Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing Recipe

Thai chicken salad with peanut dressing is a vibrant dish full of textures and flavors. This salad combines crisp vegetables, succulent chicken, and crunchy toppings, all tossed in a creamy, tangy, and slightly spicy peanut dressing. It's a refreshing meal that's not only satisfying but also packed with protein and healthy fats.

Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing Recipe
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This recipe calls for ingredients that are mostly commonly found in most homes. However, some items like edamame and wonton strips may not be readily available in every pantry. Edamame are young soybeans and can be found in the frozen vegetable section of your local supermarket. Wonton strips, often used in Asian cuisine for added crunch, can be found in the Asian aisle or sometimes in the salad topping section.

Ingredients for Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

Peanut butter: A creamy base for the dressing that gives it a rich and nutty flavor.

Orange zest and juice: Provides a tangy sweetness to the dressing.

Rice vinegar: This Asian vinegar adds a mild and somewhat sweet acidity to the dressing.

Soy sauce: Gives the dressing a salty umami flavor.

Ginger: Adds a warm spicy note to the dressing.

Garlic: Provides a robust flavor to the dressing.

Chicken breasts: The protein of the salad, which will absorb the flavors of the dressing.

Romaine lettuce: Adds a crunchy and refreshing base for the salad.

Carrots: Gives the salad a sweet crunch.

Red bell pepper: Adds a bright pop of color and sweet crunch to the salad.

Edamame: Provides a unique texture and a boost of protein.

Cashews: Add a crunchy texture and a buttery flavor.

Wonton strips: Gives the salad an extra crunch.

Cilantro leaves: Adds a fresh and slightly citrusy note to the salad.

Sesame seeds: A small but impactful ingredient that gives a nutty flavor and delicate crunch.

One reader, Juieta Judy says:

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This Thai chicken salad with peanut dressing recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are a perfect blend of sweet, tangy, and savory. The peanut dressing is incredibly delicious and complements the fresh veggies and tender chicken. It's a must-try for anyone who loves Thai cuisine!

Juieta Judy

Key Techniques for Making Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

How to make the peanut dressing: Blend the peanut butter, orange zest, orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, and garlic in a blender until smooth. Season with salt, then stir in the red pepper flakes. Chill until ready to use.

How to cook the chicken: Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then grill or pan-sear until cooked through. Let them rest for a few minutes before slicing.

How to prepare the salad ingredients: Wash and chop the romaine lettuce, julienne the carrots, slice the red bell pepper, and shell the edamame. Roast the cashews until golden.

How to assemble the salad: In a large salad bowl, combine the prepared salad ingredients along with the sliced chicken. Pour the peanut dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly.

How to serve: Garnish the salad with wonton strips, cilantro leaves, and a sprinkle of white and black sesame seeds. Serve and enjoy!

How To Make Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

With this Thai chicken salad, enjoy tender grilled chicken paired with crispy and bright veggies, all tossed in a creamy nut dressing, for a healthy meal!

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Total: 35 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

For Dressing:

  • ½cupcreamy peanut butter
  • 2tsporange zest
  • ½cuporange juice,freshly squeezed
  • 2tbsprice vinegar
  • 1tbspsoy sauce,low-sodium
  • 1tbspginger,peeled, grated
  • 1tbspbrown sugar,packed
  • 1small garlic clove
  • salt,to taste
  • ¼tspred pepper flakes,more or less to taste

For Salad:

  • 1lbchicken breasts,skilled, boneless, grilled and sliced
  • 1large romain lettuce head,chopped
  • 3carrots,peeled, chopped
  • 1large red bell pepper,seeded, chopped
  • 1cupedamame,shelled, frozen, thawed
  • cupcashews,salted, roughly chopped
  • 1cupwonton strips
  • ¼cupcilantro leaves
  • white and black sesame seeds,for garnish, optional

Instructions

Dressing:

  1. Add all dressing ingredients to a blender, except red pepper flakes, then pulse until the ginger and garlic are finely minced.

  2. Season with salt to taste and add red pepper flakes, then pulse just to stir in. Pour into an airtight container and chill until ready to serve.

Salad:

  1. Add all salad ingredients to a large salad bowl, pour the dressing over, and toss to evenly coat.

  2. Serve, and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 615.56kcal
  • Fat: 39.11g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.22g
  • Trans Fat: 0.14g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 18.28g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 8.25g
  • Carbohydrates: 30.95g
  • Fiber: 6.67g
  • Sugar: 14.65g
  • Protein: 40.11g
  • Cholesterol: 72.57mg
  • Sodium: 871.61mg
  • Calcium: 97.79mg
  • Potassium: 1154.90mg
  • Iron: 4.59mg
  • Vitamin A: 548.56µg
  • Vitamin C: 76.94mg

Pro Tip for Perfecting the Peanut Dressing

When preparing the peanut dressing, it's crucial to add the red pepper flakes last and pulse just enough to mix them in. This ensures that the heat from the flakes is evenly distributed throughout the dressing without overpowering the other flavors. Additionally, chilling the dressing before serving allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a more robust and balanced taste.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Salad

Plan ahead: Prep ingredients and make the dressing in advance to streamline the cooking process.

Multitask: While the chicken is grilling, chop the vegetables and prepare the salad components to save time.

Use pre-cooked chicken: Utilize leftover or pre-cooked chicken to cut down on cooking time.

Organize your workspace: Keep all ingredients and utensils within reach to avoid unnecessary movement while cooking.

Prep in bulk: Consider making a larger batch of the dressing and salad components to use for multiple meals throughout the week.

Substitute Ingredients For Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing Recipe

  • creamy peanut butter - Substitute with almond butter: Almond butter has a similar creamy texture and nutty flavor, making it a suitable substitute for peanut butter in the dressing.

  • orange zest - Substitute with lemon zest: Lemon zest can provide a similar citrusy brightness to the dressing as orange zest.

  • orange juice - Substitute with pineapple juice: Pineapple juice can offer a sweet and tangy flavor similar to orange juice in the dressing.

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

  • soy sauce - Substitute with tamari: Tamari is a gluten-free alternative to soy sauce with a similar umami-rich flavor.

  • ginger - Substitute with lemongrass: Lemongrass can impart a citrusy, herbal note similar to ginger in the dressing.

  • brown sugar - Substitute with honey: Honey can add sweetness and depth of flavor similar to brown sugar in the dressing.

  • garlic clove - Substitute with shallot: Shallots can provide a mild, sweet onion flavor similar to garlic in the dressing.

  • romaine lettuce - Substitute with iceberg lettuce: Iceberg lettuce can offer a similar crisp and refreshing texture to romaine in the salad.

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

  • red bell pepper - Substitute with yellow bell pepper: Yellow bell pepper can offer a similar crunchy texture and sweet flavor to red bell pepper in the salad.

  • edamame - Substitute with green peas: Green peas can provide a similar pop of color and slightly sweet flavor to edamame in the salad.

  • cashews - Substitute with almonds: Almonds can offer a similar nutty crunch and mild sweetness to cashews in the salad.

  • wonton strips - Substitute with crispy chow mein noodles: Crispy chow mein noodles can provide a similar crunchy texture and savory flavor to wonton strips in the salad.

  • cilantro leaves - Substitute with parsley: Parsley can offer a fresh, herbaceous flavor similar to cilantro in the salad.

  • white and black sesame seeds - Substitute with poppy seeds: Poppy seeds can provide a similar nutty flavor and visual appeal to sesame seeds in the salad.

Presentation Tips for a Stunning Thai Chicken Salad

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the Thai chicken salad, focus on creating an elegant and visually appealing plate. Use colorful and vibrant ingredients to add visual interest and appeal.

  2. Incorporate texture: Introduce a variety of textures to the dish, such as crunchy cashews, crispy wonton strips, and tender chicken, to provide a delightful sensory experience.

  3. Balance the flavors: Ensure that the flavors are well-balanced by incorporating the sweetness of the orange juice, the nuttiness of the peanut butter, and the freshness of the vegetables.

  4. Highlight the freshness of the ingredients: Emphasize the freshness of the ingredients by arranging them meticulously on the plate. Use vibrant cilantro leaves and colorful bell peppers to add a pop of freshness.

  5. Create a harmonious composition: Arrange the components of the salad thoughtfully, ensuring that each element complements the others and contributes to a harmonious overall presentation.

  6. Garnish with sesame seeds: Sprinkle a combination of white and black sesame seeds over the salad to add a touch of elegance and a subtle nutty flavor.

  7. Use minimalist plating: Embrace a minimalist approach to plating, allowing the vibrant colors and textures of the salad to take center stage without overwhelming the dish with excessive garnishes.

  8. Consider the vessel: Select a sophisticated and visually appealing serving vessel that complements the colors and textures of the salad, enhancing the overall presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

  • Blender: A blender is used to mix and blend the ingredients for the peanut dressing until smooth and creamy.

  • Salad bowl: A large salad bowl is needed to toss and mix the salad ingredients with the peanut dressing.

  • Chef's knife: A chef's knife is essential for slicing the chicken breasts, romaine lettuce, carrots, and red bell pepper.

  • Cutting board: A cutting board is necessary for preparing and cutting the vegetables and chicken for the salad.

  • Saucepan: A saucepan is used to cook the chicken breasts before slicing them for the salad.

  • Measuring cups and spoons: These are essential for accurately measuring the ingredients for the peanut dressing.

  • Salad tongs: Salad tongs are useful for tossing and serving the Thai chicken salad with peanut dressing.

  • Wok or skillet: A wok or skillet is needed to cook the edamame and toast the cashews and wonton strips for the salad.

  • Zester or grater: A zester or grater is used to zest the orange for the peanut dressing.

  • Mixing spoon or spatula: A mixing spoon or spatula is necessary for stirring and combining the ingredients for the peanut dressing.

Storage and Freezing Instructions for Thai Chicken Salad

  • To store leftover thai chicken salad, place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Keep the peanut dressing separate from the salad ingredients to prevent the lettuce and other vegetables from becoming soggy.
  • If you want to prepare the salad ahead of time, you can store the chopped romaine lettuce, carrots, red bell pepper, and edamame in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Store the cashews, wonton strips, and cilantro leaves in separate containers at room temperature.
  • The peanut dressing can be prepared in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Give it a good shake or stir before using, as the ingredients may separate over time.
  • While it's not recommended to freeze the entire assembled salad, you can freeze the cooked chicken breasts for up to 2 months. To do this, let the cooked chicken cool completely, then place it in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Thaw the chicken in the refrigerator overnight before using it in the salad.
  • If you have leftover peanut 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 stir before using it, as the ingredients may separate during the freezing process.

How to Reheat Leftover Thai Chicken Salad

  • Leftover thai chicken salad can be enjoyed cold straight from the fridge, as the flavors will have had time to meld together overnight, creating an even more delicious and refreshing meal.
  • If you prefer your salad slightly warmed, remove the chicken from the salad and heat it in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through. Allow the chicken to cool slightly before adding it back to the salad to avoid wilting the lettuce.
  • For a quick and easy reheat, place the desired portion of salad in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 30-45 seconds, or until the chicken is warmed to your liking. Be careful not to overheat, as this may cause the vegetables to become soggy.
  • If you have stored the peanut dressing separately, give it a good stir before drizzling it over the reheated salad to ensure the ingredients are well combined and the flavors are evenly distributed.
  • To add a fresh crunch to your leftover salad, consider topping it with a handful of freshly chopped cilantro, cashews, or wonton strips just before serving.

Interesting Trivia About Thai Chicken Salad

Thai chicken salad with peanut dressing is a popular dish in Thailand, known for its perfect balance of flavors and textures. It's a great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, making it a nutritious and satisfying meal option.

Is Making Thai Chicken Salad at Home Cost-Effective?

This Thai chicken salad with peanut dressing recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients, such as chicken breasts, lettuce, carrots, and bell peppers, are affordable and readily available. The dressing ingredients, like peanut butter and soy sauce, are also budget-friendly. The total cost for a household of 4 people is approximately $20. The dish is nutritious and flavorful, making it a great option for a family meal. Overall, I rate this recipe a 9 for its affordability and delicious taste.

Is This Thai Chicken Salad Healthy?

This Thai chicken salad with peanut dressing recipe is a nutritious and flavorful meal option. The salad itself is packed with healthy ingredients like romaine lettuce, carrots, red bell pepper, and edamame, providing a good mix of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The chicken breast adds lean protein to the dish, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. The inclusion of cashews and sesame seeds provides healthy fats and additional protein.

However, the peanut dressing may be a concern for those watching their calorie or fat intake. Peanut butter is high in calories and fat, although it is mostly healthy unsaturated fat. The addition of brown sugar and wonton strips may also increase the calorie and carbohydrate content of the salad.

  • To make the salad even healthier, consider using a reduced-fat or natural peanut butter in the dressing to lower the calorie and fat content.
  • Replace the brown sugar with a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup, or omit it altogether if you prefer a less sweet dressing.
  • Instead of wonton strips, opt for additional vegetables or fruits to increase the fiber content and add more variety to the salad. Some great options include sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, or mandarin orange segments.
  • To boost the protein content further, consider adding more edamame or replacing the cashews with sliced almonds or chopped peanuts.

Editor's Take on This Thai-Inspired Chicken Salad

The Thai chicken salad with peanut dressing recipe is a delightful combination of vibrant flavors and textures. The creamy peanut dressing with a hint of citrus perfectly complements the tender chicken and crisp vegetables. The addition of crunchy cashews and wonton strips adds a satisfying crunch, while the cilantro and sesame seeds provide a beautiful finishing touch. This dish is a wonderful balance of sweet, savory, and nutty flavors, making it a refreshing and satisfying meal. It's a perfect choice for a light lunch or a flavorful dinner option.

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

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus: Tender asparagus spears roasted to perfection and topped with a savory garlic parmesan crust.
Mango Avocado Salsa: A refreshing and vibrant salsa made with ripe mangoes, creamy avocados, and a zesty lime dressing.
Coconut Lime Rice: Fluffy jasmine rice infused with coconut milk and zesty lime juice for a tropical twist.
Grilled Pineapple Skewers: Juicy pineapple chunks grilled to caramelized perfection, perfect for a sweet and tangy side dish.
Thai Coconut Soup: A creamy and aromatic soup made with coconut milk, lemongrass, and a hint of spicy red curry paste.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Love Thai Chicken Salad

Spicy Beef Stir-Fry: This spicy beef stir-fry is a quick and easy dish that is packed with flavor. The tender beef is cooked with a variety of vegetables and a spicy sauce that will leave your taste buds tingling.
Mango Salsa Chicken: This mango salsa chicken is a refreshing and tropical dish that is perfect for summer. The juicy chicken is topped with a fresh and vibrant mango salsa that is bursting with flavor.
Coconut Curry Shrimp: This coconut curry shrimp is a creamy and aromatic dish that is perfect for a cozy night in. The tender shrimp is cooked in a rich and flavorful coconut curry sauce that will warm you up from the inside out.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Thai Chicken Salad

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Savory and earthy, these stuffed mushrooms are filled with a rich and creamy mixture that will tantalize your taste buds. The combination of flavors and textures will leave you wanting more with every bite.
Bruschetta: Fresh and vibrant, this bruschetta is a perfect appetizer to awaken your palate. The juicy tomatoes, fragrant basil, and tangy balsamic glaze come together on a crispy slice of bread for a burst of Italian flavors.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth and creamy texture will melt in your mouth with every spoonful.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Savor the luscious combination of creamy cheesecake filling and a sweet, tangy strawberry topping. Each bite offers a perfect balance of flavors and a delightful contrast of smooth and fruity textures.

Why trust this Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures, creating a harmonious balance that will tantalize your taste buds. The creamy peanut butter in the dressing provides a rich and nutty base, while the addition of orange zest and orange juice adds a refreshing citrusy note. The use of soy sauce and rice vinegar enhances the umami and tangy elements, while the ginger and garlic infuse a warm, aromatic essence. The inclusion of edamame and cashews contributes a satisfying crunch, and the wonton strips add a delightful crispiness. This recipe is a delightful fusion of Thai-inspired flavors that promises to elevate your dining experience.

Have you tried this Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing Recipe? Share your experience and any tweaks you made in the Recipe Sharing forum!
FAQ:
Can I use a different type of nut butter for the dressing?
Yes, you can substitute the peanut butter with almond butter or cashew butter for a different flavor profile.
Can I make the dressing ahead of time?
Absolutely! The dressing can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Can I use a different type of protein in the salad?
Certainly! Grilled shrimp, tofu, or even thinly sliced steak would make delicious alternatives to the chicken in this salad.
Can I make this salad ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare all the salad ingredients ahead of time and store them separately in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, simply toss the salad with the dressing.
Can I omit the red pepper flakes if I don't like spicy food?
Of course! Feel free to leave out the red pepper flakes if you prefer a milder flavor.

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