Looking to bring a bit more flavor into your salad meal? Give this crunchy and flavorful Thai chicken salad recipe a shot!
What’s So Special About the Thai Chicken Salad?
The special part about this chicken salad, or practically any Thai food is that it is packed full of flavor- bound to knock your socks off. This salad, in particular, packs in some super healthy ingredients and has an easy dressing that you can put together in minutes.
Combine them together and you’ve got yourself a quick and healthy meal fixed in minutes. And with the flavors this good, you’ll definitely find yourself making it again and again.
If you like adding salads to your menu, you might also like this fresh Japanese cucumber salad, this Thai green papaya salad, or even this Bulgarian Shopska salad. All are unique flavors that really bring a punch of brightness to your menu.
Ingredients For the Salad
The list of ingredients for this salad is super short- a few healthy veggies and flavorful add ons for the dressing.
For the salad
- Cooked chicken
- Cherry tomatoes
- Red chili
- Fresh cilantro
For the dressing
- Fresh cilantro
- Chili sauce
- Lime juice
- Fish sauce
- Olive oil
- Brown sugar
Peanuts (roasted and crushed): ¼ cup
Kitchen Tools Needed
How to Make the Thai Chicken Salad?
In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, add in the chicken breast, cover the pan, and let cook for 15-minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink.
Remove the chicken from the water and set it aside to cool. Discard the remaining liquid. Once cooled shred or cut into bite-sized pieces.
In a small bowl or jar, add the chopped cilantro, chili sauce, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, olive oil, and brown sugar for the dressing. Whisk or shake together until combined well. You may adjust for added sweetness or add more chili sauce for added heat.
To assemble the salad, place a bed of lettuce on a plate and top with tomatoes, cucumber, sliced onion, red chili, chicken, and fresh cilantro.
Then top with the cooked chicken and drizzle with the dressing. Toss to coat then serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
While I used chicken breasts, you can definitely use chicken thighs for this recipe instead. Just make sure it has cooked through to an internal temperature of 165°F.
Of course! While it is easy to cook the chicken in just a few minutes, you can use any leftover chicken you have, including shredded leftover rotisserie chicken if you wish.
Since this is a single portion recipe, you most likely won't have any leftovers. However, if you do happen to have leftovers, just store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The salad would be good for up to 2 days before the vegetales begin to wilt or soften and are no longer pleasant to eat.
If you have a ready-made Thai salad dressing option, you can definitely use that instead of the homemade dressing. I would recommend, however, to try homemade first because the fresh herbs and chili really make the dressing pop with flavor.
What Else Can I Add Into the Salad?
The basic part of this salad that gives it the unique Thai flavor is the salad dressing. You can add anything you want to the bulk of the salad, including differetn vegetables and proteins. Below are some ideas that work well with the flavor of this dressing.
- Iceberg lettuce, romain lettuce, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, spinach, or kale.
- Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, or roma tomatoes.
- Green onions or red onions.
- Bell pepper, serrano peppers, chili peppers, or jalapeno pepper slices.
- Carrots, celery, cucumber, or bean sprouts.
- Edamame or gree peas.
- Bean sprouts, cabbage, or bok choy.
- Cilantro, parsley, basil, or mint.
You can also add chopped fresh fruit like papaya, mango, pineapple, or similar to the salad if you wish to add some natural sweeteness.
Tips & Tricks to Make the Thai Chicken Salad
Ready to make the salad? Here are a few additional tips and tricks you might want to keep in mind.
- After boiling the chicken, make sure you reserve the water and store it in the refrigerator or freezer. You can then use this to boil your pasta or add volume (and flavor) to your curries and soups.
- You can also grill your chicken with a basic marinade of salt, pepper, lemon juice and garlic, and then use it for this recipe.
- You can also transform the dressing and make it more creamy by adding in a teaspoon of peanut butter.
- Want a more crunchy element to your salad? Top it with some roasted cashews!
Serving Ideas & Suggestions
While this chicken salad can be a nice light meal in itself, you can still take things up a notch and team it up with some other Thai-inspired meals. Here are a few ideas you can try out.
- Serve the Thai chicken salad as a side to your Thai curry noodle soup- the perfect meal for a chilly winter night.
- Got some boiled noodles? You can also toss them into the same bowl as your salad along with a little extra dressing and you’ve got yourself a nutritious and filling meal ready.
- This salad also tastes excellent when paired with some Thai fried rice and served with some iced tea.
- Got some leftover salad? You can use that as a quick filling for your lettuce wraps!
- Pair this flavorful salad with a classic Thai basil chicken stir fry or some Thai chicken wings.
Salads don’t necessarily have to be boring. It is all about experimenting with ingredients and flavors and finding the right combinations that work together.
Thai Chicken Salad
Ingredients for the salad
- 1 Boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 cup Lettuce shredded
- ½ cup Cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 Cucumber sliced
- ¼ cup Red onion sliced
- 2 Red chilies sliced
- ¼ cup Fresh cilantro chopped
Ingredients for the dressing
Ingredients for garnish
- ¼ cup Peanuts (roasted and crushed)
- In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, add in the chicken breast, cover the pan, and let cook for 15-minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink.
- Remove the chicken from the water and set it aside to cool. Discard the remaining liquid. Once cooled shred or cut into bite-sized pieces.
- In a small bowl or jar, add the chopped cilantro, chili sauce, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, olive oil, and brown sugar for the dressing. Whisk or shake together until combined well. You may adjust for added sweetness or add more chili sauce for added heat.
- To assemble the salad, place a bed of lettuce on a plate and top with tomatoes, cucumber, sliced onion, red chili, chicken, and fresh cilantro. Then top with the cooked chicken and drizzle with the dressing. Toss to coat then serve.