Lazy Day Peanut Noodle Salad Recipe

A peanut noodle salad recipe featuring soba noodles punctuated with spring onions, tofu, peanuts, and asparagus. Serve it up family-style on a platter at a potluck, party, or buffet - it holds up perfectly at room temp.

Lazy Day Peanut Noodle Salad

I've been trying to cook from the archives a bit lately. There are so many recipes that I'll cook on repeat for months, and then neglect when a new favorite makes an appearance. There are many, many recipes in my life, and to those that get sidelined on occasion, rest assured, I still love you. I dusted off this lazy day peanut noodle salad for lunch yesterday. It's a perfect, colorful bowl of peanut-slathered soba noodles punctuated with spring onions, tofu, more peanuts, and asparagus. A total crowd-pleaser, and makes a great lunch in a jar if you need a new option for work or travel.

Peanut Noodle Salad RecipePeanut Noodle Salad RecipePeanut Noodle Salad Recipe

When I initially wrote the recipe, I mentioned how when the San Francisco skies are clear, bright, and blue I like to pop into Greens Restaurant where in addition to table service, they have a robust take-out menu. I usually grab a tofu sandwich on seeded bread, a side of their famous black bean chili and then walk the short distance to a nearby picnic bench where I enjoy the sailboats, seagulls, and sunshine. As I was reaching for my sandwich I noticed a stack of containers packed with peanut-slathered noodles. It had been ages since I'd enjoyed a good peanut noodle salad, so I decided to throw one together myself. I apparently couldn't be bothered to walk to the store for ingredients (hence the lazy title), and tapped my pantry for inspiration.

This makes a big chunky batch of peanut noodle salad. Serve it up family-style on a platter at a potluck, party, or buffet - it holds up nicely at room temp.

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Lazy Day Peanut Noodle Salad Recipe

I used asparagus in this version, but you can use any of your favorite in-season vegetables. This time of year peas, asparagus, and carrots all make great additions to the noodles and peanut sauce.

1 8 ounce package soba noodles
1 bunch asparagus spears, ends trimmed then cut into 1/2-inch segments

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup (brown) rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
drizzle of toasted sesame oil
big pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4-1/2 cup hot water

1 small bunch of spring onions or scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup peanuts
12 ounces extra-firm (organic) tofu, cut into small cubes (feel free to heat the tofu in a skillet if you like, but cold is good too)

herb flowers, optional

Big a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the soba noodles per package instructions.In the last minute or so of cooking toss in the asparagus. Drain noodles and asparagus, run under cold water for about a minute to stop cooking, and set aside.

Make the peanut dressing by combining the peanut butter, rice vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and a big pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Thin with hot water - the amount you'll need depends on the original consistency of your peanut butter. I like it the consistency of a thin (non-Greek) yogurt. Taste and season with a bit more salt if needed.

Gently toss the noodles, asparagus, spring onions, peanuts, and tofu with a big splash of the dressing. I reserve a bit of each ingredient to sprinkle on top of the serving platter to make it look nice. Add more dressing a bit at a time, until the salad is dressed to your liking, reserving any extra for another use. Taste, sprinkle with more salt (if needed), and a few herb flowers if you have them on hand, and enjoy!

Serves 6 - 8.

Prep time: 7 minutes - Cook time: 10 minutes

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This is nice. I like peanut sauce with noodles. Also thinking to have some stronger flavor, maybe adding chopped coriander or rosemary. 🙂

Made this for a day trip to Mendocino county this past Saturday. It was perfect picnic fare to pack and keep at room temperature until lunch time between the vineyards. Substituted part of the vinegar for juice of a lime. Really enjoyed the seasonal asparagus variation as I usually go the carrot & red pepper route with peanut noodles. Thanks for the consistent inspiration, Heidi!


This looks wonderful – so simple and delicious!

Millie | Add A Little

I made it tonight. The only change I made was that I pan-roasted the cut asparagus in a cast iron pan until it got a tiny bit charred. My family has asked me to make it again. Great recipe. Thank you!


going to try this with almond butter and romano beans from yesterday’s farmers market!


I love when a recipe includes all the ingredients I have on-hand, and is as perfect-sounding as this. Just in time for lunch! xo

Christine // my natural kitchen

I’m the same way with my recipes – I’ll get stuck making the same thing for a week or two and then go back through my archives for a new inspiration. 🙂 I love soba noodle salads and this one sounds delicious with the peanut butter sauce. Can’t wait to try it!


I just made this for dinner and it was delicious. Very quick to put together, and I plan to take the leftovers for lunch on a hike tomorrow. I had everything in the cupboard except the asparagus, but it’s asparagus season, so easily remedied. I did have a bit of an accident with the chili flakes so mine was quite spicy…and still great.


For those who want to try the “gluten free” version, they can replace the noodle with the rice vermicelli. In Indonesia, we have a dish similar to this. It is called “Ketoprak” and they use rice vermicelli, fried cubed tofu, cucumber, blanched (or fresh) bean sprouts. The peanut sauce has a touch of garlic (smoothly mashed) and kaffir lime juice for extra aroma. This street food is a favorite for lunch in Jakarta. Oh, BTW they also put veggie chips for the topping.


I make a version of this when the pantry is running low and I can’t get to the store… tahini is a great sub for peanut butter, and any combination of noodle/veg works out well! I’ve even been known to sneak in some frozen peas and broccoli…


I love this recipe. It’s been in regular rotation during asparagus season for, wow!, 7 years now.


This looks like a great recipe!

Ryan | A Polished Palate

I would like to say that I am really inspired by the idea– from the perspective of a Tokyo-ite! I will definitely try it. It’ll be my first Soba salad experience.


Since I have more lazy days than I’d like to admit, This looks perfect for the end of a too-long day!

Deborah Dowd

Nice recipe, especially since asparagus is lovely right now. I used tamari (soy sauce) instead of salt, which adds some nice depth to the flavor. Just an option…


for the record, i think your food styling (along with EVERYTHING else) is fab 🙂


I made this last night, and have enough left for several more meals. It’s really tasty!
I agree the tofu needs a little more zing, as other commenters have noted. I might marinate and grill it, or used some baked tofu next time. Or even chicken.
The carrots I prepped as for your sunburst carrot salad, and that worked well. And the asparagus-boiling tip is great!
I posted about it (with pics) here:
Thanks for this great recipe!


I made this on Friday night and have been eating it all weekend. Very refreshing and filling! Thanks for another great recipe!


Thanks for the delicious inspiration! I blanched green beans and added shredded cucumbers and carrots. I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I also added sugar to the sauce. Maybe because the peanut butter I used was oh so natural! I browned the tofu cubes in vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons of butter (which you can omit, of course). I drained the tofu on paper towels and lightly salted it while hot. I topped the salad with the tofu, which created a crouton-like effect. I think the dish would be perfect with finely shredded purple cabbage and some cilantro, increasing the amount of sauce a bit.


this looks really good! thanks!


Looks beautiful and delicious. I think I’ll try this, though maybe with a little bit of pork or chicken in place of the tofu.


I have to confess, I often come to food blogs just to look at the scrumptious pictures. But this is the second time this month I made one of your recipes. I am on a roll! Or you are:)
Anyway, it was very delicious – I did basically the same thing but added a bit of Tamari and fried up the tofu. But I really appreciate the simplicity of the recipe. I loved just throwing the asparagus into the pasta while it was boiling. I have never done that before and it saved a step which is great for the work week.
Lately I have been turned off by recipes that call for tons of ingredients so this was perfect. Thanks.


How interesting – I just made almost the same thing the other night – this is an old favorite of mine, from my single days – I decided to share it with my husband. Differences: chinese egg noodles, and the sauce was nearly the same except that mine included soy vay teriyaki sauce, a tablespoon of apricot jam, and a bit of five spice powder, and we had it hot. Cold sounds good, too, though!


hi. this looks great! i am allergic to peanuts, though. do you think it would be tasty with almonds and almond butter OR would it be better with cashew? i’d love to hear what you suggest! thanks


that looks lovely. i too love love Greens Restaurant.


That looks fresh, light, and delicious. I may have to sneak in some cilantro and Parmesan…


Thanks, Heidi, for this recipe. I made it for dinner last night and I’m eating it again for lunch right now. I added diced orange bell pepper and topped it off with some crunchy Alera salt. I know I’ll continue to make variations as the seasons make their offerings. Yum!
I’m off now to try the Citrus Parmesan Farro Salad. I’ll be using a blend of black and mahogany rice, since I can’t find farro locally.


This recipe sounds great and I just love peanut sauce. Thanks.
Never had these noodles but am willing to try.


Oh, yes. This is going to be for dinner tonight — I have all of these things in the house. It will be a nice change from the way I typically do asparagus (brown butter, parmesan, topped with fried eggs, ala my Italian mother 🙂 ).
Thank you again for another lovely recipe!


I sort of cheat when making my version of this salad. I just use chili-garlic paste, water and peanut butter to make the peanut sauce. When summer tomatoes come in, they are almost divine on there, with a few fresh cilantro leaves sprinkled on top…


definitely handy on a lazy day!:) I just toss some greens, chickpeas, onions, cucumber and tomatoes and dress them with lemon juice and salt/pepper…that’s my fav quick-salad recipe:)


Great recipe for peanut noodle salad! This would be a great potluck dish. Thanks.


I just had lunch at Greens for the first time last week and I absolutely loved it! I’ll have to try their take-out next time I am craving it and don’t want to wait for a table. Oh, and the peanut noodle salad sounds delicious, can’t wait to try it!


thank you so much for this! i am going on a plane trip tomorrow and will make this tonight for lunch/dinner on the trip … it looks amazing! yum.


Oh my, this looks wonderful, i can’t wait to try it!!! 🙂


that looks wonderful and so refreshing! this is one of my favorite times of year because asparagus is in season-i buy huge bunches and tend to put it in everything!


it will be of great help as i am a hotel management student and constantly looking out for new recipes


Mmm, this sounds and looks amazing. It is just the thing that I was looking for when I was feeling super lazy last night. I’ll have to keep this recipe on hand for next time that kind of mood strikes.


I read this at 3 pm while at work and by 6, I was home and it was on the table. The peanut sauce was simple to prepare and wonderful. I used edamame instead of asparagus. Probably not a wise choice since the protein was probably too high, but it was good. Next time, I’ll use blanched broccoli. There will be many next times for this dish. A solid part of our repertoire from now on. Thanks!


If you’re looking for another recipe to take advantage of asparagus season, make sure you check out one of Heidi’s recipes: Ten Minute Tasty Asparagus and Brown Rice. I made it this evening and just finished scarfing it down – and I am happily stuffed! The tahini dressing is great – I have a cucumber in my fridge screaming to be slathered in the leftover dressing!


Mmmm, this is right up my alley. Peanut butter with tons of veggies and some noodles. This sounds great cold, but if you cook it all a bit longer, I bet it’s a great stir-fry! I need to get workin on a stir-fry peanut butter sauce!
The Peanut Butter Boy



YOYO Cooking


YOYO Cooking

I love tofu and I’m always looking for inspiration for a new dish. Struck gold with this one! Can’t wait to try it. It screams SPRING!

Life Chef

Lucky you being able to just “pop” into Greens. When I was with my vegetarian Ex, we would make the trip from LA to SF a few times a year and we always made a reservation at Greens. We never did do the take-out though. Their tassahara bread is so good!!


sounds delicious! wish I knew where to buy soba noodles now that I’m in central Florida….there seem to be no Asian markets close by….
Is the tofu marinated? What makes it brown on the outside edges? Also, what onions are in the picture–looks like shallots more than scallions?


Heidi’s site named in 101 most useful websites by the Daily Telegraph in England:
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Chris Simmons

Be careful who your seatmates are…peanut allergies can be life-threatening.


I love to have peanut noodles when I’m feeling lazy on the weekends. However, this recipe seems much more healthy than mine. I can’t wait to try it!


I just stumbled upon your site, and being a VERY inexperienced chef, this looks like something I will try! It looks delicious!


Love this lunch!! You’ve inspired me once again!

Mary Coleman

My daughter is allergic to peanuts so I have gotten into buying all types of other nut butters. I just whipped up the recipe with cashew butter and chopped cashews and it was very yummy. Thank you for such a great – spontaneous lunch!


This is so weird – I had a craving for exactly this kind of salad with soba noodles and then magically, right on time, your recipe appears! Thanks!

the italian dish

You’re so lucky to live near the Greens Restaurant, Heidi!
This looks like a very traditional recipe, but it’s hard to go wrong with these ingredients! And here in the Midwest, it’s nearing fresh asparagus time. I’m hoping to come by some local, fresh, white asparagus for making this salad — I love the visual appeal and the relative unusual-ness of it.

Becky And The Beanstock

is that smoked tofu? it looks like smoked tofu. i love that stuff!


This salad sounds tasty and refreshing. I really enjoy cold soba noodle salads ans the use of the peanut butter send this one over the top.


This looks wonderful! I am adding this to my menu plan for this week. Thanks!

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

Ohhhh. I love this recipe, I follow the Seignalet diet, and it´s compatible with it (the soba noodles are made of buckwheat flour). Thanks for sharing.


I just finished writing a post about how it’s still winter in Chicago, and there you go picnicking with your delicious-sounding food! I’m so jealous! 🙂
This recipe sounds fantastic and perfect for lunch at work. I love your blog!! Thanks!


This is perfect pantry-raid food. I think I’ll make it tonight.
Court: I buy brown rice vinegar at a local Korean supermarket. Any Asian market would probably have it. (Although, I have to buy brown rice flour at my local health food store, the Asian markets don’t seem to have any call for it.)

Rhonda Smart

this looks delicious! i have a version of a that calls for thinning the sauce out with brewed, strong tea. normally when i make it, i toss in mung bean sprouts and shredded cucumber with the soba, but the asparagus looks especially good. thank you


Brown rice vinegar can be found at natural foods stores like Whole Foods or specialty stores like Trader Joes. You may even order it online through a company like Eden Foods (which makes the brown rice vinegar I use).
I make a similar dish, but use udon or rice noodles. Something about the soba texture irks me.


I have been looking for a great noodle salad recipe to bring to an upcoming potluck and it looks like this is it! It looks yummy. Thanks.


I love noodle salads! I made a Vietnamese-style one last week with tons of fresh herbs and some cashews. Anything with peanut sauce is a winner in my book.


i love peanut noodles and am always on the lookout for new recipes. yet another gets added to the list!
i just used spring onions for the first time the other day and loved them, so i’m excited to use them in this!

michelle @ TNS

I love the creamy, nutty flavor you get from peanut butter in a sauce like this. Being a noodle dish makes it easy to mix it up with whatever veggies are on hand and in season. Looks delicious!


When I was in high school I used to make something very similar to this. Of course, I was at the mercy of whatever was in my parents’ fridge/pantry…so there were no veggies or tofu involved, and I usually had to use linguini or some other Italian noodles. It was so easy and good, though!


Feels like spring time….
Tasty and delicious, It won’t take long till I try!


This looks fabulous! I love peanut dishes; can’t wait to try.


I’d like to be in San Francisco right now… These recipe looks so refreshing. We have wonderful asparagus at the market now so I will be making it!


Thanks for the reminder about peanut-sesame noodles. I’ve been meaning to make these for a while. Also good with sprinkled sesame seeds (black ones look cooler if you can find them) either instead of or in addition to the chopped peanuts. If a non-veg is anti-tofu you could substitute grilled or broiled chicken or maybe even green soybeans. Someone also recently wrote on another post that soba noodles are a complete protein so you don’t even need an additional one. Like Heidi said, this is also great with julienned or shredded carrots and I think this is an any-time-of year dish because it can be eaten cold or warm. If you have it, cilantro makes a good garnish, too. OK, that’s enough.


Looks good! I love noodle dishes and am always on the lookout for new ones. I wonder whether this would be nice with munchy seeds instead of peanuts…. I think I’d have to adapt this a bit, as I don’t care for tofu, but maybe quartered hard-boiled eggs instead? Next Saturday’s lunch is beginning to take shape…

Mrs Redboots

The peanut butter and noodle combo hasn’t exactly hit Scandinavia yet… Honestly, I must admit I’ve never heard about it before. But as it is reather rainy here these days, I don’t think this will hit the menu chez moi just now, but I’ll keep it in mind for when our regional asparagus begin to hit the markets.


oh I know that restaurant 🙂 it’s a Fort Manson, isn’t it?
Great salad combinations.


I love how you make everything look so effort-less. Like “oh i just threw this together”


Yum! I like my peanut soba salad with crunchy peanut butter, although your 1/2 cup of peanuts probably equalized that. Where does one find brown rice vinegar?


Yum! Now that’s my kind of airplane food. Your seatmates will be jealous.


This looks perfect for the first springtime lunches of the season!


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