This hearty recipe for Thai Chicken Salad is made with a homemade soy-ginger chicken that gets tossed with a simple and flavorful peanut dressing. Add your favorite raw crunchy salad vegetables and serve for lunch, dinner, or make for healthy meal prep during the week.
After ordering a Thai chicken salad from one of my local restaurants for lunch for years, we decided to create one from scratch using simple ingredients. This allowed us to enjoy it more often and to switch up the veggies and flavors with whatever we had on hand.
This salad starts with the chicken that is marinated in soy sauce and ginger and cooked until tender and juicy. It’s then drizzled with a homemade peanut sauce and placed on a bed of fresh vegetables and toppings that are nutrient-dense and full of texture and flavor.
Since we’ve been making it at home, Thai chicken salad is one of my go-to easy weekday lunches or easy weeknight meals!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- A great way to shake up your chicken salad routine.
- It can be scaled to make for a large gathering or party.
- The homemade peanut sauce can also be used as a dip or marinade.
- Customize this salad to use your favorite vegetables or protein.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Soy Ginger Chicken:
- Chicken Breast – Adds protein and absorbs the flavors of soy and ginger perfectly.
- Soy Sauce – Gives the chicken a salty umami flavor.
- Fresh Ginger – Adds a fresh kick of natural spice to the chicken.
- Garlic – Infuses the dressing with fresh garlic flavor.
- Hot Pepper – Adds a kick of spice to the dressing.
- Soy Sauce & Fish Sauce – Gives the dressing a salty flavor with a slight fish taste that pairs well with the rest of the ingredients.
- Vinegar & Lime Juice – Adds a pop of acidity to the dressing.
- Sugar – Balances out the salty and acidic flavors with sweetness.
- Olive Oil – Gives the dressing a smooth texture.
- Peanut Butter – Makes the dressing creamy and adds peanut butter flavor.
- Water – Helps to thin out the dressing to a perfect consistency.
Use these fresh vegetables and toppings to create a crunchy and flavorful Thai chicken salad:
- Romaine Lettuce
- Shelled Edamame
- Shredded Cabbage
- Shredded Carrots
- Crispy Wonton Chips or Chow Mein Noodles
How To Make Thai Chicken Salad
- Cook the soy-ginger chicken: Whisk the soy sauce and ginger together, then add the chicken breast. Cover and marinate for at least one hour. Heat the grill to medium-high heat and cook the marinated chicken for 5-8 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 165F.
- Make the peanut dressing: In a large bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time and whisk until a salad dressing consistency is reached.
- Assemble the Thai chicken salad: Add the fresh salad ingredients to a bowl along with the toppings. Add sliced chicken breast on top and drizzle with peanut sauce. Serve and enjoy!
- When cooking chicken breast, make sure they are cut to the same size and thickness. This will ensure they cook evenly on the grill.
- If you don’t have an outdoor grill, soy-ginger chicken can be cooked in a skillet or on a grill pan indoors set to medium-high heat. Add some cooking oil to the skillet before adding the chicken.
- The minimum marinating time for the chicken is 1 hour, but it can be marinated for up to 24 hours for the best flavor.
- If you don’t like spicy food, feel free to completely omit the hot pepper from the peanut dressing.
- If you’re short on time, bagged coleslaw mix with shredded carrot makes an easy way to prep the salad ingredients.
- For vegan Thai salad: Try using cooked cubed tofu or tempeh in place of the chicken. Chickpeas or white beans are also a great vegan substitute.
- Change up the protein by using chicken thighs, turkey tenderloin, or your favorite cut of pork. Steak marinated in soy sauce and ginger works well, too!
- To make the peanut dressing into a dip, keep the water out of the recipe unless it’s too thick when mixing. Add a small amount of water at a time to keep it as thick as you need.
- Instead of romaine lettuce, add a boost of nutrients and healthy greens by using thinly chopped kale.
- Give this salad a fruity twist by adding some freshly diced mango or pineapple as a topping.
- More salad ingredients and topping ideas: Cilantro, cucumber, green papaya, tomato, red onion, sesame seeds, or cold noodles.
Other Salad Recipes
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Cobb Salad
- Fresh Garden Salad
- Strawberry Spinach and Asparagus Salad
- Chicken Fajita Chopped Salad
Thai Chicken Salad
For the chicken:
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
For the dressing:
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon minced hot pepper
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon fish sauce
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup water
For the salad:
- 4 cups romaine lettuce
- 1 cup cooked and shelled edamame
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- ¾ cup wonton crisps or chow mein noodles
- To make the chicken, whisk soy sauce and ginger together in a small bowl. Place chicken in mixture and marinate in refrigerator for about one hour. After marinating, prepare grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. Place the chicken on the grill directly over the fire and cook until the juices run clear and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes on each side.
- To make the dressing, combine garlic, pepper, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, lime juice, oil and fish sauce in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add the peanut butter and water and whisk again until smooth and creamy.
- To assemble the salad, divide ingredients into 4 servings, layer with chicken and top with dressing.