This Thai chicken salad with peanut dressing is an easy, healthy lunch solution made with chicken, vegetables, and a tangy, salty-sweet peanut and lime vinaigrette. Guaranteed to incite co-worker envy.
Hands down, the star of this Thai chicken salad is its peanut dressing with its salty-sweet tang. Just as compelling is the fact that you can make the salad with leftover chicken and whatever vegetables are lingering in your fridge. Lunch just took a turn from the humdrum to the seemingly haute. And you may find yourself making the peanut dressing for other occasions, whether as a dip for chicken skewers or crudites or, well, you tell us in a comment below.–Jenny Howard
*NOTE: HOW TO MAKE THIS THAI CHICKEN SALAD AHEAD OF TIME
This Thai chicken salad makes an ideal lunch at your desk or on the go. Simply drizzle some peanut dressing into a glass Mason jar or other resealable container and top with some of the chicken mixture followed by some cucumber (and other vegetables, if using) and the lettuce. Seal the jar or container and refrigerate. To serve, shake to combine and enjoy directly out of the jar or container or turn it out onto a plate and let the ingredients tumble out and the peanut dressing dribble over everything.
Thai Chicken Salad With Peanut Dressing
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 30 M
- Serves 4
- For the peanut dressing
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 to 2 limes)
- 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (or nut butter)
- 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce (use tamari if making this gluten-free)
- 1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil, such as grapeseed
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- For the Thai chicken salad
- Two (8-ounce) cooked chicken breasts*, shredded
- 1 cup coarsely chopped mint
- 3 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
- 2 heads butter lettuce or gem lettuce, leaves separated and torn into bite-size chunks
- 1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced lengthwise into ribbons with a vegetable peeler or thinly sliced into circles
- Additional fresh vegetables, such as carrots shaved into long curls, whole blanched snow peas, daikon radish cut into matchsticks, colorful bell peppers cut into strips (optional)
- Make the peanut dressing
- 1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, peanut butter, tamari or soy sauce, oil, maple syrup, water, fish sauce (if using), and red pepper flakes until completely emulsified. (If you’re not using the peanut dressing immediately, you can cover and refrigerate it for up to 1 week. Shake well before using.)
- Make the Thai chicken salad
- 2. In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, mint, and scallion.
- 3. Arrange the lettuce on a large platter. Scatter additional vegetables, if using, on top of the lettuce. Scatter the chicken mixture over the top and generously drizzle with the peanut dressing. Serve immediately.
*NOTE: What Kind Of Chicken Works Best?
- Any cooked chicken works perfectly here. Leftovers work particularly well, whether grilled, roast, rotisserie, poached, what have you. Knock yourself out. And clean out the chicken languishing in your fridge while you’re at it.
Recipe Testers Reviews
This Thai chicken salad has made our list of favorites! The peanut dressing was such a nice surprise and change of pace from the typical oil- and vinegar-based dressings that I usually whip up for salads. It was terrific! Even when made with my old standby pantry staple peanut butter, Jiff. I can only imagine how much better it would have been if I had used a natural nut butter.
I used thinly sliced grilled chicken breasts that were tossed on the grill the night before I planned to make this salad for lunch and just held them in the fridge. The next day, I whipped up the vinaigrette, assembled the salad ingredients, and tossed everything together since we were eating it immediately. I used butter lettuce since I couldn’t find baby gem lettuce and sliced the cucumber into thin slices on the diagonal to make it pretty as well as easier to eat. The mint added a refreshing brightness to this salad and everything worked so beautifully together.
This salad will be showing up on our table often!
I had some sunflower seed butter on hand, so that is what I used for the nut butter variety. The dressing was definitely the star of the show here; it added a lovely Thai-inspired flavor to the healthy salad. Overall the flavors were nice.