15 Cold Noodle Bowls for Refreshing Summer Dinners
These cold and refreshing noodle bowls give you all the comfort and satisfaction of slurping noodles but with extra chill factor built in — perfect for cooling dinners on hot summer nights. Even better, noodle bowls are easy to make and infinitely customizable, ready to use up any vegetables or protein you have on hand. Read on to get 15 of our favorite recipes for cold noodle bowls.
Vietnamese Rice-Noodle Salad
Cold rice noodles, carrots, cucumber, mint, napa cabbage, and peanuts are tossed with a sweet/savory/citrusy sauce. You could serve this as-is for a meat-free dish or add cooked shrimp or chicken if you wish. So pretty, and ready in only 15 minutes.
Saigon Noodle Salad
Recipe creator AnnInLondon says, "This Vietnamese-style noodle salad is my 'too hot to cook' staple. It is bursting with flavor and makes great use of leftover grilled meat or shrimp."
Sesame Noodle Salad
"People raved about this at a party I went to this weekend. I substituted julienned carrots and peapods for the green onion, added 2 additional Tbs of sugar (per another reviewer) and toasted 1 Tb of sesame seeds. Inexpensive, easy & very tasty." —gebah
Spicy Rice Noodle Salad
"Wowee was I popular at the barbecue on Sunday!" raves mimsmac. "I made this great salad - it's sooooo easy and delicious! I made as is but for one thing: I substituted diced green peppers for the green onions as my Boo hates onions but I put them on the side with some extra crushed peanuts so that people could add garnish to their own salads. This one is definitely a keeper."
Asian Noodle Salad
"This is a beautiful and flavorful salad with a fresh ginger dressing," says recipe creator Christine. "The cap of the shiitake mushroom has a meaty flesh with a lot of flavor; reserve the tough stems for stocks. White or cremini mushrooms can be substituted. These are less expensive, but not as flavorful."
Cold Szechuan Noodles and Shredded Vegetables
"In a word: yum! This is an excellent recipe," says R_ANNE. "I love soba noodles, and here their wonderful flavor and texture are enhanced by the delicious marinade. Carrots and red bell peppers add crunch, and the green onions are the perfect finishing touch. Not only is this delicious, but it's also quite healthy, too."
Yuba Noodle Salad
Shrimp and Soba Noodle Salad
Poached or grilled shrimp tossed together with hearty soba noodles and garden-fresh vegetables get a big boost of flavor from an outstanding miso/ginger/rice vinegar dressing.
Grilled Shrimp and Rice Noodle Salad
Here's a big, bold, cold noodle salad that's perfect for a summer party. Assemble the salad first, and grill the shrimp and tomatoes at the last minute. They only take a few minutes, and the presentation is definitely impressive.
Thai-Inspired Cold Noodle Salad
"Wow!! This is a great summer dish," says BEAGDAD. "This has all the yin/yang qualities: sweet and sour, crisp and smooth, green and orange. My wife HATES cilantro: and yet, with the lime, she loved it."
Chicken Noodle Salad
"There's just something delightfully addictive about this special combination of cold and spicy. This recipe is the perfect catchall for all those summer vegetables we're supposed to be eating more of, as well as any dry leftover chicken you have around," Chef John says.
Thai Rice Noodle Salad
"This is very delicious! With these noodle bowls, the real clincher is the sauce and this one is quite good," Buckwheat Queen says. "This is a refreshing and light meal."
"Such a light, crisp salad, especially on summer evenings! Everyone loves these noodle bowls and makes it a point to join us for dinner if they know it's being served. Increase or omit ingredients to suit your palate." —LEXI821
Vermicelli Noodle Bowl
This simple noodle salad combines fresh herbs, rice vermicelli, cucumber, bean sprouts, and more, topped with grilled shrimp. Tossed with a tangy sweet and sour sauce, it's a simple and satisfying dinner. Reviewer Milly Suaso-Martinez says, "I made this with what I had on hand... which was NY Strip Steak. I also didn't have the pickled carrots/daikon or cucumbers. However it was very good. I did add a bit more sugar to the sauce because I like it a bit sweeter."
Pomelo Salad with Rice Vermicelli
"I had never had a pomelo, and the fish sauce, rice vinegar, and brown sugar worked very well together. I served this with steamed fish and jasmine rice. A very nice meal." — gderr the dysfunctional