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
    June 25, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    5 stars
    Yum! I just went and made this- and I’d just had lunch. I can see where you can vary the ingredients to suit what items you have on hand. I grated in some fresh zucchini because I have so much. However, the cilantro and dressing are a must! I did add a splash of sesame oil as one reader suggested and it mellows out the tartness a bit. Absolutely delicious!

  • Reply
    June 9, 2020 at 10:25 pm

    5 stars
    Trader Joe’s has a shredded bag mix with shaved brussels sprouts in it that would be fantastic in this since I would need to add more veggies and as you suggested chicken. Yum.

    • Reply
      June 10, 2020 at 4:25 am

      Great idea 🙂

  • Reply
    June 9, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    5 stars
    Hello! I substituted yellow squash for the spaghetti. I was not sure if sesame seeds needed to be toasted & didn’t put them in the recipe. I also added broccoli.
    My picky 21 year old daughter absolutely loves this salad. ?

  • Reply
    Barb Clough
    June 7, 2020 at 2:54 am

    4 stars
    This was a winner – yum! Doubled sauce & used some to marinate chicken breast pieces. Then put it in grill pan and added to the salad – very tasty!! (Used sriracha instead and left out cabbage & used other veggies that I had in my fridge!) You can adjust the sauce to your preferred taste prior to adding!!

  • Reply
    June 4, 2020 at 5:15 am

    Hi – this looks perfect for a weekend salad – was wondering if you’d recommend adding some sesame oil to the dressing ? Perhaps half veg/half sesame oil to intensify flavor? I don’t want to overwhelm the veggies,though.

    • Reply
      June 4, 2020 at 6:56 am

      Definitely, that would be delicious, just go easy as it is intense. I’d add it to taste, usually a tablespoon would be enough.

  • Reply
    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
    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
      May 30, 2020 at 10:09 pm

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

  • Reply
    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
      May 29, 2020 at 6:20 am

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

  • Reply
    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
      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
      May 29, 2020 at 6:57 am


    • Reply
      May 29, 2020 at 8:33 am

      5 stars
      Good Lord, the flavors are Thai, get a grip – besides, in case you hadn’t noticed, your constitutional rights are about to be stripped away…perhaps you should concentrate on standing up for them

      • Reply
        June 14, 2020 at 10:39 am

        5 stars
        Yeah Kel!! I was just thinking the same thing!!

    • Reply
      Susette Smith
      June 12, 2020 at 6:19 pm

      5 stars
      This was a delicious salad with all the wonderful flavors of Thai food. Thank you!

  • Reply
    May 26, 2020 at 6:37 am


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