: Add the chopped peanuts and mix the salad.
Use a steamer basket to steam the green beans lightly. For best results, add the steam basket and boil the water. Then add the green beans for 1-2 minutes.
Check the package instructions before cooking the noodles. Some types need to simmer, and some mix in a bowl with hot water. Be careful not to overcook the noodles. Rinse them in cool water once you are done cooking them. If you find them difficult to separate, mix them with the dressing first, then add the vegetables.
In addition to adding different types of fresh vegetables, you can modify the dressing by adding fresh ginger,
This is a great cold noodle salad to serve at room temperature if you want to meal prep. Prep and mix the salad ingredients, leaving the peanuts for right before serving. Store the salad in an airtight container. Mix the dressing and store it in a separate airtight container in the fridge. When making the salad, cook the noodles and mix them with the dressing and peanuts.
This salad has all the protein and veggie power you need, but if you want to serve it with something special, consider a side of lemongrass tofu.
Store leftover rice noodle salad in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are 2 important things to consider. First, double-check that the rice noodles are gluten-free. They should be made with rice flour and tapioca starch (and water). Next, use tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
Consult the package directions before cooking the noodles. Usually, it’s recommended that you soak them in boiling water or simmer them on the stove for 2-3 minutes. It helps to rinse noodles in cold water after draining them. This keeps them from sticking together.
When making vegan noodle salad, there are several options for the noodle part. Look for thin, flat noodles, including rice vermicelli noodles, ramen noodles, buckwheat soba noodles, or even thin spaghetti.