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


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.

A bowl inside another bowl filled with Thai chicken salad with peanut dressing on the side.

Thai-Inspired Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

5 / 3 votes
This easy Thai-inspired chicken salad with tangy peanut dressing makes lunch something to look forward to, with loads of veggies and chicken.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories132 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Total Time30 minutes


  • 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)
  • Thai-inspired peanut dressing


  • In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, mint, and scallion.
  • 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.
Modern Lunch Cookbook

Adapted From

Modern Lunch

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 servingCalories: 132 kcalCarbohydrates: 13 gProtein: 5 gFat: 8 gSaturated Fat: 4 gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.02 gSodium: 671 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 6 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2019 Allison Day. Photo © 2019 Allison Day. All rights reserved.

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.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

Hungry For More?

Egg Salad Without Mayo

Don’t let those leftover Easter eggs go to waste. This easy egg salad with caramelized onions is so lovely, you won’t even notice that there’s no mayo.

45 mins

Apple and Celery Salad

A simple and elegant salad that brightens up whatever you serve it alongside. Crisp, tangy, and refreshing, it’s a perfect accompaniment.

15 mins

Tangy Apple Slaw

This sweet and tangy apple slaw, made with crunchy cabbage and tart apples, is going to be a cookout staple all summer long.

20 mins

5 from 3 votes (1 rating without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This was a perfect salad. I gently poached some chicken breasts and followed the directions almost exactly. I doubled the dressing because…….well why not? Added the optional vegetables plus some cut up snow peas and snap peas and topped it all with salted peanuts. Loved the added crunch. Loved the combination of mint, scallions and peanut butter!