“This Thai spaghetti salad recipe is on REPEAT in my house!!!! So yummy. Love it! Thank you!” ~Natalie
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.
Thai spaghetti salad ingredients
This is a mash up between spaghetti salad, an American potluck classic, and a Thai noodle salad. It’s a true hybrid!
- I like to use regular spaghetti, not thin nor thick. It’s just the right consistency for this salad.
- red cabbage
- make sure your cabbage is thinly sliced, and the shreds aren’t super long for best eating experience.
- shredded carrots
- green onions
- roasted peanuts
- sesame seeds
- cilantro leaves
- basil leaves
- rice vinegar
- vegetable oil
- smooth peanut butter
- cayenne pepper
- salt to taste
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.
a useful pasta salad for potlucks and barbecues
This salad is hearty, colorful, and can be made ahead of time; the flavors actually benefit from hanging out in the fridge. It’s an economical way to feed a crowd, and there’s no mayo to spoil outdoors, either. As is it’s a hearty side dish, but you can easily augment it with extra protein in the form of shredded rotisserie chicken or grilled shrimp.
Thai flavors are so refreshing!
While this is not an authentic Thai recipe, the famously refreshing Thai flavor profile is represented. The Thai flavors make it unique but the salad is still familiar. It’s a great ‘starter’ Thai recipe for newbies or kids.
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.
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 fine shreds that retain their texture. Slice the shreds in half if they are very long.
- Use regular spaghetti rather than the thin or thick style. Thin spaghetti can become mushy, and thick will be too starchy and overpower the veggies.
- Cook your spaghetti to an al dente stage so it retains some texture. It will soften further after you dress and chill it.
more 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
- Cowboy Caviar
- Thai Salad
- Mediterranean Bean Salad
- Dill Pickle Potato Salad
- Layered Rainbow Salad
- Israeli Salad
- Pasta Salad with Tuna
“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!!” ~TofuMom
Spicy Thai Spaghetti Salad
- 8 ounces 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.
- 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.
Questions and Reviews
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.
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.
oops…found your suggestions above…have a great day.
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.
A birthday bbq sounds great! I am so bummed, in all the holiday rush I forgot to save any cranberries :/
We made this last summer and now it’s our family’s new favorite. Thanks for all your recipes using canned tuna!
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.
I think you’re right 🙂
Hi, Quick question, do you use Seasoned or Unseasoned Rice Vinegar?
I use unseasoned.
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.
Oh, I almost forgot…I also used whole wheat spaghetti and it was excellent! Thank you for your wonderful ideas!
I forgot that I also love whole wheat spaghetti! I haven’t bought it in a while.
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.
Thanks Bertha, I get a special pleasure out of it when one of my recipes is part of a special day, congratulations!
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!!
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 😉
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!