Chinese chicken salad

Chinese chicken salad with crunchy fresh vegetables and peanuts and a punchy dressing. This is the perfect light summer meal and makes a great lunch.

Chinese chicken salad

Let’s face it, this Chinese chicken salad is most definitely not an authentic Chinese recipe but it’s damn delicious and a hit with everyone I serve it to. The crunch of the vegetables and peanuts adds loads of texture but the real star of the show is the dressing. It’s simple but adds so much flavor to the finished salad.

Soy, honey and sesame salad dressing


Any crunchy vegetables will work in this Chinese chicken salad recipe. Of course cabbage and carrots are a good base to work from but feel free to add bean sprouts, spinach, kale, bell peppers, sugar snap peas, spring onion/green onion and even beetroot. When I make this for a quick lunch, I like using a bag of store-bought slaw mix and the one I like most has julienned beetroot and it’s delicious. You want approximately 6 cups of shredded/julienned vegetables to serve 4 people so go ahead and customise the amounts you add of each vegetable to your own preference. Shredded chicken, toasted peanuts and fresh cilantro/coriander add some healthy protein, fat and an extra boost of flavor.

  • Cabbage. Any cabbage will work here. White cabbage, red cabbage, Napa Cabbage/Chinese cabbage or baby cabbage.
  • Carrots.
  • Other vegetables you can add to slaw: Bell peppers, bean sprouts, spring onion/green onion, beetroot, spinach, kale, sugar snap peas.
  • Chicken. This recipe is a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken. Rotisserie chicken works well too. If you’d prefer to keep this recipe vegetarian, leave out the chicken or replace with chickpeas.
  • Peanuts. Cashews or almonds can be used instead.

For the sesame dressing:

  • Oil. I used canola oil but avocado oil will also work.
  • Soy sauce. Use Tamari or coconut aminos if you’d prefer to keep this recipe gluten free or low carb.
  • Sesame oil.
  • Lemon/lime juice. Rice vinegar can be substituted.
  • Honey. 
  • Fresh ginger. 
  • Chilli. (optional)

Chinese chicken salad

How to make Chinese chicken salad

  1. Prepare the vegetables: If using whole vegetables, use a sharp knife and shred the cabbage thinly. Peel the carrots then julienne and do the same with any other vegetables you are using.
  2. Assemble the salad: Combine the vegetables, shredded chicken and peanuts in a large mixing bowl. Toasting the peanuts in a hot pan will bring the most out of the peanuts but this is an optional step. At this stage the salad can be covered and refrigerated overnight. It’s also a great idea to portion the salad into airtight containers to meal prep a healthy lunch for the week.
  3. Make the dressing: In a jar or small bowl, combine the salad dressing ingredients and shake/mix well. Right before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Chinese chicken salad

Easy chicken salad recipes

  1. Sesame chicken salad
  2. Chicken Shawarma salad
  3. Curried chicken salad sandwiches
Chinese chicken salad

Chinese chicken salad

Crunchy vegetables and succulent poached chicken with an aromatic dressing of soy sauce, sesame oil and honey. This Chinese chicken salad is just delicious.
4.73 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chinese chicken salad, chinese chicken salad dressing, chinese chicken salad recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Calories: 387kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 6


for the salad

  • 3 cups cabbage shredded
  • 2 large carrots peeled and julienned
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2-3 cups vegetables shredded (bell peppers, sugar snap peas, spinach, etc)
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 cup salted peanuts
  • 4-6 spring onions sliced
  • handful fresh coriander leaves

for the dressing

  • 4 tbsp soy sauce Use Tamari if you are gluten-free
  • 3 tbsp honey optional
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 red chilli finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp grated ginger


  • For the salad, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  • To make the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together, adjusting the seasoning as you prefer.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad, right before serving, toss to combine and serve immediately.


Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 695mg | Potassium: 649mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 6686IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 3mg


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  1. How much fresh ginger (I assume minced or grated) do you add to the salad dressing? It’s mentioned as an ingredient above the actual recipe but not included in the recipe itself.

  2. Your salads always look so beautiful Alida, We definitely need salads for lunch and dinner these days with the weather we are experiencing, so this will be a nice change 🙂 .