The BEST Ramen Noodle Salad

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Sweet, tangy, crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad is a great side dish for summer potlucks, barbecues, or to serve with your dinner any day of the week.

I served this salad with Balsamic Dijon Glazed Ham, Rosemary Potatoes, and Glazed Carrots for Easter dinner this year and it was a huge hit.

Ramen Noodle Salad is a side dish that everyone cheers for! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

If you’ve been hanging out here with me for long, you’ve probably noticed that there aren’t very many recipes that I claim might be the best you’ll ever taste. I tend to save the word “best” for the things that are beyond any shadow of a doubt the best I’ve ever had or hope to have again.

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This Ramen Noodle Salad? It IS the best – and I will tell you why!

Ramen Noodle Salad

My Aunt Judy served this salad last time we visited and I could not stop eating it. (I think I had three servings!)

I’ve had Ramen Noodle Salad plenty of times in the past. But let me stop and tell you now that those salads are nothing like this one.

Ramen Noodle Salad with a sweet and tangy Asian dressing! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

First, there’s no seasoning packet of spices used in this recipe. The dressing is made quite simply with oil, vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce. It is perfect that way.

Second, the noodles are not broken raw directly into the salad. They’re browned in butter along with slivered almonds and sesame seeds.

Those hot buttery moments in the skillet make all the difference!

This Ramen Noodle Salad is nothing like you've ever tasted before!

Third, well, there’s just nothing like a recipe from my Aunt Judy. Without fail, her recipes are instant favorites with everyone. (If you haven’t yet tried her Almond Bars, you are missing out!)

Asian Ramen Salad

We weren’t even up from the dinner table when I asked her for the recipe for this Napa Cabbage Salad. I couldn’t even believe how fantastic it was.

The recipe was given to her by a friend who got it from a friend – you know how it goes – and I’m thrilled to be the next in line to pass this recipe on to all of you. As you know, there aren’t many things I like more than trying and sharing a great recipe.

This is a sweet and tangy Asian dressing over fresh cabbage and green onions, with all the crunch you could want from buttery crisp almonds, noodles, and sesame seeds.

I am willing to bet that you will love this salad every single bit as much as I do.

The BEST Ramen Noodle Salad isn't like anything you've ever tasted before! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Asian Salad Recipes

This Asian Pasta Salad has TEN different vegetables in it and it’s one of those dishes that I eat multiple times a day until it’s gone whenever we have it in the house. Lunch and dinner, this salad is all mine.

Remember the Oriental Chicken Salad from Applebees? This copycat Asian Chicken Salad is every bit as good and the fact you can make it at home makes it even better.

This Asian Marinated Cucumber Salad by The Food Charlatan and this Asian Tuna Salad by Foolproof Living are both on my need-to-try-it-soon list.

The BEST Ramen Noodle Salad is unforgettable! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

How To Make Ramen Noodle Salad

The original directions for this salad involved boiling the dressing to melt the sugar.

I’ve found that simply shaking the dressing ingredients in a jar accomplishes the same thing in less time and with no waiting time to allow the dressing to cool later.

I will happily eat any leftovers, but the noodles will be softer and for what it’s worth, it isn’t quite as lovely as when freshly made.

This isn't the Ramen Noodle Salad you've tried in the past! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Ramen Noodle Salad Recipe

  1. To make the dressing: Combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce in a jar and shake until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. While the butter is melting, crush the ramen noodles while still inside the package.
  3. Remove the seasoning packet and throw away (or set aside for later use). Add the noodles, almonds, and sesame seeds to the melted butter in the skillet.
  4. Saute while stirring frequently, until the noodle mixture is golden brown. Remove to a plate and let cool.
  5. Shred the cabbage and combine the cabbage and onions in a large mixing bowl. Add the noodle mixture. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Serve immediately.

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This isn't the Ramen Noodle Salad you've tried in the past! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Ramen Noodle Salad

4.82 from 171 votes
Sweet, tangy, crunchy ramen noodle and cabbage salad is a great side dish for potlucks or a weeknight dinner any day of the week.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 ounce package ramen noodles, seasoning packet removed
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 lbs Napa cabbage, about 8-10 cups shredded
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced thin, about ½ cup

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup light flavored olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plain white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

Instructions

  • To make the dressing: Combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce in a jar and shake until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. While the butter is melting, crush the ramen noodles while still inside the package. Remove the seasoning packet and throw away (or set aside for later use).  Add the noodles, almonds, and sesame seeds to the melted butter in the skillet.
  • Saute while stirring frequently, until the noodle mixture is golden brown. Remove to a plate and let cool.
  • Shred the cabbage and combine the cabbage and onions in a large mixing bowl. Add the noodle mixture. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Serve immediately.

Notes

This is not a make-ahead salad. I like to make the dressing in advance and then add the noodles and dressing to the cabbage right before serving. I will happily eat any leftovers, but the noodles will be softer and for what it’s worth, it isn’t quite as lovely as when freshly made.
The original directions for the dressing were as follows: Combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce in a medium saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat after boiling. Let the dressing cool completely before pouring it over the salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 312kcal · Carbohydrates: 24g · Protein: 4g · Fat: 23g · Saturated Fat: 4g · Cholesterol: 7mg · Sodium: 383mg · Potassium: 290mg · Fiber: 2g · Sugar: 14g · Vitamin A: 375IU · Vitamin C: 23.3mg · Calcium: 116mg · Iron: 1.5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 4/22/19 – recipe notes and photos updated 6/24/21}

The BEST Ramen Noodle Salad you've ever tasted! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Debbie says

    I loved this salad! I didn’t have any green onions, so I substituted sweet onion and it was very good!5 stars

  2. Lora Barnes says

    I made this salad recipe awhile back and my family loved it. Making it again for a church dinner tomorrow. This is one of my favorite salads!5 stars

  3. Lisa Everhardt says

    I have always loved this salad. I take it to almost every summer gathering. there is sadly (for me) any leftovers. It is not only very tasty but appreciate that I don’t have to worry about food safety in the heat.5 stars

  4. Arielle says

    This salad was really good! I tweaked it a little to taste. I cut the sugar to 1/4 cup and added a little honey. Extra ramen mix toppings and nearly doubled the green onion. Thank you for sharing your recipe!4 stars

  5. Sonya Yager says

    Absolutely delicious; halved the sugar in the dressing and also added leftover turkey meat. Everyone loved it.5 stars

  6. June Lea Ward says

    This salad was served at a church potluck several years ago. My husband raved about it and finally got the recipe from lady who brought it. Sure enough the very same recipe and my go to recipe for any potluck or large home gathering dinners. I have given the recipe to many others. Over the years the only major change I have made is honey instead of sugar. I often will add 2 bunches of green onions and 2 packages of noodles, but really not necessary. Glad to see this wonderful recipe printed.5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      I’m glad to hear that the salad has been a favorite for a while, June! Honey works well as a substitute for sugar; I’ve been known to do the same thing every once in a while. Enjoy, and happy cooking!

  7. Natalie says

    We made this salad for the first time a few days ago and loved it. It was delicious as is, but we tweaked a few things to our taste. We substituted Splenda for the sugar to lower the calories and doubled the lite soy sauce. We like Edamame so will add it next time. We too added shredded chicken to make it a complete dinner. This is a very light and crisp salad and I added it to our “Favorite Recipe” file. Thank you for sharing it Mary.5 stars

  8. Denise says

    This recipe is delicious. I have made it previously but added the seasoning packet from the Ramen when sautéing the Ramen, almonds and sesame seeds. It adds so much flavor to the crunches added to the salad.5 stars

  9. Polly says

    Best Ever Ramen Noodle Salad is the perfect name for this. Every time I serve this, my guests go crazy over it and sorry to say – no leftovers. I have learned to separate out the sauté stuff from the dressing since I usually make things the night before a morning brunch. It works out great. Right before I serve it, put it all together and Waa LA! I’m so thankful I found this recipe. 🙂5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      I’m happy to hear that the salad has been a success with your guests, Polly. Keeping some of the ingredients separate until before you’re ready to serve can be a good way to keep your salads fresh. Enjoy!

  10. Memi says

    Way too sweet. Would decrease sugar to 1 to 2 Tbsps. And only one Tbsp soy sauce, increase to 2 Tbsp per taste.

  11. Katherine says

    Great recipie that i’ve made a few times. This time, I subbed sesame oil for the olive oil, used regular green cabage, boston lettuce, added the juice from one orange, a tablespoon of fresh chopped ginger, and about a 1/2 cup of chopped sugar snap peas. Optional: top with mandrin oranges.5 stars

  12. Becky says

    I am addicted to this salad. I can eat it for lunch and then again at dinner. I had some extra carrots on hand, so I shredded them up and threw them in as well. Such a simple and delicious salad, and it’s reasonably healthy! Thank you for sharing.5 stars

  13. Jolene says

    This salad is amazing! I use spring mix. sometimes in the dressing I use half EVOO and half Avocado to lighten the EVOO taste. When I brown the noodle mixture I use half butter hand sesame oil.5 stars

  14. Diana says

    I lost my recipe for ramen cabbage salad so I tried this. It is delicious! Toasting the noodles, almonds and sesame seeds makes a big difference. I used red and green cabbage for Christmas dinner.5 stars

  15. Nancy says

    This is the recipe that I have been using for 20-25+ years! An oldie, but goodie! I use 2 pkg of ramen noodles [my recipe called for 4 T of butter, but I just use 2 T]. I sometimes add sunflower seeds as well as the almonds and sesame seeds. The dressing ingredients are the same, I use sesame oil but I only use 1/4 cup. I do boil it for 1 minute, it doesn’t take long and definitely thickens it, so it’s more of a glaze and coats the veggies better, I would not skip this step!
    If I’m making it for a small group, where I know there will be leftovers, I just serve the crispy ramen noodles/nuts/seed mixture separately, and let everybody add how much they want.
    This recipe is so good and I love the idea of adding chicken, pea pods, and mandarin oranges!5 stars

  16. Mike Brown says

    My mom used to make a salad similar but not exactly the same as this. Since I have all of her old, hand written recipe books, I decided to check it out.

    The differences between the 2 are that she toasted the ramen, almonds and sunflower seeds in the oven and, she also added a splash of sesame oil to the dressing.

    These days when I make it, I use bagged Cole Slaw mix rather than shredding a head of cabbage.5 stars

  17. Desiree says

    Done this and I so loved it 😍😍. Tweak some of the ingredients though.. less sugar , and substituted half with honey. Sesame oil is a game changer for this recipe 😍🤗.5 stars