When it’s hot outside, the last thing that sounds good is a hot bowl of noodles. Enter cold noodles. Cold noodle dishes give you the same flavors you crave minus the warming heat. Plus, you can either make them super light and refreshing for all those lazy days you spend soaking up the rays poolside, or you can pack on the toppings and replenish all those calories you burned on that grueling hike.
Yep, cold noodles were made for all those hot summer days. That’s why we decided to share our 11 favorite cold noodle recipes. Whether you can’t stop making one or must try them all, with a tasty cold noodle recipe on your hand it’s going to be a good summer.
1. Spring Roll Bowls with Sweet Garlic Lime Sauce
Behold, the cold noodle bowl of your dreams. I’ve made this countless times and it never fails to amaze me just how darn good this cold noodle bowl is. Dress it up anyway you want, as long as you got the sweet garlic sauce and an extra twist of lime juice your in business.
2. Fresh and Easy Vietnamese Noodle Salad
This recipe taste like the Bahn Mi you crave minus the bread that weighs you down. By subbing in rice noodles and loading them with all your favorite fixings, you can get the flavors you want in one delicious cold noodle salad bowl. The only thing that would make this better is some succulent shrimp.
3. Kimchi Bibimguksu
What I love about this Korean dish is it’s simple, refreshing, and healthy. To prepare, cook thin wheat noodles in boiling water according to the package instructions, rinse with cold water, then drain. Now top it with gut-healthy spicy and tangy kimchi, a savory hard-boiled egg, and match-stick cucumbers. For an extra savory dish, you can replace the hard-boiled egg with a jammy one instead.
4. Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen)
Craving the savory flavor of ramen but don’t want a hot meal? Try Hiyashi Chuka. You get all the noodles, egg, and toppings you crave with a cooling dipping sauce style dressing instead of hot broth.
5. Fiery Cold Sichuan Sesame Noodles
Take the heat out of the temperature and put it into the spice with this insane recipe. Combining the homemade chili oil of your dreams with an umami sesame sauce, you’re about to be a huge fan of the fire and ice noodle combo. Just do yourself a favor and skip the Sriracha with this bowl. Thanks to the spicy hot oil you won’t need it.
6. Spicy Peanut Soba Noodle Salad
This is the cold Asian noodle dish you need to cool you down while you recover from all those calorie burning summer activities. Cold soba buckwheat noodles are cooked according to the package directions then smothered in a spicy homemade peanut butter sauce. All that is then loaded with bell peppers, cabbage, cilantro, shredded chicken, and crushed peanuts.
It’s like the takeout leftovers you love that taste even better eaten the next day cold. In fact, you can even plan ahead and make it the day before so come recovery time when you’re exhausted your main course will be waiting.
7. Rainbow Noodle Salad with Soy Vinaigrette
For all those that crave a cold meal loaded in a rainbow of veggies, this recipe is for you. A bed of soba noodles are piled high with a colorful summer array of carrots, red cabbage, red peppers, cucumbers, yellow tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, and basil. It’s then tossed with a sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar dressing. Although it doesn’t call for it, pea pods and sesame seeds would add a nice crunch.
8. Shrimp and Cucumber Noodle Salad
I absolutely adore this summer dish. Spiralized cucumbers serve as the noodle bed while succulent shrimp give you the protein boost you need. While this recipe calls for a umami fish sauce dressing, you can make things even easier and simply squeeze on some lemon juice and call it a day. You can even sub in zucchini if you don’t have any cucumbers around. This is ideal for when you want something to fill you up but not weigh you down.
9. Zucchini Noodle Salad with Bacon and Tomato
This recipe will easily become a summer staple. All you need is some fresh zoodles, a hanfudl of cherry tomatoes, some bacon bites, and a simple olive oil and lemon dressing.
10. Pasta Salad with Artichokes and Lemon Vinaigrette
There’s something about a good pasta salad that screams summer. While bow-ties and penne pasta usually become the star of the show here, switch them out with spaghetti in this terrific cold noodle recipe. With the help of some pine nuts, cherry tomatoes, roasted artichoke, fresh garlic, a dash of olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon, you’ll have a winning cold noodle pasta salad that will be the best side dish at the barbecue.
11. Chipotle Sweet Potato Noodle Salad with Roasted Corn
When it comes to noodles, think outside the box and try this unique recipe. It calls for spiralizing sweet potatoes then topping it with roasted corn, fresh greens, pepitas, cilantro, and a spicy chipotle dressing. While you’ll have to cook the noodles and corn, the salad is served cold just the way you want it.