Thai Chicken Salad is an explosion of flavors all in one salad! It is filled with peanut marinated chicken, fresh cucumbers, carrots, avocado, cilantro, mint, and peanuts, all tossed in a peanut vinaigrette. This Thai Salad is perfect to prep in advance for meal prep and to eat for lunches all week!
With the promise of warmer temps in the near future, my taste buds are slowly shifting from craving all of the casseroles to some lighter dishes with lots of fresh produce. I might be getting ahead of myself because after all, it is only March and I do live in Minnesota. Regardless, I’ve been busy developing a bunch of new salad recipes and I am obsessed with this Thai Chicken Salad!
This Thai Peanut Chicken Salad is such an easy recipe that is SO full of flavor. It’s insane. The base of the salad starts with mixed spring greens, but if you’re not a huge fan, you can certainly use butter lettuce, romaine lettuce, and even chopped kale! Next, sprinkle on crunchy vegetables like cucumber and carrots, along with some avocado, cilantro and mint. I almost forgot about mint, but then I remembered how much I LOVE mint in fresh spring rolls, and I’m so glad I added it – it’s the best part! The mint adds a freshness to the salad that is just beyond.
Mixed Spring Greens – I used mixed greens in this Thai salad, but you could swap that for butter lettuce, romaine lettuce, arugula, or kale!
Cucumbers and Carrots – these crunchy veggies add a delicious crunch to this Thai salad.
Avocado – avocado adds a change in texture to this salad, along with adding some healthy fats and nutrients.
Cilantro – I am someone who happens to LOVE cilantro. It has a very distinct but amazing flavor and I love the freshness it adds to the salad.
Mint – this classic Thai herb works SO perfectly in this Thai chicken salad! It is always one of my favorite things about spring rolls and it adds a freshness to the salad.
Chicken Thighs – The protein in this salad is chicken thighs which are marinated in a peanut curry marinade. You can grill the chicken or cook it on the stovetop – both are delicious! You can also use chicken breasts or chicken tenders, if you prefer.
Peanut Butter – peanut butter is the main ingredient in the peanut vinaigrette. It adds peanut-y flavor as well as makes the dressing super creamy. I like to use natural peanut butter.
Soy Sauce – soy sauce is used in both the chicken marinade and the peanut vinaigrette.
Curry Powder – curry powder is added to the chicken marinade for a boost of flavor.
Garlic – fresh garlic is used in the Thai peanut dressing .
Thai Chile Sauce
Lastly, this crunchy Thai chicken salad is topped with an AMAZING peanut vinaigrette. Not only was it perfect on this salad, but it was delicious on some noodles for my littles, too!
This Thai chicken salad recipe has a few components to it, but they are all very simple, many of them require the same ingredients, and can be prepped in advance!
Marinate the chicken. In a bowl, add the chicken thighs. In a small bowl, mix together the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, curry powder, and fresh minced garlic. Add the marinade to the chicken and let marinate for at least 20 minutes or up to overnight.
Make the dressing. In a medium bowl, whisk together the peanut vinaigrette ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to use. I like to store my dressing in a mason jar.
Prep the salad. Chop the carrots, cucumbers, mint, avocado, and cilantro, and assemble the salad in a large bowl so it is ready when the chicken is done.
Cook the chicken. Preheat a griddle over medium-high heat on the stove or preheat the outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side, until it is cooked through and you have tender chicken.
Assemble. Chop up the cooked chicken and place on top of the salad. Drizzle with the dressing, toss, and enjoy!
Storage. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Leftovers are best if there is no dressing on the greens, as they will get soggy. So I recommend plating the salads undressed and then drizzle on the dressing individually, so leftovers will not get dressing on them, and storing the vegetables, leftover chicken, and peanut dressing in separate containers.
Yes. You can prep all of the different components, such as the chicken, vinaigrette, and chopping the vegetables (aside from the avocado) in advance. I would not assemble the salad until you are ready to eat, as it will likely get soggy.
Definitely! You will lose a tiny bit of flavor from the peanut marinated chicken but honestly, the peanut vinaigrette will make up for it!
Absolutely. Instead of the mixed spring greens, you could use chopped butter lettuce (this would be my preference), chopped romaine, or even chopped kale for this Thai Chicken Salad. If you use kale, I would recommend adding the dressing to the kale before the toppings, and stirring well to ensure the dressing adheres to the kale and softens it up a bit. I have also seen Thai salads made with shredded green cabbage, which would also be delicious with this dressing and toppings!
Almond Butter – you can use almond butter instead of peanut butter if you prefer the taste of almond butter to peanut butter.
Add More Veggies – you can really load up this healthy salad with all the veggies you love! I think red bell peppers, shredded Napa cabbage, thinly sliced green onion, and some bean sprouts would all be delicious additions.
Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad
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