Vietnamese Noodle Bowl Recipe (Gluten Free!)

This delicious Vietnamese Noodle Bowl, also known as a bún bowl, is full of fresh and vibrant flavors. A kick of spice, mixed with the freshness of crispy cold vegetables and flavorful herbs. Finished with grilled chicken, you’ll love this delicious lunch or dinner bowl. Naturally gluten free.

A Vietnamese noodle bowl with chopsticks

Lately I have been craving this delicious noodle bowl, that I get from a local Vietnamese place. There is something about the flavors of this bowl that are impossible to resist. It’s all about the layers.

There’s a kick of spice, mixed with the freshness of crispy cold vegetables, flavorful herbs, finished with the rich savory flavor of grilled chicken. I’ll admit my recipe still doesn’t quite get to the level of my favorite Vietnamese place but it’s pretty close. 

How to make a this Vietnamese Noodle Bowl Recipe – step by step

  1. Marinade and grill chicken.
  2. Boil water and cook brown rice noodles according to package.
  3. Cut up ingredients.
  4. Layer ingredients in a bowl, the proportions are up to you! I like half noodles, half green and extra pickled veggies. 
  5. Make dressing: combine water and sugar in a bowl.
  6. Add fish sauce and lime in increments until the flavor is to your liking. 
  7. Finally add garlic and whisk. 
  8. Drizzle sauce over bowl and enjoy!

Ingredients to make a noodle bowl

Cooked noodles in a sieve

What is a bún bowl?

So a bun bowl is sort of comparable to a salad. It’s served cold but with a base of thin rice noodles and topped with warm grilled meat. The dressing is simple, salty, and flavorful, traditionally called a nước chấm sauce.  To me this salad is almost like eating a deconstructed spring roll!

A meal prep noodle bowl recipe

I think this Vietnamese Noodle Bowl is the perfect introduction into spring. It’s cold and fresh but also savory and spicy. It’s really the best of both worlds warm but still fresh.

This is also a fantastic lunch because you can prep it at the beginning of the week and it’s super easy. Then just make a few bowls in airtight containers and just pour your dressing over before you eat it. Lunches can be so hard some times and a plain old salad certainly gets old. I love this as a healthy, flavorful alternative.

Cooked marinated chicken The noodle bowl dressing in a glass jar

The ingredients that make this noodle bowl Vietnamese

There are certain ingredients that make this bowl undoubtedly Vietnamese:

  • Fish sauce
  • Pickled vegetables
  • Rice vermicelli noodles
  • Fresh herbs
  • Chili
  • Ginger
  • Lime

Close up of a Vietnamese noodle bowl

Top tips for making Vietnamese Noodle Bowl Recipe

  • I used this recipe to marinade the chicken.
  • Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes.
  • Make your own pickled vegetables using this recipe.
  • For meal prep, keep the salads in air tight containers in the fridge without the dressing. They will keep for 3-4 days.

A fresh Vietnamese noodle bowl served on a wooden table

Be sure to check out these other delicious Asian recipes!

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Banh Mi Wraps

Spicy Glass Noodle Salad Recipe

Whole30 Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs Recipe

If you have tried this recipe I’d love to hear from you!  Be sure to leave a star rating and let me know what you thought!

Vietnamese Noodle Bowls (Bún)

A kick of spice, mixed with the freshness of crispy cold vegetables, flavorful herbs, finished with the rich savory flavor of grilled chicken, you'll love this delish lunch or dinner bowl.
Course Salad
Cuisine Vietnamese
Keyword bun salad recipe, noodle bowl recipe, Vietnamese noodle bowl
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 large salads
Calories 280kcal
Author Jen Pinkston

Ingredients

  • 2-3 chicken breasts grilled, I use this recipe for marinade then grilled
  • Mixed greens
  • 2 Green onions chopped
  • 1 Daikon & 2 Carrots pickled*
  • 1 Cucumber sliced
  • Cilantro
  • Thai basil
  • Mung bean sprouts
  • Brown rice vermicelli noodles
  • Cashews raw or roasted
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Dressing - nước chấm

  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 clove garlic minced 
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 1.5-2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp chopped green onion
  • optional 1/4 tsp garlic chili sauce for extra heat

Instructions

  • Marinade and grill chicken.
  • Boil water and cook brown rice noodles according to package.
  • Cut up ingredients.
  • Layer ingredients in a bowl, the proportions are up to you! I like half noodles, half green and extra pickled veggies. 
  • Make dressing: combine water and sugar in a bowl.
  • Add fish sauce and lime in increments until the flavor is to your liking. 
  • Finally add garlic and whisk. 
  • Drizzle sauce over bowl and enjoy!

Notes

*Use this recipe to pickle daikon and carrots.

Nutrition

Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 934mg | Potassium: 818mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 227IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 2mg

Photography for Vietnamese Noodle Bowls by Chase Daniel

  1. yum!! WHat brand of brown rice noodles do you like?

    • Jen Pinkston

      03/23/2019

      Let me ask Lauren! I really like Lotus Foods but not sure which ones she uses.

  2. This looks so good!

    Jennifer
    Effortlessly Sophisticated

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