Fast, simple, and flavorful, this chicken and noodle salad – with all the yummy flavors of delicious satay sauce – is one of my favorite weeknight meals! Plus, the leftovers, straight from the fridge, are insanely good.

Satay Noodle Salad

First up today, thanks to all of you who have purchased a Simple Weeknight Dinners eCookbook! Your support and response has been amazing. As you probably know, everyone who bought a book Thursday and Friday of last week were entered to win a hand-crafted nativity set that I brought back from Ghana. I’m excited to announce the winner…Pam B.! I’ve sent an email already so if you see it, Pam, email me back! 🙂 Thanks again to everyone who has purchased a book so far; I hope you love the recipes!

Satay Noodle Salad

Now. Let me tell you about this amazing satay chicken noodle salad.

It’s fast (20- or 30- minutes).

It’s delicious (these curry/Thai/satay flavors get me every time).

It makes the best leftovers (or make-ahead lunch or dinner) in the universe.

I’ve gushed over savory peanut sauces before. You know I love ’em. And I certainly know I love ’em. But throwing that delectable satay sauce over tender noodles, curried chicken, and crunchy vegetables is about the most perfect combination ever.

Satay Noodle Salad

If you care to leave a comment, I’m really curious to know: are you a peanut sauce fan?

What about curry?

Can we have a little informal survey here? I pinky swear we can be still friends no matter where your opinion falls.

This satay chicken noodle salad really is spectacular. It’s perfect for hectic weeknights when I’m wondering how I’ll ever get dinner on the table again (sidenote: I have a post coming up to tackle this very issue; hooray!). It’s fast enough to throw together quickly when you need it OR even better, it can be made ahead of time and eaten straight from the refrigerator.

Satay Noodle Salad

I packed it in little containers stashed in a cooler for a road trip I took a few weeks ago with a couple friends, and we devoured it at about 6:47 p.m., while driving in the middle of nowhere Idaho on our way to Bear Lake when there wasn’t even a soggy gas station sandwich to be spied for miles and miles.

I thought our rave reviews were because we were deliriously hungry (we were running late for our scheduled arrival time and hadn’t eaten in hours!), but later, when I was back home and made it for my family, it was as delicious as I had remembered (although a little easier to eat since I wasn’t trying to drive and balance it on my lap).

If you love Thai satay sauce flavors, this one is a no-brainer. And if you don’t? I’m still almost certain you will. It is that delicious.

Satay Noodle Salad

Satay Chicken Noodle Salad

Yield: Serves 6

Satay Chicken Noodle Salad

Natural peanut butter works great - the sauce will have more grit to it than if using creamy peanut butter, but it's still delicious.

The greens in the salad are very adaptable. It's best to have something sturdy - like cabbage or kale - so it doesn't wilt as the salad sits (because the leftovers are amazing) but you could probably even experiment using spinach or romaine, especially if you are eating it up right away. I like to use a shredded cabbage and kale mix from Trader Joe's.

I'm a broken record about this but my favorite curry powder is the sweet curry powder from Penzey's - just make sure to love the taste of whatever curry powder you use.

One key to this salad is to slice that chicken extra thin. It cooks quickly and absorbs a ton of yummy flavor!

Ingredients

    Satay Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, natural or regular
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha or chili paste, more to taste if you want extra heat
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
  • 2/3 cup light coconut milk
  • Salt, to taste
  • Chicken:
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder (see note above)
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil or other cooking oil, like vegetable, avocado, coconut
  • Salad:
  • 10 to 12 ounces spaghetti noodles or fresh egg noodles (depending on how noodle-y you want the salad)
  • 2 cups shredded green or red cabbage (or a combo)
  • 2 cups chopped kale (see note above)
  • 1 large carrot, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 1/2 to 1 cup)
  • Chopped peanuts, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a blender and process until smooth. Set aside (this can be done several days in advance and refrigerated).
  2. Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. While the noodles cook, toss the chicken with the salt, pepper, curry powder, and soy sauce.
  4. Heat the oil (sesame oil is my favorite for this recipe!) in a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet until rippling and hot.
  5. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, 3-4 minutes.
  6. In a large bowl, toss the prepared noodles with the cabbage, kale, and carrots. Add the chicken. Pour over the dressing and toss to combine.
  7. Serve immediately (although this also makes great leftovers straight from the fridge).
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/satay-chicken-noodle-salad/

Recipe Source: adapted from Recipe Tin Eats (increased and adapted the overall recipe to serve make more than 3-4 servings, used spaghetti noodles, subbed in kale/cabbage mix instead of just cabbage and a bunch of other little changes)

52 Responses to Satay Chicken Noodle Salad

  1. Katie says:

    I LOVE curry, though I’m pretty wary of peanut sauces. The only dinner my husband and I couldn’t finish (and ended up throwing out) was a peanut noodle dish from Martha Stewart. We couldn’t put our fingers on what it was exactly that was so off-putting, but it was not good. Haven’t made a peanut sauce since! Maybe this recipe will break my streak…

  2. Barbara says:

    This will be dinner tonight since I already have all the stuff in the fridge except the satay sauce! Thanks Mel.

  3. Kelli Tuttle says:

    I adore peanut sauce. I adore peanut sauce turned into a salad dressing. I grew up on curry. My mom used to put it on chicken. And we would make curried chicken cashew salads to put on croissants for trips. My boyfriend and I still make the salad regularly. Curry in most everything is wonderful. Even on eggs!!

  4. Alicia says:

    This looks amazing! We LOVE curry-anything (or Thai-anything, or Indian-anything) at our house, although I have never made a peanut sauce. I’m going to swap out what was on tonight’s menu for this.

    • Alicia says:

      Made this tonight. Wow!! Talk about a party in your mouth!! My whole family was two thumbs up, and my husband asked if we could add this to the regular-rotation list. This is a huge winner!!

  5. Amanda says:

    I love curry, but peanuts are a no-go in our house. My son is allergic. This looks beautiful though, I wonder how the sauce would taste if I just left the peanut butter out completely?

  6. Jena says:

    I LOVE all curry and most peanut sauces (as long as they aren’t super sweet!). I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  7. Terry says:

    Oh, oh, oh…..the memories of the beautiful blue waters of Bear Lake !

  8. Angela says:

    Huge curry fan. Once upon a time I went to India for a month and ate it in some form for literally every meal. Peanut sauce is hit and miss. For me a hit but my husband hates it because it makes everything taste “like a sandwich. Should I put jelly on this?” I prefer not to answer those kind of questions at dinner.

    • Mel says:

      Haha, he’s not the only one, I’m sure. I hear that a lot but more often than not, people come around to the deliciousness of peanut sauce. Just tell him he’s missing out. 🙂

  9. Vanessa C says:

    This looks like cilantro would taste really good with it. Have you tried it before?

  10. Jill says:

    I’ll be making this tonight…I swear I can smell the peanut sauce coming out of my phone! Thanks Mel…you’re the best!

  11. Carolyn says:

    Love, love, love curry in Thai or Indian food. In fact, I could forgo the meat in an Indian dish and just sop up the sauce with Naan…yummm!

  12. Racquel says:

    Two of my very favorite things! Sweet or not. I love it all. This dish is right up my alley!

  13. Kristi A says:

    I have to say, I don’t like peanut sauces… Don’t like peanuts used in savory anything! When I was a kid, at a Girl Guide sleepover, they served us this awful peanut butter stew. Haven’t been able to do savory peanut anything since then! I don’t mind the taste of curry, but I am always leery of it being too spicy. But so many recipes on this site have become favourites for our family even though there is the occasional recipe with savory peanuts on the list 🙂

  14. Karen says:

    I want to like curry, I keep trying it thinking I will like it if I try it again. Maybe my problem is buying the wrong curry mix. Since you asked me my opinion, I’m going to tell you that I’ve tried to get along with the spice, but still am on the opposite side of the curry fence! This dish looks fabulous….so maybe I’ll have to try again. I’ll still love your recipes even if I can’t get over my lack of curry love!

  15. Carly olsen says:

    My husband and I both love curry and peanut sauces 🙂

  16. Kat says:

    Curry: YES! Peanut sauce: YES! My favorite flavors. I’m going to make this as soon as I’m not throwing up every day because if morning sickness. Until then I only have the energy to make cereal

  17. Meridith says:

    Yes to both peanut sauce and curry! My husband served in Thailand, so those flavors are always a win, as long as they’re authentic enough. 😉 We’re going to Thailand this fall (my first time), and maybe I can gather ideas and recipes and send them you’re way to play with. 🙂

  18. Tricia says:

    Yes, curry!! Yes, peanut sauce!! And both together!!! My 15 yr old daughter and I LOVE your recipes. She has developed her own peanut sauce for chicken/veg/noodle stir fry, but we will look forward to trying this one ASAP! Thanks!!

  19. Jenny Croft says:

    My husband likes pb sauce, but I LOVE it! We both like curry too.

  20. Raquel says:

    Everyone here likes curry! Unfortunately, I am the only one who loves peanut sauce. In fact, I really, really like it. But my two small children and my husband do not. I still make it sometimes when the craving is strong enough and they just have to deal. Then, I end up feeling bad since I know I’m cooking selfishly. 🙂

  21. Fiona Chain says:

    Love it, love it ,love it. I adore satay sauce, I like to use a super crunchy peanut butter in mine, I can’t get enough of those crunchy little bits in the creamy sauce. Thanks for another Stirling recipe. Have a great day.
    Fi

  22. Lauren says:

    I am ok w peanut sauce but not so much of a fan of curry. That being said I am willing to try it again (it’s been a while!) to see if my taste buds have changed. I def will b making this recipe, what w the purple cabbage, kale & carrots, along w the chix – it throws a major nutritional punch. Good thing it has the noodles to keep it completely delicious.

  23. Heather says:

    Just wanted to tell you we love all your recipes! Thanks for making it easy to find great new recipes to add to our family binder. When I make a new recipe my kids even know to ask “Is this from Mel?”

    In case you didn’t know, the links for the weekly menu don’t appear to be working right now. I can search for the recipes and find them though. Thanks for all you do.

  24. Dana says:

    I love curry but my tummy doesn’t. I have a similiar recipe for just the peanut butter and soy sauce. How do you think it would be with cocunut milk and everything else and leave out the curry? Am I missing some sort of balance with taste that needs to be there?

  25. Holly says:

    Mel, do you have an update on how much money had been raised now? Thanks for all you do!

  26. Joy says:

    I knew my husband would love this and he did. The miracle was that all four kids ate it too! Thanks for another favorite.

  27. Stacy says:

    I love peanut sauces and I love curry! I should clarify that I love Thai curry flavors. I am not such a fan of Indian Curry flavors. I bought the Penzeys Sweet Curry but I haven’t used it much because it seems to be more on the Indian Curry side and not the Thai curry. Does that make sense? I’m guessing this dish with the Peanut Satay will be more Thai curry type, right?

    • Mel says:

      Hey Stacy – sorry to hear you don’t love the sweet curry powder, especially since I’m the one who recommended it. It probably is on the Indian curry end of things but because I love curry so much, I haven’t really put it in one cuisine or another. The satay sauce in this dish is definitely Thai-inspired so whatever curry powder you use will have it’s own flavor (in your case, you might want to use more of a Thai-flavored curry powder?).

  28. Katrina says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever tried peanut sauce, but I should. I’m just chicken. I do love the curry we get at work sometimes.

  29. Heather says:

    Thai curry, Indian curry, peanut sauces, or whatever kind of curry we LOVE! So I love when you post new recipes like this. We are big fans over here!

  30. Leah S says:

    I made this for dinner for us two nights ago and devoured a huge portion! YUM! Then last night I used the rest of the dressing to make a vegetarian version for my sister-in-law with rice noodles instead of spaghetti. I toss the kale in some of the curry sauce to try to incorporate that flavor too. It definitely didn’t come through like it did on the chicken. Any ideas on something vegetarian that could marinate in the curry sauce and fit with this recipe? Chickpeas? Lentils? Not a fan of tofu over here.

  31. Emily R says:

    I love peanut sauces, but I’ve been on the fence about curry. I just bought the sweet curry spice you recommended from Penzey’s, so I was excited to try this recipe out with that. I made this last night, and it was very good! I thought the lime in the peanut sauce went with the curry very nicely. I subbed regular milk for coconut milk (because, sorry, but coconut makes me gag), and I used ramen noodles instead of spaghetti. I also used a package of Asian salad mix, which was a mixture of cabbage, carrots, and cilantro. Someone above asked if cilantro would be good, and it was! My husband and I both enjoyed the dish – thanks for the great recipe!

  32. Jami says:

    Made it just because I happened to have all the ingredients on hand. HUGE hit with the family, and I used up all the veggies in the bin. (Added peppers, zucchini, and cilantro). Even better for leftovers the next day! I can always count on your recipes to be a hit with my family.

  33. Emma says:

    I made this last week, and everyone loved it! I didn’t have any sriracha, but I bought some yesterday so I could try this again!

  34. Workshop says:

    I made this last weekend, finished up the last leftovers today. No noodles because stupid middle age says I need to limit carbs, but extra cabbage and kale because the garden says “here’s a bunch of veggies.”

    Excellent recipe. Next time I’m adding cilantro.

  35. Eleisha Young says:

    HI Mel…excited to try this! Could you tell me if the coconut milk is from a can? or carton…like almond breeze(example)? Probably a “rookie”question! ~Eleisha

  36. Lauren says:

    Hi Mel, I’ve been wanting to try some of the Penzeys curry powder you recommend, but where do you recommend getting it?

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