Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Bowls

Learn how to customize your own restaurant-style Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Bowls (Bún Gà Nướng) at home with this easy recipe!

Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Bowls

Raise your hand if you’re obsessed with ordering big bowls of noodles when you go out for Vietnamese!

Meeee too. ♡♡♡

I always have major menu FOMO when trying to decide between between ordering a steaming hot bowl of phở (noodle soup) or a light and refreshing bowl of bún (noodle salad).  But hey, I’ve got good news for us all this season — I’m happy to report that I’ve finally figured out how to make both of these faves at home!  And I mean legit pho and bun recipes that taste just like the restaurant, not those close-but-not-quite homemade recipes that make you wish you had just gone out for the real deal.  I’ll report back on the pho soon, both for you meat eaters and vegetarians.

But today, let’s talk about how to make bun!  This Vietnamese noodle bowl recipe is made with all of the classics — thin rice vermicelli noodles, your choice of protein, fresh veggies piled high, lots of fresh herbs, and everyone’s favorite nước chấm (Vietnamese dipping sauce).  But if you have an extra 30 minutes to marinate your protein, holy yum, you’ve gotta try using the lemongrass marinade that I shared on the blog yesterday.  My favorite Vietnamese restaurant back in Kansas City always used to make their bun bowls with lemongrass chicken and the extra kick of fresh flavors made these bowls downright irresistible.

That said, though, the protein in these noodle bowls is completely up to you.  I made this batch with chicken, because it’s always what you all request most. ♡  But beef, pork, shrimp or tofu would also all be delicious.  The type of noodles and veggies you use can also be completely customized according to what you love best.  And for all of you fellow natural sweetener lovers, I’m also happy to report that the nuoc cham can be easily made with honey or maple syrup when you make this sauce homemade (versus the loads of sugar that are often included in restaurant versions).

Oh, and the other bonus?  These bowls taste fantastic served warm or cold.  And I can vouch that they make for fantastic easy meal prep lunches (or dinners!) for the week ahead.

Alright, enough chatting.  Let’s make some Vietnamese noodle bowls!

Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Bowls Meal Prep Containers

Vietnamese Noodle Bowl Ingredients:

As I mentioned above, the ingredients for this recipe are super-customizable.  So feel totally free to experiment with whatever sounds best to you.  (I’ve also included more ingredient variation notes below.)  To make this recipe, I used…

  • Chicken: I used this lemongrass chicken recipe, marinating chicken breasts and grilling them as kabobs.  But feel free to use any other cut of chicken and marinade that you prefer, and either grill, bake, or sauté the chicken until cooked.  Or you can just shred a rotisserie chicken to make things extra easy.
  • Noodles: I used rice vermicelli noodles, which are traditional in this dish and extremely easy to cook (no boiling required).
  • Veggies: I used a mix of thinly sliced cucumber, carrots, and bean sprouts.  But feel free to add in any other fresh veggies that sound good.
  • Greens: I used shredded lettuce, but mixed greens or any other favorite greens would also work.
  • Fresh herbs: Here’s my biggest tip with this recipe — go big on the herbs!  In my opinion, fresh cilantro and mint are a must here.  But if you happen to have some Thai basil (or traditional basil) on hand, it’s a delicious addition too.
  • Garnishes: I recommend lots of lime wedges, chopped peanuts, and optional thinly-sliced Thai bird chiles for anyone who would like extra heat.
  • Nuoc cham sauce: You know that traditional dipping sauce that’s served with everything at Vietnamese restaurants?  It’s easy to make with warm water, honey, lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, Thai bird chile, and will serve as the dressing for this noodle salad.

Detailed ingredient amounts listed in the recipe box below.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Kabobs

How To Make Vietnamese Noodle Bowls:

Feel free to prepare this recipe all at once.  Or if you would like to do a little ingredient prep earlier in the day before dinner, you can make the noodles and sauce and chicken marinade ahead of time.  Then cook the chicken and chop the veggies and assemble everything just before serving.  To make these Vietnamese noodle bowls, simply…

  1. Cook the chicken.  Cook the lemongrass chicken according to recipe instructions.
  2. Cook the noodles.  Cook the noodles al dente according to package instructions, then drain.  (If the noodles finish early and you don’t want them to stick together, drizzle a bit of sesame oil on the noodles and briefly toss until coated.)
  3. Prep the sauce.  Meanwhile, combine the warm water and honey in a small bowl and whisk until the honey has dissolved.  Add in the remaining sauce ingredients and whisk until combined.  Set aside.
  4. Assemble the bowls.  In large serving bowls, add the noodles, topped with the chicken, cucumber, carrots, lettuce, bean sprouts, and herbs.  Top with your desired garnishes.
  5. Serve.  Then serve warm, drizzled with however much of the sauce you prefer.

These bowls also make for fantastic leftovers and meal prep.  I store mine in these meal prep containers, using these little reusable salad dressing containers for the nuoc cham.

Detailed cooking instructions listed in the recipe box below.

Vietnamese Bun Recipe (Chicken Noodle Bowls with Nuoc Cham)

Possible Ingredient Variations:

Here are a few more ideas for how to customize your own Vietnamese bun noodle bowls!

  • Use a different protein.  As I mentioned above, beef, pork, shrimp, tofu or some variety of meatballs would all be delicious substitutes for chicken.
  • Use a different cut of chicken.  Instead of kabobs, feel free to cook your chicken breasts whole (I recommend pounding them a bit to even thinness, so that they cook evenly).  Or you’re welcome to use chicken thighs, legs, or ground chicken instead.
  • Use a different kind of noodles.  Really, any kind of rice noodles would work in this dish.  Or feel free to sub in soba noodles, lo mein, or even ramen noodles if those are what you have on hand.
  • Make it spicy. Feel free to serve these bowls with sriracha for those who would like additional heat.

Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Salad

More Favorite Asian Noodle Recipes:

Love noodles as much as I do?  Here are a few more faves!

Bun Meal Prep (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Bowls)

Print

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Bowls

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

These restaurant-style Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Bowls are easy to customize with your preferred protein, veggies, herbs and garnishes — so feel free to get creative and add whatever sounds good!


Scale

Ingredients

Vietnamese Noodle Bowl Ingredients:

  • 1 batch lemongrass chicken (or see alternatives below)
  • 7 ounces rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, julienned
  • 4 cups shredded lettuce (or spring greens)
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • lots of fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, and/or Thai basil)
  • garnishes: lime wedges, chopped peanuts, thinly-sliced Thai bird chiles (optional)

Nuoc Cham Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 34 tablespoons honey (or your desired sweetener)
  • 1/3 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely-minced
  • 1 Thai bird chile, finely-minced (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook the chicken.  Cook the lemongrass chicken according to recipe instructions.
  2. Cook the noodles.  Cook the noodles al dente according to package instructions, then drain.  (If the noodles finish early and you don’t want them to stick together, drizzle a bit of sesame oil on the noodles and briefly toss until coated.)
  3. Prep the sauce.  Meanwhile, combine the warm water and honey in a small bowl and whisk until the honey has dissolved.  Add in the remaining sauce ingredients and whisk until combined.  Set aside.
  4. Assemble the bowls.  In large serving bowls, add the noodles, topped with the chicken, cucumber, carrots, lettuce, bean sprouts, and herbs.  Top with your desired garnishes.
  5. Serve.  Then serve warm, drizzled with however much of the sauce you prefer.

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Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Bowl Recipe

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6 comments on “Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Bowls”

  1. This looks so good! I need to try this asap!

    Paige

  2. This was a winner in my house. So delicious even the kids loved it!

  3. This recipe is delish! It was if I had stepped into my most favorite Vietnamese restaurant in the Foothill Village in SLC, UT where my coworkers and I would get the yummiest noodle bowls on a weekly basis. I have never cooked with lemongrass before and this marinade is tangy and hits all the right notes of sweet/sour/tangy/umami! I am looking forward to my lunch all this week!

  4. Just made this for my husband’s lunches and after trying, I’m definitely going back to the store to get ingredients to make for myself. Delicious!

  5. OH my goodness, I can’t remember the last time I commented on a recipe, which tells you amazing this one is!!! We had it last night and both my husband and I were like, “WOW! Just WOW.” This isn’t even something I would typically make but I had lemongrass paste so I thought, why not. I will be making this many, many times! Thank you!

  6. Made this tonight, and it was delicious! Unfortunately, as I was serving myself, I thought, “They give me THIS much at Vietnam Cafe…” forgetting that I only eat half of that and bring the rest home. There were three of us home for dinner, and we all loved it. Thanks so much for sharing!