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 497 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
    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
      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
      May 21, 2018 at 10:50 am

      We loved it ~ hope you do too!

  • Reply
    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
      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
      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.

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