Asian Pasta Pasta Salad Salad Summer Vegetarian

Spicy Thai Spaghetti Salad




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Spicy Thai Spaghetti Salad in glass bowl

This yummy Spicy Thai Spaghetti Salad is an delicious twist on a potluck classic ~ quick to prepare using common ingredients, the Asian flavors in this colorful pasta salad really pop.  This easy summer side salad recipe will be your go to for barbecues this season!

Spicy Thai Spaghetti Salad in glass bowl

I get some of my best recipe ideas from the deli counter at my favorite market.  They make surprisingly good salads and we like to pick 2 or 3 and call it dinner during the summer months when it’s too hot and sticky to cook.  I chose three last week and I loved them so much I’m recreating each one for the blog.  This Thai spaghetti salad is a twist on a potluck staple, spaghetti salad.

Ingredients for Spicy Thai Spaghetti Salad in a bowl

Prepared salads are usually easy to copy because they usually have their ingredients printed right on the label of the container.  By law they have to list the ingredients in descending order of the amount used.  I just used the label on my saved plastic container to build this wonderful spicy Thai spaghetti salad, starting with the pasta, red cabbage, and carrots, right through to the cayenne pepper and peanuts.  It was fun, and it turned out perfect.

overhead photo of spicy Thai spaghetti salad in a glass bowl

This is a useful salad to have on hand for potlucks and barbecues because it’s hearty, colorful, and can be made ahead of time, the flavors actually benefit from a little time in the fridge.  It’s an economical way to feed a crowd, and there’s no mayo to spoil outdoors, either.  The Thai flavors make it unique.

A spicy Thai spaghetti salad in a glass bowl with cilantro leaves

The Thai inspired flavors meld together perfectly, and none of them are unusual or hard to find.  You’ll use regular  spaghetti for the noodles, and for the peanut dressing you’ll use rice vinegar, regular peanut butter like Jiff, oil, garlic, and cayenne pepper.  The result is a tangy dressing  with just the right amount of peanut butter flavor without being overpowering.

Fresh basil and cilantro are essential for this salad, so make sure you have some on hand.  Better yet, buy small herb plants at your local nursery and keep them on the windowsill or back porch so you’ll always have fresh herbs available.

Toassing a spicy Thai spaghetti salad

Classic summer potluck salads are some of the best eating out there…the most successful ones are sturdy, have mass appeal, and can be made ahead ~

Serving up spicy Thai spaghetti salad with tongs

Tips for making this spicy Thai spaghetti salad ~

  • For best texture, shred your carrots in your food processor fitted with the shredding blade.  A box grater can make wet and mushy shreds.

  • I sliced my red cabbage on my mandoline slicer set on the 1/8 inch setting.  This results in longer, fine shreds that retain their texture.

  • Use regular spaghetti, not the thin or thick style.  Thin spaghetti can become mushy, and thick will overpower the veggies.


Reader Rave ~

“This salad is delicious, I uses white cabbage because that’s what I had and it’s amazing too.  Thanks for the great recipe, easy to make and a great hit at my granddaughter’s graduation as well. She is vegetarian so it was perfect.”  ~Bertha


Ingredients for Spicy Thai Spaghetti Salad in a bowl
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3.42 from 381 votes

Spicy Thai Spaghetti Salad

This yummy Spicy Thai Spaghetti Salad is an delicious twist on a potluck classic ~ quick to prepare using common ingredients, the Asian flavors in this colorful pasta salad really pop.  This easy summer side salad recipe will be your go to for barbecues this season!
Course lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Thai/American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Yield 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces of regular spaghetti broken in half, cooked in plenty of salted water to al dente and rinsed well with cold water
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 bunch about 6-8 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves chopped
  • 1 handful basil leaves thinly sliced

dressing

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 heaping Tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • To make the dressing put all the ingredients in a small bowl and use an immersion blender to process into an emulsified dressing. Thin with more oil or vinegar to taste, if necessary.
  • Put the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Make it your own ~

  • Make it a main course ~ add chunks of chicken, tender steak, or grilled shrimp.
  • Make it gluten/grain free ~ try this with zucchini noodles (spiralized zucchini) or spaghetti squash.
  • Make it even healthier ~ add more shredded veggies like broccoli, zucchini, or kale.
  • Make it with more veggies ~ try frozen and thawed edamame beans, broccoli, or bok choy, snap peas, or green beans.

 

 

don’t forget to pin this easy Spicy Thai Spaghetti Salad

Spicy Thai Spaghetti Salad pin.

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63 Comments

    Leave a Reply






  • Reply
    Maria
    May 29, 2020 at 11:47 pm

    3 stars
    My husband and older kids loved this (the toddler did not). I thought it was okay. I served it with leftover teriyaki chicken and still thought it was not super impressive. But my family was happy with it, and it was a nice, easy recipe. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Sonia
    May 29, 2020 at 9:15 am

    5 stars
    I saw your recommendation for regular size spaghetti noodles and not thin, but can you substitute it with whole wheat spaghetti noodles?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 30, 2020 at 10:09 pm

      Sure, you can use just about any type of strand noodle you like.

  • Reply
    Nathan
    May 28, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    Has anybody be ever tried anything besides basic spaghetti noodles? Maybe like an Asian egg noodle to give it a more cultural feel?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 29, 2020 at 6:20 am

      You could definitely use an Asian noodle, any type you like.

  • Reply
    Bear
    May 28, 2020 at 6:32 am

    How is this Thai? That’s pretty much the definition of Cultural Appropriation. This is not okay.

    • Reply
      Melissa
      May 28, 2020 at 7:34 am

      Wow Bear ????.

    • Reply
      Nala Gradkowski
      May 28, 2020 at 9:12 am

      This was a joke, right?

    • Reply
      Libby
      May 29, 2020 at 6:57 am

      Booooo!

  • Reply
    ANITA HARPER
    May 26, 2020 at 6:37 am

    THIS LOOKS SOOOOO GOOD! DO YOU HAPPEN TO HAVE THE BREAK DOWN OF THE NUTRITION VALUE?

  • Reply
    Marlene
    May 25, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    Is this real spicy? I don’t like a lot of spice so would I put less cayenne pepper?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 25, 2020 at 2:38 pm

      The salad has a hint of spice, but you can leave the cayenne out entirely.

  • Reply
    Mo
    May 25, 2020 at 11:18 am

    Is rice vinegar the same as rice wine vinegar?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 25, 2020 at 12:28 pm

      Yes, use either, they’re virtually the same.

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    April 20, 2020 at 10:49 pm

    5 stars
    My boyfriend is raw veggie-averse, and was less than enthused when I told him it was on the menu. One bite in and he was hooked – said he could eat this every week for the rest of his life! I love this salad, too – thank you for sharing!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 21, 2020 at 7:10 am

      That’s so great Kimberly, what a victory!

  • Reply
    Janet Lail
    April 9, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    I have a peanut allergy in my home, do you have a sub for peanuts?

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 9, 2020 at 4:01 pm

      You might try sunflower butter, or sesame pasta (tahini)

      • Reply
        Patricia
        May 25, 2020 at 10:31 am

        What about almond butter and almonds instead of peanut butter and peanuts? I hate the latter.

        • Reply
          Sue
          May 25, 2020 at 10:34 am

          Sure, you can swap that out. Another option would be tahini and sesame seeds.

  • Reply
    Edbkrcf
    April 9, 2020 at 6:30 am

    If doing it one day ahead of time do we already add the dressing or leave everything separated in the fridge?

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 9, 2020 at 7:05 am

      You can really do it either way, but I would opt for keeping everything separate, if you can keep it all moist and fresh. Then dress the day of.

  • Reply
    Zeb
    April 2, 2020 at 7:04 am

    Can I make it without the peanuts and peanut butter? due to nut allergies if so what substitute would you use ? Your Suggestion will be very appreciated. Thank you.

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 2, 2020 at 7:32 am

      If you can tolerate sesame seeds you can substitute tahini (sesame paste.) Otherwise sunflower butter might work.

  • Reply
    Lorie
    February 16, 2020 at 6:46 am

    I didn’t see any prior comments, but can you make this salad using rice noodles instead of spaghetti noodles?

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 16, 2020 at 7:01 am

      Yes, and it would be delicious!

  • Reply
    PJ
    January 31, 2020 at 3:28 am

    4 stars
    I liked this salad very much!
    I even bought a bottle of rice vinegar just for this salad, as I didn’t have one 😀
    I halved the recipe, but I shoudn’t have halved the dressing 😉 When I doubled the dressing, it was less dry and very tasty!
    Thanks!

  • Reply
    Penni Wilson
    July 13, 2019 at 10:16 am

    I just made this and dressing tastes like too much vinegar although I used 1/4 cup. Does it all meld together as it sits?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 13, 2019 at 11:30 am

      Definitely adjust it to your taste Penni, you can add more oil and a little more peanut butter to balance it out. Did you use rice wine vinegar? That’s quite a bit milder than regular vinegars.

  • Reply
    Shirley
    June 15, 2019 at 9:07 am

    5 stars
    This is a great salad Sue! I made it just as written and we loved it. I made a double batch of the dressing and smeared half all over some chicken breasts and let them marinate for a couple hours, grilled them and served them with the salad on the side. Delicious! It was a perfect dinner for a hot day in AZ.

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 15, 2019 at 9:21 am

      Thanks for the chicken tip Shirley 🙂

  • Reply
    CJ
    June 2, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    5 stars
    We made this salad this afternoon, and it is absolutely delicious. The ingredients are easily found, and the salad goes together very easily. Love all the crunchy veggies. The dressing is just right, not at all overpowering. I’m planning on taking this to my dinner group next month.

  • Reply
    Sherry Gregory
    May 15, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    Do you have a suggestion for a substitute for the spaghetti? We are trying to stay away from so much pasta and bread. Thank you.

    • Reply
      Sherry Gregory
      May 15, 2019 at 1:20 pm

      oops…found your suggestions above…have a great day.

  • Reply
    Phyllis Bergst
    May 7, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    I will be making this for my son’s birthday bbq next month. Of course I will have to do a test taste before. Tough assignment, but someone has to do it.

    Oh, by the way I am still making and inhaling your Cranberry Butter recipe. Just hope I saved enough bags in my freezer to get me through to November.

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 7, 2019 at 8:43 pm

      A birthday bbq sounds great! I am so bummed, in all the holiday rush I forgot to save any cranberries :/

  • Reply
    Jenn
    May 5, 2019 at 7:35 am

    5 stars
    We made this last summer and now it’s our family’s new favorite. Thanks for all your recipes using canned tuna!

  • Reply
    JTempleton
    March 20, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    I plan to try the salad, but will leave out the cayenne. I’m not a fan of spicey, but it sounds like it would be just as tasty without the spicey stuff.

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 20, 2019 at 1:39 pm

      I think you’re right 🙂

  • Reply
    Gayle
    January 31, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    Hi, Quick question, do you use Seasoned or Unseasoned Rice Vinegar?
    Thanks

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 31, 2019 at 2:16 pm

      I use unseasoned.

  • Reply
    Genevieve
    July 9, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    5 stars
    For tonight’s Monday night cooking lesson, my daughter and I made this.. It was super easy and delicious! We added a third bag of cooked edamame and some pan fried chicken tenders. But we could have easily done without the chicken. It’s such a versatile noodle salad and a nice alternative to macaroni salad. It’s a great way to use up the summer basil growing in our garden.

    • Reply
      Genevieve
      July 9, 2018 at 4:36 pm

      Oh, I almost forgot…I also used whole wheat spaghetti and it was excellent! Thank you for your wonderful ideas!

      • Reply
        Sue
        July 9, 2018 at 9:15 pm

        I forgot that I also love whole wheat spaghetti! I haven’t bought it in a while.

  • Reply
    Bertha
    June 24, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    5 stars
    This salad is delicious, I uses white cabbage because that’s what I had and it’s amazing too.
    Thanks for the great recipe, easy to make and a great hit at my granddaughters graduation as well. She is vegetarian so it was perfect.

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 24, 2018 at 3:21 pm

      Thanks Bertha, I get a special pleasure out of it when one of my recipes is part of a special day, congratulations!

  • Reply
    TofuMom
    June 11, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    This is such a hit in our family, that I was requested to make it for my daughter’s graduation party.
    **For 100 people!**
    It still turned out fantastic and I’ve shared this recipe with a TON of people, as a result!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 12, 2018 at 6:35 am

      alright!! That’s so great to hear, and congrats on the graduation ~ you’re a better mom than me, I never did anything near as grand for either one of my daughters 😉

  • Reply
    Sarina
    May 30, 2018 at 1:38 am

    Yummy such a nice idea! I’m glad I found your blog and this recipe. I Just came back from my backpack tour/Thailand Rundreise (as we say it in germany :D) and I really miss the food from there. Now I have even a little piece of the country in my kitchen again. Greetings from germany! https://www.yolo-reisen.de/

  • Reply
    Eve
    May 29, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    Keeper! 🙂 I added broccoli slaw and about 1/3 c. extra dressing. The dressing is so so good, couldn’t resist. Thanks so much for this delicious recipe I will be using frequently.

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 29, 2018 at 4:04 pm

      Yum, glad it’s a keeper 🙂

  • Reply
    Karen (Back Road Journal)
    May 23, 2018 at 8:43 am

    Sue, thank you so much for recreating and sharing this recipe. I’ve pinned it under several categories. We have been getting lots of invitations to potlucks lately and I know this will be something different and a big hit. 😀

  • Reply
    Vicki Bensinger
    May 22, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    This looks so good Sue. I especially love the sound of that peanut dressing. I think I could slather that on more than just this salad.

  • Reply
    The Gourmet Goddess
    May 21, 2018 at 9:13 am

    This is definitely a keeper. I love the flavors you’ve combined and I’ll be making this sooner, rather than later. Thanks for another wonderful recipe!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 21, 2018 at 10:50 am

      We loved it ~ hope you do too!

  • Reply
    Patricia
    May 21, 2018 at 8:58 am

    This sounds delicious, I’m going to try it soon! How many servings does this recipe make? Also, may I say that I have very good luck with your recipes, they are easy to follow and always turn out very well, so thank you!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    May 21, 2018 at 8:08 am

    That’s where I get lots of great ideas too Sue! This looks delicious. I’ll definitely be trying your version!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    May 21, 2018 at 6:27 am

    Wow! What a great twist on a pasta salad! Loving the spicy Thai flavours 🙂

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    May 21, 2018 at 4:56 am

    Yum! What a great summer meal. And so pretty! It would be wonderful with some shredded rotisserie chicken too.

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 21, 2018 at 6:06 am

      Shredded chicken would be soooo good in this, there’s nothing better than a main course salad in the summer 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    May 21, 2018 at 4:00 am

    Wonderful! That Thai flavoured sauce is the killer!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    May 21, 2018 at 3:40 am

    I’ve been searching for a spicy Thai salad like this for years. Cannot wait to try your version! So pretty too 🙂

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 21, 2018 at 6:08 am

      I love authentic Thai salads, but the idea of doing it with spaghetti seems lighter and more refreshing than the original Asian recipes.