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Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad Recipe

This Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad brings together a colorful array of fresh vegetables, tender chicken, and a delectable peanut dressing. The myriad of textures and flavors will tantalize your taste buds, making it a perfect meal on its own or as a side dish. It's easy to prepare and packed with nutrients, and the vibrant colors make it as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate.

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Photos of Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad Recipe

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Most of these ingredients should be readily available in your local supermarket. However, be aware that purple cabbage might also be called red cabbage in some places. The green and purple cabbage provide a lovely crunch, while the mango gives a sweet contrast. Make sure to pick a ripe mango and avocado for the best taste and texture. Natural peanut butter is chosen for the dressing for its healthier profile, but you can substitute with regular peanut butter if that's what you have on hand.

Ingredients for Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad

Shredded cooked chicken: Our main source of protein, which keeps you full and satisfied.

Purple cabbage: Adds a beautiful color and crunch, while packing in extra fiber and vitamins.

Green cabbage: Complements the purple cabbage with its mild flavor and extra crunch.

Avocado: Provides a creamy texture and healthy fats.

Mango: Adds a tropical sweetness and is high in vitamins C and A.

Carrot: Gives a nice crunch and is rich in beta carotene.

Red pepper: Adds a bright color and crunch, and is high in vitamin C.

Fresh cilantro leaves: Gives the salad a fresh and light taste.

Green onions: Adds a mild onion flavor without being too overpowering.

Cashews: Gives a delightful crunch and is a good source of healthy fats.

Natural peanut butter: Used in the dressing, it adds a rich and creamy texture.

Rice wine vinegar: Gives the dressing a tangy flavor.

Soy sauce: Adds umami and depth of flavor to the dressing.

Honey: Balances out the tang and saltiness in the dressing with its sweetness.

Sesame oil: Gives the dressing a toasted, nutty flavor.

Lime: Its juice adds a fresh tang to our dressing.

Red pepper flakes: Adds a little heat to the salad, but can be adjusted according to your preference.

One reader, Burl Desai says:

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This rainbow Thai chicken salad recipe is a game-changer! The combination of fresh, vibrant ingredients and the zesty peanut butter dressing is a burst of flavors. It's a healthy and satisfying meal that's perfect for any occasion. I highly recommend trying it out!

Burl Desai

Mastering the Art of Thai Chicken Salad

How to prepare the salad: Toss all salad ingredients together until combined. Drizzle with dressing or toss to combine, then serve immediately.

How to make the peanut butter dressing: Whisk all ingredients together until combined. If the dressing is too thick, add hot water a teaspoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.

How To Make Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad

This chicken salad is Thai-inspired and full of colorful veggies like cabbage, carrot, mango, avocado, and pepper. It’s served with a peanut butter dressing

Preparation: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes



  • 3cupsshredded cooked chicken
  • 2cupspurple cabbage,shredded
  • 1cupgreen cabbage,shredded
  • 1avocado,diced
  • 1mango,peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1large carrot,julienned or shredded
  • 1red pepper,cored and julienned or diced
  • 1cupfresh cilantro leaves,roughly chopped
  • ½cupgreen onions,chopped
  • ¼cupcashews,or peanuts, chopped
  • ½cupnatural peanut butter
  • 2tbsphot water
  • 2tbsprice wine vinegar
  • 2tbspsoy sauce
  • 2tbsphoney
  • ¼tspsesame oil
  • 1juice of lime
  • red pepper flakes,just a pinch


  1. Toss all salad ingredients together until combined. Drizzle with dressing or toss to combine, then serve immediately.

Peanut Butter Dressing:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together until combined. If the dressing is too thick, add hot water a teaspoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.


  • Calories: 633.28kcal
  • Fat: 35.68g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.14g
  • Trans Fat: 0.02g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 18.26g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 7.53g
  • Carbohydrates: 46.67g
  • Fiber: 10.22g
  • Sugar: 29.49g
  • Protein: 39.21g
  • Cholesterol: 78.75mg
  • Sodium: 563.75mg
  • Calcium: 105.00mg
  • Potassium: 1242.15mg
  • Iron: 3.99mg
  • Vitamin A: 304.58µg
  • Vitamin C: 116.56mg

Elevate Your Thai Chicken Salad with This Simple Technique

When shredding your cooked chicken, it's best to do so while it's still warm. The meat is much more pliable and tears apart easily. You can use two forks to pull the meat apart, or for a quicker method, place the warm chicken in a large mixing bowl and use a hand mixer on low speed to break it apart. This will give you perfectly shredded chicken in no time.

Streamline Your Cooking: Time-Saving Tips for Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad

Prep ahead: Cook and shred the chicken, chop the vegetables, and make the dressing in advance. Store them separately in airtight containers in the fridge, so you can quickly assemble the salad when needed.

Use a food processor: To save time on shredding the cabbage and carrots, use a food processor with a shredding attachment. It will make the process much quicker and more efficient.

Multi-task: While the chicken is cooking, use that time to chop the vegetables or prepare the dressing. This way, you can maximize your time in the kitchen and get things done simultaneously.

Batch cooking: Consider making a larger batch of the salad and storing it in individual containers, so you have ready-to-eat portions throughout the week, saving you time on meal prep.

Invest in quality tools: Quality knives, kitchen shears, and a good food processor can significantly reduce the time it takes to prepare ingredients, making the cooking process more efficient.

Substitute Ingredients For Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad Recipe

  • shredded cooked chicken - Substitute with shredded cooked turkey: Turkey can provide a similar texture and flavor to chicken in the salad.

  • purple cabbage - Substitute with red cabbage: Red cabbage can provide a similar crunch and color to the dish.

  • green cabbage - Substitute with Napa cabbage: Napa cabbage has a milder flavor and tender texture, which can work well in the salad.

  • avocado - Substitute with mashed peas: Mashed peas can provide a creamy texture similar to avocado and add a pop of color to the salad.

  • mango - Substitute with pineapple: Pineapple can offer a sweet and tangy flavor similar to mango in the salad.

  • carrot - Substitute with jicama: Jicama can provide a similar crunchy texture and a slightly sweet flavor to the salad.

  • red pepper - Substitute with orange pepper: Orange pepper can provide a similar crunch and a slightly sweeter flavor to the dish.

  • fresh cilantro leaves - Substitute with fresh parsley: Fresh parsley can provide a similar herbaceous flavor and bright green color to the salad.

  • green onions - Substitute with chives: Chives can offer a mild onion flavor and a similar visual appeal to green onions in the salad.

  • cashews - Substitute with almonds: Almonds can provide a similar crunch and nutty flavor to the dish.

  • natural peanut butter - Substitute with almond butter: Almond butter can offer a similar nutty flavor and creamy texture to the salad dressing.

  • rice wine vinegar - Substitute with apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar can provide a slightly sweet and tangy flavor similar to rice wine vinegar.

  • soy sauce - Substitute with tamari: Tamari is a gluten-free alternative to soy sauce and can provide a similar salty and savory flavor to the dish.

  • honey - Substitute with maple syrup: Maple syrup can offer a similar sweetness and depth of flavor to the salad dressing.

  • sesame oil - Substitute with toasted walnut oil: Toasted walnut oil can provide a nutty flavor similar to sesame oil in the salad dressing.

  • lime - Substitute with lemon: Lemon can offer a similar citrusy tang to the dish.

  • red pepper flakes - Substitute with chili powder: Chili powder can provide a similar heat and flavor to the salad.

Elevate Your Plate: Presenting Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad, focus on creating a visually stunning plate. Use vibrant colors and arrange the ingredients in an appealing and artistic manner to captivate the judges' attention.

  2. Incorporate texture: Introduce a variety of textures to the dish by incorporating crunchy elements such as cashews and crisp vegetables alongside the tender shredded chicken. This will add depth and interest to each bite.

  3. Balance the flavors: Ensure that the flavors are well-balanced by incorporating the sweetness of mango and the creaminess of avocado with the savory elements of the chicken and the nutty peanut butter dressing. The balance of flavors will showcase your culinary expertise.

  4. Highlight the freshness: Emphasize the freshness of the ingredients by showcasing their natural colors and textures. This will convey a sense of quality and attention to detail in the preparation of the dish.

  5. Create a harmonious composition: Arrange the components of the salad thoughtfully to create a harmonious composition on the plate. Pay attention to the placement of each element to achieve a visually appealing presentation.

  6. Incorporate a touch of heat: Add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes to the dish to introduce a subtle heat that will elevate the flavor profile and add a layer of complexity to the salad.

  7. Emphasize the peanut butter dressing: Drizzle the peanut butter dressing over the salad in an elegant and precise manner. The dressing should complement the dish without overpowering the other flavors.

  8. Garnish with finesse: Use fresh cilantro leaves and finely chopped green onions as a delicate garnish to add a pop of color and a burst of freshness to the dish. The garnish should be applied with finesse to enhance the overall presentation.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Thai Chicken Salad

  • Food processor: A food processor is a versatile kitchen appliance that can be used for chopping, slicing, shredding, and pureeing ingredients. It can be helpful for quickly preparing vegetables and fruits for the salad.
  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is essential for combining the salad ingredients and tossing them together with the dressing.
  • Sharp knife: A sharp knife is necessary for cutting the vegetables, fruits, and chicken into the desired shapes and sizes.
  • Cutting board: A cutting board provides a stable surface for chopping and preparing the ingredients without damaging the countertop.
  • Whisk: A whisk is used for blending the ingredients together to create a smooth and well-mixed dressing.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Measuring cups and spoons are essential for accurately measuring the ingredients for the dressing.
  • Serving platter or bowl: A serving platter or bowl is needed for presenting the finished rainbow Thai chicken salad.

Preserving the Freshness: Storing and Freezing Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad

  • To store the rainbow thai chicken salad, place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. However, keep in mind that the vegetables may lose their crispness over time, and the avocado may brown slightly.

  • If you want to prepare the salad ahead of time, store the dressing separately from the salad ingredients. Combine them just before serving to maintain the freshness and crunch of the vegetables.

  • For the best results, store the peanut butter dressing in a separate airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Give it a good stir before using, as the ingredients may separate over time.

  • While it's not ideal to freeze the entire rainbow thai chicken salad, you can freeze the cooked chicken separately for up to 2-3 months. Thaw the chicken in the refrigerator overnight before adding it to the freshly prepared salad.

  • If you have leftover peanut butter dressing, you can freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw the dressing in the refrigerator overnight and give it a good whisk before using it on the salad.

Reviving Leftover Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad

  • To reheat leftover rainbow thai chicken salad, start by separating the chicken, vegetables, and dressing into different containers. This will prevent the vegetables from becoming soggy during the reheating process.
  • For the chicken, you can either reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop. If using the microwave, place the chicken in a microwave-safe dish and heat it in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until it reaches your desired temperature. If using the stovetop, heat a small amount of oil in a pan over medium heat and add the chicken, stirring occasionally until it's heated through.
  • To refresh the vegetables, such as the purple cabbage, green cabbage, carrots, and red pepper, you can either leave them at room temperature for a short time or, if they seem a bit wilted, you can quickly blanch them in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute to crisp them up. Be sure to drain and cool them immediately after blanching.
  • For the avocado and mango, it's best to use fresh if possible, as they may not retain their texture and flavor well after being cut and stored. If you must use leftover avocado or mango, be sure to check for any signs of browning or spoilage before using.
  • The peanut butter dressing can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop. If it has thickened during storage, you may need to add a small amount of hot water and whisk it well to restore its original consistency.
  • Once all the components are ready, reassemble the salad by placing the vegetables in a bowl, topping them with the warm chicken, and drizzling the heated dressing over the top. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, green onions, and cashews for added flavor and crunch.
  • If you prefer your salad chilled, you can refrigerate the assembled salad for a short time before serving. However, keep in mind that the vegetables may lose some of their crispness, and the dressing may thicken slightly when chilled.

Surprising Facts About Thai Chicken Salad Ingredients

Thai chicken salad is a colorful and flavorful dish that combines a variety of fresh ingredients, including mango, avocado, and colorful cabbages. This salad is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients, making it a healthy meal option.

Budget-Friendly Cooking: Is Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad Cost-Effective?

This rainbow Thai chicken salad recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients, such as shredded chicken, cabbage, avocado, mango, and carrot, are generally affordable and widely available. The dressing ingredients like peanut butter, soy sauce, and honey are also budget-friendly. The total cost for a household of 4 people would be approximately $20-25. Overall, this vibrant and flavorful salad offers a delightful combination of textures and flavors, making it a solid 9 out of 10.

Is This Colorful Thai Chicken Salad Healthy?

The rainbow Thai chicken salad recipe is a healthy and nutritious dish that incorporates a variety of colorful vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. The salad is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from the purple and green cabbage, avocado, mango, carrot, red pepper, and fresh cilantro. The shredded chicken provides a good source of lean protein, while the cashews and peanut butter dressing offer healthy fats and additional protein. The dressing also includes honey and lime juice, which add natural sweetness and tanginess to the salad without relying on processed sugars or artificial flavors.

To make this salad even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Use a low-sodium soy sauce or replace it with coconut aminos to reduce the overall sodium content
  • Increase the amount of vegetables in the salad to boost the fiber and nutrient content
  • Opt for a leaner cut of chicken, such as chicken breast, to reduce the fat content
  • Toast the cashews to enhance their flavor without adding extra oil
  • Experiment with different types of leafy greens, such as spinach or kale, to vary the nutrient profile of the salad
  • Add some fresh herbs like mint or basil to increase the antioxidant content and provide additional flavor complexity

Editor's Take: Why Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad Is a Must-Try

The Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad recipe is a vibrant and refreshing dish that combines a variety of textures and flavors. The colorful mix of vegetables, fruits, and shredded chicken creates a visually stunning and appetizing salad. The peanut butter dressing adds a creamy and nutty element, complementing the fresh ingredients perfectly. The balance of sweet, savory, and tangy flavors makes this salad a delightful and satisfying meal. It's a wonderful fusion of Thai-inspired ingredients that will surely impress your guests and elevate any dining experience.

Enhance Your Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Marinate a variety of colorful vegetables in a zesty herb dressing and grill them to perfection for a flavorful and healthy side dish.
Mango Salsa: Combine ripe mango, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice for a refreshing and tropical salsa that pairs perfectly with the Thai chicken salad.
Coconut Rice: Cook jasmine rice in coconut milk and water for a creamy and aromatic side dish that complements the bold flavors of the Thai chicken salad.

Exploring Thai Cuisine: Dishes Similar to Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad

Spicy Beef Stir-Fry: This spicy beef stir-fry is a quick and easy dish that's packed with flavor. The combination of tender beef, crunchy vegetables, and a spicy sauce is sure to satisfy your taste buds.
Mango Coconut Chicken Curry: This mango coconut chicken curry is a delicious and comforting dish that's perfect for a cozy night in. The creamy coconut milk and sweet mango add a tropical twist to this classic curry.
Berry Chia Seed Pudding: This berry chia seed pudding is a healthy and satisfying dessert that's perfect for breakfast or a sweet treat. The combination of juicy berries and creamy chia seeds is both delicious and nutritious.

Crafting a Thai-Inspired Menu: Appetizers and Desserts

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a delectable appetizer by stuffing large mushrooms with a savory mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs. Bake until golden and serve hot for a crowd-pleasing starter.
Crispy Coconut Shrimp: Whip up a tropical-inspired appetizer by coating shrimp in a crispy coconut breading and frying until golden brown. Serve with a tangy dipping sauce for a delightful flavor combination.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth!
Apple Pie: Enjoy a classic apple pie, with a flaky golden crust and a warm, cinnamon-spiced apple filling. Serve it a la mode with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate dessert experience.

Why trust this Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad Recipe:

This recipe is a delicious and vibrant Thai chicken salad that combines fresh and colorful ingredients. The use of shredded cooked chicken ensures a hearty and satisfying meal, while the addition of avocado and mango brings a delightful sweetness. The peanut butter dressing adds a rich and creamy element, perfectly complementing the crunch of cashews and the freshness of cilantro. With a balance of flavors and textures, this recipe promises a delightful culinary experience that will surely impress your taste buds.

Share your thoughts on the Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section and let us know if you have any tips or variations to make this dish even more delicious!
How can I make this recipe vegetarian?
To make this recipe vegetarian, you can substitute the shredded chicken with tofu or tempeh. You can also add more vegetables such as bell peppers, snap peas, or edamame to enhance the flavors and textures of the salad.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the salad ingredients ahead of time and store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. However, I recommend waiting to toss the salad with the dressing until just before serving to maintain the freshness and crunch of the ingredients.
Is there a substitute for peanut butter in the dressing?
If you have a peanut allergy or prefer a different flavor, you can use almond butter or cashew butter as a substitute for peanut butter in the dressing. This will still provide a creamy and nutty flavor to the dressing.
How can I adjust the spiciness of the dressing?
If you prefer a milder dressing, you can reduce the amount of hot water and red pepper flakes in the peanut butter dressing. Conversely, if you enjoy a spicier kick, you can increase the amount of red pepper flakes or add a dash of your favorite hot sauce.
Can I add or substitute other fruits in the salad?
Absolutely! You can customize the salad by adding or substituting fruits such as pineapple, papaya, or strawberries. These fruits will add a delightful sweetness and vibrant colors to the salad, enhancing its visual appeal and flavor profile.

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