Imagine this—it’s a hot summer’s day and you’re hungry for a late lunch because it’s been a busy morning. You don’t feel like cooking anything or even making a sandwich. So you open the fridge and find a ready-made, chilled, Sesame Noodle and Carrot Salad. You pull out the big container, fill up a bowl and then pat yourself on the back for planning ahead. You’re also glad you made plenty because this noodle salad is good enough to eat for days.
This could be your real life! Ha. All it takes is a little planning ahead and not much time at all to make this noodles salad. If you struggle with meal planning or just getting your grocery situation organized, check out my one-page meal planner. I promise it’ll change your life!
So let’s talk flavor. This cold sesame noodle salad is light, flavorful and refreshingly filling. Also, easy to make. It’s been a favorite of mine since way back. In fact, I first discovered this chilled noodle salad at the Giant Foods grocery store deli when I lived in Maryland. I’ve been working to match their recipe for a long while and I finally cracked the code. This is pretty spot on! I did lighten the oil just a smidge to make it healthier but other than that, all the same flavors I grew up on are there. It makes me so happy! Does anyone else get nostalgic about foods that bring them back to a certain time in their life? I just love the feelings that come with food.
So, a note about the carrots. You can use matchstick carrots or spiralized carrots which are more like noodles. Since spiralizing veggies into noodles has become pretty popular, you can now buy frozen spiralized carrots. If you prefer fresh carrots though, you can spiralize your own. You’ll need a spiralizer of course (If you don’t have one, you can shop them on Amazon). If you’ve never spiralized before, you may want to check out a video on how to do it. Especially with a carrot since they’re pretty skinny. Here’s a short YouTube video I found that shows you how it’s done: How to Spiralize a Carrots.
As far as noodles, you can really use any kind of noodle you like. Rice noodles are a great choice if you’re gluten-free. You can also use spaghetti noodles, or any type of Asian noodle. Totally versatile and up to your own preference. I ‘ve made this with rice noodles and Lo Mein egg noodles. Both delicious!