Sensational Salads: Nut Allergy Hack ~ Candied Chow Mein Noodles

A few weeks ago, I was having a friend over for lunch. We both love salad, but like so many people out there, she hates making them. I used to feel the same way, but over time, have found some fabulous dressings and short cuts, so I no longer dread making them. Check out my previous Sensational Salad posts for great recipes and tips.

On to today’s post….I often like to add nuts or seeds to my salads for that added crunch (and extra protein), but being allergic to both, I knew that wasn’t an option. It didn’t seem fair, that she had never even had the chance to enjoy them. It got me thinking about how I might be able to mimic the experience for her. I googled and found some good suggestions for nut substitutes, but still wasn’t left feeling too excited about any of them. One of my favourite salad add-ons is candied nuts. Since I was making a salad with a sweeter dressing (Holiday Lettuce Salad) and the recipe called for nuts, I thought I might see if I could come up with my own alternative for “candied nuts”.

I adapted a recipe for Candied Pecans by substituting the pecans with dry CHOW MEIN NOODLES. They turned out fabulous…nut allergy or not! They served their purpose perfectly by adding a bit of sweetness and crunch to the salad.

Candied Chow Mein Noodle Recipe


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 cups dry chow mein noodles


  • Combine the first 4 ingredients in a skillet and cook over medium heat for a minute or two, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling.
  • Add the chow mein noodles and cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring to coat the noodles in the glaze. *You may find that you want to add more than one cup of noodles to soak up the extra glaze.
  • Remove from the heat, and spread the chow mein noodles out on parchment paper and let them cool completely.
  • Break apart, and enjoy! I use my food chopper when I want the pieces smaller, but bigger pieces make a yummy and dangerously addictive snack! I’m not gonna lie…you might not want to make a full batch!

Give this simple recipe a try and let me know what you think!