This incredible Vietnamese Noodle Salad with chicken is light, flavor-packed and full of texture! We love the crisp combination of fresh mint and cilantro, oodles of rice noodles, and shortcuts like coleslaw mix and a quick chicken marinade that make this recipe so accessible for weeknight dinners.
The nuoc cham dressing uses only four simple ingredients, making this recipe oh-so-easy to make again and again!
This incredibly easy and refreshing Vietnamese Noodle Salad is a perfect recipe when it's hot outside or you're in a time crunch. We love that the leftovers make a perfect no-heat lunch the next day and travels well!
This Vietnamese-inspired noodle bowl with nuoc cham dressing recipe was inspired by a takeout noodle salad at a Vietnamese street food vendor in downtown Seattle.
You need 12 ingredients to make this amazing Vietnamese noodle bowl:
Chicken, Marinade, and Nuoc Cham Dressing Ingredients
- chicken breasts
- avocado or other neutral cooking oil
- fish sauce
- chili garlic sauce
- vermicelli rice noodles
- coleslaw mix to make it easy, or sliced cabbage
- fresh mint leaves
- fresh cilantro leaves
See recipe card for quantities.
Only four simple steps are needed to make this amazing gluten-free salad recipe!
Marinade the Chicken: Add chicken and marinade to a bowl and mix to coat the chicken pieces. Let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to overnight.
Cook the Chicken: Heat a skillet to medium high heat and add the chicken pieces and marinade. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side to seal in the moisture, then add a lid and cook for 3-4 minutes more on each side until cooked through. Then remove the lid to allow the liquid to evaporate and cook for another 1-2 minutes per side for a nice golden crust.
Food safety tip: The safe internal cooking temperature for chicken is 165 degrees F or higher.
Make the noodles: Meanwhile, add boiling water to a bowl or pot of rice vermicelli noodles and allow to sit for 1-2 minutes until al dente. Then drain the noodles and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
Nuoc Cham Dressing: Mix all dressing ingredients together in a jar or small bowl.
Assemble: To construct the noodle bowls, combine the cooled rice noodles, cucumber, coleslaw mix, fresh cilantro, mint, and lime wedges in a bowl. Top with sliced chicken and crushed peanuts if desired. Add dressing and enjoy!
- Make it your own - add carrots, sugar snap peas, or other crisp veggies!
- No Fish Sauce - swap fish sauce for soy sauce or coconut aminos. Fish sauce is the most authentic and our recommendation if it fits your diet.
- Vegan - use edamame or marinated and fried tofu in place of chicken, and soy sauce or coconut aminos instead of fish sauce for a tasty vegan alternative.
We made the quick and easy version, but if you're looking for the more authentic version, check out this similar recipe with Lemongrass Chicken from Recipe Tin Eats.
- airtight container for marinading the chicken
- jar or small bowl for the nuoc cham dressing
- medium bowl or pot for the rice noodles
- serving bowls
Salad bowls can be pre-assembled and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
The chicken is best with a golden crust.
It's definitely worth the extra few minutes to get that super flavorful crust on the chicken! Follow our instructions carefully if this is a new skill for you.
Make it your own.
Add julienned carrots, chopped peanuts, mung bean sprouts, or keep it super simple with the ingredients as listed! The cucumber is a must and you won't get the same results without lime juice and zest, but otherwise this recipe is perfect for minor alterations based on what you have on hand.
Rinse rice noodles with cold water to stop the cooking.
If you don't like mushy fall-apart rice noodles like me, make sure to transfer them to a strainer and rinse with cold water as soon as they hit your desired consistency.
More Easy Dinner Recipes you'll love:
- Super Addictive Thai Chicken Soup
- Greek Tahini Pasta Salad
- Rice Paper Wraps with Tangy Peanut Sauce
- Creamy Avocado Pasta
- Flashy Vegan Vodka Pasta from your pantry