This recipe for thai chicken salad with spicy peanut dressing is our absolute favorite weekday lunch. It’s healthy, delicious, and the different elements can be prepared ahead of time and mixed on demand. It’s also a very adaptable recipe that can be customized easily. The veggie mix we use in this recipe became a staple for us when we were regularly meal prepping this salad, and can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge all week. We usually have a big batch of it available to use on tacos, add to salads, or to top our black bean burgers.
This veggie mix is a genuine staple of ours, and although it was originally the base for this salad it has become a favorite topping for our black bean burgers, tacos, and greek pitas. I highly recommend making this large batch and storing it in a gallon ziplock bag in the fridge to have an easy, nutritious, and crunchy addition for all your salad and sandwich needs.
To shred the red cabbage, I recommend cutting it into quarters and then thinly slicing it with a chef’s knife. Unfortunately I am not a knife handling expert, but if you need some more guidance than I can offer check out this guide from A Couple Cooks.
The carrots can be shredded with a vegetable peeler, and the peppers can be thinly julienned. Not sure what the heck I mean? Check out this guide to the perfect julienne. To cut the onion, I first cut off the stem, then cut the onion in half. Remove the outer layer and skin and thinly slice.
The veggies are then tossed with the red wine vineger and salt. If you store them for several days the salt will continue to draw moisture from the vegetables, but the liquid is not a sign that they have gone bad. We typically just drain some of the excess liquid as we go.
It may not be exciting, but we almost always have shredded chicken breast available in our fridge. We use it for a quick, lean protein to add to our meals throughout the week when we need something quick. And, now that we have a puppy we use it as a healthy high value treat during training (for her, we don’t use anything like bouillon, just simple unseasoned chicken)!
We love to make our shredded chicken in our pressure cooker because it is hands off and quick. We simply put the chicken breasts in with 1 cup of water into which we have dissolved a bouillon cube. It takes a 10 minute pressure cook on high before releasing naturally. If the chicken is frozen, you can still pressure cook it but bring the time up to 20 minutes. We always quickly check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer to make sure it’s fully cooked before shredding it.
Alternatively, you could easily cook the chicken for this recipe in any way you prefer. It could be baked, poached, or pan fried and cut into bite sized pieces. Or, if you really want an easy night, grab a rotisserie chicken and pull the meat off to use in this salad.
Ingredients and Substitutions
You can use any variety of rice noodles that you prefer for this salad, but we typically stick with a wider version. If you check for these and see “rice sticks” they are the same thing, and work perfectly. Don’t have rice noodles on hand? Soba or rice vermicelli work perfectly, or you could leave the noodles out altogether!
Trader Joe’s Spicy Peanut Dressing
We love this dressing, and having it on hand makes this recipe so easy. It would be easy to substitute with any other store bought peanut dressing. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could also make a dressing from scratch like this one from Hot Thai Kitchen.
Shredded Chicken Breast
Need to simplify this further? Grab a rotisserie chicken and shred the chicken from there.Print
Thai Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
This thai chicken salad with spicy peanut dressing is a weekday favorite, and can be prepped in batches at the start of the week to make it easy to have a delicious, healthy lunch any day.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4–5 servings 1x
- 1/2 large red cabbage
- 2 large bell peppers
- 4 large carrots, peeled
- 1–2 jalapeños
- 1 large red onion
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 large chicken breasts (fresh)
- 1 cube bouillon
- 1 cup water
- 16 oz Rice noodles
- 2 T Sesame oil
- 1/3 cup Trader Joe’s Spicy Peanut Dressing
- Roasted, salted peanuts, chopped
- Sesame seeds
- Sriracha (optional)
- Add chicken breast, bouillon, and water to the pressure cooker. Set to high and pressure cook for 10 minutes, then allow pressure to naturally release.
- Thinly slice the cabbage, carrots, peppers, jalapeños, and onion. Toss together in a large mixing bowl with the red wine vinegar and salt. This mix can be made up to several days in advance and stored in a gallon ziplock bag in the fridge.
- When the chicken is nearly ready, cook the rice noodles according to the package’s instructions. Rinse in cold water to chill.
- Remove breasts and shred.
- In a large salad or mixing bowl, toss veggie mix, shredded chicken, and rice noodles with sesame oil and peanut dressing.
- Serve in bowls with toppings of your choice!
When Alex and I prep this salad for our weekday lunches we make the veggie mix and chicken on Sunday night and store them separately in the fridge. Then at lunch time we cook one serving (two ounces) of noodles and toss everything together fresh!