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. #
    Lynna — June 4, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

    will make, just because you make this sound so awesomeee.


  2. #
    Amber @ Slim Pickin's Kitchen — June 4, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

    Yum! I love anything covered in thai sauce…except mushrooms…and onions…and mayonnaise *shudders*


  3. #
    aimee — June 4, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

    oh my goodness, this salad looks AMAZING! My husband won’t normally eat salads as a main dish, but with chicken and if its thai flavored I think he might like it. Yum!


  4. #
    Annie @ What's Annie Making? — June 4, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

    Mmmmmmm…. That salad looks perfect. So much crunch and flavor!!!!!


  5. #
    B @ Crags and Veggies — June 4, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

    Beautiful salad, and I love crunch! Variety in textures and colors are equally important for me to believe the meal is yummy!


  6. #
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — June 4, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

    I looove sweet chili sauce and I love looove coconut milk, but I’ve never thought of putting them together for a sauce! Genius!


  7. #
    Holly — June 4, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

    Soooo after seeing this recipe this morning I couldn’t wait to make it. I went to the grocery store on my lunch break & bought all of the ingredients. This is my favorite salad from CPK & I am SO happy to have found a ‘copy cat’ recipe!! & I KNOW it will be perfect, since all of your recipes are :)


    • Jessica — June 4th, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

      Aw!! Let me know how it turns out girl. :)


  8. #
    joelle (on a pink typewriter) — June 4, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

    YUM! This reminds me of a salad I love at California Pizza Kitchen.. I need to recreate this recipe!


  9. #
    Hannah — June 4, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

    Looks delish! Can’t wait to try it!
    :) Out of curiousity, Jessica, what were the other 3/4 of veggies?


  10. #
    Quiche-ing Queen — June 4, 2012 @ 9:18 pm



  11. #
    Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker — June 4, 2012 @ 10:37 pm

    Love this! I really need to eat more salads…


  12. #
    samantha — June 4, 2012 @ 11:27 pm


    (who needs lettuce ever?)

    (just kidding i love lettuce. crunchy water. yum.)


  13. #
    Moni Meals — June 4, 2012 @ 11:29 pm

    Ginger, peanut butter, coconut milk, and spices always are a good idea, always! This looks like a hit for sure. :)


  14. #
    Honey What's Cooking — June 5, 2012 @ 12:22 am

    this looks so delicious… love a thai chicken salad.


  15. #
    Cate @ CatesKitchenAdventures — June 5, 2012 @ 5:18 am

    That looks amazing! If only it was Summer here in Sydney… Will definitely be bookmarking that one for the warmer weather. Btw, I love your blog so tagged you for a One Lovely Blog Award, hope you don’t mind!


  16. #
    Carla — June 5, 2012 @ 7:45 am

    I think this looks absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to make this.


  17. #
    tania@mykitchenstories — June 5, 2012 @ 8:10 am

    It looks so crubnchy and gorgeous… wish I could have some


  18. #
    Shannon @ A Fork In Each Hand — June 5, 2012 @ 8:35 am

    I don’t like cucumbers either but peanuts…that’s another story! Can’t wait to try this!


  19. #
    Anita — June 5, 2012 @ 8:47 am

    What a great recipe Jessica! What type of peanuts did you use? Salted? Trader Joe’s? The peanuts really make the salad and not all of them are that good. I saw a recipe like this without the coconut milk years ago, I think they added some hoisen sauce also. You know what I love about your dressing? It does not contain “FISH SAUCE”. As much as I can, I’d like to avoid that. I will make this and lazyily get a rotissorie chicken. Whole Foods makes a decent one and for $8.99 it’s about half the price of the one at Mrs. Green’s which usually runs $11:00 and up.


  20. #
    Jennifer — June 5, 2012 @ 10:33 am

    So many veggies! I love veggies though. But the peanuts are an added bonus. Looks like a great recipe to test out since I’m a huge salad fan.


  21. #
    shannon mundelius — June 5, 2012 @ 10:39 am

    I LOVE this salad at CPK! Can’t wait to make this this week. Thank you!!!


  22. #
    Wendy — June 5, 2012 @ 11:44 am

    I made this last night for dinner, and my super picky eater loved it! He even asked if there were leftovers he could take in his lunch. Sadly no, but I assured him I’d make it again soon! Thanks for such a great and easy recipe that everyone loved.


  23. #
    Jen Marie — June 5, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

    This looks right up my alley. Spicy, crunchy, fresh. Yum!!
    I really can’t wait to make this for my family!


  24. #
    cori c — June 5, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

    I hate cucumbers, too… which people always think is weird and they tell me, “but they don’t really taste like anything.” Wrong answer. They taste like something and I don’t like it. I even hate pickles… but that is because it combines dill and cucumbers. blech.


    • Jessica — June 5th, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

      I love pickles… but yes, THIS.


  25. #
    Mamie — June 5, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

    This sounds wonderful!


  26. #
    Carmen — June 5, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

    This sounds fantastic, but what can I sub for the edamame? It is nonexistent around here!


  27. #
    Jaren@Kiwi Fit Blog — June 5, 2012 @ 9:27 pm

    That looks delicious!!


  28. #
    kita — June 5, 2012 @ 9:33 pm

    Don’t judge too harshly, but every now and then I love a salad. A big giant crunchy vegetable packed salad. This looks like exactly what I need.


  29. #
    Suzi — June 5, 2012 @ 10:35 pm

    I made this tonight for dinner. It was A-MAZ-ING. I cook for 3 generations on most nights and everyone loved it!! I am new to your blog and I am really enjoying it! Keep it up!!


  30. #
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets — June 6, 2012 @ 8:21 am

    Oh my, I happen to love veggies, and this looks great! I love that you say they taste like earth. Ha. I got a little chuckle from that. I prefer to eat my veggies straight from the garden. Like a tomato unwashed off the vine in the hot sun…yeah. Weird? Earthy?


  31. #
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction — June 6, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

    This is absolutely gorgeous and so perfect for summer – I definitely need a little more salad in my life.


  32. #
    Melanie S. — June 7, 2012 @ 1:52 am

    I made this for dinner tonight – OMG – so freaking good! Of course, I made more than enough so I will be sharing at work tomorrow. This is a recipe that I will keep in my arsenal for ever! Thank you! :)


  33. #
    Amy @Macncheesenpeas — June 8, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

    oh yum!! I love crunchy salads!!


  34. #
    Kristania — June 9, 2012 @ 6:51 pm

    This was super tasty! And it was even good as left-overs the next day(it didn’t get soggy – hurrah!)


  35. #
    Kevin (Closet Cooking) — June 12, 2012 @ 6:06 am

    What an amazing salad! I am so addicted to both sweet chili sauce and spicy peanut sauce and this dressing combines the two!


    • Jessica — June 12th, 2012 @ 6:45 am

      Thanks Kevin – it was so great to meet you this past weekend!


  36. #
    Kristin — June 13, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

    I made this for dinner – amazing! My whole family loved it. Even better, I had enough left over for lunch the next 2 days! This will definitely become a summer staple in my house.


  37. #
    sara — June 13, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

    Holy cow. Just made this minus the rice vinegar (used Apple cider vinegar plus suga
    r) and also added sesame sticks. I’m about to dig in! Looks incredible!


  38. #
    Nicole, RD — June 20, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

    This looks amazing. And I don’t go nuts for salads usually…


  39. #
    Heather — June 26, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

    Just stopped by to say, I can’t get enough of this salad! So tasty, thanks for sharing :)


  40. #
    Robyn Lawrence — June 27, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

    This is the best salad I’ve ever had. Ever. And, I spent the majority of my day yesterday trying to locate this recipe because I lost it! Just wanted you to know…now I’ve bookmarked. I make this ALL THE TIME AND GET RAVE REVIEWS!!!!

    Oh, and I’m subscribed to your blog in my reader now so I’m doubly assured to not be without the recipe again.


  41. #
    Lindsey — July 9, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

    Want to hear a funny story? I just made this for my husband and I for dinner and instead of using sweet chili sauce I used whatever I had in the cupboard…which happened to be HOT chili sauce. We were both laughing so hard through dinner because our mouths were on fire, our noses were running and we had tears coming out of our eyes like waterfalls. Haha lesson learned.


  42. #
    Anne @ Have a Cookie! — July 19, 2012 @ 9:44 pm

    I love that salad at CPK so I’m sure I’ll really love your take on it!


  43. #
    93 — July 26, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

    I made and posted this fabulous Thai Crunch Chicken Salad. It was absolutely dee-lish! I plant to make it several more times before this hot summer is over. Love your blog and thanks for the inspiration! Stop by and visit when you have a chance. Just posted a knock-off recipe for Levain Bakery’s signature chocolate chip walnut cookie. It’s seriously one of the best cookies I’ve ever put in my mouth! I’m craving one RIGHT NOW!!!


  44. #
    Astrid — September 13, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

    Made this for my danish host family tonight! It was a bit hard to find some of the ingredients in denmark- no cilantro and iceberg lettuce instead of cabbage, but everyone LOVED it. Especially the sauce- so good! Thanks for a fantastic recipe!


  45. #
    emma — September 17, 2012 @ 12:07 am

    having this for dinner tonight, yumyum! tis spring in new zealand so lots of nice fresh produce has started to hit the shelves, salad time! :]


  46. #
    Kendall Jones — September 24, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

    Oh mah gaw! This salad is SO delish! I made it last night for dinner and I’m enjoying the leftovers again today for lunch. Thanks for the great recipe! I know I’ll make it again and again! Oh, and the sauce? All i need is a straw.


  47. #
    Jenna — September 30, 2012 @ 10:00 am

    I have made this about 4 times since you posted it and have the ingredients in my fridge right now to make it again! It is not just one of my favorite salads, it is one of my favorite meals! I read your blog every morning and everything I’ve tried from it has been wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing your recipes with us!


  48. #
    Betsy — October 9, 2012 @ 11:22 am

    this looks amaze… wonder if you could sub tofu or something else for the chicken if you are a vegetarian?! can’t wait to try!


  49. #
    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions — October 10, 2012 @ 8:10 pm

    This looks so good! Totally ‘pinning’ to make later!


  50. #
    Amity — November 6, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

    I just made this, and I love it. i love it, I love it. I actually didn’t put peanuts on top, because I don’t have any, but I used chunky peanut butter so I think it all evens out.

    I would just say that if you’re only one person, like me, you might consider halving the recipe…I literally do not own a bowl big enough to comfortable toss all of these salad ingredients in. Other than that, and the question of what I’m going to be able to find to store this in, I AM OBSESSED!



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