Cucumbers and red bell peppers belong together, and not just on a veggie tray. When spiralized, these two vegetables present an entirely new experience we so creatively call Sesame Cucumber and Red Pepper Noodle Salad. The cucumbers take the place of grain-based noodles in this cold noodle classic, with a cool crunch that offsets the mild heat of the dressing. The bell pepper becomes a gorgeous thin ribbon that adds flavor and plate appeal. We added marinated and grilled chicken for protein, but it can be omitted for a vegan option.
This salad can be served dressed and tossed or stored as individual components for lunch prep and bento boxes. Make the marinade/dressing and marinate the chicken one night in advance. All other prep can be finished by the time the chicken is done cooking, making this a fast and easy weeknight meal. Oh yeah, it’s crazy good, too.Print
Sesame Cucumber and Red Pepper Noodle Salad
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 3 English cucumbers, spiralized
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, divided lobe and tip (omit for vegan option)
- 2 garlic cloves, divided and minced
- 2 red bell peppers, deseeded and spiralized
- 4 tbsp coconut aminos, divided
- 3 tbsp tahini paste
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp avocado or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
- 1 tsp garlic chili sauce (more to taste)
- 1/8 tsp ground coriander, divided
- Generous pinches each of salt, ground black pepper
- Optional: Sesame seeds, sliced green onions, sriracha sauce for garnish
For the Marinade/Dressing
To a large zip-top freezer bag, add chicken, one minced garlic clove, the sliced onions, a tablespoon avocado or extra-virgin olive oil, half of the coriander and a small pinch of salt and ground black pepper. Close bag and massage to coat evenly. Set aside.
In a 16-ounce mason jar with a lid or a bullet blender cup, combine the remaining garlic, coconut aminos, vinegar, tahini, sesame oil, ginger, garlic chili sauce, remaining ground coriander, and a pinch each of salt and ground black pepper. Shake or pulse until fully combined, then taste to test for heat preference and add more garlic chili sauce if necessary. Shake or pulse again, then add 1/3 of the mixture to the zip top bag.
Remove air from bag, seal, and massage to coat evenly. Marinate at least an hour, preferably overnight. Refrigerate the remaining dressing in an airtight container until ready to use.
For the Chicken
- Place oven rack at center position and preheat to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a rack on top. Place chicken on the rack and bake until internal temperature is 160 degrees F (be sure to check the thickest part of each piece), 25-30 minutes. Discard the leftover marinade.
- Remove from oven, tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes, then slice or shred.
For the Veggies
- While the chicken is cooking, line a large baking tray with paper towels. Spiralize the cucumbers with a spaghetti blade and lay on the prepared tray in a single layer.
- Cut the tops off of the red peppers and remove seeds and white veins. Spiralize the peppers with a flat, single blade, and place in a bowl. Refrigerate cucumbers and peppers until ready to assemble salad.
Putting it Together
- After the chicken has cooked and rested, slice each section (there should be four) into 4/1-inch slices.
- Place the spiralized cucumbers in a large bowl. Stir or shake dressing well, then pour over the cucumbers and toss to coat evenly.
- Divide the spiralized peppers between four bowls or plates, then top with the dressed cucumbers, equally divided between the four servings.
- Top the vegetables with one portion of chicken per plate, then garnish with sesame seeds, additional sliced green onions, and/or sriracha sauce, as desired. Serve immediately.
If taking for lunch, keep dressing, cooked chicken, and vegetables separate until ready to eat.
Keywords: SALADS, LOW-CARB, GRAIN-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, ASIAN SALAD, TAHINI, CUCUMBER, RED BELL PEPPER, CHICKEN, COLD NOODLE SALAD, SESAME NOODLE SALAD, CUCUMBER NOODLES, PALEO, KETO, VEGAN OPTION, LEFTOVER LUNCHES, WEEKNIGHT MEALS, LUNCH PREP, QUICK MEALS, CELIAC-FRIENDLY