These cold sesame noodle meal prep bowls are the perfect vegan prep ahead lunch: spiralized vegetables tossed with chickpeas and whole wheat spaghetti in a spicy almond butter sauce.
Having a delicious meal prep lunch waiting for you is a great way to eat healthier and to save money. Favorites of ours include cauliflower cashew lunch bowls, as well as southwestern sweet potato lentil jar salads. These cold sesame noodle meal prep bowls are another personal and reader favorite!
With whole wheat pasta and spiralized vegetables tossed in a creamy almond butter sauce, there's a whole lot to love here. It's a great one if you don't have access to a microwave, as it tastes great served cold.
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Reasons you'll ♡ this recipe
- it's vegan, yet filling with 19 g protein per serving
- you can have the bowls prepped in under 30 minutes
- they keep well and taste great, even on day 4!
- almond butter- use all natural almond butter (the only ingredients should be almonds and maybe salt). You can swap for peanut butter; alternative nut and seed butters have not been tested.
- pasta- whole wheat pasta keeps well and provides a little extra nutrition than regular pasta; gluten-free or other alternatives have not been tested and I cannot say how they will hold up for 4 days.
- chickpeas- add protein to this meal; feel free to swap for tofu or edamame
- spiralized veggies- stir into the noodles nicely; we've used a combination of zucchini and carrots. Feel free to change it up; if you use other types of veggies such as squash you may need to cook them first.
Step by step directions
1. Cook pasta- start by cooking the pasta first, as it will take the longest to prepare. Follow package directions. When cooked through, rinse under cold water and set aside to cool completely.
2. Prepare sauce- In a jar or salad dressing shaker, stir together almond butter, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, maple syrup, lime juice and red pepper flakes.
3. Portion- Divide the almond butter sauce into condiment containers; divide chickpeas, spiralized vegetables and cooled pasta between four meal prep containers.
Cover and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
4. Serve- Remove the sauce and let it stand at room temperature for several minutes. Pour the sauce over the noodles, stir everything up, and enjoy cold!
You don't need to! They add a nice crunchy texture when mixed in with the noodles. If you'd prefer a softer texture, you could sauté for 3-5 minutes with a little bit of olive oil.
Since nut butter varies considerably in thickness with different brands and batches, you may need to thin it out. Add water by the half tablespoon, and stir until you get the consistency you are looking for.
After refrigeration, the sauce will be thick and difficult to spread; let it stand at room temperature for several minutes- up to 1 hour before drizzling on your noodles.
You might be able to freeze it without the zucchini, but I don't recommend freezing the zucchini noodles.
- zucchini & carrots- swap for thinly sliced bell pepper, cabbage, or your favorite bagged slaw,
- chickpeas- swap for chicken or edamame
- pasta- swap for quinoa, rice, farro or extra vegetable noodles
- almond butter sauce- swap for this turmeric tahini sauce
More meal prep bowls
- Grilled Veggie & Black Bean Meal Prep Bowls
- 33 Vegan Meal Prep Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
- Healthy Greek Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe
- 4 oz whole wheat spaghetti uncooked
- 1 zucchini medium-sized; spiralized
- 2 carrots spiralized or shredded
- 2 cups chickpeas 15 or 19 oz can, drained & rinsed; note 2
- green onions to garnish
- sesame seeds to garnish
Almond Butter Sauce:
- ¼ cup almond butter all natural; note 1
- 1 teaspoon ginger finely grated
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce I use reduced sodium
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional; omit for non-spicy version
- Cook pasta- start by cooking the pasta first, as it will take the longest to prepare. Follow package directions. When cooked through, rinse under cold water and set aside to cool completely.
- Prepare sauce- In a jar or salad dressing shaker, stir together almond butter, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, maple syrup, lime juice and red pepper flakes.
- Portion- Divide the almond butter sauce into condiment containers; divide chickpeas, spiralized vegetables and cooled pasta between four meal prep containers.
- To serve- Let sauce stand at room temperature for 10 minutes- 1 hour. Drizzle sauce over noodles, toss everything up, and enjoy cold.
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