These Vermicelli Noodle Bowls made with sweet chili chicken, tender rice noodles, fresh vegetables, fresh herbs, and crunchy peanuts is an easy 20-minute dinner and perfect for meal prep! Healthy, delicious, and versatile.
538 CAL 78g CARBS 6g FAT 37g PROTEIN 10
Vermicelli Noodle Bowls Recipe
If you love spring rolls, these tasty Vermicelli Noodle Bowls with sweet chili chicken are basically a spring roll in a bowl. No complicated rolling, just all those delicious flavors in a 20-minute meal that’s perfect for dinner or meal prep.
Spring rolls are a favorite in our house but some nights I don’t have the time or energy for them. On those nights, we make these Vietnamese-inspired vermicelli noodle bowls.
Set out all the ingredients and let everyone build their own bowls. Normally I serve these with sweet chili chicken but it would also be delicious with kung pao tofu, thai chicken skewers, sesame shrimp, or asian meatballs.
Then add your favorite sauce and dinner is done. We love it with the boom boom sauce included in the recipe, but make it more traditional with peanut sauce.
It’s a fun, delicious, and easy healthy meal.
Why You’ll Love Vermicelli Noodle Bowls
- Quick and easy: One of the great things about vermicelli noodles is that they only take 3 minutes to cook making these bowls really easy to make. Ready in less than 20 minutes.
- Great for meal prep: These bowls taste great warm, cold, and at room temperature making them perfect for meal prep and easy lunches.
- Spring roll in a bowl: If you love spring rolls but don’t feel like the complicated rolling, this is the recipe for you. All the same flavors without the work.
Ingredients and Easy Substitutions
- Chicken: Normally I make this with boneless skinless chicken breast. It’s also delicious with chicken thighs, shrimp, lean pork, and tofu.
- Cornstarch: Coating the chicken in cornstarch is the key to crispy chicken that gets golden brown on the edges. It also helps the sauce to stick to the chicken.
- Sweet chili sauce: This Asian sauce is sweet and slightly spicy and tastes great with all the flavors in this bowl. If you prefer, swap in any Asian inspired sauce like this teriyaki sauce or stir-fry sauce.
- Vermicelli noodles: Vermicelli noodles are very thin, rice noodles that are common in Southeast Asian cuisine. There are a few different types of vermicelli noodles, normally we use rice noodles or bean thread noodles for this recipe, but any type will work.
- Veggies: Use vegetables with lots of crunch and color for the best noodle bowls. We used carrots, cucumbers, red bell peppers, and bean sprouts since they are usually used in spring rolls. You can also use shredded cabbage, lettuce, edamame, or any other cooked or raw veggies.
- Fresh herbs: Do not skip the fresh herbs in these bowls. We like a combination of fresh basil (or Thai basil), mint, and cilantro. You could also add green onions.
- Toppings: Add some crunch with peanuts, almonds, or cashews.
- Sauce: We like these bowls with a creamy Boom Boom sauce made with Greek yogurt, sweet chili sauce, rice vinegar, and Sriracha. Or use a more traditional peanut sauce or simply an extra drizzle of sweet chili sauce.
How to Make Noodle Bowls
These bowls come together in less than 20 minutes!
1. Make the sauce and prep the vegetables
Start by getting the sauce and vegetables all prepped and ready to go. To make the sauce, combine the Greek yogurt (or mayonnaise) with sweet chili sauce, rice vinegar (or lime juice), and Sriracha for some extra heat. Taste and adjust as needed.
Get all the vegetables chopped and prepped. I like to slice everything into thin slices so I can get a little of everything in each bite.
2. Cook the vermicelli noodles
The best way to cook vermicelli noodles so that they don’t stick together or get gummy is with boiling water. Boil the water and then pour it over the noodles in a large bowl.
Let the noodles sit in the water for 3-5 minutes until tender. Make sure to check the noodles often, because they get gummy when overcooked.
Once tender, immediately run them under cold water to stop the cooking process and separate the noodles with your fingers. Add a touch of oil if you like to keep them from sticking.
3. Cook the chicken
The secret to making crispy, golden-brown chicken is adding a thin coating of cornstarch. It also helps the sauce stick to the chicken.
Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and then coat it with cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add the chicken in a single layer in the pan. Do not move the chicken. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes until it is golden brown.
Flip and cook on the other side for a couple of minutes until browned. Then pour in the sweet chili sauce and toss to coat.
4. Assemble the bowls
Build your bowls with a layer of vermicelli noodles. Then pile in the fresh vegetables and sweet chili chicken. Top with fresh mint, basil, and cilantro. Drizzle with the boom boom sauce (or peanut sauce) and peanuts.
Recipe Ideas and Variations
There are so many ways to customize this recipe with different proteins, veggies, sauces, and toppings.
- Make it vegetarian: Swap in tofu, tempeh, or edamame for a vegetarian version of these bowls. The tofu can be cooked the same way as the chicken, just press it first and cut it into cubes.
- Use peanut sauce: Spring rolls are normally served with peanut sauce. If you prefer peanut sauce, simply cook the chicken with cornstarch, garlic, salt, pepper, and a touch of soy sauce. Then drizzle peanut sauce over the vermicelli noodles and veggies.
- Low carb: Use shirataki noodles, spaghetti squash, or zucchini noodles instead of rice noodles.
- Change the protein: Switch things up and make these bowls with chicken thighs, pork, shrimp, or ground meat. It’s also delicious with lemongrass chicken or pork.
- More authentic flavor: For a more authentic Vietnamese noodle bowl, add fish sauce to your chicken or noodles. Then serve it with nuoc cham sauce on the side.
- Toppings: Switch up the toppings and use different fresh veggies, pickled veggies (like daikon or carrots), chili peppers, and more.
- Gluten-free: If you make this recipe with gluten-free rice noodles and sweet chili sauce (make sure it doesn’t contain soy sauce or MSG), this meal is naturally gluten-free. Just double-check the vermicelli noodles since some contain gluten.
Meal Prep, Leftovers, and Storage
This dish is great for meal prep and leftovers keep well in the fridge. Let everything cool completely and then store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Normally when I make this for meal prep, I store everything together and eat it cold like a noodle salad. If you prefer it warmed up, pack the vegetables, herbs, and sauce separately. Add them after heating up the chicken and noodles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making these vermicelli noodle bowls.
Generally speaking, vermicelli noodle bowls are healthy. They usually contain lots of fresh vegetables, lean protein, and a light sauce or broth. With that said, it is always important to pay attention to the ingredients in the bowls and sauce. Some bowls may contain fried spring rolls or meatballs, which can make them less healthy.
Rice noodles can be enjoyed hot or cold. Many times they are served cold in noodle bowls and salads. They are also served warm in stir-fries and soups.