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
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3.76 from 498 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

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.

Video

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.

Nutrition

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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98 Comments

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  • 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/

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