This healthy udon noodle salad only takes 30 minutes to make and is the perfect make-ahead meal. Roasted summer veggies get tossed in a flavorful miso dressing and then topped with green onions. Since there is no dairy in this salad, it would be perfect for a summer picnic or barbecue, but I often just have it for lunch or dinner when it feels too hot to cook.
What are Udon Noodles?
Udon noodles are thick noodles made out of wheat flour commonly eaten in Japan.
They are traditionally eaten hot in soups or topped with broth and scallions but, during the summer months, they are often served cold.
I love them because they are incredibly easy to cook. You only need to throw them in boiling water and cook them for 4-5 minutes.
As soon as they are ready, I recommend that you drain them and rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking process.
Picking Summer Vegetables for Your Udon Noodle Salad
I like to make the most of all the delicious summer produce that is currently available by working with less-known vegetables like the ones in this salad.
Summer squash is one of my favorites because it cooks quickly and it adds a hint of sweetness to any dish that you put it in. You also don’t have to peel it, which is great when you are trying to make a quick meal.
I also used some fresh wax beans and some garlic scapes, but you could make this udon noodle salad with pretty much any vegetable you like.
Garlic scapes are essentially the shoots that come off the garlic plant, and they taste well… like mild garlic. If you can’t find them, feel free to omit them or swap them for a different vegetable.
The Best Dressing for a Cold Noodle Salad
I have eaten many a noodle salad in my lifetime, but the dressing on this udon noodle salad is by far my favorite one.
It has one key ingredient: white miso paste. Miso paste is a Japanese seasoning made out of fermented soybeans. It tastes salty and a tiny bit sweet. I like it because it adds a punch of flavor to any dish.
You can find red or white miso paste at the grocery store. I chose to use white miso for this recipe because it has a milder, sweeter flavor that goes really well with the roasted vegetables.
More Veggie Combinations for This Salad
Here are some other ideas for vegetables to put in this udon noodle salad.
- Eggplant and sweet bell peppers
- Brussel sprouts and red onion
- Mushrooms and asparagus
Udon Noodle Salad with Summer Veggies
For the roasted vegetables
- 1 medium summer squash trimmed and cut into bite-size chunks
- 3 garlic scapes bulbs trimmed and cut into bite-size chunks
- 1/4 pound wax beans (or green beans or snap peas) trimmed
- 3 tbsp miso dressing (recipe follows)
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tbsp white miso paste
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp hot water
- 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tsp fresh ginger minced
- 2 tbsp Tamari sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 green onions, green parts only finely chopped
- 1 dash togarashi (optional)
- 6 oz organic udon noodles cooked
To make the dressing
- Add all of the ingredients for the dressing to a small bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Set aside.
To roast the vegetables
- Preheat oven to 400℉.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pile the vegetables in the middle and drizzle them with 3 tbsp of the miso dressing. Add a large pinch of salt and toss until well coated.
- Spread the vegetables into a single layer and roast for 12-15 minutes until browned. You want the squash and the beans to retain some of their crunch, so be careful not to overcook them.
- Remove the vegetables from the oven and let them cool for 5-10 min.
To assemble the salad
- While the vegetables are roasting, bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat.
- Add the udon noodles and cook according to the manufacturer's instrucions. Mine took 4 min to cook.
- Drain the noodles and rinse them under cold running water.
- Shake any excess water and transfer them to a medium bowl. Add the roasted vegetables and three tbsp of the miso dressing. Toss until well coated.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Transfer the noodles to individual bowls and garnish with green onion and togarashi (if using).
- Serve at room temperature or cold with the leftover miso dressing on the side.
- This recipe was adapted from Megan Gordon's Miso-Roasted Asparagus Soba Noodle Salad
- This salad can be made up to three days in advance and refrigerated until ready to eat
- Please keep in mind that the nutritional values included here are just an estimate.
Here are other easy recipes you might enjoy:
- Harissa-spiced sweet potato arugula salad with avocado
- Thin and crispy fig, jalapeño and salami pizza
- Easy vegetarian microwave nachos
If you like this recipe, please make sure to pin it, share it on social media, or email it to your friends. Don’t be shy! People are always grateful for some cooking inspiration
Also, if you have any questions or just want to let me know that you liked the recipe, please leave a comment below. Hearing from other adventurous home cooks always makes my day!