Simple Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe

By Rena |

This simple, Chinese chicken salad recipe is bursting at the seams with delicious bright flavors. Marinated chicken breasts are sliced and cooked until tender, then tossed with crunchy cabbage, fresh veggies, and cashews. The finishing touch is the delicious dressing from scratch–everyone will love it!

top view of Chinese chicken salad in bowl with sesame dressing

This Asian chicken salad recipe is so simple to make and filled with bright veggies everyone will love. Chinese chicken salads are easy to make within minutes and perfect for those hot days when you want something refreshing and filling. Green onions and flavors of garlic, ginger, onion, bell peppers, and cilantro–this is the ultimate simple salad recipe.

The dressing for this simple chicken salad is also very easy to make and consists of creamy peanut butter, sesame oil, and coconut aminos for the best, bright satisfying flavors. Serve this simple, Chinese chicken salad immediately, or enjoy it cold after it has set in the refrigerator for a while. The longer this salad sits, the tastier it gets.

You can prepare this Chinese chicken salad for meal prep, lunch, or dinner: all options are fitting for this delicious salad. Just separate the salad into individual containers with lids to store in the refrigerator until ready to eat. This salad is perfect for weekday lunches when you don’t have a lot of time to prepare your meal.

one bowl of Chinese chicken salad made with sesame dressing

Why This Simple Asian Chicken Salad is the Best

  • Flavorful and bright: The bright flavors of this salad recipe mend together and stand out with one another. The dressing is lightly tossed within the salad after the chicken has been marinated, and creates the ultimate flavor combinations.
  • So easy to make with minimal steps: Just cook the chicken on the stovetop, allow it to cool, and assemble!
  • Satisfying and filling: Delicious and super tasty, this Asian, chicken salad recipe is one you will definitely remember. We enjoy this salad often because the flavors are so satisfying and phenomenal.
  • Great for meal prep: As stated above: this salad is great for meal prep. The crunchy cabbage remains fresh and the flavors settle as you await your next meal.

Ingredients you will need

The ingredients for this Asian salad recipe are very straightforward and accessible at most grocery stores. If you happen to have a medley of veggies in your refrigerator, this salad is the perfect recipe to use them.

chicken breasts, bell pepper, cilantro, green onions, napa cabbage, cashews, creamy nut butter, garlic powder, onion powder, rice wine vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil on flat surface for salad

For the salad marinade:

Nut butter: Use your favorite, creamy nut butter such as peanut or cashew butter. The natural nutty flavors are absorbed into the chicken and give it those Asian-inspired flavors.
Coconut aminos: Coconut aminos are healthier than soy sauce and contain less sodium. You can find coconut amino bottles near the soy sauce and condiments at grocery stores.
Sesame oil: Nutty sesame oil shines in the chicken and gives this salad extra nutty flavors.
Ginger powder: Aromatic bright ginger is used to heighten this recipe and blends perfectly well with the savory ingredients. You can use either ground or freshly grated ginger.
Garlic powder: Garlic powder is easy to use and perfect for providing extra flavors to the marinade.
Onion powder: Fragrant onion powder is combined with garlic powder and creates the best flavors.
Rice vinegar: Tangy rice vinegar is used to elevate the marinade. We love to use rice vinegar whenever we are looking for more depth in flavor.

For the chicken salad

Chicken breasts: One pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts are sliced thin and cooked in the skillet within minutes. The chicken is super juicy and moist.
Salt and pepper: Kosher sea salt and pepper are used to season the chicken until perfect. Sea salt and black pepper go a long way!
Olive oil: Fragrant olive oil is used to cook the chicken and allows it to not stick to the pan. Any kind of neutral cooking oil will work for this recipe.
Chinese cabbage: Also known as Napa cabbage, Chinese cabbage is naturally crunchy and crisp in flavor. You should be able to find this type of cabbage at most grocery stores in the produce sections.
Bell pepper: One red bell pepper is thinly sliced and tossed throughout the salad for extra crunch. You can use any colored bell pepper, but we like red for the pops of color.
Green onions: Green onions are sliced and mixed throughout the salad to provide those extra fresh pungent flavors. If you need help learning how to slice green onions, then read this tutorial
Cashews: Roasted cashews are crunchy and nutty in flavor and give this salad wonderful combinations. You can use salted or unsalted cashews, but be cautious to not add too much salt.
Cilantro: Fresh leafy cilantro is aromatic and provides extra fresh flavors to this Chinese chicken salad.

How to Make Chinese Chicken Salad at home

This Asian Chicken salad is seriously so easy to make–you will love how simple the assembly and preparation process is. In just a few steps, you’ll have a flavor-packed salad ready in no time.

First, measure out all of the veggies and slice the chicken breasts. Next, in a small bowl, combine the nut butter, coconut aminos, sesame oil, ginger powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and rice vinegar. Whisk the ingredients until fully combined.

Next, transfer two-thirds of the marinade to a jar to reserve for the dressing. Add the sliced chicken breasts to the remaining marinade and season with salt and pepper.

cooking sliced chicken in pan

After that, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Next, add the chicken to the pan and cook for seven to nine minutes until browned on both sides.

Meanwhile, prepare the salad. In a large bowl, add all of the fresh ingredients such as cabbage, bell pepper, green onions, cashews, and cilantro.

sliced chicken in bowl with cilantro, green onions, cashews, bell pepper, cabbage

Once the chicken is done, allow it to cool for a few minutes, then add it to the salad. Drizzle the salad with dressing and combine until well-mixed. Enjoy immediately or serve chilled.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. You may want to keep the dressing separate from the salad.
  • Instead of chicken breasts, use boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
  • Feel free to add extra veggies to this recipe such as corn, cucumber, cooked asparagus, celery, etc.
  • Sweeten things up by adding your favorite crisp apples or pears.
  • If you cannot find coconut aminos, soy sauce will work.

one bowl of Chinese chicken salad with sesame dressing tossed with cabbage

Frequently Asked Questions About This Simple Salad

What is Chinese chicken salad dressing made of?

The Chinese chicken salad dressing is made of savory and nutty ingredients that are easy to combine. Naturally, most Chinese-inspired dressings are made of rice vinegar, sesame oil, and nut butter for the best rich flavors.

Why is it called Chinese chicken salad?

The name Chinese chicken salad comes from the types of seasonings used such as ginger, garlic, onion, etc.

What goes with Chinese chicken salad?

You can serve all types of things with Chinese chicken salad such as fresh veggies, fruit, bread, rolls, main proteins, etc.

one bowl of Chinese chicken salad with sesame dressing

What to Serve With Chinese Chicken Salad

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

Easy Fruit Salad Recipe

Mixed Berry Salad

Homemade Dinner Rolls

BBQ Cauliflower Wings

More Salad Recipes You Will Love

one bowl of Chinese chicken salad made with sesame dressing

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top view of chinese chicken salad in a white bowl

Simple Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe

This simple, Chinese chicken salad recipe is bursting at the seams with delicious bright flavors. Marinated chicken breasts are sliced and cooked until tender, then tossed with crunchy cabbage, fresh veggies, and cashews. The finishing touch is the delicious dressing from scratch–everyone will love it!
4 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Fat
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 215kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

Dressing and Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter or cashew butter
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

Salad

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher sea salt to taste
  • Kosher black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 head cabbage large
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro chopped

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, add all the marinade ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  • Transfer 2/3 of it to a small jar and keep to use as a dressing.
  • To the bowl with the remaining dressing add the chicken breast and season to taste.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Cook the chicken until browned and cooked through, for about 7-9 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large salad bowl, add all the salad ingredients.
  • Once the chicken is done, allow it to cool for a bit and add it to the salad.
  • Drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine.

Notes

  • Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. You may want to keep the dressing separate from the salad.
  • Instead of chicken breasts, use boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
  • Feel free to add extra veggies to this recipe such as corn, cucumber, cooked asparagus, celery, etc.
  • Sweeten things up by adding your favorite crisp apples or pears.
  • If you cannot find coconut aminos, soy sauce will work.

Nutrition

Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 375mg | Potassium: 634mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 882IU | Vitamin C: 82mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 1mg
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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Shari says

    4 stars
    The onion flavor was a bit overwhelming; I think I’ll only use 1/2 or 1/4 tsp the next time I make this. I was surprised that all the very bold flavors did not end up competing with each other but softened when combined. I was pleasantly surprised.

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