This easy Thai Chicken Salad With Peanut Dressing is loaded with edamame, carrots, and juicy chicken, then drizzled with a sweet and spicy peanut dressing. Modeled after hit salads at popular restaurants, this is a delicious and light, yet filling, meal you can make in the comfort of home!
Why You’ll Love This Flavorful Salad
Now, just because this is a salad doesn’t mean we are missing out on flavor. In fact, this salad is exploding with flavor in every bite! The lime, peanuts, fresh cilantro, and veggies make for a filling and satisfying meal. Not to mention it’s light on the calories.
I made this salad for one, but you can easily double this recipe if you are making more than one serving. And feel free to swap out ingredients for what’s in season or in your pantry. Keep in mind that you will be using half of the dressing as a marinade and the other half for your salad. (Fancy right?)
You can also make extra of this peanut dressing to use throughout the week in other recipes.
This Thai Cobb Salad is a copycat Panera Spicy Thai Chicken Salad recipe, which was discontinued and rebranded as its Asian Sesame Salad with Chicken. It’s also similar to the Cheesecake Factory’s Thai Chicken Salad. Both are such popular menu items that I knew I had to make it for myself! Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious salad at home:
- Romaine Lettuce: I like using romaine as the base for this salad, but you can use any leafy greens you like. A mixture of arugula, baby kale, spinach, iceberg, other lettuce varieties, or a spring mix would also work well.
- Edamame: Aka, soy beans out of the pod. These add a ton of protein and a satisfying crunch!
- Carrots: Shredded into thin strips for color and more crunch.
- Cucumber: I like to julienne my cucumber to compliment the shredded carrots in terms of shape and texture.
- Peanuts: Adding some chopped, roasted peanuts to this Thai chicken salad compliments the peanut butter dressing and adds some needed saltiness.
- Chicken: I prefer to use a grilled chicken breast for this recipe, but you could whatever cut you have on hand. This is also a great way to use up a rotisserie chicken!
- Cilantro: This truly elevates the salad by adding a big bite of herby freshness and takes the peanut dressing to the next level.
- Limes: I like to squeeze some fresh lime juice over this salad before serving to brighten everything up and to add a nice citrusy bite.
- Thai Peanut Salad Dressing: This is the secret ingredient that makes this salad so good. Find out how to make it below.
About That Sweet and Spicy Peanut Salad Dressing …
To make this Thai peanut dressing, I added creamy peanut butter, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, vegetable oil, fresh garlic, and sriracha to a bowl with sesame seeds for crunch, and a little water to thin it out. I whisked it together until it was super smooth and pourable.
Now, this step is crucial — make this peanut salad dressing first so that it has plenty of time to sit in the fridge and marinate before serving. You can make it up to a couple days ahead of time and use it in other recipes like wraps, as a grilling marinade, or as a dipping sauce. It also makes a great marinade for grilled chicken or shrimp!
When it’s time to eat, drizzle your Thai chicken salad with this sweet and spicy peanut dressing, serve, and enjoy!
How To Make Thai Chicken Salad
This salad recipe could not be easier to make! Just prep your ingredients ahead of time, and place a handful or chopped romaine lettuce into each serving bowl. Top with the grilled chicken, veggies, and chopped peanuts. I like to assemble this as a Thai Cobb Salad, with each ingredient layered so that they’re visible. Drizzle with the sweet and spicy peanut dressing, and dig in!
Tips and Variations
- Add some minced fresh ginger to the salad dressing to make it even more flavorful.
- Or spice it up with some minced jalapeño or serrano chili peppers. Cayenne pepper and crushed red pepper flakes would also work!
- Allow the salad dressing to marinate as long as possible before adjusting any flavors or serving. The longer it sits, the better it will taste!
- Change up the protein! Tofu, shrimp, salmon, and even skirt steak would be delicious here.
- Or keep it vegetarian- and vegan-friendly by amping up the veggies! Red or green cabbage, thinly sliced red onions, avocado, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, or shaved Brussels sprouts would be delicious. This is a great way to clean out that vegetable crisper!
- Make it more filling with some boiled or crispy rice noodles!
- Or serve this salad as a wrap! Simply layer the toppings inside a big leafy of romaine lettuce, roll, and dip into the Thai peanut dressing. You could also use a blanched collard green leaf if you want something more sturdy.
This Thai chicken salad recipe yields one serving, but you can easily double, triple, or quadruple it to serve as many people as needed. If you have leftovers, store the salad and dressing separately in the fridge so the greens and veggies don’t wilt. You could also store all of the ingredients in separate containers to maximize freshness. The veggies should last up to a week, and the chicken will last for 5 days.
As for the sweet and spicy peanut dressing, store it in a separate container, like a mason jar, for up 3-4 weeks in the fridge. You can make a big batch of it to use in a variety of ways. It makes a great marinade and dipping sauce!
More Easy Salad Recipes To Try
- Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- Southwest Chicken Salad
- Grilled BLT Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
- Strawberry Spinach Salad with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing
- Fresh Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
Thai Chicken Salad With Spicy Peanut Dressing
Summer Thai Chicken Salad with cucumbers, carrots, edamame, and lime on a bed of chopped romaine lettuce. Served with a sweet and spicy peanut dressing.
- 1 cup romaine lettuce chopped
- 1/8 cup edamame
- 1/8 cup carrots shredded
- 1/8 cup cucumber julienne
- 1 1/2 tablespoons peanuts
- 1 chicken breast
- 1 tablespoon cilantro
- 1/2 lime cut into wedges
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 tsp sriracha
- 1/4 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients and whisk until thick, creamy and clump free. Next divide the dressing into two portions. Half will be for our salad dressing and the other half will be used as a marinade for our chicken. Pour 1/2 of the divided dressing over the chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes. Set the rest of the dressing on the side to serve with salad.
- Place the romaine lettuce in the bottom of a bowl or plate. Cook marinated chicken on the grill or skillet. The chicken usually takes about 12 minutes to cook. Slice chicken breast and place on the salad along with the rest of the vegetables, peanuts, cilantro, and lime wedges.
Julienne is a culinary knife cut that is long and thin, similar to matchsticks.