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Soba Chicken Noodle Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

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This Asian-inspired noodle salad is everything you want a summertime meal to be: flavorful, light, and totally satisfying.

Photo by Johnny Miller (Clarkson Potter, 2021)

I used to write a salad column for the popular food website Serious Eats. This Asian-inspired noodle salad with chicken, vegetables, and a punchy dressing seasoned with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and peanut butter was the first recipe I contributed and also the most popular. It’s everything you want a summertime meal to be: flavorful, light, and totally satisfying. Note that the dressing will taste acidic and salty before you toss it with the noodles – because the noodles will soak up the flavor quickly, you have to over-season the dressing slightly. Feel free to make the dressing ahead of time, but cook and dress the noodles at the last minute so they don’t get soggy.

Similar in shape to spaghetti, soba noodles are buckwheat noodles native to Japan (soba is Japanese for buckwheat). They are available at Asian markets and most grocery stores. If you can’t find them, spaghetti makes a good substitute. 

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Soba Chicken Noodle Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

This Asian-inspired noodle salad is everything you want a summertime meal to be: flavorful, light, and totally satisfying.

Servings: 4


For the Chicken

  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (or 2 cups cooked, shredded meat)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad

  • 10 ounces soba noodles (or spaghetti)
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup chopped salted peanuts
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

For the Dressing

  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon Asian/toasted sesame oil
  • 1½ tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. Cook the chicken: Preheat the oven to 350°F and set a rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the chicken breasts on the prepared pan. Rub the skin with the vegetable oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
  2. Begin the salad: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions, stirring occasionally so they don't stick. Drain and rinse well under cold water.
  3. Make the dressing: Meanwhile, in a small food processor or blender, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, peanut oil, sesame oil, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, and sugar; blend until smooth.
  4. Finish the salad: Remove the skin from the chicken breasts and shred the meat into bite-sized pieces. In a large bowl, toss the shredded chicken with the noodles, bell pepper, scallions, peanuts, cilantro, sesame seeds, and dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately.
  5. Note: Check out easy guidance on how to peel, grate, and chop fresh ginger here.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 708
  • Fat: 36g
  • Saturated fat: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 67g
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 37g
  • Sodium: 2099mg
  • Cholesterol: 56mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • I have made this many times and love it. I am thinking about trying it with sautéed shrimp instead of chicken and wonder if you or any of your readers have made it that way? Thanks for all your great recipes.

    • — Cathy on February 26, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Cathy, I haven’t tried it that way but it should be delicious.

      • — Jenn on February 27, 2023
      • Reply
  • Delicious! In this terrible heat, we have eaten this two nights in a row. The only change I made was using thighs instead of breasts. The dressing is so good.

    • — Jo on July 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’m making this for the second time tonight-and will keep on making it! It’s a great recipe.

    • — Nancy Mueller on July 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • There are better recipes out there…keep searching. Sometimes I think when a website has a following they “love” everything that the site posts. Not so in this case. I was disappointed very much. Although you gotta try her rice crispy/marshmallow/golden graham bars…soooo good.

    • — pjo on July 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • First let me say I LOVE all your recipes!! I have yet to find one I haven’t loved. You are always the first place I check when I’m looking for a recipe. I want to make this recipe in advance and separately prep each component/ingredient. Your recipe says to make the soba right before but I don’t have time for that every day before work. Do you think if I cook the soba in advance and toss them in EVOO do you think they’ll still get soggy or they’ll be okay? Thanks!!

    P.s.- can’t wait to get your new cookbook!! It’s on my Christmas wish list!!

    • — Kat W. on June 25, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Kat, So glad you like the recipes! 💗
      Yes, I think you can get away with preparing the soba ahead as you described.

      • — Jenn on June 26, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is yet another amazing recipe ! I will make again and again.

    • — Kimberly Maxey on June 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • Absolutely Terrific! My husband loved it and was surprised because he typically doesn’t love the peanut dressing salads as much as I do. Very fresh tasting, great at room temperature. Forgot to add sesame seeds so guess I’ll have to make it again soon. Think I’ll add some seedless cucumber next time. Thank you, Jenn, for another fabulous yet easy recipe.

    • — Marilyn L on June 11, 2022
    • Reply
    • Do you think this would work as a hot entree? Shred cooked chicken, mix chicken, noodles and dressing when warm?

      • — Mona Lemanski on January 12, 2023
      • Reply
      • Sure, Mona, it would be perfectly fine to serve this warm. I’d love to hear what you think of it!

        • — Jenn on January 12, 2023
        • Reply
  • Awesome flavor! I added 1tsp of sugar to balance the sauce out. My 7y/o and 43y/o loved it.

    • — Shannon C on June 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • Oooh, looks delicious and I can’t wait to try! Can I use Lotus Foods brand Millet and Brown Rice ramen noodles? Thanks.

    • — Cynthia Garofalo on June 7, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Cynthia, I’m not familiar with them, but I think they should work. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 7, 2022
      • Reply
  • I have made about 50 of your recipes and they are all good. On this one, one comment: 10 oz of soba noodles is at least twice what you need, unless its really a pasta dish. I have a 9.5 oz package, split it and STILL had too much soba! The dressing is spectacular anyway, so we had the extra the next night as a side dish

    • — Irwin Goverman on June 6, 2022
    • Reply
    • And we added more vegetables too — some left over arugula and broiled asparagus!

      • — Irwin Goverman on June 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • I have boneless chicken tenderloins and time…how would you cook the tenderloins for the best flavor? For example, oven is easiest but I could marinate first or even poach in infused water. Thank you and Love your recipes!

    • — Lisa Lee on June 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Lisa, I’d use this recipe for really tender chicken. The salted water will add flavor, but feel free to add other seasoning to the water if you’d like.

      • — Jenn on June 4, 2022
      • Reply
  • Quick, simple, delicious. Used the thinner spagehettini pasta – all I had in cupboard, left overs from a rotisserie chicken and added endamame. Whipped up the dressing earlier in the day. Came together in minutes. Sometimes I hold back on the dressng but I used it all in this receipe. Very flavourful and fresh. I was only serving 3 people and we scoffed the lot!! Another Jen winner that will be revisted throughout the summer:) Thank you!

    • — Kathy on June 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • This was quite delicious. The red bell pepper is surprisingly good in this. I used leftover roasted pork shredded. I’m a big fan of your recipes Jenn.

    • — Joe Buchanan on June 3, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is really good I made it for a meatless dinner with spaghetti noodles. Makes enough for leftovers.
    Will be making again. Can I use grape seed or avocado oil instead of peanut oil?
    Thanks for the recipe!

    • — Jacqueline on February 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked it! The dressing will have a slightly different flavor, but it’s fine to use grapeseed or avocado oil.

      • — Jenn on February 2, 2022
      • Reply
  • For the past several months, Jenn’s blog has become my go-to for planning our weekly menus. Her recipes turn out perfectly every time! I’ve made this several times using spaghetti and adding shredded carrots – a super fresh tasting summer salad. I’ve also used rotisserie chicken at the grocers and that really cuts down on the time to prepare. Another winner from Jenn!

    • — Sandy on September 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious!

    • — M Smith on August 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • Great recipe. It’s nice how you can add more vegetables like snow peas and shredded carrots based on your taste.

    • — anne abraham on July 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • Loved this recipe! I added edamame, as suggested by another commenter, and it was great!

    • — Julie on June 28, 2021
    • Reply

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