Best Peanut Noodle Salad (Perfect for a BBQ Side Dish)

Sundays are BBQ nights at our house, according to my new theme menu plan (which, by the way, is working out smashingly). For us, that usually means either burgers or dogs. But sometimes we get fancy and make chicken shishlik… or steak (birthdays only – keepin’ it on a budget!).

As far as sides, I like to make up a variety of salads and then keep leftovers for during the week. I especially like to toss in some of the fresh herbs we’ve got growing out on the deck.

There is the traditional potato salad (with dill) or the three-bean salad (with tons of cilantro). Chopped Israeli salad with a squeeze of lemon and parsley, or cherry tomato and basil salad (with LOADS of the aromatic basil).

But one of my favorite salads – both because I like it so very much, and because my kids deign to eat it in copious amounts – is a simple peanut noodle salad with cilantro and scallions (truth be told, I leave out the scallions for my 5 year old).


Note: This recipe is even better after it sits for a while. So try making it early in the day – or even the night before you want to eat it.

Okay, it’s your turn to dish your favorite BBQ dishes. I’m thinking sides, but if you have a killer rub or marinade, feel free to share that, too.



  1. Okay, it’s not my recipe (although here is a link to a facebook picture of my gorgeously grilled avocados: but it is simply incredible – grilled guacamole. The best guac I’ve ever made. I don’t know why it’s so good….
    The inspiration came from this post:

    I love love love peanut noodles. I can’t convince my kids that peanut butter is the perfect food that my husband and I think it is…but this sounds pretty kid-friendly and delicious so I’m going to have to try it 🙂

    • Wow – how unusual! How unexpected! How I-must-try-that!

      I love guacamole. When avocados go on sale, I have it every day for a week.

  2. I like an angel-hair cabbage salad as an alternative to traditional pasta salad and coleslaw: Using mustard in the dressing makes it go well with burgers and dogs.

  3. I don’t own steak knives. With this marinade, I don’t need them:

    1/3 cup olive oil
    1/3 cup soy sauce
    1 bunch of green onions, chopped (pale green/white parts only)
    2 large cloves garlic
    1/4 cup lime juice (or lemon juice)
    1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

    Mix marinade ingredients. (You can even puree them, but I generally don’t.) Put 2 lbs. steak in a ziploc bag and pour marinade into bag. Seal bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Marinate in the fridge at least 1 hour, up to 1 day. Cook however you like – I broil it a few minutes per side until it’s medium-rare. If I had a grill, for sure I’d use it.

    BEST marinade ever. The steak is so tender, it hardly needs a knife at all.

    • Marnie would this also work with chicken, do you think?

      • I’ve never thought to try it with chicken, but I’m sure it would work…I would bet it’s better with something “meatier” like chicken thighs, but I will probably try it with BL/SL breasts!

  4. I make sesame peanut noodles often and typically use tahini instead of peanut butter because although it’s more expensive, my allergies don’t allow me to overdo it on the pb.
    But what I really wanted to tell you is….I add chopped veggies to my salad – carrots, cucumbers, and red cabbage usually – and leftover chicken is delish in it too! This turns the side into a main but still – thought some of you might like to try it sometime.

  5. Thanks for the roundup! I linked up a recipe for Radish and Snap Pea Salad that makes the most of seasonal (inexpensive!) ingredients. It’s nice for a barbecue because it’s refreshing and can be prepped ahead of time.

    • caroline says

      The linkup doesn’t seem to appear… can you put the link in a comment, please? (Sounds delish to me!)

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