Fresh, crunchy, sweet and savory. This Whole30 Asian Chicken Salad is dreamy and totally satisfying. With cashews, almond butter dressing, mandarin oranges and crunchy bell peppers there is something for everyone. This recipe is gluten free, paleo and Whole30 complaint.
This nutrient packed salad is the perfect way to get your veggies in. All the textures and flavor combinations in this salad will win over almost anyone. Even those people who buy greens with good intentions and let them rot in the bottom of the fridge like some sick ceremonial sacrifice to the healthy eating God's. You know who you are.
What Makes This Recipe Healthy?
Oh my gosh, there are so many good things about this recipe! This meal is a powerhouse.
I am always hounding people to get more protein. This recipe has 56 grams of protein per serving! Getting adequate protein can support a desirable body composition, prevent lean muscle loss with aging, help to control appetite and support performance goals.
How much protein should I eat? Most healthy individuals can aim for 1 gram per pound of lean body weight for optimal health.
This recipe is loaded with micronutrients from the variety of vegetables used! We have cabbage, carrots, bell peppers and green onions. This recipe is high in beta carotene, vitamin C, iron and calcium!
While added fiber can cause digestive issues (think fiber bars), naturally occurring fiber serves as a prebiotic for good bacteria and supports healthy digestion in most people. This recipe contains 8 grams of fiber, about 1/3 of your daily needs.
I will note, while fiber is beneficial to most people, people with IBD and FODMAP intolerance may benefit from avoiding certain fiber types.
Meal Prepping This Recipe
This Whole30 Asian Chicken Salad makes a great healthy meal prep solution! To do so, combine the cabbage, green onions and bell peppers in a container. Keep the chicken and mandarin oranges separate, this will protect your precious crunch. Add the dressing and cashews right before servings!
Who doesn't love crispy chicken on a salad! Try these Paleo Chicken Nuggets. They make a great salad topper if you are craving crispy chicken but want a healthier option!
If you prefer a sweet dressing, try adding 1-2 tbsp. of maple or date syrup to the dressing recipe. The sweet and savory flavors together are awesome!
Nuts & Nut Butters
You can try using cashew butter or peanut butter (for non-paleo) in the dressing recipe! Sunflower seed butter will also work for those with nut allergies. And, to top the salad, you can use roasted slivered almonds, peanuts or pepitas if you don't have cashews on hand.
The purpose of the nuts is to supply a nice crunch and some nutty flavor, while the nut butter in the dressing makes it creamy and savory. Feel free to sub in what you have on hand! I would avoid sweetened and flavored nut butters, and walnuts/pecans because the flavor profile is a little different.
We all need more 20-minute meals in our lives. In this recipe we utilize coleslaw mix to save some time on prep. All other veggies can be chopped while the chicken cooks! Mix up the dressing and throw it all together and you will have dinner on the table before you know it!
- Buy an extra drippy almond butter (like Trader Joe's Raw Almond Butter - My fave!). If your almond butter is "stiff" you'll have more difficulty getting it to mix well when making the dressing. You can also warm the jar of almond butter in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes before using to make it softer.
- Combine all ingredients right before serving to maintain that satisfying crunch!
Feel free to leave a comment and a rating below. Feedback is always appreciated! 😊
Whole30 Asian Chicken Salad
- Frying pan
- Cutting board
- 10 oz Package of coleslaw mix
- 2 Green onions
- 2 tbsp Cashews or sliced almonds Roasted
- 1/2 cup Canned mandarin oranges Juice packed, drained
- 1 Red bell pepper
- Black sesame seeds 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. If your almond butter is firm, you may want to heat it for 15-30 seconds in the microwave to help it mix smoothly in the dressing.
- Finely chop the green onions and thinly slice the bell pepper removing the stem and seeds.
- In a large bowl, toss the coleslaw mix in the dressing (be sure to use 10 oz. of coleslaw mix to ensure you have enough dressing, some packages are 16 oz.). Add chicken, bell peppers and mandarins and mix together.
- Top salad with green onions, cashews and sesame seeds. Serve and enjoy!