This Spicy Thai Chicken Salad is crunchy, nutritious and full of flavor! Fresh veggies, savory peanut sauce and a bit of spice all ready in 20-minutes makes this recipe something you will want to include in your weeknight rotation. This recipe is gluten-free, soy-free and can be made paleo.
I firmly stand by the statement that peanut sauce makes everything better. This super creamy, spicy peanut sauce dressing is the perfect way to get in a variety of veggies!
This Spicy Thai Chicken Salad is protein packed and nutrient dense. You will get a variety of nutrients from the basil, cabbage, bell peppers and carrots, and plenty of fiber making this meal both satisfying and healthy with a great balance of macronutrients.
Can I Make This Recipe Paleo?
This recipe can be made paleo friendly with just a few alterations! When making the dressing, swap the peanut butter out for almond butter. I love using Trader Joe's Raw Almond Butter. It has a nice natural sweetness and is super drippy making it easy to mix into sauces and dressings.
The other change you will need to make is swapping the peanuts out for roasted almonds or cashews. This will give you a nice crunch and a nutty flavor but allow you to avoid the legumes!
Can I Make This Recipe Whole30 Compliant?
Yes! To make this recipe Whole30-friendly simply use almond butter instead of peanut butter in the dressing and leave out the maple syrup (it is still delicious without the sweetener!). Remove the peanuts and instead top the salad with roasted cashews or almonds!
Making The Peanut Dressing
This peanut dressing is super thick, rich and flavorful. It is very easy to make. Here is what you will need:
- 1/4 cup Coconut milk
- 1/2 cup Peanut butter or almond butter for paleo
- 1/4 cup Coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp Lime juice
- 1 tbsp Curry paste
- 1 tbsp Chili paste (optional)
- 2 tbsp Maple syrup (optional)
For best results, use an unsweetened nut butter that is just peanuts (or almonds) and salt! I like Santa Cruz Organics for peanut butter and Trader Joe's Raw Almond Butter for a peanut-free option.
Also, choose a coconut milk that doesn't have any funky additives. A coconut milk that does not easily separate will work best. My favorite coconut milk to use in recipes like this is Simply Coconut Milk from Thai Kitchen. It is in a pourable container which makes it easy to save if you don't need a whole can for a recipe. It also only contains coconut and water which I love!
- If you are not a fan of cabbage, you can sub in romaine lettuce. Cabbage is more hearty and requires more dressing so keep this in mind if using romaine instead.
- A nice ripe and creamy avocado makes a great addition to this Spciy Thai Chicken Salad.
- If you like crispy chicken on your salad, these Paleo Chicken Nuggets make a great healthier salad topper.
If you don't plan on eating all of this salad right away avoid dressing the whole salad. Only dress what you need and then store the remaining spicy peanut dressing separately.
Also keep the chicken separate from the cabbage and other veggies when storing! This will preserve the crunch. The chicken can be reheated or enjoyed cold.
The dressing to salad ration in this recipe is prefect in my opinion but I know this is a very personal and subjective thing. You can dress the salad with part of the dressing and taste it and see how you feel.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you think you need more dressing don't hesitate to make an extra half recipe. Leftovers make a great dip for veggies!
- Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
- Chicken Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce
- Thai Tacos with Peanut Sauce
- Chicken and Rice Bowls with Peanut Sauce
Feel free to leave a comment and a rating below. Feedback is always appreciated! 😊
Spicy Thai Chicken Salad
- Frying pan
- Cutting board
- 16 oz Package of coleslaw mix
- 2 Green onions
- 1/4 cup Peanuts Or cashews for paleo
- 1 Red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup Fresh basil
- Cilantro Optional
- Heat avocado oil in large frying pan over medium heat.
- Cut chicken tenderloins in to 1 inch pieces removing any large, visible pieces of tendon if you can. Add pepper and salt to taste then add to pan. Flip chicken as it begins to brown. Allow it to cook on all sides until there is no more pink.
- While chicken cooks, whisk together ingredients for the dressing and set aside.
- Finely chop the green onions and thinly slice the bell pepper removing the stem and seeds. Shred the basil leaves. If using cilantro, finely chop about 2 tbsp.
- In a large bowl, toss the coleslaw mix in the dressing. Add only as much dressing as you think you will need. I use all the dressing, but if you like a lightly dressed salad start slow, taste and add more as needed. Add chicken and bell peppers and mix together. If you like a lot of dressing on your salad, you can always make another 1/2 recipe of the dressing and add as much as you need!
- Top salad with green onions, basil, cilantro, peanuts and sesame seeds. Serve and enjoy!