Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Tahini Dressing

A light and fresh Vietnamese Noodle Salad with vermicelli rice noodles and fresh vegetables tossed with a delicious tahini dressing. Make this vegetarian and gluten-free salad recipe for a quick Summer lunch.a bowl of Vietnamese Noodle Salad on a white tabletop with a small dish with tahini dressing and some fresh cilantro in the background

Vietnamese food is one of my very favorite things to eat out: it’s fresh, bursting with flavors and relatively healthy compared to other dining options. Which means I can go more often!

99% of the time, I will order a bun bo: a dish made of rice vermicelli noodles topped with raw carrot, cucumber, fried shallots, peanuts and cooked beef, served with a sweet sauce.

It’s to die for and…you guessed it, today’s Vietnamese Noodle Salad is directly inspired by this restaurant favorite!

close-up of Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Tahini Dressing  topped with fresh chopped veggies and peanuts

The store was out of the vermicelli noodles I was looking for so I used these linguine-style rice noodles instead and it worked perfectly.

I skipped the meat altogether to make this Vietnamese Noodle Salad vegetarian but feel free to add cooked chicken, beef or pork to up the protein content of this healthy Asian dish.

If you happen to have fried spring rolls on hand – you never know – then throw them into the bowl too, it’s muy delicioso! Oh and I also used raw shallots instead of the fried ones because of

  1. Hello! less fat and fewer calories, thank you!
  2. It adds some “freshness” to the dish and I like that!

The tahini sauce I made is absolutely not the traditional one served with Vietnamese Noodle Salad (bun bo) but I have a weakness for tahini sauce and I figured it would be perfect with these ingredients. I’ll let you be the judge of that but me thinks it was really good!

Note that if you want to make this Vegetarian Bun Bo ahead of time, you can prep all the ingredients separately and just toss them with the tahini dressing right before serving!

a bowl of Vietnamese Noodle Salad tossed with Tahini Dressing and topped with chopped peanuts, with red chopsticks on the side

If you tried this Vietnamese Noodle Salad recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!

Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Tahini Dressing -
5 from 1 vote

Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Tahini Dressing

A light and fresh Vietnamese Noodle Salad with vermicelli rice noodles and fresh vegetables tossed with a delicious tahini dressing. Make this vegetarian and gluten-free salad recipe for a quick Summer lunch.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Vietnamese
Keyword #glutenfreedessert, dressing, easy, healthy, noodles, salad, summer, tahini, vegetarian, vermicelli
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 430 kcal


For the salad:

  • 14 oz rice noodles 400 g
  • 1 English cucumber peeled
  • 1 large carrot peeled
  • 5 tsp shallot minced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves heaping cup, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves heaping cup, roughly chopped
  • 5 tbsp roasted peanuts chopped
  • 1 small chili chopped - optional, quantity to taste - remove seeds for less heat

For the dressing

  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 2 tbsp tahini I used unhulled - also known as sesame paste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce tamari for gluten free
  • 1 tsp fish sauce leave out for vegetarian
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • salt to taste


For the salad:

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. To speed up the process, you can also add just about a cup of water in the bottom of the pot, turn on the heat and boil the remaining water in a kettle. When the water boils in the kettle, transfer it to the pot. It will boil almost instantly.
  2. Add noodles and cook for 6 minutes or according to package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse immediately under cold water to stop the cooking process. Spread noodles on a clean cloth to dry.
  3. While the water is boiling and the noodles are cooking, prepare the other ingredients for the salad. Cut the cucumber into small and thin sticks. Grate the carrot (using the bigger hole), and soak up the moisture with paper towel. Prepare remaining ingredients as mentioned in the ingredient list.

For the dressing:

  1.  Combine all the ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. I used my mini-blender for that, super convenient for small quantities! You can also use a bowl and a whisk but make sure it's really smooth.


  1. Arrange noodles in five bowls or plates. Top with cucumber, carrot, shallot, cilantro, mint, peanuts and chili if using. Serve immediately with the dressing on the side.
  2. If you want to make this salad ahead of time, prepare all the ingredients but assemble and add the dressing at the last minute.

Nutrition Facts
Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Tahini Dressing
Amount Per Serving (1 /4th)
Calories 430 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 697mg30%
Potassium 293mg8%
Carbohydrates 80g27%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 2195IU44%
Vitamin C 15.8mg19%
Calcium 45mg5%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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posted in
Clean Eating Dairy Free Gluten free Main Dishes Recipes Refined Sugar Free Salads Sauces Vegetarian
  1. This sounds delicious, although I would have to use less mint to get my husband to eat it. And I would definitely add meat to it. Using a tahini dressing on a Vietnamese salad would be fusion cuisine. Love the mixing of flavors from a couple of places in the world.

    1. You can definitely add less mint, but I would use more cilantro then. I think fresh herbs really make this dish! My favorite meat to add is thinly cut beef but it’s also good with chicken. You’re right, it’s definitely fusion cuisine, I love getting inspiration from all over the world! Thanks for stopping by Susan, I hope you are well 🙂

  2. I love how light and healthy Vietnamese cuisine can be! This is the perfect example. And to be honest, I’d take a creamy tahini dressing over those Vietnamese fish sauce dressings any day.

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