Balanced & pantry-friendly, Peanut Noodle Salad with Chickpeas is rich in protein and heart healthy fats. Served with a yummy peanut dressing. Oil-free.
Cucumber salads are all the rage right now, which is why I was inspired me to make this noodle salad. Smashed cucumbers have the ideal texture for soaking up the Asian-inspired peanut dressing. Noodles are the perfect accompaniment to the crunchy cucumbers.
- Green onion
- Roasted peanuts
- Crushed red pepper
- Peanut butter
- Rice vinegar
- Soy sauce or tamari
- Maple syrup
- Chili garlic sauce
- Chili oil (optional)
See recipe card for quantities.
Drain the chickpeas and place them in the refrigerator to chill.
Smash the cucumber to increase the surface area so it readily absorbs the peanut sauce. You want to smash it hard enough so it splits down the middle horizontally.
Slice the smashed cucumber into half moons using a sharp knife. Then place the chopped cucumber into a medium bowl and add salt to draw the water out. This prevents the salad from becoming mushy.
Cook the noodles as per packet directions.
While the noodles are cooking, place the peanuts and crushed red pepper together onto a large cutting board and finely chop.
Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, chili garlic sauce, minced garlic, and water to a medium bowl and mix.
Remove the smashed cucumber from the bowl and discard the water.
Place the chickpeas, cucumber, peanut sauce, and chopped peanuts with red chili flakes into a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the desired amount of noodles. Season with salt. Garnish with chopped scallions and chili oil.
Hint: Use smooth peanut butter if you prefer a creamier dressing.
- Nut or seed butter - instead of peanut butter, you can use any nut or seed butter
- Noodles - I used Guan Miao noodles, but any variety will work
- Peanuts - leave out the peanuts if preferred, or substitute with a different type of nut
- Non-spicy - leave out the crushed red pepper and chili oil for a non-spicy version
- Warm salad - omit the cucumber, roast the chickpeas, and mix the peanut sauce into the salad while the noodles are still warm
See this Oyster Mushroom Noodle Stir-Fry for another Guan Miao noodle recipe on my website!
Use a meat tenderizer, the flat side of a vegetable cleaver knife, or your clenched fist to smash the cucumber.
It's best to use a microplane or fine grater for grating the garlic into the peanut sauce.
This salad does not stand up to refrigeration. It's best eaten on the same day.
While they are high in calories and fat, peanuts contain mostly mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol. Plus, they're high in protein and fiber. Eating them with the skin intact is even better for you because they contain anti-inflammatory polyphenols.
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For more delicious protein-rich salads, check out Vegan Salad Recipes page.
Peanut Noodle Salad with Chickpeas
- 7 ounces chickpeas canned (¾ cup), drained and rinsed
- 1 medium cucumber (about 12 ounces) preferably English
- ¾ teaspoon salt plus more for seasoning
- 3 ounces dried noodles
- ⅓ cup roasted peanuts
- 1 ½ teaspoons crushed red pepper
For the Peanut Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter natural
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon water
- Chili oil to taste
- ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
- Chill chickpeas: Place the chickpeas into a medium bowl and refrigerate.
- Smash, slice & salt cucumber: Using a meat tenderizer, the side of a cleaver knife, or your fist, smash the cucumber until it splits in half lengthwise. Slice crosswise into bite-size pieces. Place the pieces into a bowl and toss with ¾ teaspoon salt. Set aside.
- Cook the noodles as per packet directions. Set aside.
- Chop spicy nut topping: Place the peanuts and crushed red pepper onto a large cutting board and finely chop. Set aside.
- Make peanut sauce: In a medium bowl, add the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, chili garlic sauce, and 1 teaspoon water. Grate the garlic into the bowl using a microplane or fine grater. Mix until smooth. Set aside.
- Combine ingredients: Remove the smashed cucumbers from the bowl and drain. Transfer them to a large bowl. Add the chickpeas, peanut sauce, chopped peanuts and crushed red pepper, and mix to incorporate. Add the chili oil to taste. Serve with the noodles. Garnish with scallions.
- Smashing the cucumber allows it to soak up more of the marinade, but this step is optional.
- Use smooth peanut butter for a creamier dressing.
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an ESTIMATE only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe.