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For a light and healthy veggie version of a favorite Asian-style salad recipe, you’ll love this Sesame Zoodles Salad! Simply toss spiralized zucchini noodles in an easy, flavor-packed peanut sauce for a tasty side dish or light meatless meal. So good, you won’t believe it is gluten free, low carb, and vegan.
Sesame Zoodles – Easy Zucchini Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce!
During the summer, many people are often looking for ways to use up all of their zucchini from the garden or in their CSA basket. Truthfully, I love to enjoy zucchini all year long, whether it’s simple Air Fryer Zucchini or mixing it into Gluten Free Carrot Zucchini Muffins.
But when the weather is warm, one of my favorite things to make is a zoodle salad. From Greek Zoodles Salad to Caprese Zoodles Salad, there are so many fresh and delicious options. And this one is super satisfying because it has Peanut Sauce!
Take the classic Asian-inspired sauce that combines soy, sesame, and peanut butter and toss some zoodles in it to make these easy Sesame Peanut Zucchini Noodles. It really packs a huge punch of flavor with minimal effort. Just spiralize the zucchini, whip up some ingredients in a blender, and toss it all together. Not one second of cooking time is required.
And if the amazing taste isn’t enough to convince you, this recipe is also super healthy – tons of veggies, great protein, gluten free, low carb, and yes, even vegan.
Here is a quick list and intro to the ingredients you’ll need for this zucchini noodle salad recipe. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card for the full amounts and detailed instructions.
- Zucchini. You’ll need a couple of
- Peanut butter. Creamy is best, and you can use your favorite brand, even natural peanut butter.
- Rice vinegar. Be sure it is gluten free.
- Soy sauce or tamari. Gluten free if needed, reviewing my article Is Soy Sauce Gluten Free? for the best options.
- Sriracha sauce. Or use another hot sauce you prefer. You can omit it if you don’t want any spice, but it really just adds a hint of heat.
- Vegetable or coconut oil.
- Sesame oil.
- Fresh ginger. Peel and coarsely chop it.
- Garlic. You can toss it in whole or coarsely chop it.
- Sesame seeds. Lightly toasted in a skillet.
- Garnishes. Use your choice of chives, scallions, shredded carrots, or additional sesame seeds, if you like.
How do you make zoodles?
- Without buying any special gadgets, you can work very carefully with a knife to slice your zucchini lengthwise into thin slices, then cut those slices into thin strips.
- As far as kitchen tools, the most economical option is a julienne peeler, which you can get for about $10. This looks like a basic potato peeler, but it has small blades that cut the zucchini into long, straight matchsticks. This is cheap and easy with little to clean, but you don’t get those long spiral shapes.
- For just a few dollars more, you can get a handheld spiralizer that gives you those twisty and twirly zoodles. These are compact and easy to use and clean but will take a little more work if you a spiralizing a lot of veggies.
- The next step is a tabletop spiralizer. These make it easy to go through a ton of veggies in no time, and they often have multiple blades for different sizes and shapes. They are larger and there are more pieces to clean.
- If you really want to go all out, you can get a spiralizer attachment for your KitchenAid Mixer. This is definitely heavy-duty but it’s pricier, at close to $100.
How to Make Sesame Zoodles Salad
This simple recipe comes together quickly. Let’s get started.
Spiralize the zucchini. After you wash and dry the zucchini, use one of the methods above to make the spiralized zucchini noodles and place them in a bowl.
Make the peanut sauce. Blend the peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sriracha sauce, oil, ginger, and garlic in a food processor or blender until smooth.
Toss the salad. Pour the sauce over the zuccihini noodles, add the sesame seed and toss until the zoodles are coated coated.
Garnish and serve. Sprinkle with scallions, more sesame seeds, shredded carrots, or any other garnishes you would like. Enjoy immediately or store covered in the refrigerator.
Tips for Success
- If your kids are a little picky, you can try peeling the zucchini before spiralizing it. Without the dark green skin, it looks more like regular noodles.
- I recommend using a small food processor or blender to make the peanut sauce nice and smooth. But you can also finely grate the ginger and garlic, then whisk it together.
- For the best flavor, toasting the sesame seeds is a good idea. Just place them in a small skillet over low heat, tossing every couple minutes until they turn lightly golden and release their nutty aroma. Don’t burn them!
What to serve with Sesame Zoodles Salad
This cold zoodle salad is one of my favorite vegetarian meals to enjoy for lunch or a simple no-cook dinner. You can even toss it with leftover Asian Grilled Chicken or Chili Lime Shrimp for a more satisfying meal.
It’s also a perfect side dish to go along with other Asian-style recipes:
- General Tso’s Chicken Meatballs
- Shrimp Rice Paper Rolls
- Mini Thai Burgers
- Maple Sesame Salmon
- Sriracha Lime Slow Cooker Turkey Tenderloin
If you need some grains, just add in a side of brown rice or white rice.
This zoodle salad has the best fresh flavor and crisp texture if you serve it right away. You can also enjoy it within a few hours so it has time to marinate and tenderize the zucchini a bit.
You can also store leftovers tightly covered in the fridge for a day or two. It gives off some moisture which you may want to drain a bit before serving or enjoying yourself.
Sesame Zoodles Salad
- Two medium to large zucchini, spiralized
- 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce or tamari, gluten free if needed
- 1-2 teaspoons Sriracha or other hot sauce
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
- Chives, scallions, carrots, or additional sesame seeds for garnish, optional
- Make the zucchini noodles by using a spiralizer and place in a bowl.
- Combine the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, hot sauce, vegetable or coconut oil, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic, in a food processor or a blender and puree until smooth.
- Pour the sauce over the zoodles and add the sesame seeds. Toss until the sauce is evenly distributed.
- Serve immediately, or place in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to soak into and slightly tenderize the noodles.
- Garnish with chives, scallions, shaved carrots, and/or sesame seeds, if desired.