Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad
Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad is an easy recipe for summer parties and potlucks. This simple side dish is made with crunchy noodles, fresh veggies, and a delicious dressing that brings all the flavors together.
Have you ever had Ramen Noodle Salad? I’ll admit I thought it sounded a little strange when someone brought it to a friend’s barbecue but after I took that first bite I was sold! Now it’s one of my favorite salads!
This easy side dish is made with Asian ramen noodles which are added raw so they are crunchy, and totally addictive! The dressing is salty, sweet, and tangy all at once. It really brings the whole dish together.
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Ingredients You’ll Need
- Broccoli Slaw Mix – This is a coleslaw mix you can find near the standard cabbage slaw. It is made from broccoli and it’s totally delicious! Some people prefer cabbage for their Asian salad. If that’s you then you can substitute the broccoli slaw for regular cabbage slaw or even thinly slice cabbage yourself.
- Broccoli Florets – I like some broccoli florets in my salad too so I buy broccoli crowns and cut them into bite size pieces to mix in the salad.
- Red Cabbage – This is optional, some people skip it, some slaw mixes may already include it. I love the pop of color, so I always add a little extra to my Ramen Noodle Salad. Make sure to thinly slice it before adding it to your mix.
- Chicken Ramen – Obviously the most important part! For this recipe you’ll use instant ramen (chicken flavored!) which is a packet of dried ramen noodles that comes with flavor packets. When you add water it makes ramen soup but for ramen salad you’ll serve the noodles uncooked breaking up the noodles into crunchy chunks. Make sure you save the flavor packets that come in the packet as they will be used to give the dressing lots of extra flavor!
- Sunflower Seeds – Yum!! Sunflower seeds add a slightly different texture and I love their flavor. You can also substitute slivered almonds if you prefer.
- Green onions – A little extra color and flavor for the salad.
- Sesame Seeds – They add a little flavor and a lot of drama. I even managed to find black sesame seeds. I love the look!
- Olive Oil – Better quality = better salad!
- Rice Wine Vinegar – If you can’t find rice vinegar, or don’t want to buy something extra you can substitute red wine vinegar, or even apple cider vinegar.
- Soy sauce – Soy sauce adds that delicious salty flavor to the dressing.
- Sugar – This balances out the soy sauce and vinegar.
- Ramen Seasoning – These are the packets that come packaged with your noodles.
How to Make Salad with Ramen Noodles
Step 1 – Assemble the Salad – Place the broccoli slaw, broccoli florets, red cabbage, Ramen noodles, sunflower seeds, and green onions in a large bowl and toss together.
Step 2 – Make the Dressing – In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and both packets of ramen seasoning.
Step 3 – Dress the Salad – Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss until fully coated.
Step 4 – Add some Flair – Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Step 5 – Let the salad set – Cover your salad tightly and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. (Keep reading to find out how to make it ahead of time!)
How Crunchy Do You Like Your Noodles?
We like crunchy noodles for salad so in this recipe we add our noodles last so they don’t absorb too much liquid and become soft. I love that super crunchy, almost crouton-like addition to my salad. Some people like them to sit in the dressing for longer so they absorb more flavor and soften slightly. This is a personal preference and you can do whatever you like best.
Since the liquid isn’t hot it takes awhile for the noodles to really soften so if you want to mix the salad up and let everything meld together for a bit go for it! You can make the salad the night before and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. I suggest serving it within 8 hours for the best results.
What Other Ingredients Can I Add to Cold Ramen Noodle Salad?
You can add so many things to this ramen salad recipe. It all depends on your personal taste. You can also sub out some of the broccoli slaw mix for shredded green cabbage.
Want to make this a main dish instead of a delicious side? Try adding teriyaki chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken.
Not in the mood for chicken? Try adding steak, shrimp, or fish instead! You can use canned salmon or tuna for a quick addition.
The great thing about this easy Asian salad with Ramen is that you can’t really get it wrong. There are so many different versions and all of them area delicious. The only thing you must have in the salad are ramen noodles and the ramen seasoning.
Here are a few more ingredients you can add or substitute in your own version of Ramen Noodle Salad:
- Red Bell Pepper – finely diced or cut into thin strips.
- Shredded carrot
- Sliced almonds – toast the almonds or serve the straight out of the bag.
- Cooked chicken – make your own chicken with an Asian sauce or shred up a rotisserie chicken.
- Sesame oil – You can also use vegetable oil. Add a few drops of this to the dressing for a little extra sesame flavor.
- Ginger – finely grated, it is a great addition to any Asian salad recipe
- Mandarin oranges
How Long Does Ramen Noodle Salad Last in the Fridge?
Keep your leftovers sealed in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last in the fridge for 2-3 days. Please note that your noodles will soften over time.
How to Make It Ahead of Time
Yes, you can make this salad up to a day in advance, but keep in mind that the noodles will soften as it sits. I prefer my noodles super crunchy so I don’t make it more than 3 hours in advance.
If you want to make it a day ahead of time I suggest combining all of the ingredients EXCEPT the noodles and placing them in the refrigerator overnight. About an hour before serving, add the Ramen noodles to the salad like crunchy Asian croutons!
This easy side dish can be served cold or room temperature, making it perfect for potlucks and picnics. Take it to your next BBQ and watch it disappear! Your friends are going to love something different than the usual potato salad and I promise you won’t have any leftovers to take home!
Looking for More Easy Sides?
- Broccoli Salad with Mango Chutney Dressing
- Vegan Pasta Salad
- Keto Dill Pickle Salad
- Mexican Pasta Salad with Creamy Chipotle Lime Dressing
- Steak Fajita Pasta Salad
- Quick and Easy Cucumber and Tomato Salad
- Italian Pasta Salad
- More Easy Sides…
Ramen Noodle Salad
- 12 oz Broccoli Slaw Mix
- 2 cups Broccoli Florets
- 1 cup Red Cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 packets Chicken Ramen , break up the noodles into chunks and keep the seasoning packets for dressing
- ½ cup Sunflower Seeds
- 2 tablespoons Green onions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon Sesame Seeds
- ½ cup Olive Oil
- ¼ cup Rice Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons Sugar
- 2 packets Ramen Seasoning
- Place the broccoli slaw, broccoli florets, red cabbage, Ramen noodles (set seasoning packets to the side for the dressing), sunflower seeds, and green onions in a bowl and toss together.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients: oil, rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and both packets of ramen seasoning.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss until fully coated.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Cover tightly and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. (See note 1 about making it ahead of time)
- Serve and enjoy!
- If you want to make it a day ahead of time I suggest combining all of the ingredients EXCEPT the noodles and placing them in the refrigerator overnight. Then about an hour before serving add the Ramen noodles to the salad like crunchy Asian croutons!