Are you looking for a family friendly dinner recipe that you can feel good about? Try this Asian Chicken Salad! Crunchy Napa cabbage is combined with crisp veggies, aromatic herbs, and tender chicken, then topped with a sweet and spicy Sriracha dressing.
Asian Chicken Salad
This Asian Chicken Salad with Spicy Sriracha Dressing is a gluten-free family favorite. We devour it completely in almost one sitting. It starts with a base of shredded Napa cabbage mixed with sliced bell pepper and shredded carrot. Scallions, cilantro, and chopped nuts add flavor and texture, and all of the ingredients are brought together with a sweet and spicy Sriracha dressing.
I don’t make it very spicy when I make it for the four of us (my youngest can’t take a lot of heat), but luckily you can easily adjust the heat to your preference. Feel free to either leave the Sriracha out altogether, or to double the amount I call for in the recipe. It’s totally up to you!
If you’re not a fan of cabbage but love Asian flavors, check out my recipe for Thai Sweet Potato Noodles.
What are the health benefits of cabbage?
Sweet, crunchy, and flavorful Napa cabbage is packed with nutrients like vitamins C, K, and B. It is high in folates, and is filled with antioxidants. It’s also a great source of fiber, while being very low in calories, which makes it a fantastic addition to a paleo or keto meal plan.
Combine that with a plethora of other fresh vegetables, tender chicken, and a sweet and spicy dressing… it’s absolutely addicting!
What’s the difference between Napa and Savoy cabbage?
Both Napa cabbage and Savoy cabbage are perfectly interchangeable in this Asian salad recipe. You can tell the difference between Napa cabbage and Savoy cabbage by looking at the texture of the leaves and the tightness of the leaves on the cabbage head.
Napa cabbage leaves are tightly wound around the head of the cabbage, whereas Savoy cabbage leaves grow much more loosely and open. Savoy cabbage leaves also have a beautiful wrinkled appearance, where as Napa cabbage leaves are typically more smooth.
I recommend using Napa cabbage in this chicken salad recipe because of its crunch factor, but Savoy cabbage is a great alternative as well.
How to Make Asian Chicken Salad
- First, make the salad base. Add the chopped chicken, Napa cabbage, red bell pepper, carrots, scallions and cilantro. Toss or stir to combine, then cover and refrigerate the bowl until you’re ready to dress and serve the salad.
- Next, make the spicy sriracha dressing. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger and coconut sugar. Add the sesame oil and olive oil, and whisk until blended. Season with Sriracha to taste.
- Finally, dress the salad. When ready to serve, pour the spicy sriracha dressing over the Asian chicken and cabbage salad. Gently toss to coat the salad with the dressing, then portion into bowls, garnish if desired, and dig in!
Toppings for Asian Chicken Salad
We enjoy topping this salad with chopped dry roasted peanuts for a bit of Asian style flair and some extra crunch. But if you’re allergic, or don’t have dry roasted peanuts available, toasted sesame seeds or almonds would also be wonderful.
An extra sprinkle of scallions or cilantro is also a yummy addition!
Tips for Making Asian Cabbage Salad:
- Use a sharpened chef’s knife to chop the cabbage right from the head. I recommend slicing it pretty thin. You will need about 8 cups of shredded cabbage for this Asian salad recipe.
- Slice your scallions on the bias. Not only do they look prettier, but the larger surface size of the slices will add more onion flavor to your Asian chicken salad.
- To save time, I like to use a store-bought rotisserie chicken in this recipe. Consider buying 2-3 rotisserie chickens the next time you visit Costco or your favorite grocery store. With a little advance planning you can have an entire week of delicious chicken dinners prepped including this crunchy chicken salad in no time.
To make this Asian Chicken Salad recipe Paleo:
Replace the lite rice vinegar in the spicy sriracha dressing with white wine vinegar. Also, replace the gluten-free soy sauce with coconut aminos; you just might need to add sea salt to the dressing to compensate, because coconut aminos aren’t as salty as soy sauce.
If you enjoy this recipe, try this gluten-free chicken stir fry!
I hope you and your family enjoy this Asian Chicken Salad recipe as much as my family does!
Other Gluten Free Chicken Dinner Recipes to try:
Instant Pot White Bean Chicken Chili
Gluten Free Enchilada Casserole
Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Soup
Smokey Chicken and Green Beans over Quinoa
If you love this recipe, I bet you’d enjoy these Asian chicken lettuce wraps from Joy Food Sunshine.
Asian Chicken Salad Recipe:
Asian Chicken Salad
This Asian Chicken Salad is one healthy meal you can feel absolutely great about feeding your family. Crunchy Napa cabbage is combined with crisp veggies, aromatic herbs, and tender chicken, then topped with a sweet and spicy Sriracha dressing.
For the Salad:
- 2 ½ cups leftover chicken, shredded or cubed
- 1 medium-sized Napa (or Savoy) cabbage, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced in 1 inch pieces
- 2 carrots, peeled and grated
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1 cup loosely packed and chopped cilantro
- chopped roasted unsalted peanuts for garnish
For the Spicy Sriracha Dressing:
- 2 tablespoons Braggs Liquid Aminos
- 4 tablespoons lite rice vinegar
- 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 3-4 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 4 tablespoons sesame oil
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-6 teaspoons Sriracha hot chili sauce
For the Salad:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the leftover shredded or cubed chicken, Napa cabbage, red bell pepper, carrots, scallions and cilantro.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the Spicy Sriracha Dressing:
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the gluten-free soy sauce, lite rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger and coconut sugar.
- Add the sesame oil and olive oil, and whisk until blended.
- Season with Sriracha to taste.
- Dress the salad when ready to serve.
You may not use all of the dressing:
I panic if I don't have enough dressing to please everyone when I'm making a large salad, so dress the salad to taste. You may decide not to use all of it.
To make this recipe Paleo:
Replace the lite rice vinegar with white wine vinegar. Also replace the gluten-free soy sauce with coconut aminos; you just might need to add sea salt to the dressing to compensate, because coconut aminos aren't as salty as soy sauce.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 524Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 484mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 3gSugar: 12gProtein: 21g
Don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @allergyfreeak and #allergyfreealaska with your simple Asian cabbage salad pics!
This salad looks so great, Megan! I can’t wait to give it a try!
Joanne Peterson says
This recipe including the dressing is almost identical to a recipe my 21 year old son and I served for a fundraiser for Big Brothers, Big Sisters this past summer. Part of the criteria is the food had to be grilled, so we tea smoked, grilled the chicken and shredded it. Instead of the green onions, we used the dressing to pickle finely shredded mild red onions, then used the pickling liquid to dress the salad. It was a big hit.
I hadn’t thought to try the recipe with leftover roasted chicken, and I almost always have that on hand, and I almost always have green onions on hand. This recipe we could have much more often since I’m not a die hard grilling person when the weather is bad.
So lovely! Thank you
Erin - Suburban Simplicity says
What a lovely recipe. You’ve photographed it so well..it looks very appetizing! Thanks for sharing! If you want to come link up at Welcome Home Wednesdays, we’d love to see you! Party is open. http://www.suburbansimplicity.com
This I have to try. I love Asian salads. The purpose for the napa cabbage in my fridge is now clear.
Oh I’m in love with this salad! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet says
I want to put this dressing on everything! Love that you used coconut sugar. So good!
Angie Lockard says
Hi, Megan! This salad looks delicious! The chili sauce, however has corn ingredients (the vinegar & xanthan gum). Any ideas on substituting the chili sauce so my husband can eat it too?
You can either leave it out altogether, or add some cayenne to spice it up a little! 😉 I can’t think of anything else that would be allergy-friendly to replace the Sriracha. 😉
Emily @ Recipes to Nourish says
This looks so good!!! My family would love this. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Savoring Saturdays gluten free linky party. Hope you’ll join us again this week.
a little lemon juice can give you that salty tart that is missing from using tamari or coconut aminos
Great tip, Tammy, thank you!
Sounds like a great way to spice up summer. 😉 Thanks so much for sharing it with us at Allergy Free Thursdays! I’m going to feature it at this week’s party. Hope to see you back there! 🙂
This salad recipe looks so good! I can’t wait to try this someday Thanks for sharing!
Your salad is fantastic. Unique and just the right kind of heat. I wouldn’t change a thing! Seems like every recipe of yours I try is a keeper. Thanks so much for all you put into your blogs.
Such high praise – thank you so much, Susi! I’m happy you enjoyed it!
This salad looks healthy and full of flavour! Perfect for a weeknight dinner or meal prep bowls. Thank you for sharing!
Absolutely – thank you so much!