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I first tasted Chinese ramen noodle coleslaw at a church potluck almost 15 years ago, and I was instantly hooked. With crisp shredded cabbage and carrots, toasted almonds, and crunchy ramen noodles in a sweet and savory sesame dressing, the Chinese coleslaw is a perfect addition to almost any picnic, cookout, or family dinner.

Close up image of chinese ramen noodle coleslaw on a wooden table with cornbread and fried chicken in the background.
Table of Contents
  1. Why You’ll Love this Recipe
  2. Ingredients
  3. How to QUickly Toast Almonds
  4. Directions
  5. Serving Suggestions
  6. Storage Tips
  7. Recipe Variations
  8. Chinese Ramen Noodle Coleslaw Recipe

If you love cabbage recipes, be sure to try this one-skillet “egg roll in a bowl,” this easy dump-and-bake egg roll casserole, a pan of fried cabbage with apples and onion, and this braised cabbage with apples and bacon, too!

Thanks so much for this recipe, it was quick to prepare ( I even could have toasted the slivered almonds in advance to make it even more quickly), it was well eaten at the potluck dinner I took it to, and someone asked for the recipe! Definitely making again!

– Ann M.

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Easy. As the warm weather sets in for the season, we often turn to cool, simple, make-ahead recipes that don’t require much sweat or time in the kitchen. This Chinese coleslaw comes together in about 10 minutes, thanks to a handful of store-bought shortcuts like a bag of coleslaw mix and a package of ramen noodles. No oven and no cooking required!
  • So much flavor and texture. The almonds, crunchy salad noodles, crisp veggies, and zesty dressing provide a variety of flavors and textures in every bite! It’s sweet, salty, savory, and refreshing.
  • Versatile. Serve the ramen noodle coleslaw as a side dish with grilled chicken thighs, marinated flank steak, grilled marinated shrimp, or Mississippi pulled pork, or add chicken or other meat to the salad and turn it into a light dinner entrée.
Process shot showing how to make chinese coleslaw with a package of ramen noodles and coleslaw mix.

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a batch of Chinese coleslaw. As always, specific measurements and complete step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Coleslaw mix: I use a package of store-bought cole slaw mix for convenience. Swap out the coleslaw mix for an equal amount of broccoli slaw, which you can purchase in packages at most grocery stores. You can also finely shred your own cabbage and carrots. You’ll need about 6 ¾ cups shredded veggies altogether.
  • Green onions: for savory flavor.
  • Chicken flavor ramen noodles: you don’t even need to cook the noodles — just break them up into smaller pieces. The noodles will soften slightly in the dressing, and will add great crunch to the salad. Save the seasoning packet, because you’ll use it in the salad dressing.
  • Sugar: to sweeten the dressing.
  • Vegetable oil: or another neutral oil, such as canola oil or avocado oil, for the dressing.
  • Sesame oil: adds a unique, toasty, nutty Asian flavor to the dressing. Don’t omit this essential ingredient!
  • Seasoned rice vinegar (or rice wine vinegar): for acidic tang in the dressing. You can substitute with apple cider vinegar in a pinch.
  • Slivered almonds: toast the nuts before adding them to the salad. Roasted, salted sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, or cashews are also nice substitutes for the almonds.
Shaking together the dressing for ramen noodle coleslaw.

How to QUickly Toast Almonds

Toast almonds really quickly in the microwave by placing them on a microwave-safe plate and cooking them on high for about 1 minute. Allow the almonds to cool completely before stirring them into the salad. They add the perfect finishing buttery, nutty, crunch!

Alternatively, you can toast the almonds in a dry skillet over very low heat, just until fragrant. Be careful not to let them burn.

Process shot showing how to make chinese coleslaw.

Directions

The best oriental coleslaw recipe comes together so easily! You’ll find the detailed directions in the recipe card below, but here’s the overview with my notes:

  1. Combine the coleslaw, green onions, and crushed ramen noodles in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk (or shake in a mason jar with a lid) the sugar, vegetable oil, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and ramen seasoning packet to make the dressing.
  3. Toss the dressing with the coleslaw mixture, cover, and refrigerate. Chill for at least an hour (or overnight) for the ramen noodle coleslaw to sit and marinate in the refrigerator. This will give the vegetables and the dry ramen a chance to absorb the flavors in the dressing, and will allow the noodles to soften slightly.
  4. Just before serving, stir in ½ cup of toasted sliced almonds or roasted sunflower seeds.
Square overhead image of hands serving a bowl of chinese ramen noodle coleslaw.

Serving Suggestions

For your next weeknight dinner, serve the Chinese coleslaw alongside entrees such as honey garlic shrimp, chicken and broccoli stir fry, 10-minute ground beef teriyaki, dump-and-bake sweet and sour chicken, dump-and-bake General Tso chicken, or this baked teriyaki chicken. It’s also a perfectly cool contrast to fried chicken (shown here) and Southern corn sticks!

Storage Tips

  • Make Ahead: You can prepare the simple ramen noodle coleslaw up to 24 hours in advance, although my preference is to enjoy the salad within about 6 hours.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Do not freeze the Chinese coleslaw, as the vegetables will get watery and mushy when thawed.
Close up side shot of a bowl of ramen noodle coleslaw on a wooden table.

Recipe Variations

  • Turn this ramen noodle coleslaw recipe into a main course by adding some pulled or sliced rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken, or roasted chicken. Another protein, like shrimp, will also work!
  • Add a tablespoon soy sauce to the dressing for even more salty, umami flavor. Some ginger or garlic would also be nice touches.
  • For some added sweetness, stir in mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, or peas.
  • Diced or matchstick cucumber, edamame, red bell pepper, or fresh cilantro would also be a nice addition to the cool, crunchy ramen slaw.
Overhead shot of a bowl of chinese coleslaw on a wooden table.

More Coleslaw Recipes to Try

Square overhead image of hands serving a bowl of chinese ramen noodle coleslaw.

Chinese Ramen Noodle Coleslaw

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total: 10 minutes
Servings 6 cups
Calories 193.2 kcal
This ramen noodle coleslaw is an easy side dish alongside any Asian meal, or a simple dinner when you add chicken to the mix!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (14 ounce) bag coleslaw mix
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 (3 ounce) package chicken-flavored ramen noodles
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, canola oil, or avocado oil (or other mild salad oil)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar (can substitute with apple cider vinegar)
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) slivered almonds, toasted* (optional)

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine coleslaw, green onions, and crumbled, uncooked ramen noodles.
    Process shot showing how to make chinese coleslaw with a package of ramen noodles and coleslaw mix.
  • In a small bowl (or in a mason jar), whisk or shake together the sugar, vegetable oil, sesame oil, vinegar, and seasoning packet from the ramen noodles.
    Shaking together the dressing for ramen noodle coleslaw.
  • Pour dressing over coleslaw mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour before serving.
    Process shot showing how to make chinese coleslaw.
  • Just before serving, stir in almonds if desired.
    Square overhead image of hands serving a bowl of chinese ramen noodle coleslaw.

Notes

  • The sesame oil adds a unique, toasty, nutty Asian flavor to the dressing. Don’t omit this essential ingredient.
  • Chill for at least an hour (or overnight) to allow the coleslaw to sit and marinate in the fridge. This will give the vegetables and the dry ramen a chance to absorb the flavors in the dressing, and will allow the noodles to soften slightly.
  • Toast almonds really quickly in the microwave by placing them on a microwave-safe plate and cooking them on high for about 1 minute. Allow the almonds to cool completely before stirring them into the salad.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 193.2kcalCarbohydrates: 18.7gProtein: 4.1gFat: 11.9gSaturated Fat: 2.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2.6gSodium: 292.2mgPotassium: 3.9mgFiber: 3.2gSugar: 7.2g
Keyword: Chicken Ramen Noodle Salad, chinese coleslaw, ramen noodle coleslaw, Ramen Noodle Salad
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Asian
Author: Blair Lonergan

This post was originally published in May, 2013. It was updated in May, 2024.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. Susan Hamilton says:

    5 stars
    Very good and tasty!!

  2. Joanne says:

    appreciate the pictures

  3. Marion says:

    Unique, interesting salad. I’ve never seen it before! I’ll have to try it!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      I hope you will, Marion! 🙂

  4. Sandy says:

    5 stars
    Similar to another salad I make, and I am anxious to try it. Can it be made ahead and stored in the cooler? I mean more than the 1 hour in the recipe. Thanks

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Hi, Sandy! Yes, it will definitely be fine if you make it ahead of time. It’s similar to coleslaw — the cabbage and ramen will just soften a bit more as it sits. I often enjoy leftovers for a couple of days without any issues. Hope you enjoy it!

  5. Ann M. says:

    5 stars
    Thanks so much for this recipe, it was quick to prepare ( I even could have toasted the slivered almonds in advance to make it even more quickly), it was well eaten at the potluck dinner I took it to, and someone asked for the recipe! Definitely making again!

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Thank you for trying it out, Ann! We’re so happy to hear it was a hit!