Perfect Picnic Dinner | Soba Noodle Salad

Ali Hedin | Soba Noodle Salad

Every spring I make a salad like this at least once a week. We have three kids on three different baseball teams that each play at least two games a week - sometimes three games a week! It means we don’t eat dinner at home all spring. If we do eat dinner at home, it’s at 4:30pm or at 9pm. None of those options seem great.

A few year ago I started packing a picnic basket with dinner for the family. My Ultimate BLT sandwiches came out of that era - and now another option. We stopped eating bread a few years ago and it can make picnicking really challenging. Most picnic food is sandwiches (because that’s what’s easy) or it’s a “light salad” that doesn’t really hit the spot.

This last year I focused in on creating something that was filling, full of protein, and had enough vegetables to count as “full of vegetables.” This salad has been the perfect solution. I usually make it with the soba noodles but you can swap out rice noodles or just spaghetti if that’s what you have on hand.

Ali Hedin | Soba Noodle Salad
Ali Hedin | Soba Noodle Salad


serves 4


Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the soba noodles according to package instructions



Chop the cilantro and green onions and shred the carrot.



Drain the noodles – saving some of the water - and reserve them in the strainer.

In the hot pan, combine the tahini, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, sriracha, and ¼ cup of pasta water.  Whisk the sauce then toss the noodles into the pan.  If they appear dry, add more pasta water.



Add the vegetables, bean sprouts, and shredded chicken (or tofu) and serve immediately.  

2 bundles soba noodles

¼ cup tahini

2 tbs soy sauce

2 tbs rice vinegar

2 cloves garlic, grated

1 tbs fresh ginger, grated

½ tsp sriracha

1 carrot, shredded

3 green onions, greens & whites chopped

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 cup bean sprouts

2 cups shredded chicken

Ali Hedin | Soba Noodle Salad