This post may contain affiliate links, view our disclosure.

With toasted ramen noodles, crunchy nuts, two kinds of cabbage, and a sweet and savory dressing, this Ramen Noodle Salad recipe is easy to make, pairs well with anything you can grill up, and is perfect for potlucks!

close up top view of bowls of asian slaw with ramen noodles

I was a teenager the first time my mom made some version of this salad. One of her friends introduced it to her, and it was one of those love-at-first-bite moments for her.

She talked it up to us, but no one believed her that it was as good as she claimed. (I mean, it’s cabbage after all, lol.) Until she made it and it was love-at-first-bite for the whole family!

This slaw salad starts with a couple kinds of cabbage, carrot, and scallion. It has a super flavorful dressing (no ramen seasoning packet needed!). But the nutty crunch from buttery toasted ramen, almonds, and sesame seeds is what really takes it over the top.

This is a great dish to make for a summer potluck. It pairs well with anything you can grill up, from burgers and hot dogs, to steak and chicken.

For the best texture and most crunch factor, wait to mix everything up until right before you serve it.

front view of crunchy ramen noodle salad recipe

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s super crunchy and packed with flavor. And nope, we don’t use the ramen seasoning packet!
  • If you have picky eaters you’re trying to convince to eat cabbage, this recipe has a track record of success.
  • It’s affordable! Right now when grocery prices are skyrocketing, it’s nice to have economical options. It’ doesn’t get much more affordable than cabbage and ramen noodles!

The Best Ramen Noodle Salad Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions

This recipe is based on the dish my mom used to make. This recipe was popular back in the 1990’s. It also went by the names of Chinese Noodle Salad and Asian Ramen Salad. It’s essentially a slaw, but a lot more interested than a typical cabbage slaw!

I made a few changes, but kept the integrity of this classic potluck salad. The original ramen noodle salad recipe mom made had quite a bit more oil, sugar, soy sauce. Also, I added a couple of my own touches here, including fresh garlic, fresh ginger, and white pepper.

ramen noodle salad ingredients

Ingredients Explained

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas where applicable. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

Crunchy Ramen Ingredients

  • Ramen packs – We only need the noodles for this recipe. You can discard the ramen seasoning packets or use them for something else.
  • Sliced almonds – This adds nutty crunch. You can swap out the almonds for any kinds of nuts you like. Or to make it nut free, you can use pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
  • Sesame seeds – Sesame adds another layer of flavor.
  • Unsalted butter – Or you can use salted butter and omit the added salt. The buttery crunch of toasted nuts and ramen noodles makes this salad something special!
  • Salt – Salt pulls out the flavor of everything else.

Dressing Ingredients

  • Rice vinegar – Rice vinegar and avocado oil are the base for this ramen salad dressing.
  • Avocado oil – Or you can use vegetable oil or canola oil.
  • Sugar – Use granulated white sugar here.
  • Soy sauce – Soy sauce adds savory complexity and umami flavor.
  • Fresh ginger and garlic – These aromatics add depth of flavor and aroma.
  • Salt – Salt is a natural flavor enhancer. Instead of using the ramen seasoning packets, we season this dish with salt.
  • White pepper – Instead of using black pepper here, white pepper adds a piquant, gingery bite.

Slaw Ingredients

  • Napa cabbage – Napa is a type of Chinese cabbage with more tender leaves and a milder flavor than regular green cabbage. If you can’t find Napa cabbage, a good substitute here is Savoy cabbage.
  • Red cabbage – Red cabbage adds gorgeous purple color to this dish.
  • Carrot – Carrot adds pretty orange color and a natural sweet, earthy flavor.
  • Scallion – Scallion adds a mild onion flavor; you can substitute with chives if you want.

Instructions

Step 1: Make the Crunchy Ramen

toasting ramen noodles and almonds

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Use your hands to coarsely break up the ramen noodles into smaller chunks.

Add the broken ramen, almonds, sesame seeds, melted butter, and salt to a large bowl. Toss to combine.

Bake until the nuts are golden and aromatic, about 8 to 12 minutes, tossing once halfway through.

Cool.

Step 2: Make the Dressing

making ramen salad dressing

Whisk together all ingredients in a large bowl.

Step 3: Make the Slaw

components for ramen salad in bowl

Right before serving, add all of the slaw ingredients (except 1/4 cup sliced scallion for topping) to the bowl with the dressing. Add about 2/3 of the crunchy ramen, reserving 1/3 for topping. Toss gently to combine.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle the remaining crunchy ramen and reserved 1/4 cup of sliced scallions on top.

Serve immediately.

hand holding bowl of crunchy salad using ramen noodles and cabbage

Tips

  • Instead of the Napa cabbage, red cabbage, and carrot, you can substitute with 1 (16-ounce) pack of tri-color coleslaw (with green cabbage, red cabbage, and carrot). Or you can use a broccoli slaw mix!
  • You can swap out the almonds for any kinds of nuts you like. Or if you’re making this for someone with a nut allergy, you can use pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds to make it nut free.
  • To make this dish gluten free, use gluten free ramen and instead of soy sauce, use tamari sauce or coconut aminos.
  • For the vegan version, instead of butter, use avocado oil or melted coconut oil.

Storage

Once this salad is combined with the dressing, I like to serve it within 4 hours because the cabbage tends to wilt.

However, you can make all the components ahead of time and store them separately for up to 5 days before combining and serving.

overhead view of ramen salad recipe with scallion and garlic

Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad FAQs

Is it Ok to Eat Raw Ramen Noodles?

Yes. Ramen noodles come pre-cooked and dried, so they’re not really raw when you buy them.

Are Ramen Noodles Already Cooked?

Yes! Ramen noodles are instant noodles that are pre-cooked and dried. Typically, ramen is reconstituted briefly in boiling water before serving. However, for this recipe we toast ramen in the oven.

top view of 3 bowls of cabbage and ramen noodle salad

Is Ramen Healthy Without the Packet?

Ramen seasoning packets are known to be high in sodium and preservatives. Additionally, they commonly contain MSG, a flavor enhancer that has been linked with obesity and metabolic disorders. You can read more in EXCLI Journal’s article “Extensive Use of Monosodium Glutamate: A Threat to Public Health?” on National Library of Medicine.

You might be wondering how healthy ramen is if you just don’t use the flavor packet. If you skip the seasoning packet, you will definitely eliminate quite a bit of sodium and preservatives. However, this doesn’t mean that ramen is healthy without the packet.

Even without the flavor packet, ramen noodles are high in sodium and typically contain preservatives and oil. They are also high in carbohydrates.

This means it’s best to enjoy ramen occasionally and in moderation. The healthy part of this salad using ramen noodles comes from the variety of fresh vegetables in it!

And of course you can opt for ramen noodles made from more nutritious ingredients, like this version with millet and brown rice.

More Potluck Salad Recipes

crunchy ramen salad in bowl

Let’s Connect

an edible mosaic submark initials

Did you make this recipe? Please rate it and leave a comment below. You can also tag @anediblemosaic on social media.

To stay up-to-date, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter!

Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad Recipe

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
With toasted ramen noodles, crunchy nuts, two kinds of cabbage, and a sweet and savory dressing, this Ramen Noodle Salad recipe is easy to make, pairs well with anything you can grill up, and is perfect for potlucks!

Email This Recipe

Get this recipe link emailed straight to your inbox!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Ingredients
 

Crunchy Ramen:

Dressing:

Slaw:

  • 6 cups Napa cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 6 scallions green and white parts, thinly sliced, divided

Instructions
 

For the Crunchy Ramen:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Use your hands to coarsely break up the ramen noodles into smaller chunks.
  • Add the broken ramen, almonds, sesame seeds, melted butter, and salt to a large bowl. Toss to combine.
  • Bake until the nuts are golden and aromatic, about 8 to 12 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
  • Cool.

For the Dressing:

  • Whisk together all ingredients in a large bowl.

For the Slaw:

  • Right before serving, add all of the slaw ingredients (except 1/4 cup sliced scallion for topping) to the bowl with the dressing. Add about 2/3 of the crunchy ramen, reserving 1/3 for topping. Toss gently to combine.

To Serve:

  • Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle the remaining crunchy ramen and reserved 1/4 cup of sliced scallions on top.
  • Serve immediately.

Video

Notes

  • Instead of the Napa Cabbage, Red Cabbage, and Carrot: You can substitute with 1 (16-ounce) pack of tri-color coleslaw (with green cabbage, red cabbage, and carrot). Or you can use a broccoli slaw mix!
  • Storage: Once this salad is combined with the dressing, I like to serve it within 4 hours because the cabbage tends to wilt. However, you can make all the components ahead of time and store them separately for up to 5 days before combining and serving.
  • Gluten Free Version: To make this dish gluten free, use gluten free ramen and instead of soy sauce, use tamari sauce or coconut aminos.
  • Vegan Version: To make this vegan, instead of butter, use avocado oil or melted coconut oil.

Nutrition

Calories: 444kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 1143mg | Potassium: 523mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 3249IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 180mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cabbage and Ramen Noodle Salad, Cabbage and Ramen Salad, Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad, Crunchy Ramen Salad, Ramen Noodle Salad, Ramen Noodle Salad Recipe, Ramen Salad, Ramen Salad Recipe, Salad Using Ramen Noodles

Share it with me on Instagram and leave a comment to let me know your thoughts!

crunchy cabbage and ramen slaw recipe pin
Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Similar Posts