Crunchy Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing combines crunchy cabbage, carrots, and snow peas with shredded chicken and the best peanut dressing. Top with crushed peanuts for the most flavorful and interesting chicken salad!
Chicken salad is such a satisfying meal in the warmer months, and using rotisserie chicken is a great short-cut. This Thai chicken salad is loaded with veggies, so you really don’t need much to go along with it. Maybe just some fresh fruit and a big glass of lemon water.
This salad is so many things.
- Crunchy – Two kinds of cabbage plus onions, carrots, and snow peas = crunch factor.
- Filling – The chicken and edamame give you plenty of protein and fill you up.
- Colorful – Don’t you love eating with your eyes first?
- Delicious – The peanut dressing adds so much flavor to the salad. We love topping it with an extra dollop of chili sauce for spice!
Ingredients needed for Crunchy Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing:
For the salad:
- Chicken – I used rotisserie chicken for a short-cut, but you could cook your own.
- Cabbage – Any combination of cabbage is fine here, but try to use around 8 cups total. I used a combo of Napa cabbage and red cabbage.
- Carrots – Use two carrots and peel them in strips with a peeler.
- Snow Peas – Just slice them in half length-wise.
- Onions – Green onions for the win!
- Edamame – I love using shelled edamame in my Asian dishes. Just microwave them and add a little bit of salt.
- Peanuts – If desired, add some crushed up peanuts to serve this salad.
For the dressing:
- Sesame Oil – An oil derived from sesame seeds, and very popular in Asian cuisine. It has a distinctive nutty aroma and taste, and should NOT be skipped in this recipe.
- Tahini – A condiment made from toasted ground hulled sesame, used in many Mediterranean dishes. It resembles natural peanut butter in appearance, but has more of an earthy, nutty flavor of sesame seeds.
- Peanut Butter – A spread made from ground, dry-roasted peanuts. There are normally other ingredients used to modify its taste and texture.
- Soy Sauce – A liquid condiment of Chinese origin, and made from fermented soybeans and wheat. It is also used in many Asian recipes.
- Vinegar – Use rice vinegar in this dressing, for best results.
- Brown Sugar – Needed to balance the strong ingredients above.
- Ginger – Not only is ginger root healthy, it gives an amazing flavor to the peanut dressing.
- Chili Paste or Sauce – Adds some spiciness and depth of flavor.
How to make Crunchy Thai Chicken Salad:
This is a quick salad to prepare, especially if you use a rotisserie chicken.
- Prep chicken. I chose to use a rotisserie chicken here, but you could definitely cook your own using whatever method you prefer.
- Prep veggies. Chop the cabbage, use a peeler to prep carrots, slice snow peas and onions. Microwave the edamame in advance, sprinkle with salt, and let cool.
- Combine salad ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Make dressing. Combine all the salad dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl – the sesame oil, tahini paste, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, and chili sauce. Whisk until creamy.
- Serve. You can add the peanut dressing to the entire salad or pour it over individual servings. Top with crushed peanuts.
Crunchy Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing
For the salad:
- 3 cups cooked rotisserie chicken – shredded
- 6 cups napa cabbage – sliced thin
- 2 cups red cabbage – sliced thin
- 2 large carrots – peeled in strips
- 1 cup snow peas – sliced
- 1 bunch green onions – chopped
- 12 oz. shelled edamame – cooked and cooled
- crushed peanuts – to serve
For the peanut dressing:
- 3 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 3 Tablespoons tahini
- 3 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 6 Tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
- 4.5 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1.5 Tablespoon fresh ginger – finely minced
- 3 teaspoons chili paste – optional, for a little heat
- Shred the chicken. I use a rotisserie, but you could also cook your own chicken.
- Chop the veggies, and place in a large bowl. Microwave the frozen edamame, sprinkle with salt, and add to bowl after they are cooled.
- Make the salad dressing by combining all ingredients in a bowl – the sesame oil, tahini paste, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, and chili sauce. Whisk until well combined and creamy.
- To serve, add the peanut dressing to the individual servings, or pour over the entire salad. Add crushed peanuts.