Spicy Thai Spaghetti Salad

Spicy Thai Spaghetti Salad in glass bowl

Spicy Thai Spaghetti Salad is a delicious twist on a potluck classic ~ quick to prepare using common ingredients, the Asian flavors in this colorful pasta salad really pop. It’s an easy summer side salad recipe perfect for barbecue season!

Spicy Thai Spaghetti Salad in glass bowl

I got the idea for this Thai spaghetti salad from my grocery store deli!

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

the shortcut to a copy cat recipe

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

a useful pasta salad to have on hand for potlucks and barbecues

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

Thai inspired flavors are so refreshing, 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

They’re some 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 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
3.76 from 499 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
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 10 servings
Calories 189kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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.


Cook's notes

  • 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 with more veggies ~ try frozen and thawed edamame beans, broccoli, or bok choy, snap peas, or green beans.


Calories: 189kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 205mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2291IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Natalie Norville-Milner
    May 3, 2022 at 2:31 pm

    5 stars
    This recipe is on REPEAT in my house!!!! So yummy! I add pan seared tofu and make it a meal! Love it! Thank you!

  • Reply
    August 12, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    5 stars
    Wonderful salad. Very tasty dressing. We loved it at our house. I will be making this again and again. Thank you for this recipe.

  • Reply
    July 27, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    5 stars
    What if I don’t like cilantro… like seriously dislike it.
    what else can I add?!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 28, 2021 at 6:46 am

      Try basil Lacey, it will be great.

      • Reply
        July 31, 2021 at 8:44 am

        5 stars
        Thanks for the reply ! I’ve whipped this recipe up today for a bbq I’m heading to this afternoon. 🙂

  • Reply
    July 11, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    5 stars
    Delicious. Added some fresh broccoli, grilled chicken and grilled shrimp and it was a very filling meal. It’s so easy to add or remove certain ingredients based on everyone’s likes. I did make some extra sauce because I kept adding more and more ingredients. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply
    June 25, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    Delicious! Used soy sauce to think the dressing a little, added a splash of sesame oil and doubled the sauce. Thank you so much for sharing!!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      June 25, 2021 at 4:45 pm

      You’re so welcome, glad you enjoyed it.

  • Reply
    May 11, 2021 at 10:25 am

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for an Asian recipe that doesn’t include soy! I’m allergic, and it’s been tough giving up Asian flavors. This is a very welcome addition to my recipe box!

  • Reply
    Carol L.
    May 10, 2021 at 7:47 am

    I made this last night and I loved it. The dressing is so easy to make. I added a bit of lime juice and it was delicious but it was delicious before I added the lime juice. I love the sour and sweet combination of the vinegar and the peanut butter and that touch of heat from the pepper. I added sugar snap peas and chicken. The crunchy peanuts are a must as far as I’m concerned. Such a satisfying meal, especially on a hot day.
    I followed your recommendation to use the food processor to grate the carrots. I didn’t really want to lug it out but I’m glad I did. I never noticed the difference in textures before between box grated and food processor grated carrots but it’s there.
    Thanks for a great recipe.

  • Reply
    Walter Lee
    May 8, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    To save time, can I assemble this completely a day before Mother’s Day ?
    It will not be soggy and taste as good as if it were made the very same day?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 8, 2021 at 4:05 pm

      Salads are hardly ever as good the next day Walter. If you can swing it, I would prep everything the day before, but assemble and dress the day of, that way you’ll get the best texture. You can cook the pasta ahead, just rinse it well after cooking to remove extra starch. If you have to make it ahead, this one will keep pretty well, though.

      • Reply
        Walter Lee
        May 8, 2021 at 11:33 pm

        Thank you Sue, have a Wonderful Mother’s Day!

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