This refreshing, crunchy Thai salad—prepared either with chicken or as a vegetarian dish—is topped with the most amazing peanut dressing! Perfect on its own for a meal or as a lunch or dinner side dish.
I wish I was one of those people who loved vegetables, but sadly, I would much rather eat a piece of cake. Still, I’ve learned two things that comfort me: (1) The older you get, the more you like your veggies, and (2) If you dress them up with something like, say, peanut sauce, they actually taste really good!
This Thai salad with peanut dressing is actually a veggie dish I can’t get enough of. It’s crunchy and flavorful and I find myself eating it regularly.
How to make Thai salad with peanut dressing
This is a super easy recipe to throw together.
My favorite vegetables for this salad are cabbage, carrots, and cucumber, but I almost always add peppers and scallions, and – of course – chopped peanuts, which add plenty of flavor and crunch. As for the cabbage, I like a mix of white and red for color, but you can just as easily go with only one.
Simply chop everything up and mix together in a bowl.
Add chicken (optional)
In the recipe notes, you’ll find instructions on how to cook chicken for this recipe. Chicken goes amazing with this salad and is actually my preferred version, but for a light first course or vegetarian meal, you can leave it out.
This sauce is simply heavenly and full of flavor thanks to the peanut butter. I know it seems like a long list of ingredients, but don’t let it intimidate you!
All you need to do is mix all the ingredients together—nothing too fancy or complicated about it. I’ve tried a few versions of this dressing, and this is the winner, though you can easily adjust it to your liking if you don’t find it perfect as-is.
To make a spicy dressing: Add ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.
And if you’re into peanut butter, try one of these amazing sweets for dessert:
- Peanut Butter Pie: Crunchy chocolate crust with creamy peanut butter filling.
- No-Bake Nutella Peanut Butter Bites: Simple bites of absolute heaven.
- No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars: Crunchy, rich, and chocolatey.
- Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies: Bakery-style cookies with creamy peanut butter and Reese’s peanut butter chips.
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownies: Thick, fudgy brownies swirled with thick ribbons of PB+J.
Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce
This refreshing, crunchy Thai salad—prepared either with chicken or as a vegetarian dish—is topped with the most amazing peanut dressing!
For the dressing:
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons vinegar (rice, white wine)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable/canola oil
- 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2-3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- about ½ teaspoon salt , to taste (optional)
For the salad:
- 3 cups shredded white and/or red cabbage
- 2 medium carrots , peeled and shredded
- 1 cucumber , sliced or chopped
- 1 pepper , any color, thinly sliced
- 2 medium scallions , chopped
- ½ cup fresh cilantro , chopped
- ⅓ cup chopped peanuts or cashews
- For chicken salad – read note at bottom
To make the dressing: Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined. If you want a thinner dressing, add water, a teaspoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To make the salad: Add all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.
Just before serving, drizzle peanut dressing over the top and toss to combine. Dressing can also be served on the side to prevent the salad from becoming soggy.
– For a chicken salad, you’ll need 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet. Cook, flipping once, until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Allow to cool, then chop into small pieces and mix into salad.