Thai Chicken Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing (2024)

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This Thai Chicken Salad Recipe is a sassy scene-stealing meal that delivers mouthfuls that surprise and delight. Crunchy Napa cabbage is tossed with tender chicken, red pepper, carrots, and scallions and then dressed with a punchy ginger-lime dressing. Top it off garden-fresh basil and cilantro, and then throw in cashews for a little crunch, and you've got a party in your mouth going on.

Thai Chicken Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing (1)

I love salads, and thisThai Chicken Salad Recipeis one I turn to again and again.

The combination of colors, texture, and flavors is something that I could never get tired of.

This isn't a wimpy, you are going to be hungry in two hours kind of salad either. It is a hearty main course that will satisfy even the most ravenous of appetites.



Thai Chicken Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing (2)
  • Coconut Oil:I recommend using refined coconut oil.
  • Chicken:I used chicken breasts, but thighs will work as well.
  • Seasonings:Adjust the amount to your liking.

Thai Dressing

Thai Chicken Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing (3)
  • Lime Juice:Add the zest to the dressing if you would like an extra pop of lime flavor.
  • Fish Sauce:My go-to brand is Red Boat.
  • Ginger:Save any leftover ginger by freezing it.
  • Red Pepper Flakes:This adds a subtle kick. Feel free to adjust the amount to your taste.
  • Honey:You can use your preferred sweetener.
  • Oil:I recommend the best quality extra virgin olive oil you have.


Thai Chicken Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing (4)
  • Napa Cabbage:If you can't find Napa Cabbage, you can use regular cabbage, but the texture would be different.
  • Red Pepper:Yellow pepper may also be used. I do not recommend green bell pepper.
  • Carrots:Buy pre-shredded to save time.
  • Scallions:Use the green and white parts.
  • Fresh Herbs:I like a blend of basil and cilantro.
  • Cashews:I buy raw and toast them myself, but you can buy roasted cashews to save time.


This recipe begs to be adapted. Here are some suggestions!

  • You can use grilled chicken if you like.
  • Substitute shrimp for the chicken.
  • Mint can be used in place of cilantro.
  • Regular cabbage may be used in place of the Napa Cabbage
  • Add diced red chili for a kick of heat.
  • If you want to make this Thai Ginger Chicken Salad a little heartier, try adding in rice noodles.
  • Top with bean sprouts.
  • Make it Veganby substituting cooked and crumbled Tempeh or using Gardein Chicken Scallopini.
  • If aThai Chicken Salad with Peanut Sauceis more your thing, make the recipe as instructed and substitute in thisPeanut Dressing.

Serving Suggestions

This salad is hearty enough for a meal by itself. If you want to serve it with something else, here are some suggestions.

  • Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
  • Thai Rice Pilaf
  • Curry Chicken Satay

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Chicken Should I Use?

I like to use chicken breasts, but chicken thighs work just as well. Either way, make sure you are using boneless chicken that has been thinly sliced or shredded.

If you want to use bone-in chicken, adjust the cooking time upwards and cook until the internal temperature is 165. Allow the chicken to cool and then shred.

Can I Use Pre-Cooked Chicken?

Absolutely! If you've picked up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, it works just fine here. You can also use mySlow Cooker Shredded ChickenorInstant Pot Chicken.

Either are a great option if you want to get ahead of the game and do meal prep on the weekend.

How Many Calories are in Thai Chicken Salad?

Every recipe is different, but this one has approximately 355 calories per serving.

Tools Needed to Make Thai Salad Recipe

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If you have already tossed the salad with the dressing, it is best to eat it immediately.

If you do have leftovers, they will hold for up to a day, but the salad will not be as crisp as it was initially.

Without the dressing, the salad should hold for about three days, depending on how fresh your ingredients initially were.

Serving Suggestions

This salad is hearty enough for a meal by itself. If you want to serve it with something else, here are some suggestions.

  • Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
  • Thai Rice Pilaf
  • Curry Chicken Satay

How to Make

Season the chicken to taste with salt and pepper. (I like to do this up to one day ahead of time. The salt will get into the muscle fibers of the chicken and improve the taste and texture.)

Heat the oil over medium-high heat.

Thai Chicken Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing (5)
Thai Chicken Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing (6)

Add the chicken and cook until the chicken is cooked through, and the internal temperature is 165° F. Allow the chicken to cool and shred.

Thai Chicken Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing (7)
Thai Chicken Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing (8)

While the chicken is cooking, make the dressing by combining the lime juice, fish sauce, ginger, and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Alternatively, you can use a blender to make the dressing.

Thai Chicken Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing (9)
Thai Chicken Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing (10)

Whisk in the oil until the dressing emulsifies. Add honey to taste and season with salt and pepper.

To make the salad. Combine the Napa cabbage, red pepper, carrot, scallions, basil, and cilantro in a bowl.

Thai Chicken Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing (11)
Thai Chicken Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing (12)

Add the chicken and toss with the dressing. Top with cashews and serve.

Thai Chicken Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing (13)

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Thai Chicken Salad Recipe

This Thai Chicken Salad recipe has a spicy Ginger-Lime dressing that will find yourself hopelessly addicted too! Tossed Napa cabbage, red pepper, carrots, and scallions and topped with fresh basil, cilantro, and cashews, you have a healthy chicken salad recipe that feels like anything but a sacrifice.

Prep Time15 minutes mins

Cook Time20 minutes mins

Total Time35 minutes mins

Course: Salad

Cuisine: American

Diet: Gluten Free

Keyword: Thai

Servings: 4

Calories: 454kcal

Author: Wendy Polisi


  • Large Saute Pan

  • Blender



  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon gresh ground black pepper


  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce Red Boat brand
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger peeled and grated
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon honey to taste
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  • 4 cups shredded Napa cabbage
  • 1 red pepper or yellow or orange, diced
  • 3 carrots grated
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil torn
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • ¼ cup cashews chopped

US Customary - Metric



  • Heat coconut oil over medium high heat.

  • Season the chicken with salt, garlic powder, and pepper.

  • Add chicken and saute until browned and the chicken is fully cooked, about 10 minutes.

  • Allow to cool and shred chicken


  • Make dressing by whisking together lime juice, fish sauce, ginger, and red pepper flakes.

  • Slowly whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Add honey to taste. (You may also make the dressing in a food processor, blender or using an immersion blender.)


  • In a large bowl combine cabbage, red pepper, carrots, scallions, basil, cilantro and chicken. Toss with dressing. Top with cashews and serve.


Tips and Variations for Making a Thai Chicken Salad

  • Don't like cilantro? Substitute green onions.
  • If you want to make this Thai Chicken Salad a little heartier, try adding in rice noodles.
  • The chicken can easily be cooked ahead in the slow cooker! Try cooking it on low for four hours, adding in a little broth or water for extra moisture.
  • Make it Vegan by substituting cooked and crumbled Tempeh or using Gardein Chicken Scallopini.
  • If a Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Sauce is more your thing, make the recipe as instructed and substitute in this Peanut Sauce.
  • Skip the fish sauce in the dressing and instead use soy sauce. (Or gluten free tamari. Make sure it is organic!)


Calories: 454kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 1847mg | Potassium: 1362mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 9873IU | Vitamin C: 112mg | Calcium: 228mg | Iron: 3mg

Filed Under:

FavoritesGluten Free RecipesSalad Recipes

Thai Chicken Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing (2024)


What are the four types of Thai salad? ›

Thai Salads

The four types of salads in Thai cuisine are Yam, Laap, Dtam and Phlaa. Naam Dtok can be regarded as a variation on the standard Laap; the meat on this occasion is first grilled over flame before being dressed the same way.

What is chicken salad dressing made of? ›

Make the dressing: In a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, mustard, salt, sugar, and pepper. To the dressing, add the chicken, scallions, celery, dill, and parsley. Toss until evenly combined. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

What to eat with a chicken salad? ›

Refreshing Vegetable Sides for Chicken Salad
Vegetable SideDescription
Cherry Tomato CapreseJuicy tomatoes paired with creamy mozzarella
Crisp Cucumber SaladFresh and hydrating with a satisfying crunch
Grilled Asparagus SpearsSmoky with a hint of charred sweetness
2 more rows
Jan 10, 2024

What is ginger salad dressing made of? ›

Whisk soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, honey, mustard, and pepper together in a small bowl until thoroughly combined. Add oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly until incorporated into the dressing. Pour into a glass jar and chill until serving.

What is the most popular salad in Thailand? ›

The most famous, and for many also the original, tam (ตำ, pronounced [tām]), lit. "pounded") style salad is som tam, made from unripe papaya. The basic dressing for a som tam-style salad contains garlic, palm sugar, lime juice, bird's-eye chillies, dried shrimp and fish sauce.

What is the unhealthiest salad dressing? ›

Depending on the ingredients, some dressings tend to be less healthy than others.
  1. Caesar. And at the top of that list? Caesar dressing. ...
  2. Thousand Island. Next in line is Thousand Island. ...
  3. Blue cheese. The delicious crumbles that make blue cheese dressing a fan favorite can also make it dangerous for a balanced diet.
Oct 27, 2023

What is the healthiest dressing for a salad? ›

6 healthy salad dressings you can make in less than 3 minutes
  1. Classic lemon and olive oil. This is a very easy dressing that is good with strong-flavoured leaf salads, such as rocket or kale. ...
  2. Lime and chilli dressing. ...
  3. Simple balsamic vinaigrette. ...
  4. Raspberry vinaigrette. ...
  5. Creamy cucumber dressing. ...
  6. Creamy mint dressing.

Why is my chicken salad so bland? ›

Cooked chicken breast (or leftover rotisserie chicken), creamy mayo, celery, and salt make up a basic chicken salad, but what it's really missing is an acid, something that can break through the blandness so the chicken salad can stand up to whatever bread or roll you serve it on.

Is it OK to eat chicken salad everyday? ›

Still, using ingredients such as mayonnaise or serving the salad on a croissant adds calories and fat. Therefore, it's best to enjoy chicken salad occasionally in moderate portions and as part of a well-rounded diet.

Is chicken salad meant to be eaten cold? ›

Chicken salad is best served when it's cold.

So let the mixture chill in the fridge before serving. This also helps all the flavors meld together for the tastiest salad.

What is ambrosia salad made of? ›

Ambrosia Fruit Salad

The best Ambrosia Salad recipe is made with pineapple, mandarin oranges, yogurt, mini marshmallows, coconut and whipped cream. This easy side dish has a delicious tropical sweetness and is always a crowd favorite!

What does Thai sauce contain? ›

Traditional pad thai sauce includes fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and tamarind paste. Tamarind paste is not easily found at a regular grocery stores so I substituted rice vinegar. If you would like to use tamarind paste, substitute about 2 Tablespoons in place of the rice vinegar in this recipe.

What is the healthiest type of salad dressing? ›

8 Simple and Healthy Salad Dressings
  1. Sesame ginger. This simple salad dressing doubles as an easy marinade for meat, poultry, or roasted veggies. ...
  2. Balsamic vinaigrette. ...
  3. Avocado lime. ...
  4. Lemon vinaigrette. ...
  5. Honey mustard. ...
  6. Greek yogurt ranch. ...
  7. Apple cider vinaigrette. ...
  8. Ginger turmeric.
Jul 27, 2023

What does Thai style taste like? ›

The Key Flavors

A typical Thai meal includes five main flavors: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and spicy. Indeed, most Thai dishes are not considered satisfying unless they combine all five. While the seasoning can be spicy for a foreign palate, Thai food ensures that a balance of all flavors is present.


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