With bright, crunchy veggies and a ridiculously tasty peanut sauce, this Thai-Inspired Peanut Chicken Salad will be a lunch that you’ll look forward to all morning long!

colorful thai chopped chicken salad in an individual serving glass meal prep container with peanut dressing + crushed peanuts in the background

We love make-ahead lunches around here: make a batch on a Sunday, and you’ll have multiple meals to help streamline the hectic work week ahead. But the biggest pitfall when it comes to meal-prepping veggie dishes is the dreaded soggy salad syndrome that turns fresh salad greens to lifeless mush after a couple days in the fridge.

That’s not the case with this Thai-Inspired chicken and veggie dish. It calls for sturdy veggies like cabbage, carrots, and bell peppers, which stay crisp for a few days in the fridge. Then, come lunch time,  just toss them with a quick peanut dressing, and sprinkle crushed peanuts on top for extra crunch.

While this Thai-Inspired salad can absolutely be enjoyed on its own for two days worth of meal-prepped lunches, it was created to work in tandem with our Southwestern Quinoa Salad. Together — with just thirty minutes of prep, most of which is easy chopping + tossing — you’ll have an entire week of Cook Once, Eat All Week: Lunch Style salads (3 quinoa + 3 Thai). The duo is delicious for dinner too!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Only takes 15 minutes to whip up!
  • Packed with flavor, color, and texture
  • Easily to customize
  • Created to pair with our Southwestern Quinoa Salad recipe: together, they’ll give you a full week’s worth of healthy and delicious lunches 

Thai Chicken Salad Recipe Ingredients

Here’s everything you’ll need to add to your grocery list so that you can whip up this Thai chicken salad. Find ingredient notes (including substitutions and swaps) below.

Ingredients for Thai inspired chopped chicken salad sit in a variety of bowl on a light grey countertop.
  • Green and purple cabbage – the combo of two colorful and crunchy brassicas is the base of this veggie-packed dish. 
  • Carrots – a cup of shredded carrots adds sweetness and color 
  • Cucumber – diced cucumber gives refreshing flavor
  • Red bell pepper – diced red (or yellow, or orange) bell peppers go into the mix 
  • Red bell pepper – 2 cups of shredded chicken (about 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken or chicken thighs)
  • Cilantro –roughly chopped cilantro adds bright herbal flavor
  • Green onions – boost flavor and add more color
  • Peanuts – 1/4 cup of crushed peanuts adds crunch to the finished dish
  • Peanut butter – creamy natural peanut butter is the base of our super easy dressing
  • Coconut aminos – 2 tablespoons of coconut aminos give the dressing depth
  • Lime juice – adds a burst of citrus flavor
  • Honey – just 2 teaspoons of honey sweetens and rounds out the dressing
  • Sesame oil – adds toasty, nutty flavor
  • Red pepper – a pinch of crushed red pepper gives just a little heat

A full ingredient list with exact amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Recipe Variations and Modifications

  • Dressing – this creamy and delicious peanut dressing is super quick to make. (All you need to do is blitz some pantry staples up in a blender.) But if you’d rather, feel free to sub in a store-bought variety. Just thin it with a little water or lime juice if it seems too thick to toss with the chicken and veggie mixture.
  • Chicken – this recipe calls for 2 cups of rotisserie chicken. If you’d rather cook yours at home, follow our guide to making shredded chicken in the slow cooker or Instant Pot and save the extras for another meal.
  • Herbs – if you’re not a fan of cilantro, swap in another fresh green herb. Thai basil can be hard to find at grocery stores, but its distinctive and authentically Thai flavor is worth seeking out for this dish if you can find it. Mint leaves also taste delicious in this dish: add the leaves whole, torn, or sliced.

How to Make Thai Chicken Salad 

This is essentially a chop, shred, slice, blend, and toss situation…SO easy! 

An orange colored saucy mixture sits in a white bowl with a metal spoon.
Chopped veggies are shown being poured into a large glass mixing bowl.

Step 1: for the peanut dressing, blend all ingredients until smooth.

Step 2: for the salad, add all ingredients but crushed peanuts to a large bowl.

Ingredients for Thai inspired chicken salad are shown being combined in a glass mixing bowl.
Thai inspired chopped chicken salad sits in a large glass mixing bowl. A brown sauce is shown being drizzled over the top.

Step 3: Toss to combine.

(*If you’re meal-prepping or planning to eat this dish later, leave the dressing on the side. Both elements will last for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.)

Step 4: when you’re ready to eat, drizzle the peanut dressing over top and toss again. Top with crushed peanuts and serve.

Recipe Tips

  • Creamy v. crunchy: you can use either type of peanut butter for this recipe, although creamy with give you smoother results.
  • Double up: make a double batch of this creamy peanut dressing to use as a veggie dip, or to toss with cooked noodles and fresh or cooked veggies.

How to Serve Thai Peanut Chicken Salad

If you’re serving this dish right away, toss the chicken-veggie mix with the dressing and top with crushed peanuts.

How to Store

The salads will save best (and stay super crunchy) stored in airtight containers in the fridge. To prevent a wilted, soggy salad, store the peanut dressing separately. 

colorful thai chopped chicken salad in 3 individual serving glass meal prep containers sitting next to peanut dressing + crushed peanuts

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s in Thai peanut chicken salad?

Like ours, most Thai chicken salad recipes are made up of crunchy shredded cabbage and tons of fresh, crunchy veggies – plus a little bit of extra crunch thanks to chopped peanuts or slivered almonds. 

How do you keep Thai chicken salad crunchy?

This meal prep recipe calls for two simple strategies to keep the ingredients crunchy. First, we use ingredients like cabbage and carrots as the base, which hold up better to storing and dressing than more delicate lettuces.

What is Thai salad dressing made of?

Thai salad dressing is typically made with a base of peanut butter that gets seasoned, and thinned out with other liquids like water and lime juice. Our recipe includes those core ingredients, plus honey, sesame oil, crushed red pepper flakes, and coconut aminos.

More Healthy Lunch Recipes

If you tried this Thai Peanut Chicken Salad, or any other recipe on the Fed & Fit website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let us know how it went in the 📝 comments below!


Thai Peanut Chicken Salad

4.88 — Votes 109 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 3 Servings
This Thai chopped chicken salad is filled with fresh, vibrant veggies and the creamiest peanut sauce! It makes a perfect make-ahead lunch for the week.


For the Salad:

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded green cabbage*
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded purple cabbage*
  • 1 cup shredded carrots*
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 2 cups shredded chicken, from a rotisserie chicken or about 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions1/4 cup crushed peanuts, for garnish

For the Peanut Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes


  • For the peanut dressing: blend all ingredients until smooth.
  • For the salad, add all ingredients but crushed peanuts to a large bowl and toss to combine, then drizzle the peanut dressing over top and toss again. Top with crushed peanuts and serve. If you are planning to eat later, leave the dressing on the side and pour it over when you are ready to eat so that the cabbage doesn’t get soggy. This will last for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

  1. You can use 4 cups of coleslaw blend in place of the shredded cabbage and carrots for this recipe!
  2. You can substitute sunbutter, almond butter, or cashew butter in place of the peanut butter, if desired.
  3. For a vegetarian salad, substitute the chicken with chickpeas, or another favorite vegetarian protein!


Calories: 404kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.9g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 16.9g | Saturated Fat: 3.3g | Cholesterol: 110.3mg | Sodium: 414.1mg | Fiber: 5.4g | Sugar: 11.6g

Additional Info

Course: Lunch
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 3 Servings
Calories: 404
Keyword: cabbage, gluten free, lunch, meal prep, salad, Thai

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Elizabeth Brownfield

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Recipe Rating


  1. 4 stars
    Four stars as is, but 5 stars if you add 1T rice wine vinegar to the dressing! Easy, quick, and very delicious!

  2. Made this salad this weekend when i was with my sisters. We all loved it and now they both made it into their meal prep for the week. So Good!

    1. We’re so glad you all loved this salad, Jenny! Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

  3. WOW. I just made this for lunches this week and took one bite and had to come leave a review! This is SO flavorful and delicous! I added some red curry paste to the dressing but other than that followed the recipe exactly. This will definitely be on repeat this summer!

    1. We are so glad to hear that this was a hit! The red curry paste sounds like a delicious addition. Thank you for taking the time to share with us.

  4. 5 stars
    So good and guilt free! How much is a serving btw? I could eat the whole thing!!!

    1. The recipe makes 3 servings, Jessica! I agree – it’s one of my very favorite recipes!!

  5. It’s SO delicious. Love all the veggies – so colorful, and super filling yet light enough for a hot summer day. This would be an awesome side dish along grilled protein, too. Putting it on repeat!

    1. 5 stars
      Great for meal prep! I doubled the recipe to make enough for my husband.