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.
You May Also Like
- Pear Quinoa Salad with Walnuts & Goat Cheese is an elegant salad perfect for healthy entertaining.
- Asian Quinoa Salad is surprisingly flavor-packed and makes such a satisfying lunch.
- I've been making this Avocado Pesto Quinoa Pasta for years, and it never gets old. This is one of my go-to weeknight meals.
- Cranberry Avocado & Blue Cheese Salad is such a special salad that is a perfect side for company. When your kids come looking for seconds you know it is a keeper!
- Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai is comforting in a way that are usually reserved for pasta dishes.
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.
This salad sounds so fresh and fragrant, besides being full of vitamins and antioxidants. I always add avocado in my salads as well, no matter what kind I make. It's definitely a great lunch meal.
Oh now this sounds delicious, I always think chicken goes so well with salad and I love the idea of making it this way.
I love avocados on salad. The dressing sounds delicious.
This salad looks enticing. 🙂 I would love to try your recipe, I love avocados but I'm afraid I have to wait for the 'avocado season' before I can make this. Thanks for sharing 🙂
That salad is a feast for the eyes and it looks so healthy too. I love the idea of adding mandarins and almonds.
Carrie | Clean Eating Kitchen
I love salads like this! Packed full of flavor and healthy to boot!
This salad is worthy of my list! I love the ingredients you chose!
This salad looks so yummy! I need to try making this soon.
My kind of salad!! DELISH!!!
I am a huge fan of salads, especially ones with fresh grilled chicken! I have never had Asian chicken salad so I'm definitely pinning this one for later!
This looks absolutely amazing! I haven't ever mixed cabbage with kale as a salad base, but it looks delicious. Can't wait to try it!
Mommy Rockin' In Style
You have amazing photos! That salad looks delicious and satisfying! I can't wait to try this at home.
Though i'm Asian, I've never tasted a fabulous salad like this before. Maybe when it is absorbed into your Western countries, it has gone through major transformations. Anyway, the chicken salad looks amazing, healthy and definitely delicious. Thanks for the ingredients.
corinne & kirsty
oh em gee this looks so delicious! I was going to go grocery shopping after work and now i know what i will get!
I always look forward to your treats. This Asian chicken salad is just what I've been craving -- a healthy version of Asian dishes.
Oh wow I love the incorportion of the rice noodles in the salad. I have to make this this week..its so up my alley. yum!
Salads and asian foods are two of my favs too. We could be besties!
Angela Ricardo Bethea
This Chicken salad looks delicious and healthy. I will definitely give this a try. Glad that you shared this recipe. Will add this to my recipe book.
This salad looks great! Otherwise, I like Asian food and salads, so this is a great combination for me.
Loved this salad!!!! Even my husband loved it! I cooked the chicken breasts in coconut aminos in the instapot and that added more flavor. The dressing was great but a little tart. I omitted the sugar substitute and added 1/4 cup of organic apple juice ...mainly because I had some open. The only big change I would make it omitting the rice noodles. They didn’t add much to the salad. But we will be making it again for sure. Thank you!!!
This salad was sooo good!
I've made a recipe similar to this without the rice noodles. They are such a great addition to this salad!