6 Cozy Recipes Starring Soba Noodles, the Protein-Rich Pasta That Cooks in 3 Minutes

Photo: Stocksy/Nataša Mandić
Noodles have so much to offer: they're simple to cook, versatile, serve a crowd, and are endlessly comforting to eat. And soba noodle recipes have much to offer in terms of nutritional value. And seeing as we love to get as much mileage out of our healthy ingredients as possible, it's easy to understand why soba noodles are at the top of our list of staple pantry items these days: they're packed with anti-inflammatory and nutrient-rich buckwheat.

To help you make the most of this superstar ingredient, we’ve rounded up a few soba noodle recipe ideas that highlight the almighty buckwheat pasta in its many forms. Promise you'll find plenty to noodle on ahead.

Experts In This Article

Soba noodle 101: What is soba, and what soba noodles are made of

Soba is buckwheat flour-based type of noodle that originates from Japan. In terms of shape and size, soba noodles are round and thin, slightly thinner in diameter than spaghetti. Soba noodles bare an inviting deep brown hue

Thanks to their rich buckwheat base, soba noodles bare a deep brown hue, tender-chewy texture, and have a deliciously nutty, mild flavor. The versatility of the soba noodle is distinct; you can incorporate them into nearly any savory dish without overpowering it. Soba noodle recipes are served both cold with sauce or hot, in a soup broth similar to—but distinctly different from—ramen.

The recipe for making soba noodles from scratch is a basic buckwheat flour-plus-water situation, but the process itself is time-consuming and fairly advanced. Fortunately, you can find dried soba noodles at most grocery stores or available on Amazon, and they're incredibly easy to cook at home. In fact, dried soba noodles require a maximum of roughly three minutes in boiling water—and if you prefer them more al dente, we’d recommend something closer to two and a half minutes.

Given the speed in which you can prep them, it's difficult to make the case that you don't have ample time to get a delicious soba noodle dish on the table tonight, right? (We're talking a baseline of five minutes here, folks!)

Health benefits of soba noodles

1. Soba is gluten-free, and rich in plant-based protein and fiber

The main ingredient, buckwheat, is what gives these noodles their impressive health benefits. “Buckwheat is, for starters, an excellent whole-grain noodle base for individuals that follow a gluten-free diet," says Angie Asche, MS, RD, CSSD. "But soba noodles are also a great source of plant-based protein and contain both fiber and essential minerals, such as iron and zinc."

Here are nutrition facts for buckwheat soba noodles per 100-gram serving, according to the USDA:

  • 14.5 grams of protein
  • 58 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2.5 grams of fiber
  • 58 milligrams of calcium
  • 2.7 milligrams of iron

2. Soba noodles contain essential vitamins and minerals

In addition to soba's high fiber and mineral content, buckwheat is also a good source of thiamin, adds Maggie Michalczyk, RDN. “Thiamin is an important B vitamin that our bodies need for energy production," Michalczyk says. She also adds that due to soba noodles' higher protein and fiber content than noodles made from refined wheat flour, they are better for blood sugar control than traditional pasta. "The fiber helps to prevent a blood sugar spike."

“Buckwheat is, for starters, an excellent whole-grain noodle base for individuals that follow a gluten-free diet. But soba noodles are also a great source of plant-based protein and contain both fiber and essential minerals, such as iron and zinc." —Angie Asche, MS, RD, CSSD

3. Soba noodles offer anti-inflammatory benefits

Additionally, buckwheat is linked to positive heart health benefits. “Buckwheat's flavonoid content1 has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties2 that could help cardiovascular function by helping to lower blood pressure and fight free-radical damage in the body," Michalczyk says.

6 protein-packed, anti-inflammatory soba noodle recipes to try tonight

1. Spicy Thai Red Curry Noodles

Photo: Once Upon a Pumpkin

The warmth and spice that the red curry-based spicy red pepper sauce brings to this dish is so comforting. "Bursting with flavor and heat, it’s perfect on noodles with extra veggies for a meal," Michalczyk says. And of course, you can never go wrong with the healthy fats and delicious plant-based creaminess provided by coconut milk—soba noodles absolutely sing when swimming in this stuff. Feel free to stir in whatever veggies you have in your crisper drawer: broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, or eggplant would all work equally well alongside your spicy soba. Want some more spice in your life? Try this five-ingredient soba noodles with spicy chili sauce recipe next.

Get the recipe: Spicy Thai Red Curry Noodles 

soba noodle recipe spicy peanut
Photo: Pinch of Yum

2. Spicy Peanut Soba Noodle Bowl

There are so many things to love about this recipe by Pinch of Yum, but we're particularly focused on the perfectly balanced salty, nutty, and umami-forward flavor profile and the nice amount of protein you'll reap from the soba noodles, peanut butter, veggies, and peanuts. To dial up the protein content even more, stir in chicken, tofu, salmon, or scrambled eggs... the world is your oyster. The best part of all, however, is the fact that this delicious noodle bowl takes just 25 minutes to make thanks to the soba noodle base.

Get the recipe: Spicy Peanut Soba Noodle Bowl

3. Soba Noodle Soup

soba noodle recipes
Photo: Rasa Malaysia

Another excellent 15-minute soba noodle recipe by Rasa Malaysia comes in the form of this warming, soul-soothing soup, which is perfect for a cold day (or a cold). You need minimal ingredients for this easy-to-make recipe, and you can always jazz it up by adding your favorite toppings and condiments. We're partial to sriracha, a squeeze of lime, and a generous shower of fresh cilantro.

Get the recipe: Soba Noodle Soup

4. 10-Minute Zaru Soba (Cold Soba Noodles)

soba noodle recipes
Photo: Cookerru

This traditional preparation of soba noodles calls for a dipping sauce that gives your soba noodles some additional moisture and flavor, as is done in this recipe by Cookerru. Without any hot components to speak of, this is a top-notch dish for a sweltering summer day (it's basically the dream beach picnic nosh, just saying), or for a day that you’re just running a bit behind. You can also customize the toppings to fit your tastes—try adding some sauteed tofu or soft-boiled egg on top. Looking for another equally as refreshing dish? This tasty soba noodle salad recipe is calling your name.

Get the recipe: 10-minute Zaru Soba

5. Soba Noodle Veggie Stir-Fry

soba noodle recipes
Photo: Skinny Taste

You need just 10 minutes to make this delicious vegetarian stir-fry by Skinny Taste, which is packed with peanutty, garlic, and ginger-forward flavor and major anti-inflammatory benefits. You can adjust the amount of sriracha you add to the final product based on your heat tolerance, and feel free to mix up the veggies as well. While this stir fry is meant to be served warm, it tastes great cold, too.

Get the recipe: Soba Noodle Veggie Stir-Fry

6. Sesame Soba Noodles

soba noodle recipes
Photo: Love and Lemons

There are few flavor combinations more winning than sesame and soba, and this recipe by Love and Lemons does justice to the marriage. Go heavy on the sesame dressing if you like a bit more nutty oomph to your final product, and like the aforementioned stir-fry, this is one dish that is delicious both hot and cold. We love that it also incorporates avocado, edamame, and (gorgeous) watermelon radishes for big-time cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory benefits. Swoon.

Get the recipe: Sesame Soba Noodles

This delicious pickled chickpea tsukemen recipe featuring soba is ready in just under 30 minutes:

Well+Good articles reference scientific, reliable, recent, robust studies to back up the information we share. You can trust us along your wellness journey.
  1. Li, Jing et al. “Analysis of Flavonoid Metabolites in Buckwheat Leaves Using UPLC-ESI-MS/MS.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 24,7 1310. 3 Apr. 2019, doi:10.3390/molecules24071310
  2. Giménez-Bastida, J A et al. “Buckwheat and buckwheat enriched products exert an anti-inflammatory effect on the myofibroblasts of colon CCD-18Co.” Food & function vol. 9,6 (2018): 3387-3397. doi:10.1039/c8fo00193f

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