This Asian Orange Sesame Zoodle Salad is bursting with fresh flavors, crunch, and color. It’s so fun to eat, and is more like eating an Asian noodle dish than a salad. If you’re bored with lettuce, up your salad game with spiralized veggies.
A Healthy Spiralized Zucchini Salad
Freezer meals are great for convenience, but on days I have time to prepare my meals, I am all about fresh produce.
Last summer, while I was home visiting my mom, she and I were on a cucumber-noodle binge. We used them as the base of salads and both totally fell in love with how delicious and fun to eat they were. If you’d like a cucumber noodle dish, try my Spiralized Cucumber Waldorf Chicken Salad, or my Refreshingly Light Raw Pasta Primavera. These are such refreshing options for when the temperatures rise!
I’ve had a spiralizer for years. I’ve used it mostly for butternut squash noodles! I actually didn’t use my spiralizer often until I bought an OXO last year. My previous one just wouldn’t suction to the counter well, and it was a hassle and hurt my hands to use. The OXO is amazing! It holds so firmly to my counter tops, even hard veggies like beets and butternut are a snap. If you’re wanting lighter, lower carb meals, you won’t mind having to find space for this little kitchen tool. Having one that is easy to use and easy to clean will make you want to use it more!
A Creamy Vegan Tahini Dressing
I have been using tahini a lot lately as a salad dressing. I made this beautiful salad for Instagram a few weeks ago, and I decided I needed to do a slightly-more-complex version of it for my blog. Something a little more show worthy.
Speaking of Instagram and Facebook, if you don’t already follow me on those platforms, I have started adding animations of everyday fresh meals that take less than 10 minutes to put together (if you have a few things meal prepped). If you’re interested in getting inspired to make simple, healthy, fresh lunches, check those pages out!
Tips for Asian Orange Sesame Zoodle Salad
- Invest in a good quality spiralizer, and I guarantee the ease of use will inspire you to use it more often! Spiralized veggies are so much fun to eat — and these raw zucchini noodles soak in the flavor of the dressing and it really feels like you’re eating a cold noodle dish. I use an OXO Spiralizer now because it’s so much easier to use than the Paderno I used to have.
- Save time: If you need to make this salad quicker, use pre-shredded carrots and a can of mandarin oranges in JUICE, not in syrup. The fresh oranges are the most time consuming part of this recipe, although I really love the fresh ones the best.
- Make it Ahead: If you’d like to make this ahead of time, no problem, but don’t dress the salad until you’re ready to serve, and keep the nuts/seeds separate for a crunchy topping. We ate the leftover of this salad in the evening after having it for lunch one day, and I was pleasantly surprised how crisp the veggies were after being dressed all day. The baby swiss chard even stayed crisp– arugula and spinach would not, if you use one of those as a sub.
- Increase the Protein: This salad would be great topped with chicken or salmon, but most often I just eat it as a light lunch. The nuts and tahini add a bit of protein and the healthy fats make it satiating.
Asian Orange Sesame Zoodle Salad
- 1 large zucchini (or 2 smaller ones)
- 1 large carrot
- 2 bell peppers (I used 1 yellow, 1 red)
- 3 cups baby swiss chard (sub arugula or spinach)
- 2 large oranges, peeled and sectioned*
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
- 1/4 cup +1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon date syrup
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or a bit less, depending on taste)
- Spiralize zuccchini. I recommend using 1 large zucchini to get the best "noodles."
- Peel carrot, and use a veggie peeler to create long strands.
- Slice bell peppers in thin strips.
- Cut the peel off the orange, and then use a knife to remove sections, leaving the pith behind.
- In a large salad bowl, add zucchini noodles, carrot strands, peppers, and orange segments. Add baby swiss chard (or arugula or spinach), and chopped cilantro.
- In a small jar, add all dressing ingredients, and shake well. Taste, and adjust salt to your tastes. I recommend starting with about 1/8, and adding more to taste. The sweet/salty/tangy flavor profiles are what make this dressing so addictive, so I don't recommend leaving it out entirely!
- When ready to serve, add dressing to salad ingredients, and toss. Top with almonds and sesame seeds.
- This salad is great right after it's dressed. Baby swiss chard stays crunchy for hours after it's dressed, so it's fine to eat leftovers the next day. If you think there will be leftovers, do not add spinach or arugula to the mix (you can just add to your plate to serve), because those both get very soggy after being dressed.
- Serve for a light lunch or summer dinner on it's own, or add chicken or salmon for a delicious summery meal.
Other Similar Recipes:
- Spiralized Apple Cranberry Salad, by The Creative Bite
- Zesty Mango Spiralized Cucumber Salad, by Cotter Crunch
- Spiralized Cucumber Chicken Waldorf Salad, by Vitamin Sunshine
- Refreshingly Light Raw Pasta Primavera, by Vitamin Sunshine
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Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
O one of my family’s favorite spiralized recipes is my spiralized thai salad! Spiralized salads are so good for summer 🙂
They are! My husband isn’t a big fan of lettuce but he loves stuff like this.
Hi, Salad looks so good. No date syrup……any substitute? Thanks
Hi Patricia! Yes, I use honey and date syrup interchangeably– both will work in any of my recipes. I just recently started using date syrup and I actually prefer the flavor to honey, so use it mostly now. Nutritionally speaking, I am not sure there is much of a difference, especially in small amounts like in this dressing. I am sure maple syrup would also work in this dressing.
Lisa | Garlic & Zest says
This is EXACTLY the way we like to eat! Love those fresh flavors and that outstanding tahini dressing! I’ve never used the coconut aminos or date syrup that you mentioned. Where can I find that?
Coconut aminos you can buy at Whole Foods type stores (where you would buy soy sauce), and date syrup– when I am in the States I buy it on Amazon (but I’ve never looked at Whole Foods), and when I am in Malaysia they sell it at fruit stands. You can sub soy sauce or tamari for the coconut aminos (I prefer soy-free alternatives), and honey for the date syrup, and the dressing would be pretty much the same!
I love how colorful and fresh all these ingredients are. It’s a perfect salad for summer!
I totally agree! I’ve been putting grilled salmon with this salad and it’s such a healthy and fun dinner.
Susan Arin says
We are planning to try this delicious dish now that we have a spiralizer. Are coconut aminos similar in flavor to Liquid Aminos? Thanks for all the great veggie ideas, Michelle!
Coconut aminos are another gluten free soy sauce sub, like tamari. I prefer coconut aminos because they are also soy free. Liquid aminos should work fine though! I find the coconut aminos aren’t quite as salty, so you might start with a bit less, or cut back on the sea salt in this dressing. Enjoy this!
This is my kind of salad. I’m obsessed with zoodles lately and I put tahini in everything too. What a gorgeous healthy dish!
I’ve bought tahini for years and just used it in hummus– lately I’ve discovered what an amazing salad dressing it makes, and I’ve also been drizzling it on waffles with sliced bananas– such a yummy snack (and maybe I throw a few dark chocolate chips on there, too!).
Such beautiful colours in a bowl! I love the orange segments in this as they lend delicious citrus notes to the fresh ingredients.
Thanks Nicole! I love fruit in salads, and citrus may be my favorite.
Luci's Morsels says
What a great idea! This looks like the perfect, refreshing summer salad and I cannot wait to try this! I love that it is low calorie too. Thanks for sharing! Luci’s Morsels | fashion. food. frivolity.
It is a great summer salad! Thanks Luci.
Beautiful photos! This looks so healthy, bright and full of flavor, love it.
Mrs Major Hoff says
My mom is a huge salad fan, and I know she would be in heaven with this one. I can’t wait to make it when she visits!
I am visiting my mom this week and she also wants me to make this 🙂 I hope you both enjoy!
aish das-padihari says
You got me at date syrup. Dates are my all time favorite and I can eat them in any form. And the salad looks so fresh and inviting.
Date syrup is such a night light sweetener! I love the flavor– and I use dates in so many things as well 🙂
The Food Hunter says
I love your photos and this recipe
Thanks Theresa! We really love this salad.
List Of Hospitals In India says
Salad looks awesome.