Thai Peanut Chicken Salad

The salad is easy, ready in 20 minutes, healthy, and packed with so many different flavors and textures. Just looking at it makes me smile because it feels like I’m eating the rainbow.

And I love peanut sauce. Always have, always will.

Thai Peanut Chicken Salad - Eat the RAINBOW with this EASY, healthy salad that's ready in 20 minutes!! Juicy chicken and crisp vegetables are tossed in the BEST PEANUT SAUCE ever!!

Peanut sauce makes everything taste amazing including this Thai peanut chicken salad that’s loaded with veggies and topped with the heavenly sauce. It’s is so easy to make at home, takes two minutes to whisk together, is far more cost-effective than small store bought jars, and you control the ingredients.

I adapted the peanut sauce portion of today’s recipe from my Peanut Chicken with Peanut Noodles.

MY OTHER RECIPES


Thai Peanut Chicken Salad - Eat the RAINBOW with this EASY, healthy salad that's ready in 20 minutes!! Juicy chicken and crisp vegetables are tossed in the BEST PEANUT SAUCE ever!!

The salad has crispy sugar snap peas, bell peppers, crunchy carrots, and salty peanuts on top of hearty greens and red cabbage with tender, sesame-scented chicken.

Cilantro and green onions add another layer of flavor that complements the peanut sauce which is flavored with sesame oil for authenticity, honey, apple cider vinegar, and ginger.

Thai Peanut Chicken Salad - Eat the RAINBOW with this EASY, healthy salad that's ready in 20 minutes!! Juicy chicken and crisp vegetables are tossed in the BEST PEANUT SAUCE ever!!

I broke the recipe into three parts: peanut sauce, chicken, and salad ingredients. I wouldn’t alter the peanut sauce recipe because it’s perfect as-is. You likely won’t need all of it for the salad and extra will keep for a week in the fridge.

The chicken is straightforward easy-peasy, and if you don’t have every single ingredient for the salad, don’t sweat it. Omit or improvise with what you do have.

Thai Peanut Chicken Salad - Eat the RAINBOW with this EASY, healthy salad that's ready in 20 minutes!! Juicy chicken and crisp vegetables are tossed in the BEST PEANUT SAUCE ever!!

Print Recipe

Thai Peanut Chicken Salad

The salad is easy, ready in 20 minutes, healthy, and packed with so many different flavors and textures. Peanut sauce makes everything taste amazing including this Thai peanut chicken salad that's loaded with veggies and topped with the heavenly sauce. The recipe is broken into three parts: peanut sauce, chicken, and salad ingredients. Don't alter the peanut sauce recipe because it's perfect as-is, the chicken is straightforward easy-peasy, and if you don't have every single ingredient for the salad, don't sweat it. Omit or improvise with what you do have.

Yield: serves 4

Prep Time: about 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 to 7 minutes

Total Time: about 20 to 25 minutes

Ingredients:

Peanut Sauce

  • heaping 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground ginger, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced or pressed, optional
  • pinch cayenne pepper, optional and to taste

Chicken

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 to 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces and seasoned with salt and pepper

Salad

  • 4 cups romaine lettuce or kale (or your favorite greens)
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas (snow peas may be substituted)
  • 1 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 1 cup red cabbage, sliced into thin ribbons
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, roughly chopped if desired (I used honey-roasted peanuts)
  • 1 green onion, sliced into thin rounds
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cilantro, finely minced

Directions:

  1. Peanut Sauce - To a medium bowl add all ingredients and whisk to combine until smooth and incorporated. Taste, check for seasoning and flavor balance, and make any necessary adjustments (i.e. more honey, more peanut butter, more salt, more sesame oil, etc.). I like my sauce on the thicker side but you can add more vinegar/honey to thin it if desired; set aside.
  2. Chicken - To a large skillet, add the olive oil, sesame oil, chicken, evenly season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 to 7 minutes, flipping intermittently so all sides cook evenly. Cooking time will vary based on thickness of chicken breasts and sizes of pieces. Remove skillet from the heat and allow chicken to cool in pan while you assemble the salad.
  3. Salad - To a large platter or bowl, add all ingredients plus the chicken and any cooking juices, and evenly drizzle with peanut sauce, to taste. You likely won't need all of the peanut sauce. Extra will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week. Salad is best served fresh.

Peanut Sauce adapted from Peanut Chicken with Peanut Noodles

Only Eats

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13 comments

  1. This is a beautiful salad…the more colorful, the better! I love the idea of extra peanut sauce–perfect for more salad or veggie dipping. Gotta try it–Thai sounds good this week!

    • I think you’ll really enjoy it and as you said, the extra sauce will never go to waste!

    • I had this twice over the weekend because it was so good (and so colorful)! I’ve used your peanut sauce recipe for years (circa 2009, 2010) and I love the fresh ginger in this one. I always have a stash of peeled ginger knobs in the freezer and it’s easy to grate them on a microplane. 

    • I love that you made this twice! over the weekend and that you are able to remember my peanut sauce recipe from the vintage years :) Thank you for always being here through the years!!!! Can’t tell you how much it has meant to me over the years :)

  2. This looks so bright and refreshing! I need this in my life!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  3. I am new to daily salads and have found the perfect dressing makes everything better – this one is top notch!

  4. The lunch of my dreams! Light, but still flavorful and filling. Totally adding this one to my to do list!

  5. Could the peanut dressing be frozen?? BTW–this looks absolutely amazing. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Honestly I’ve kept this peanut dressing in my fridge for over a month and it’s fine. Do as you see fit of course but I really don’t think you’d need to freeze it because it’s a great keeper.

  6. Made this last night for a light summer dinner. It was enjoyed by all. Love the peanut sauce and the crunch…yum!

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