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What Can You Substitute for Soba Noodles? 13 Best Options

Soba noodles are a popular staple cuisine in Japan but are currently one of the most popular types of noodles in the world.

In Japan, soba noodles are either served as a meal-to-go in most fast-food restaurants or are part of luxurious menus found in high-end restaurants.

What to do if it’s not on hand? Here are some of the best soba noodles substitutes that are easy to find.

What are Soba Noodles?

Soba noodles are made out of buckwheat flour mixed with water. This type of noodles is best served in hot soups or when soaked in broth.

Most people know soba noodles from their signature brownish appearance.

If you are looking for a versatile meal that you can prepare in just a matter of minutes, then soba noodles should be top of your priority list. Preparing a meal of soba noodles will relieve you of the stress that comes with trying intricate recipes such as pasta.

Top 13 Soba Noodles Substitutes for You

There are a number of alternatives to soba noodles that are easy to find and follow a similar preparation method to this popular food as listed below.

1. Ramen Noodles

spicy pork ramen noodle soup

Ramen noodles are one of the most popular soba noodles alternatives.

Apart from being incredibly cheap, ramen noodles are either sold as fresh or dried noodles. They also come with pre-packaged sauces and seasoning.

It will only take you a couple of minutes to prepare a meal of ramen noodles and if you are not a big fan of dishwashing, simply prepare them in a microwave.

One of the key differences between ramen and soba noodles is that the former is made out of wheat flour which makes them more elastic. Ramen noodles also tend to have their signature yellowish shade after cooking.

Further Reading: How to Microwave Ramen Noodles in 3 Minutes

2. Udon Noodles

hoisin chicken udon-noodles

Udon noodles are also part of the Japanese cuisine family and also a great soba noodle substitute.

Just like soba noodles, udon noodles are best served with soups and stir-fries. They are known for their whitish color but compared to soba noodles, they are thicker and chewier.

Just like many types of noodles, udon noodles are packed both as fresh and dried noodles. While dried udon noodles make a great tasty meal, fresh udon noodles take this tastiness to a whole new level.

3. Rice Noodles

rice noodles

Rice noodles are another option you can choose when soda noodles are not on hand.

Known for their tangy taste, rice noodles are made out of rice flour and water. This is the reason why they have their signature see-through appearance.

They are either packed as dried, fresh or frozen. All three options offer a variety of tastes for your noodle dish.

Rice noodles are also perfect for people looking for gluten free substitute for soba noodles

4. Somen Noodles

somen noodles

Somen noodles are considered the closest soba noodle replacement.  

One of their distinguishing factors is that they are incredibly thin. This however doesn’t stop them from being an amazing meal, especially during cold weather.

While their preparation process is almost similar to those of other noodles, they are perfectly paired with vegetables, scallions and ginger.

5. Kelp Noodles

kelp noodles

Just like the name suggests, the main ingredient of kelp noodles is actually kelp.

In the noodles world, kelp is considered a little gem and one of the yummiest soba noodle substitutes. If you are not familiar with kelp, it is a type of seaweed that is a gluten-free delicacy.

However, kelp noodles do not have a strong flavor which is why they are best prepared with more flavorful dishes.

6. Whole Wheat Spaghetti

whole wheat spaghetti

What most people don’t know is that whole wheat spaghetti is a great soba noodle replacement mainly because it also bears the same brownish shade as soba noodles.

It also has a similar taste and thickness to soba noodles which makes it almost impossible to tell the difference.

The best thing, they are available in different parts of the world.

7. Korean Buckwheat Noodles

korean buckwheat noodles

Another option are Korean buckwheat noodles. The fact that these noodles are a gluten-free substitute for soba noodles makes them the perfect meal for people seeking a gluten-free diet.

Just like how soba noodles are a popular Japanese cuisine, the Korean buckwheat noodles are the Korean version of soba noodles.

8. Zucchini Noodles

zucchini noodles

Zucchini noodles are the perfect soba noodles alternative for people looking for a refreshing and light noodle meal.

People with a strict diet routine such as cutting carbs or those looking to add some extra veggies to their meals will find this type of noodle a great option.

If you own a spiralizer at home, you can even make your own zucchini noodles in a couple of minutes.

While zucchini noodles are prepared almost the same way as soba noodles, they tend to take less time because of their light nature.

9. Butternut Squash Noodles

butternut squash noodles

Butternut squash noodles are also an excellent substitute, especially for people looking to cut on carbs and add more veggies to their diet. This type of noodles is also gluten-free.

To prepare butternut squash noodles, simply take your butternut squash, cut it into two and place it on top of a preheated oven. Sprinkle some olive oil on it and once ready, use a fork to rip apart the soft part of the squash to look like spaghetti.

10. Beet Noodles

beet noodles

Beet noodles are another gluten-free substitute for soba noodles that take a very short time to prepare.

However, this type of noodles is not pre-packaged and is mostly made at home. With a spiralizer, you can have your beet noodles in a couple of minutes.

One of the great things about these noodles is that they have a long life when refrigerated. They can stay up to 5 days while in the fridge and up to 3 months when stored in the freezer.

11. Cellophane Noodles

cellophane noodles

Cellophane noodles are also known as bean thread noodles and are known for their transparent appearance. These noodles are made from mung bean starch mixed with water.

Since they have no taste, cellophane noodles are best taken with stir-fries and stews.

Compared to soba noodles, cellophane noodles are thinner but still make a great gluten-free homemade recipe for people on a strict gluten-free diet.

12. Quinoa Spaghetti

quinoa spaghetti

Quinoa spaghetti is another fantastic gluten-free soba noodle substitute which has one of the most straightforward cooking processes for noodles.

Cooking quinoa spaghetti is almost similar to preparing regular noodles or pasta.

Do not get hung up on the name as this pasta meal can be served either hot or cold, but you will still go crazy on the taste.

The best part is that quinoa spaghetti allows you to experiment with as many ingredients and flavors as you want in the meal.

13. Homemade Soba Noodles

You can make your own soba noodles at home by following these simple steps. It only takes a couple of minutes and your homemade soba noodles will be ready.

homemade soba noodle

How to Make Soba Noodles at Home

Yield: 4 servings
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Your easiest homemade soba noodles recipe!


  • 1 ¼ cups hot water
  • 3 ⅓ cups buckwheat flour
  • ¾ cup spelt flour


    1. Make sure you have some hot water, buckwheat flour and spelt flour

    2. Mix the three together until they form smooth ball of dough

    3. Knead the dough using your hands and if it gets sticky, add a mixture of the two flours until you have a smooth ball

    4. If you are looking for gluten-free soba noodles, replace the spelt flour with a gluten-free option such as oat flour

    5. When the ball of dough is no longer sticky, flatten and cut it into smaller noodle pieces


Remember to separate the pieces after cutting the flattened dough. You can then cook your homemade soba noodles the same way you do with other types of noodles for a great wholesome meal.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 430Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 16mgCarbohydrates: 90gFiber: 13gSugar: 5gProtein: 17g


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FAQ About Soba Noodles

Are soba noodles gluten free?

Soba noodles are naturally gluten-free that anyone can enjoy when they are made out of 100% buckwheat flour.

Are soba noodles healthy?

Soba noodles are made out of buckwheat flour that contains certain plant compounds beneficial in heart health, blood sugar regulation and cancer prevention.

How long does it take to cook soba noodles?

It will take you approximately 4-5 minutes to prepare a meal of soba noodles.

Where to buy soba noodles?

Soba noodles are readily available at your local supermarket or selected stores.

Are soba noodles high in fiber?

Soba noodles have a very high concentration of soluble fiber and fewer calories compared to traditional pasta.

Can soba noodles be served hot?

Since soba noodles take less time to cook, they are just as good when they are served hot as when they are cold.

Final Thoughts

The list above presents a number of amazing soba noodles substitutes. Since there are many options to choose from, everything comes down to the specific kind of noodles you are looking for.

Ask yourself whether you want a regular alternative, a gluten-free noodle or a veggie option before making your choice.

I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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