So, there are like… a lot of vegetables here today.

Thai Crunch Chicken Salad I

In fact, I think there are probably more vegetables here today than there have ever been here… at all. Combined. And all that jazz. Wait, did that make sense? Especially because there is no bacon involved (that’s whack) or cheese (what?) or french fries. Or carbs. I told you so on Facebook!!

The dressing totally makes up for it though because you can straight up drink it. And you might. Make extra. So you can dip things in it. Like chips or tortillas or chocolate… or something.

Thai Crunch Chicken Salad I

A few weeks ago we went shopping and stopped for dinner at CPK late, late late… like 10PM late. Because someone had to eat pizza, even though he ate a bacon cheeseburger, truffle fries with cheese and two chocolate shakes mid-afternoon. I KNOW.

This was also the day that I drank the dark chocolate bourbon cherry soda float (among other things), sooooo… when eating out at a restaurant later than I usually go to bed, I didn’t think I needed pizza. I ordered a version of this salad, asked for them to remove three-fourths of the veggies, then ate it drenched in extra peanuts. Because that’s protein… duh.

Thai Crunch Chicken Salad I

The peanuts are TOTALLY what sells me on this. I love the crunch, I love the flavor, and they make me completely overlook the fact that sitting on a plate in front of my face are three different vegetables I really can’t stand. I just can’t get behind carrots and cucumbers, people. I don’t know if I ever will. I love crunch and texture, but not when it tastes like the Earth.

But I don’t mind napa cabbage too much when it sort of resembles iceberg, and when covered with some chicken and this incredible thai sauce, it becomes easily enjoyable. The traditional salad also usually contains fried wontons, but let me tell you a little somethin’ somethin.’ When I was about 8 years old, I got violently ill after a night of take-out Chinese and twinkies. I mean, for the next few days, just the THOUGHT of either of those two things was enough to make me so, so sick. And to this day, the idea of both still makes me want to toss my cookies. I can do wontons in like, something else cheesy or barbecuey or something, but not just plain. Quite weird, but it is what it is.

Thai Crunch Chicken Salad I

This makes a giant portion – well, for someone like me who cannot consume a large bowl of vegetables to save their life – so I suggest leaving the peanuts, chicken and dressing separate so you can easily throw the leftovers in the fridge and assemble a little non-soggy snack whenever you’d like. If you want to, you know, eat vegetables for a SNACK.

Cool? Cool.

Thai Crunch Chicken Salad I

Thai Crunch Chicken Salad

[sauce from thai chicken wings]

serves about 4

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

dressing + marinade

1 cup sweet chili sauce

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1/2 cup lite canned coconut milk

6 tablespoons brown sugar

4 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced

2 tablespoosn creamy peanut butter

2 teaspoon-sized knobs of ginger, grated

2 limes, juiced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then place in the baking dish.

Combine chili sauce, vinegar, coconut milk, sugar, garlic, ginger, peanut butter, soy sauce and lime juice in a saucepan, whisking to combine. Bring to a boil, the reduce to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and pour half of the sauce over the chicken, turing chicken to coat completely. Set remaining sauce aside to dress the salad with.

Bake chicken for 25-30 minutes, or until it is cooked through.



1 small napa cabbage, chopped

1/2 small red cabbage, chopped

6 green onions, sliced

1 large cucumber, peeled, sliced and quartered

2/3 cup chopped or sliced carrots

2/3 cup edamame

2/3 cup torn fresh cilantro

2/3 cup chopped peanuts

While chicken is cooking, combine all salad ingredients, except for peanuts, in a large bowl and toss. When chicken has finished cooking, let cool for a few minutes then either shred or cut into chunks. Serve salad, top with chicken, top with peanuts, then top with dressing.

Thai Crunch Chicken Salad I

That was weird.

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155 Responses to “Thai Crunch Chicken Salad.”

  1. #
    Erika - The Teenage Taste — June 4, 2012 @ 7:08 am

    Whoa…never thought I’d see the day that a salad was posted on How Sweet It Is! ;-)
    Kidding, kidding! This looks amazing! I want to eat that dressing by the spoonful!


  2. #
    shelly (cookies and cups) — June 4, 2012 @ 7:13 am

    I need some salad. Did I just say that?


  3. #
    Kim | At Home With Kim — June 4, 2012 @ 7:24 am

    I LOVE to make salads for dinner {and lunch} during the summer… and my man LOVES all things Thai. Can’t wait to try this! Just pinned it to make this week.


  4. #
    Winnie — June 4, 2012 @ 7:34 am

    Now THIS is a recipe I can get behind. Love this salad J!


  5. #
    Rachel Cooks — June 4, 2012 @ 7:44 am

    This looks awesome! Love the use of cabbage.


  6. #
    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes — June 4, 2012 @ 7:44 am

    Looks like a perfect way to eat veggies.


  7. #
    Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten-Free — June 4, 2012 @ 7:57 am

    This is definitely going to be dinner tonight. Yum.


  8. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — June 4, 2012 @ 8:01 am

    Ahhh yesss you know I like my veggies! This sounds perfect! I’ve been doing tons of Thai cooking lately and I think it’s one of those cuisines that I could eat daily without getting bored. Going to add this one to my list!


  9. #
    Kelly — June 4, 2012 @ 8:04 am

    I had that salad once and it blew my MIND! It was so good. Thanks for the recipe!


  10. #
    krysten @Mrs. Schwartz's Kitchen — June 4, 2012 @ 8:06 am

    Lord have mercy. This looks amazing! I can’t wait to drink that dressing.


  11. #
    Kara D — June 4, 2012 @ 8:27 am

    I am trying to incorporate new salads into my life, and this is a great way to start! :) Can you husband seriously eat that much? CRAZY!!


    • Jessica — June 4th, 2012 @ 8:44 am

      He can eat more than that… totally depressing.


      • Kara D — June 4th, 2012 @ 8:46 am

        No kidding! That would be very tough!! :)

  12. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — June 4, 2012 @ 8:38 am

    thai chicken salad is my fave. order it every time i see it on the menu. And yeah.. it’s totally the peanuts that sell me on it too!


  13. #
    Megan S. — June 4, 2012 @ 8:42 am

    This looks delicious! And perfect for the summer


  14. #
    Ryan @ Spicy Richmond — June 4, 2012 @ 9:11 am

    I’m a huge fan of thai chicken salads but never make them at home. Now maybe I will :)


  15. #
    Awkward Kitchenette — June 4, 2012 @ 9:19 am

    This looks SO yummy! I have to try it asap!


  16. #
    Catalina @ Cake with Love — June 4, 2012 @ 9:20 am

    All those crispy vegetables and the chicken and this dressing just sound amazing, like a perfect fresh salad!


  17. #
    stephaniegal — June 4, 2012 @ 9:25 am

    I make a version of this but instead of lettuce, I use rice noodles…I call it peanut noodles! Tres creative, oui?

    I’m going to try your sauce though…coconut milk would be divine!


  18. #
    Melissa // thefauxmartha — June 4, 2012 @ 9:32 am

    This looks sooo yum! I’m with you on the peanuts. Love their crunch.


  19. #
    Maria — June 4, 2012 @ 9:37 am

    yay for veggies:)


  20. #
    bridget {bake at 350} — June 4, 2012 @ 9:39 am

    We stopped at CPK a few weeks ago and I actually ordered a salad….which I NEVER do at a pizza place, I’m not sure what got into me, but it was SO good! So, thank you, thank you, thank you for this recipe…looks even better than the CPK version!


  21. #
    Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — June 4, 2012 @ 9:46 am

    Love, love, love this recipe. I can’t wait to give it a whirl here. I know it is fabulous!


  22. #
    Laura — June 4, 2012 @ 10:05 am

    It looks so great…I love asian flavours in my cooking and always need salad ideas!


  23. #
    Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau — June 4, 2012 @ 10:10 am

    I eat vegetables for a snack when they involve sauces like this (and maybe Biscoff on the side). But, maybe I’ll just be normal and have this for lunch ;)


  24. #
    jill — June 4, 2012 @ 10:11 am

    I’m sooo making this asap! Thanks, Jessica!


  25. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — June 4, 2012 @ 10:17 am

    Great way to ring in salad season! That’s so such a thing! ;)


  26. #
    Jenna — June 4, 2012 @ 10:35 am

    Oh, I will MAKE you. As in, I’ll prepare you and eat you, not some creepy way of saying I’ll kill the dish. I’d never.


  27. #
    Miriam — June 4, 2012 @ 10:43 am

    Love salad… I made your watermelon + feta + quinoa + chives (because I forgot to buy basil) this week end and it was a HUGE hit. I made 4 salads and this is the only one people keep talking about… Thank you for helping me been the coolest one with your recipes. :)


  28. #
    Brittany @ Life of a Bama Girl — June 4, 2012 @ 11:12 am

    This salad looks amazing!


  29. #
    Allie@sweetpotatobites — June 4, 2012 @ 11:18 am

    this looks like the perfect summer salad – i’ve had the thai crunch salad at cpk before but this looks so much better!


  30. #
    Nancy @ CouponClippingCook — June 4, 2012 @ 11:19 am

    Sounds so healthy and that dressing looks so good.


  31. #
    kelley @mountainmamacooks — June 4, 2012 @ 11:20 am

    This looks great. I love eating lighter in the summer months and this would make a great make ahead dinner or lunch!!


  32. #
    Devon @ The Food Bitch Blog — June 4, 2012 @ 11:32 am

    Mmmm. Thai + Chicken = love.


  33. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — June 4, 2012 @ 11:35 am

    i looooooooooove thai dressings and am totally going to be making yours to dip my chocolate in :)

    and cucumbers? yeah, the only way i like them is in sushi. otherwise even the smell freaks me out!


  34. #
    Julia {The Roasted Root} — June 4, 2012 @ 11:41 am

    I’m a big fan of salads in general, but nutty crunchy salads with some form of healthy meat are the best. And the zesty dressing…mmmm….well balanced plate you got there!!


  35. #
    Cassie — June 4, 2012 @ 11:45 am

    I was hoping this would resemble the Thai crunch salad at CPK. I actually CRAVE that salad. Love this.


  36. #
    Cait's Plate — June 4, 2012 @ 11:49 am

    Looks delicious! And I think it’s the perfect compliment to the Dark Chocolate Chunk Skillet Cookie – everyone needs a salad on the side of a cookie :)


  37. #
    Janetha — June 4, 2012 @ 11:59 am

    Sigh–another Thai recipe–can we teach Marshall to like Thai somehow?


  38. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — June 4, 2012 @ 11:59 am

    that dressing + marinade with the brown sugar, vinegar, ginger, PB, chili sauce, coconut milk…I love each and every thing in it!


  39. #
    Mary @ Bake Break — June 4, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

    Oh man. I LOVE this salad at CPK. I may have just eaten breakfast but now I’m hungry and my mouth is watering! Stop it!


  40. #
    Stephanie — June 4, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

    just went to the store to get the missing ingredients. this is dinner tonight. thanks Jessica!


  41. #
    Tara — June 4, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

    This looks like a delicious summer recipe! I love the crunchiness and tastiness peanuts add to Thai foods :)


  42. #
    Jamie @ green beans & grapefruit — June 4, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

    Yay vegetables!! This sounds great!


  43. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — June 4, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

    Oh man I LOVE thai food – this might actually get me to try a SALAD! Did I really just say that?


  44. #
    Karriann — June 4, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

    I shall have that for dinner soon! Looks totally fab ;)

    “Spice it Up”


  45. #
    Diana — June 4, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

    So, I’m completely baffled that you can’t support carrots and cucumbers but you can handle cabbage. Cabbage is good (enough) and all – but it’s the cramping it causes that creates that “scarey” face everytime I see it in recipes. After reading through the recipe, I think it might be worth the cramping – its sounds de-lish! Well done – again!


  46. #
    Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana — June 4, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

    I love the thai chicken salad at CPK, can’t wait to try your version! :)


  47. #
    Kim in MD — June 4, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

    Swoon. I love the Thai Crunch Salad at CPK! Your recipe looks and sounds delicious!


  48. #
    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen — June 4, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

    I’m not a big salad eater, but peanut dressing makes every salad amazing!


  49. #
    Meghan @ After the Ivy League — June 4, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

    Salads are much more bearable when you cover them with Thai peanut sauce. This looks like it’d make a great Thai coleslaw when it’s all mixed together, I’ll have to try it!


  50. #
    Villy @ For the love of Feeding — June 4, 2012 @ 4:33 pm

    Yummy! It looks like a perfect meal!


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