Ramen Noodle Salad

$8.33 recipe / $1.39 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 7 votes
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This Ramen Noodle Salad is something we ate often when I was growing up and I still love it just as much today. Why? Because it’s light, fresh, filling, uses simple and inexpensive ingredients, and holds up well in the fridge so you can eat the leftovers for days (less cooking, more eating!). Keep this recipe bookmarked because it’s going to get you through those long hot days of Summer!

Close up overhead image of ramen noodle salad on an oval platter.

What is Ramen Noodle Salad?

This Ramen noodle salad is simply a mix of finely shredded cabbage, chicken, carrots, green onion, almonds, and …drum roll… uncooked instant ramen noodles for a little extra CRUNCH! The salad also features a simple light dressing that has Asian inspired flavors, like ginger, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. A lot of people call this salad Chinese Chicken Salad, but it’s not an authentic Chinese recipe, so we’re rebranding it with a more accurate name, Ramen Noodle Salad.

What Kind of Cabbage to Use

This salad is usually made with Napa cabbage, which has a slightly lighter and more delicate texture than regular green cabbage, but it’s totally flexible. Napa cabbage was a little on the expensive side when I was at the store this week so I swapped it out for some green cabbage and added a little purple cabbage for color. You can use all green cabbage if you want, or if you want to take an even bigger short cut just use two bags of pre-shredded coleslaw mix (cabbage and carrots) instead of shredding your own. …But freshly shredded always tastes better. ;)

What Else Can I Add?

I love salads because you can add so many different things to them and this Ramen Noodle Salad is no exception! Here are some other fun ingredients you can add to the ramen noodle salad, if you have them on hand:

  • Mandarin oranges
  • Sesame seeds
  • Cashews
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber
  • Edamame
  • Peanuts
  • Shredded broccoli stems

HOW TO STORE THE LEFTOVERS

If you plan to meal prep this ramen noodle salad (highly recommend), you have a couple of options. If you want the ramen noodles to stay super crunchy, don’t stir them into the salad before storing. Simply sprinkle them over each serving just before eating. I kind of like the way the ramen soaks up the flavor of the dressing over time, but you do you! The almonds will also soften slightly as the salad is refrigerated. The salad will last about 3-4 days in the fridge.

Overhead view of three bowls of ramen noodle salad.
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Ramen Noodle Salad

5 from 7 votes
This light and fresh ramen noodle salad features crisp cabbage, shredded chicken, crunchy ramen noodles and a simple homemade vinaigrette.
Overhead view of ramen noodle salad on an oval serving platter.
Servings 6 1.5 cups each
Prep 30 minutes
Total 30 minutes

Ingredients

Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup neutral salad oil* ($0.16)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar ($0.60)
  • 2 Tbsp honey ($0.50)
  • 2 tsp soy sauce ($0.04)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger ($0.10)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil ($0.10)

Salad

  • 6 cups shredded cabbage ($1.10)
  • 1 carrot ($0.14)
  • 4 green onions ($0.45)
  • 1 3oz. package instant ramen ($0.39)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds ($0.73)
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken ($4.00)

Instructions 

  • Make the dressing first. Whisk together the salad oil, rice vinegar, honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic powder, and toasted sesame oil. Set the dressing aside.
  • Shred the cabbage as finely as possible. Shred the carrot and slice the green onions. Crush the instant ramen noodles (discard the seasoning packet or save it for another use).
  • Place the cabbage, carrot, green onion, almonds, crushed ramen noodles, and shredded chicken in a large bowl. Pour the prepared dressing over top. Toss the salad until everything is evenly combined and coated in dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

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Notes

*Use any light flavored or neutral oil like canola, peanut, sesame (not toasted), light olive oil, or avocado oil. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cupsCalories: 292kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 17gFat: 16gSodium: 581mgFiber: 3g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Close up side view of ramen noodle salad in a serving platter.

How to Make Ramen Noodle Salad – Step by Step Photos

Sesame dressing being whisked in a bowl.

Make the dressing first. Whisk together ¼ cup neutral salad oil, ¼ cup rice vinegar, 2 Tbsp honey, 2 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp ground ginger, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp toasted sesame oil. Set the dressing aside.

Shredded green and purple cabbage on a cutting board.

Shred about six cups of cabbage for the salad. You can use green cabbage, purple cabbage, Napa cabbage, or any mix of the above. Shred the cabbage as finely as possible.

Sliced green onion and shredded carrot on a cutting board.

Shred one carrot and slice four green onions.

Shredded chicken in a bowl.

Shred about two cups of cooked chicken breast. We used a rotisserie chicken, but you could cook your own chicken breast or even use canned chicken breast.

All ingredients for salad being combined in a large bowl.

Place the shredded cabbage, carrot, green onion, and chicken in a bowl. Crush one 3 oz. package of instant ramen noodles (discard seasoning packet or save for another use). Add the crushed ramen noodles and ¼ cup sliced almonds to the bowl. Pour the prepared dressing over top.

Salad being tossed with two wooden utensils.

Toss the salad well until everything is evenly mixed and coated in dressing.

Finished ramen noodle salad in a bowl with wooden utensils.

Serve the ramen noodle salad immediately or refrigerate up to four days. Always give the salad a good stir just before serving to redistribute the dressing.

Overhead view of three bowls of ramen noodle salad.

Enjoy that crunchy fresh goodness!!

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Comments

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  1. So good! The salad dressing is amazing! I made a modified version that’s just kale, red cabbage, carrots, almonds, sesame seeds, and sesame ginger tofu (nasoya). I’d eat this everyday.

  2. Beth,

    This is another winner! I am so grateful for this website. I’ve found so many recipes here that have gone into our family’s regular rotation. Thank you for all you do!

  3. Great salad! Added red peppers and since the dressing wasn’t as vibrant as I recall, added more vinegar & sugar.

  4. I used hot honey as it was all I had and liked the bit of heat it gave the dressing. Also I used bagged coleslaw mix, mandarins and Kirkland canned chicken like another reviewer said. Super easy to put together and yummy.

  5. This was so delicious! Really easy and impressed my family. I replaced almonds with peanuts

  6. This was amazing! Made as-is with suggested add-ins crushed peanuts, fine broccoli florets, sesame seeds. Added dried cranberries and salted pumpkin seeds in the third helping. A few drops of siracha and black pepper. Used canned Kirkland chicken breast as the rotisserie was too expensive at the local store; turned out good! Family loved it.

  7. This might be a silly question. But did you cook the ramen before putting it into this? Or did you add it for the crunch?

  8. just so you know that uncooked noodles can give you salmonella as the flour in there can harbor that pathogen. it’s unlikely but at least give a disclaimer for those with immunocompromised systems.

    1. Instant ramen noodles are fried before packaging, so it’s all good. :)

  9. I started making this about 20 years ago . . . we didn’t put the chicken in because it was a side dish. We called it Asian Slaw. We didn’t serve it right away because the ramen noodles needed “time” to hydrate from the dressing. This sounds good too with the added chicken.

  10. I love this recipe! I was so sad when it was taken down to be edited. It’s so good and keeps well in the fridge.

    The only thing different I do is add more carrots and change the Ramen noodles for wonton strips.