Mediterranean-Style Cold Noodle Salad With Tahini Dressing

Must-try Asian-inspired cold noodle salad with a Mediterranean twist! I swap out peanut sauce for allergy friendly tahini (roasted sesame seed paste), add some warm spices like ginger, and toss in plenty of colorful crunchy vegetables for a satisfying and easy vegan dinner! And don’t miss my tips for how to cook rice noodles perfectly, so they don’t clump together.

▢6 ounces rice noodles or soba noodles
▢3 scallions, trimmed and chopped
▢1 to 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
▢2 to 3 radishes, thinly sliced
▢½ to 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
▢½ cup toasted slivered almonds
▢Lime wedges for serving
For The Dressing
▢⅔ cup tahini
▢1 large lime, zested and juiced
▢1 to 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar,
▢Kosher salt and black pepper
▢1 to 2 teaspoons red chili flakes, use Aleppo pepper for a milder, less spicy option
▢1 garlic clove, finely minced or grated
▢1- inch fresh ginger, grated
▢1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Cook the noodles in salted water according to package instructions until nearly tender (I used rice noodles, which cook in about 3 to 5 minutes). Drain the pasta and rinse it under cool water for two minutes moving the noodles around as you do it.
Work on the dressing. In a large bowl, combine the tahini with the lime juice, vinegar, and a little bit of cold water (start with 1 tablespoon). Season with kosher salt, black pepper, and red chili flakes (or Aleppo pepper). Whisk, adding a little more water as needed until the tahini loosens to the consistency of a creamy dressing. Add the garlic, grated ginger, and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
Give the pasta another rinse under cold water to loosen it (rice noodles can especially get sticky and clumpy). Drain.
Add the noodles to the bowl with the tahini dressing. Toss with a pair of tongs to coat the pasta. Add the chopped veggies, cilantro, and toasted slivered almonds. Toss again until well combined.
Taste and adjust seasoning, and if you need another drizzle of olive oil to loosen the salad, add that. Serve immediately with lime wedges on the side.

What noodles to use? Rice noodles, soba noodles, glass noodles, mung bean noodles, udon, or even angel hair pasta would work!
What vegetables to use? I used scallions, carrots, and radishes. But feel free to use whatever crunchy veggies you’d like! Broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, bell peppers, and red onions would all be delicious options.
Tips for silky noodles that don’t clump up: Once the noodles are tender, drop them into a strainer and immediately rinse with cold water while swishing them around. This will remove the surface starch, which causes clumping. If the noodles will be sitting without any dressing while you work on other things, toss them with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil. Oil will coat the strands lightly and prevent them from sticking together.
Serve this noodle salad with: While great on its own, this cold noodle salad is a great starting point to make the recipe your own. For more vegan protein, toss in some cooked chickpeas or these vegan lentil meatballs. But you can also add baked chicken breasts or my easy green goddess chicken (the flavors go so well with this salad), grilled salmon, or even fish sticks.
How to store leftovers: Keep the salad components separate, and only toss together as much as you will eat. Leftover rice noodles should be stored in a shallow airtight contained in the fridge. Toss them with a little extra virgin olive oil beforehand to prevent the noodles from sticking together. Store the tahini salad dressing in an airtight container or tightly closed Mason jar for up to 4 days. It will thicken up, so just whisk in a little cold water before use. The prepared carrots and radishes can be stored for up to 4 days in an airtight container. Green onions will only stay crisp for about 2 days after being chopped.

Calories: 521.7kcal
Carbohydrates: 52g
Protein: 12g
Fat: 32g
Saturated Fat: 4.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 11.5g
Monounsaturated Fat: 15g
Trans Fat: 0.003g
Sodium: 260.4mg
Potassium: 430.2mg
Fiber: 5.7g
Sugar: 1.9g
Vitamin A: 2962.5IU
Vitamin C: 10.3mg
Calcium: 127.4mg
Iron: 3.3mg

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