This Asian Chicken Salad Recipe is big on flavor and my go-to main course salad recipe. Crisp Napa cabbage, sturdy kale, shredded chicken, green onions, and carrots combine perfectly with tender rice noodles, creamy avocado, and sesame seeds for a refreshing blend of texture and taste that never gets old. This salad is such a satisfying meal.
If you love a good, hearty salad, this Asian Chicken Salad is for you.
It has become my go-to lunch because it is the perfect blend of a healthy salad and a touch of pasta that I find so satisfying. (Because pasta makes any meal better.)
This salad is fabulous if you are trying to meal prep because everything but the avocado holds well in the fridge. I've even tossed the salad ahead of time (sans the avocado), and it was still amazing.
Ingredients for Making Asian Salad with Chicken
- Napa Cabbage: Look for fresh colors. When cabbages develop a dull exterior, it is a sign that they have been sitting too long. Napa Cabbage is more perishable than red cabbage or green cabbage, so don't plan to store it for too long.
- Kale: Kale should have a vibrant, deep green color with firm leaves. Look for a bunch that doesn't have yellowing or browning. For the most tender leaves, look for thin stems. You can use either curly kale or Tuscan kale for this recipe. To store, wrap in paper towels and place them inside an open plastic bag.
- Chicken: I cooked boneless chicken breast, but you could use chicken thighs. Save time by picking up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store.
- Carrots: Look for small to medium-sized carrots. Larger ones are often tough and don't have as much flavor. If you can find them with greens attached that are perky, get those, as they will likely be the freshest. They will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.
- Avocado: If you are prepping this recipe ahead of time, wait to cut the avocado until just before serving.
- Scallions: Look for firm stalks with healthy-looking roots and dark green tops. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Sesame Seeds: You can use white sesame seeds, black, or a blend.
- Asian Salad Dressing: This homemade Asian chicken salad dressing takes the flavors of this healthy Chinese chicken salad to the next level. With sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic, tamari, and fresh ginger, this one will surely leave your taste buds singing. Feel free to use soy sauce or coconut aminos if you prefer.
- Skip the pasta and use crispy wontons instead.
- Add mandarin oranges and red pepper.
- Use sliced almonds instead of sesame seeds. (Or go crazy and use both!)
Tips & Tricks
- If you are making this ahead of time but don't plan on tossing it until the last minute, I recommend tossing the rice noodles with a touch of olive oil to keep them soft. Alternatively, you can store them in a container filled with water and drain them at the last minute.
- Easily make this a vegan Asian Salad by substituting cooked tempeh for the chicken. This Marinated Peanut Tempeh looks fantastic.
- Short on time? You can use a bag of coleslaw mix to make this recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
If stored properly, chopped cabbage will last 3-5 days in the fridge.
You can shred cabbage by hand with a sharp knife or using a food processor. If using a food processor, fitted with the shredding attachment, shred on the medium to fine setting.
To store kale, wrap it in paper towels and place them inside an open plastic bag.
The best way to keep this Chinese chicken salad recipe crisp is to store the ingredients separately and toss everything together just before serving. The dressing can also be made ahead of time and stored in a separate container.
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Asian Chicken Salad
- 3.5 ounces Napa Cabbage shredded, about ½ head
- 3.5 ounces Kale shredded, about 1 small bunch
- 16 ounces chicken cooked and shredded
- 1 cup carrots grated
- 4 ounces rice noodles cooked according to package directions
- 2 scallions sliced
- 1 avocado peeled, pitted and diced
- 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Asian Dressing for Serving
- Combine cabbage, kale, chicken, carrots and rice noodles in a large bowl.
- Toss with Asian Dressing.
- Top with scallions, avocado, and sesame seeds and serve.
- If you are making this ahead of time but don't plan on tossing it until the last minute, I would recommend tossing the rice noodles with a touch of olive oil to keep them soft. Alternatively, you can store them in a container filled with water and drain at the last minute.
- Easily make this a vegan Asian Salad by substituting cooked tempeh for the chicken. This Marinated Peanut Tempeh looks amazing.
- Short on time? Use a purchased salad dressing. I really like Newman's own Sesame Ginger Dressing.