Walnut Miso Noodles

A hearty noodle bowl recipe. Whole grain noodles and asparagus are tossed with a creamy, walnut-miso dressing plus a dollop of chile paste.

Walnut Miso Noodles

The markets here are full of color right now. Gold, red, and orange beets. Pink-fleshed pomelos. Tiny purple-streaked artichokes. Deep, dark leafy greens. This week I filled my basket with my favorite eggs, a loaf of whole wheat seed bread, fresh tofu, lots of leeks and spring onions, chard with electric-pink stems, and one bunch of pencil-thin asparagus. I bought a small bouquet of sunset-colored flowers with the change in my pocket and made my way home. A few of my finds when straight into my lunch, this hearty noodle bowl.
Walnut Miso Noodles in a Bowl
I made a quick, creamy walnut-miso dressing and used it to coat whole wheat noodles, plenty of sliced asparagus, leftover tofu, and a few other ingredients I had within reach. I was quite hungry or I might have taken the time to top off with a poached egg or two. Something I've done many times in the years since I first made this.

Ingredients for Noodle Bowls
The main components here are whole wheat noodles tossed in a walnut-miso dressing. To make this seasonal I added the asparagus, scallions, and a big dollop of warming chile paste. I tossed some leftover tofu on top as well. The noodles and dressing are the foundation here, play around with all the different ways you can finish off the bowl to make a balanced meal of it.

Two Bowls of Noodles on a Table
For example, in the past I’ve used vibrant chard leaves and stems (pictured below), and another version using caramelized onions, roasted squash, greens, and a bit of cheese. If you’re looking for a summer or early fall version try roasted tomatoes, basil, and roasted peppers.
Noodles in a Bowl with Chard

The Ingredients

Noodles: you can use a range of noodles here. My favorite for this recipe is this farro spaghetti but use whatever whole wheat, or whole grain pasta you like. Soba noodles are another good option!

Chard leaves

Toppings: Blanched (grilled or roasted) seasonal vegetables, herbs and scallions, something spicy (Calabrian chile paste, sesame chile paste, or sriracha), a poached egg, sliced avocado

Miso: Feel free to experiment with the type of miso you use in the dressing. I started off using a mild white miso paste, but now tend to use red miso.
Walnut Miso Noodles in a Bowl

Nuts: I nearly always use toasted walnuts here, but toasted cashew or almonds are also fair game if that’s what you have.

The name of the game here is flexibility. Once you have the pasta and dressing dialed in, really focus on making the vegetables and other toppings great. And if you like this recipe, here's where you can find many more pasta recipes

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Walnut Miso Noodles

4.88 from 8 votes

You'll likely have a bit of dressing leftover. It’s great tossed with roasted broccoli or any other hearty salad. To make this recipe vegan, substitute a vegan sweetener for the honey in the dressing.

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 big pinches salt (optional), or to taste
  • 1/4 cup+ warm water
  • 8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti or linguini (or soba)
  • 1 small bunch of asparagus, sliced thinly
  • Topping ideas: sliced green onions, chopped chard stems and leaves that have been cooked for a minute or two in a skillet with a bit of olive oil and salt (see photo), chopped fresh chives or scallions, toasted walnuts, spicy chile paste, poached egg
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. In the meantime, to make the dressing, use a food processor, blender or hand blender to puree the walnuts, olive oil, garlic, miso paste, lemon juice, and honey. Add the warm water a bit at a time until the dressing is the consistency of a heavy cream. Taste and add salt a bit if you think the dressing needs it. Set aside.
  3. Salt the pasta water generously and cook the pasta per package instructions, being careful to not overcook. About 10 seconds before you are going to drain the noodles, add the asparagus to the pot. Alternately, you can cook the asparagus separately and use a spider to remove and set aside. Drain and toss the pasta with about 1/2 the walnut-miso dressing.
  4. Toss the pasta well, adding more dressing if you like. Arrange in two bowls or on a platter. I finished off this version topped with the asparagus, sliced green onions, leftover tofu, toasted walnuts, and a good-sized dollop of Calabrian chile paste.

Serves 2 - 4

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
8 d
Total Time
18 mins
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Recipe Rating


Very “Whole Wheat and Wild Berries” for you old NY vegetarians! That’s a compliment. Loved it. Don’t use chili oil or hot sauce at the end - it ruins the delicate flavor. Yummy.


this was lovely! the sauce amazing! I had only about 1 1/2 tbsp left of miso left in the fridge, but added a tbsp of nutritional yeast to expand the umami flavor...lightly wilted my swiss chard, found some green onions & a great QUICK weeknight meal...going on permanent rotation!


    Sounds great Eva!

    Heidi Swanson

Can this be served room temp or needs to be served warm to taste best?


    Hi Jusith - I like it both ways!

    Heidi Swanson

This dish was excellent. I made a few changes. I used WW fusilli, and while they were boiling cooked some beet greens in the same pot with the pasta. I chopped up the beet green stems and sauteed them. Instead of walnuts, I used pecans for the dressing. I put it all together topped with chives, toasted pecans and sesame seeds. Yum yum! :)


i just made the dish with soba noodles! i boiled a few golden beets for a couple minutes, chopped them and added them as a garnish with the chard leaves, stems and some green onions. the poached egg was a delicious treat on top. thanks, heidi!!!


Your blog was recommended by a foodie friend. I absolutely love it. I will definitely be a regular! Check out my, relatively new, food blog if you'd like.


Yum, Heidi! If a bit heavy. Delicious, though. I posted a photo of my version of it to the 101cookbooks flickr group. It kind of reminds me of this green-bean/walnut/miso/ginger thing from the NYT about 4 years ago: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/12/dining/123MREX.html


why not use walnut oil? walnuts and olive oil doesn't sound very food shui to me. The other question is about the vinegar. Would you lean rice wine or apple cider in lieu of white wine. Love to taste it. HS: Clayton, you could certainly do walnut oil (or some sort of blend) - I just didn't want to have to require another ingredient that many people don't have on hand. As far as the vingears go - I think I'd opt for brown rice vinegar if you have it.


Heidi, the walnut-miso dressing is just terrific on soba noodles, with some greens, peas, and scallions. As I was making it, I was reminded of the ubiquitous Japanese restaurant salad dressing (clumpy, orange, gingery)... I didn't want the ginger flavor in this one, but carrot sounded like a good idea, so I threw 2 medium-sized carrots in the blender and used rice wine instead of white wine vinegar. It turned out great. The carrots were sweet enough that I probably didn't even need the honey, and the ginger would be good, too, for another time. Love, love, love your blog and book :)


About miso, I live WAY out in the countryside & can't find miso locally, so I have to send for it. South River & also Miso Master make great, natural, organic miso pastes in America (just Google their names), South River is the most creative in having unique types (Garlic Red Pepper Miso, Dandelion Leek, Azuku Bean, Golden Millet, etc. -- a veritable treasure trove of exciting flavors) & they have a free downloadable cookbook full of neat information too. About miso taste, now that gets some getting used to. One commenter said it smells a little like beer but tastes better than it smells; well, actually, it IS a fermented product & there's some truth to their comment (though at first it made me not want to try miso, since I don't like beer). However, when miso is added to other ingredients, the fermented smell disappears (if you object to the smell). By the way, it's the fermentation process itself that makes miso almost a miracle product with digestive enzymes & health-promoting curative properties, & a long storage life too (well, in the refrigerator that is, up to a year & more according to South River), so don't be put off by just a smell of one ingredient in a recipe -- I finally got used to it & actually look forward to it now (in soups, dressings, spreads, dips, etc.). In the cultures in which miso was developed (China & Japan), it was responsible for nutrition & good health long before adequate food supplies were available. There's blessing on the other side of that smell. Good things come in many disguises! The comments of readers are wonderful & I usually excerpt them to a local copy of Heidi's recipe so I have the benefit of so many wise souls at hand in my kitchen. Thank you Heidi & to all the rest of you who share variations & unique ideas on the recipes. More! More! Now what I'd like to know is whether Miso Tamari is the same as Tamari Soy Sauce? Both of the miso makers above sell a limited quantity of Miso Tamari which is a by-product of miso making (and it's quite expensive). Since Tamari Soy Sauce seems to have no limited supply in local grocery stores & is now available everywhere, I assume Miso Tamari is not quite the same product, though it shares the same "Tamari" name with a switch of word order (one uses it first as in Tamari Soy Sauce; but the other uses it last, as in Miso Tamari). Heidi, or anyone else...do you know?


Amazing! You never cease to amaze me with your healthful recipes. Question: If I don't have walnuts, would almonds be an acceptable substitute? I know they won't be the same, but do you think it'll go well with miso as well? HS: I think they'd work out just fine.


Heidi, Your walnut miso dressing is wonderful, we really enjoyed it and will use it on many vegetables. Thank you. I'd like to make a suggestion: You should tell you audience that a jar of miso in the refrigerator will stay fresh for at least a year, consequently can be used for many recipes....

An Old Cook

this looked amazing and i had tons of walnuts and miso laying around so i made this for dinner yesterday and ooooooh! it was too, too good! i added some sliced avocado on top because there's something about miso and avocado that i can't get enough of. definitely the best meal i've had in awhile!


Mmm, this dressing is tasty! I didn't have any chard, so skipped that. I used asparagus, gluten free spaghetti, scallions, and some browned tofu. It was delicious!


What a great idea for the chard stems! (The dressing looks yummy, too) Now I just have to improve my knife skills to get a perfect little dice like that...


I made this last night and it really is delicious. It's a mild, but distinct flavour and combined with the vegetables it's lovely!

Andrea Felker

I've only ever had miso paste in soup before. I'll have to try your dressing.

Arwen from Hoglet K

Wow, beautiful recipe and photo as always. Never thought of chopping the chard stem and using it like that--brilliant idea! Love that nothing goes to waste.


Rarely does an article catch my attention as much as this one has purely through the photograph. Amazing and original.

Scott at Realepicurean

I am loving the colour of the swiss chard - absolutely lovely!!


Just made this for dinner but as we are going into winter I made it with roasted pumpkin, sweet potato, green beans and peas. Delicious!


This sounds fantastic; definitely going on my "to try" list!

Alisa - Frugal Foodie

A few busy weeks and not keeping up with your website and I missed that you were coming to Japan! I can't believe it! Been reading your posts for such a long time. I live a hop, skip and a jump from Eat More Greens and have been going there religiously. Would have been great to meet you! Hope you enjoyed your time here in Japan. I'm curious if you tried the Vegetarian Taco Rice at Eat More Greens. It's my favorite. I picked up the cookbook they published recently. Need to translate and want to try the recipe at home. Would love to get your adaption of it!


Heidi - I am glad that Spring is here!!! I just bought a few packets of soba and will give this a try. I am sure it will be wonderful!


Heidi! This was fantastic! I made it last night, with some green garlic, asparagus, broccoli and whole wheat rotini. That sauce was really delicious and I was so surprised by how un-miso'y it tasted. Really yummy. Well done!


YUM YUM YUM!!!! Heidi you make me super jealous of where you live. I live in Ontario Canada, just outside of Toronto and right now as I write this I can hear the wind a howling outside and its blowing snow and rain and the same time!! I cannot wait for my farmers market to be filled with fresh fruits and veggies and also my huge garden to be overflowing with yumminess!! This recipe will be tried this weekend for sure!! THANK YOU!!!!!


I am making this now with garden grown sauteed kale and fava beans on the side. You have a very inspirational talent and I have referred so many cooks to your site! Thanks.


Heidi, I really liked this recipe - I tried it with red miso since that's what I had in the fridge. Added lots of lightly sauteed leeks and red chard from our garden..our winter garden is still full of great stuff.

Deana Gunn

I can't wait until the Farmers Market starts again in Denver. WF has great stuff, but it's supposed to snow again this weekend, so no local stuff yet (sigh). I wonder if I could sub something like Ume Plum Vinegar for the miso and ww vinegar? (It is made from umeboshi plums and tastes salty/tangy, and it's really good for you.) I am allergic to soy so I'm always looking for substitutes. Thanks.


That chard looks really amazing! So vibrant.

The Duo Dishes

I just arrived back in Switzerland after a couple of weeks in Africa. It turns out spring came while I was gone, and as I walked through the market your words about the colors kept hitting me over and over. I can`t find miso here (not in any form other than soup.) What would be a good substitute?


Just made this for lunch (didn't have the chard and used dark barley miso)-- absolutely delicious!--and lucky me, have lots of dressing left for lunch tomorrow. Heidi--absolutely love this site!


What a great way to combine a lot of fresh ingredients. Looks great! For the commenter above who asked about miso pastes, I really like South River miso paste (just posted about Miso Wonton Soup last night and linked to SR's website) - it's dashi (fish) free and not meaty like some other miso pastes. Heidi, more importantly, don't forget to "reopen M/s Cotecna Inspection S.A office in Pakistan" like the commenter above suggested ;-)

nithya at hungrydesi

At first my Japanese husband was sceptical but he loved it. He is also a fan of your Otsu recipe.


It looks nice, but does it taste nice? That is the question. Please email me with your answers on [email protected] Thanks Anders Learmonth

Anders Learmonth

This looks stunning. A feast for the eyes and the stomach!


you're recipes are great. I am a vegetarian & a pasta lover can I get more or these recipes which quick to prepare & I could find them here in the the Philippines! Thank You & more power to you.


Your photos are so colorful & beautiful!!


wow we made this recipe tonight and it was super super good. thank you for sharing. and we made EXTRA of the walnut miso dressing, so we're going to experiment the next few days. it is worth it, delicious goodness! thanks!

stephanie alaine

Wow - it's a great day when someone sends you a recipe that uses the ingredients you just happen to have in the fridge and it tastes fantastic! My GF variation used 100% buckwheat soba and a little wheat-free soy instead of miso (didn't have any on hand). Thanks for the great blog.


Yes, yes, yes! I'm so excited about this one. My second choice for nuts would be almonds.

Mel G

Oooo I like this very much, and I don't have to worry about my family liking it, because it's the perfect lunch for just MOI!! Heidi, (& everyone!) what would be your second nut choice for this tasty combination?

Trish in MO

This is my favorite recipe from your blog so far. I made it tonight, and substituted cashews for the walnuts, topped it with red cabbage, carrots (both stir-fried) and cucumbers, scallions, and peas. Excellent.


Miso noodles are oh so tasty! Another great idea to try out is this recipe for "a href="http://kitchencaravan.com/recipe/soba-noodles-tofu-miso-dressing"> Soba Noodles with Tofu Miso Dressing. Enjoy!

Hartley from Kitchen Caravan

This looks amazingly delicious! The photography is excellent.


I have been a lurker for a while but never posted. That looks so beautiful and appetizing. I have the same questions about miso like the other poster. Can you tell me just one variety of miso that I can use in all lot of the dishes. Also I have no idea where to find it.


Yum! I'll be trying this soon. Do you think toasted pecans would work in place of walnuts? We still have a 1/4 bushel left from our trees last year. If using pecans would you do anything else differently to balance the taste? I can definitely imagine the pecans with fall ingredients like squash.........


We have wonderful Farmers' Markets in LA, but I never buy Swiss chard. It's so beautiful here! I love the walnut-miso dressing and bet it's great, no matter what it's on. Would love to try on a grainy bread sandwich.


This recipe sounds good. In spite of my allergy to walnuts (headache, not lethal) I think I will make this substituting pecans (which I adore) for walnuts. Pecans don't have as robust a flavor as walnuts, so I may use more pecans than the suggested quantity of walnuts.

David Teague

I like your soda noodle recipe, very inspiring!

Janet_Gourmet Traveller 88

Love the walnut miso combination. The photo is so subtle & beautiful.


I made a rendition of this dressing to go with a beet salad, but the beautiful red beets lost their appeal when dressed up with the white, chunky sauce. This is definitely a better venue for it -- I'll give it a shot.


Looks really yummy and nutritious!


Be.au.ti.ful!! I am drooling! the vegetables in Milan is not that colourful at the moment, plus the cold+gray+rain is here again. Will try this with soba and some vegs I can find in the market on saturday. Thank you for sharing recipe Heidi :)


Thanks so much 101 Cookbooks. It's the only ting I subscribe to on the web! I'm going to finally break down and buy some miso for this recipe and the others that call for it. But I hate to waste anything. Which paste should I buy that would work for most of the recipes you have. Will the one for this dressing work for the soup too? Can I use a bolder miso for the dressing, just use less of it?


Awesome! Now if only I could stop overcooking my soba noodles. I do it every time!

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

Your photographs make this even more appetizing than it already sounds. I can't wait to try this...

Janice Donnola

It isn't fair..it really isn't fair. You have such interesting fruits and vegetables, and the market sounds wonderful. Why don't we have such great ingredients to play with. What does miso paste taste like? is it hot? spicy? what is a substitute?

Jenny Mac

It isn't fair..it really isn't fair. You have such interesting fruits and vegetables, and the market sounds wonderful. Why don't we have such great ingredients to play with. What does miso paste taste like? is it hot? spicy? what is a substitute?

Jenny Mac

This looks delicious! It's funny that you mention color because I just did a post on my blog about color and how I have noticed the switch from Winter to Spring more than ever this year. I think it is because I was so ready for the switch to occur! Also, I have your super-natural recipe search on my blog. I am not sure if you received my message telling you that or not.

Maria @ Potassium Tube

Thank you for great recipes!This looks delicious and very easy to make!I have been a vegetarian for only two years now and you have inspired me a lot to experiment with different, healthy ingredients. I especially love your exciting comments(and adventures) before each recipe!


Looks beautiful. I love anything with miso!

Asata from Life Chef

what an innovative salad dressing idea. I do not have miso paste though..Can I try tahini instead of miso? would it be too overpowering? also, would rice wine vinegar work?


Hi Heidi, I'm headed out to San Fran this June. Any new ( or tried and true), restaurants out there that you love? I was out there last July and had a fab. meal at Delphina, followed by amazing ice-cream at Bi-Rite. I am a huge fan of tucked away neighborhood places. Would love your idea as I have the SAME tastes as you ( I think)! Thanks!!


This is really really pretty, Heidi. The pink is dazzling. I aspire to have your knife skills. :)

Maggie at EatBoutique



The dressing sounds like a great combination and perfect for whole wheat pasta. I just (finally) read SNC, and it was as excellent as I knew it would be. I'm looking forward to making Crema de Guacamole this weekend.


Spring is really starting to, well, spring, here in England at the moment. We're actually having a (gasp!) sunny afternoon here today. Your post really matched the day in terms of the bright, sunny colours and put a smile on my face. Sometimes I wonder if I'm subscribing to some sort of fabulous art/photography blog - your accompanying descriptions and snaps are so inspirational!


Looks super tasty.... and the photograph of chard is GORGEOUS!


I love whole wheat pasta! This recipe looks delicious and fresh.

Treehouse Chef

Your photos are always beautiful but this one may be the best yet! Lovely. And it looks delicious, without being too much work.


I made this tonight with soba. So good! That is a lot of dressing though. Plenty for tomorrow. I added some toasted sesame seeds and had a piece of wasabi brushed steak. Mmm.


Beautiful colors!


I love the colors in these photos :) I'm so happy its spring!!!!!!


Really lovely post...your words and photos are so vivid! It's the middle of the night and I want to go shopping at a farmer's market right now. And the recipe sounds really delicious!

The Other Tiger

fantastic! It's a gift to be able to capture what you have in the photographs you take. They inspire us to try your ideas for ourselves. As a matter of fact, I'm going to try this tomorrow (only because it is too late at night to try it now)


Everything I've seen here is just outright amazing. The food always sounds delicious and the photos make me want to stick a fork right into my monitor!

chris @ tacosalad

I have never seen anything like Bay Area farmers' markets in spring. This is my first year living here, and I walk through these markets wide-eyed, with overflowing bags under my arm. I never had asparagus that tasted like this - nor chard! This dish would be fantastic with the walnuts I picked up at the Old Oakland market last week. Ah - so many great reasons for living in Northern California!


Visiting your site never fails to excite me about what new recipe you will have thrown together next. I love that you're using Japanese ingredients and reinterpreting them Cali-style. Can't wait to try this fabulous-sounding miso-walnut dressing. Yum!

Claudia at Weird Vegetables

Delicioso. I was inspired by this recipe but I didn't have all the ingredients onhand, but it was still great. I had GF brown rice spaghetti, chickpea miso, peanut butter. I added equal parts chickpea miso and peanut butter to the pan, let it melt together, added garlic, sweet chili sauce, rice vinegar and hot water. It made a nice creamy sauce. I definitely want to try it with walnut. I topped it with steamed spinach and edamame. It probably isn't as delicious and beautiful as yours but it tastes good to me! Thanks for the recipe, Hannah

Hannah Handpainted

Ooh this is my favorite kind of meal (especially since I love eating out of bowls), and the walnut miso dressing sounds out of this world delicious.


Another fantastic recipe. Healthy. Simple and most importantly- Beautiful! As I don't do the wheat thing, brown rice or quinoa noodles would be a good option, though I think the nuts and miso and veggies would also be great over whole grains- a buckwheat millet mix, or maybe amaranth and brown rice. This is great!

Making Love In The Kitchen with Meghan

Looking at these pictures, reading this recipe: I want nothing more than to eat this. Thank you for a beautiful website!


Oh, delicious. I am definitely making this this weekend--I have been wondering what to serve a bevy of guests. This looks divine.


such beautiful colors & flavors!


Tasty! I hope this breaks me of my peanut noodle habit, a holdover from being a vegetarian with no kitchen skills. Can't wait to try it :)


What fantastic photos! You have a way of making food look healthy and appealing!

Tabitha (From Single to Married)

mmm, this looks delicious! Partly thanks to the beautiful photo I'm sure :) Will have to try this recipe, most definitely. I love soba noodles and never thought of adding asparagus to them. sounds great.


I love soba and am always looking for new ways besides the same old sesame oil-soy-rice wine combo. And even better that the base is comprised of pantry items


Your pictures are beautiful. This looks yummy too, I love the walnut miso dressing idea.

Eliza from Eliza Domestica

yum!! I've always wanted to know ways to use beautiful stems of chard... this is the first such recipe I've encountered!




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