This gluten-free, vegan kelp noodle salad is packed with flavor and nutrients. It combines chewy kelp noodles and crispy vegetables with a sweet and savory sesame dressing. Enjoy it as a light meal or snack, or add extra protein for a heartier option.
The best thing about this salad is that it is low carb and low calorie while still being full of taste and health benefits. Kelp noodle salad is ideal for meal prep and makes an easy lunch for one, or a fantastic potluck dish to share with a group.
Watch my short tutorial on this Healthy Kelp Noodle Salad below!
Ingredients for Kelp Noodle Salad with Cabbage and Sesame Dressing
Here are a list of the main ingredients you'll need:
- Purple cabbage (or red cabbage)
- White cabbage (or Napa cabbage)
- Green onions (both green and white parts)
- Edamame (pre-shelled, and defrosted if frozen)
- Red bell pepper
- Kelp noodles
- Sesame oil
- Rice vinegar
- Soy sauce (or Tamari for gluten free recipe)
- Agave syrup (can use pure maple syrup or neutral honey)
- Dijon mustard
- Avocado oil (can use extra virgin olive oil or other neutral oil)
- Salt and pepper
- Both white and black sesame seeds
What are Kelp Noodles?
Kelp noodles are semi-transparent noodles made from kelp, which is a brown seaweed grown in nutrient rich waters. They have a slightly chewy texture and mild flavor. Kelp noodles are high in nutritional value and are good source of calcium, iron and Vitamin K.
You can purchase kelp noodles online, at regular and whole foods grocery stores, as well as Korean and Asian stores.
There is no cooking involved with these kelp noodles. Simply take them out of the package and soak them in cold water for 5 minutes. They are ready to be added to the raw salad.
What are Edamame Beans?
Edamame beans are a type of soybean and are great source of protein, fiber, antioxidants and Vitamin K. Most grocery stores have them pre-shelled in the frozen section.
They are delicious in salads, stir fries, and make a great on-the-go snack. To defrost frozen edamame, place them in a bowl of hot water, then strain all of the excess liquid.
Please refer to recipe card below for quantities and an easy to print recipe.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING KELP NOODLE SALAD WITH CABBAGE AND SESAME DRESSING
Empty the kelp noodles out of the package and soak them in cold water for about 5 minutes. You may need to cut them if the strands are too long. Drain, then toss with the noodle dressing to let the flavors marinate.
Rinse, dry, and thinly slice the cabbage, bell pepper, and green onions. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves and add them to the large bowl. Add the defrosted edamame as well.
Now add the marinated kelp noodles to the chopped vegetables. Toss with the salad dressing.
Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and enjoy!
The vegetables in this salad can be washed, dried, and cut up to 2 days ahead of time. They should be covered and stored in the refrigerator. The dressing can be made 3 days ahead of time. Just add the dressing 15 minutes before serving.
Additions to Kelp Noodle Salad
- For extra protein: add grilled chicken, steak, tofu or tempeh, or seafood.
- For extra fiber and nutrients: add shredded cucumbers, carrots, bean sprouts, jicama, or snow peas. Fruits such as mangoes, mandarin oranges, and apples are also a great addition.
- For extra crunch: sprinkle in toasted cashews, sliced almonds, crushed peanuts, or sunflower seeds.
Sure! Adding a couple of tablespoons of nut butter to this salad will add protein and a nutty flavor profile. You may need to add a few teaspoons of water to your dressing if it becomes too thick.
You can substitute agave with sugar, honey or maple syrup.
Absolutely, this salad is full of bright flavors as it is.
You can substitute rice vinegar with regular vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice.
Yes, as long as you use gluten free soy sauce or tamari, this salad will be gluten free. All other ingredients, including the kelp noodles, are naturally gluten free and are a good option for people who are gluten-sensitive or have celiac disease. It is important to check the labels of all of your ingredients to make sure there are no added wheat products.
Did You Make the Recipe?
Superfood Kelp Noodle Salad with Cabbage and Sesame Dressing
- ½ head purple cabbage about 3 cups
- ½ head white cabbage about 3 cups
- 6 green onions green and white parts
- ½ cup frozen edamame defrosted
- 1 large red bell pepper thinly sliced
- ½ cup cilantro chopped and stems removed
- 2 cups kelp noodles packed
Dressing for noodles
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil
- ½ tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce use tamari for gluten-free recipe
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon agave syrup
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 4 tablespoon avocado oil olive or other neutral oil can be substituted
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce use tamari for gluten-free recipe
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
- salt and pepper to taste
- Soak the kelp noodles in cold water for 5 minutes, or until they are soft and pliable. Using kitchen scissors, cut the noodles into bite size pieces. Strain and remove any excess water from the noodles.
- Make the dressing for the noodles by combining the sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and agave.
- Add the dressing to the noodles and toss to coat. Allow the noodles to sit while you are cutting the vegetables.
- Cut the white and purple cabbage and red bell peppers into thin strips. Thinly slice the green onions. Roughly chop the cilantro. Place them, along with the defrosted edamame, in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the kelp noodles and salad dressing and toss. Top with the sesame seeds.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container and enjoy for several days.