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Thai Peanut Chicken Salad

Thai peanut chicken salad with spicy peanut dressing in white bowl with spoon

A slightly spicy Thai peanut chicken salad loaded with crunchy veggies, marinated chicken, chickpeas, and cashews, doused in a delicious peanut sauce. Go-to summer salads, here we come.

Ingredients

Scale

For the chicken:

  • 2 chicken breasts (4-6 oz. each)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos or tamari
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp harissa paste

For the salad:

  • 4 cups shredded green cabbage (or purple, or a mix)
  • 1/2 cup thinly slice green onions with tops
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated (or sliced into ribbons)
  • 1 cup cucumber, seeded and diced
  • large handful fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup cashews, roughly chopped

For the peanut sauce:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (natural works best)
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp harissa paste
  • 1/2-1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger paste (or 1/2-inch fresh ginger)

Instructions

  1. Make the chicken marinade. Whisk together sesame oil, coconut aminos, honey, and harissa paste. Place chicken breasts in a glass container or zip-top bag and pour marinade inside. Close and place in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. Make the salad. If you haven't already, prep all the veggies: shred cabbage, slice green onions, grate or slice carrots, chop cucumber, and chop cilantro. Drain and rinse chickpeas, roughly chop cashews, and combine all ingredients into a large bowl.
  3. Make the peanut sauce. Blend together all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor. Set aside until ready to use.
  4. Sauté the chicken. Heat some olive or sesame oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from fridge and cut each piece up into cubes (the smaller pieces speed up sautéing time). Sauté chicken until completely cooked through and slightly browned on the sides, flipping pieces as needed throughout, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest in the pan for a minute.
  5. Assemble the salad. Add chicken to salad and toss with 1/3-1/2 cup of the peanut sauce (more if desired). Toss and serve!

Notes

*I like to toss another handful of cashews on at the end -- for looks and extra crunch.

*You might have a little leftover peanut sauce. Save in a mason jar in your fridge for use throughout the week as a marinade, dressing, or dip.

*This salad loses just a little bit of crunch when it's been sitting in the fridge, but man is it good leftover!

*There are quite a few substitutions you can make if you don't have the ingredients on hand -- see post above for all my recommendations.

Keywords: Thai peanut chicken salad, Thai chicken salad, peanut sauce recipe