This soy honey noodle salad with chicken and broccoli is an easy, healthy lunch recipe and perfect for making ahead.
Busy days driving kids around, trying to stick to your schedule and trying to get through your to-do list (that damn to-do list!) is hard enough but add the pressure of feeding your family (or just yourself) and it’s enough to tip anyone over the edge. I can’t stand the “what’s for breakfast/lunch/dinner?” I get like clockwork every day because you know what? Sometimes I don’t know. Sometimes I stand in front of the fridge willing the food inside to inspire me. That’s if I managed to make it to the supermarket.
A few weeks ago I decided to jump on the meal prep bandwagon because even though I cook and shoot food most days, there are those meals that I just never have inspiration for. Lunch happens to be one of those. It’s just way easier to buy a ready-made sandwich than to think about what to make so I decided to start prepping a few lunch options at the beginning of the week to make the after-school rush a little more bearable.
This soy honey noodle salad has proven to be a big crowd favorite. Most often I add chicken and broccoli but I’ve also kept it vegetarian at times by topping it with whatever veg I have in the fridge (sugar snaps, green beans, bell pepper and carrots all work well). It’s an easy, healthy lunch recipe that takes very little effort to prepare before I can portion it out into individual servings and store in the fridge until someone asks for something to eat. Easy peasy and absolutely delicious.
How to make noodle salad
Season boneless skinless chicken breasts with a little olive oil, salt, garlic powder and lemon juice. Cook in a hot frying pan or skillet until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the pan and allow to cool before slicing. To make the noodle salad, boil noodles of your choice (ramen noodles, udon noodles, soba noodles or egg noodles all work well) in plenty of salted boiling water. Drain and rinse with cold water then place in a bowl. Add the sesame seeds and spring / green onions. Make the salad dressing by combining the oil, soy sauce, honey, lemon juice and seasoning and mixing well. Pour the dressing over the noodles and toss to coat. Serve the noodle salad topped with cooked chicken and vegetables of your choice. Blanched broccoli, green beans, asparagus and sugar snap peas are all delicious additions.
Can you freeze noodle salad?
Noodle salad doesn’t freeze very well. You can make the salad 3-4 days ahead though if you would like to meal prep ahead.
How to cook chicken for salad
The easiest and most delicious way to cook chicken for salad is to grill or pan-fry it. Use skinless boneless chicken breasts and season generously with your favorite herbs and spices. Herbs de Provence, Italian seasoning, dried oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme and sage are all delicious on chicken. Depending on the salad you are serving the chicken with, spice your chicken using spices that will compliment the salad. Cumin, coriander, sumac, red pepper flakes/chilli flakes, paprika and Garam masala will give the chicken a lot of flavor and depth. Garlic and ginger are always a good idea too! Add a bit of acidity in the form of lemon or lime juice then cook your chicken until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. To ensure the chicken cooks even faster, you can pound the chicken breasts thin between two sheets of parchment paper or slice them in half horizontally to create two thin chicken cutlets.
Healthy lunch recipes
- Mexican chicken lunch bowls
- Curried chicken salad sandwiches
- Easy Vegetable soup
- Easy Greek chicken grain bowl
- Creamy tzatziki chicken wraps
- Pea and feta quinoa salad
Soy honey noodle salad
for the noodles
- 500 g noodles
- 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon/lime juice
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon chilli/red pepper flakes optional
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 4 spring/green onions finely chopped
for the chicken
- 4 skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons oil
- garlic powder to taste
- salt to taste
- juice of ½ lemon
- For the noodle salad: Cook the noodles in salted boiling water until al dente then drain and rinse with cold water. Place in a large bowl with the sesame seeds and spring onion.
- Combine the soy sauce, honey, lemon juice, garlic powder, vegetable oil, chilli flakes and seasoning and mix well.
- Pour ¾ the dressing over the noodles and toss to combine.
- For the chicken: Heat a large, non-stick pan and add the oil. Season the chicken with salt and garlic powder and place in the pan. Cook on both sides until golden brown and cooked through. Add the lemon juice then remove and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
- For the blanched broccoli: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the broccoli. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes then remove and place in a bowl of ice water. Drain.
- Top the dressed noodles with sliced chicken and broccoli then pour over the remaining dressing. For meal prep: Add all the elements to plastic/glass lidded containers then place in the fridge for up to 4 days.