Healthy Chinese Chicken Salad (Paleo)

Light and healthy Chinese Chicken Salad made paleo-style with sesame ginger dressing that is soy-free, sugar-free, and free of canola oil. This easy salad is filling and nutritious!

Paleo Chinese Chicken Salad - soy-free, refined sugar-free, nutritious and filling | TheRoastedRoot.net

Chinese Chicken Salad has always been one of my favorites – I love the crunch, the zestiness, the sweet and savory combination, and the fact that it is so nice and filling!

I have found Chinese Chicken Salad in restaurants to include ingredients I try to avoid (such as soy, sugar, canola oil, etc). So when the craving hits, I tend to make it at home rather than ordering out. I find this paleo version of Chinese Chicken Salad to be so refreshing yet filling!

As you can see, I do my Chinese Chicken Salad differently than the classic. I use romaine lettuce instead of green cabbage. I often chop up spinach and add it too! I do enjoy a good cabbage salad, but sometimes it’s just a bit too much to chew through, so I find romaine to be a bit more appealing. If you’re a true lover of cabbage, feel free to change it up accordingly!

I’ve also been known to add spinach and grated carrot, like so:

Paleo Chinese Chicken Salad - soy-free, refined sugar-free, nutritious and filling | TheRoastedRoot.net

How to Make Chinese Chicken Salad:

Start by marinating the chicken. Simply place the chicken breasts in a zip lock bag along with the ingredients for the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, but ideally 4 to 6 hours. After the chicken has marinated, bake it in the oven – I do 30 to 40 minutes (depending on the thickness of the chicken) at 350 degrees F.

While the chicken is baking, prepare the salad dressing. Add the ingredients for the dressing to a small blender and blend until combined. You can also whisk the ingredients together or put them in a jar and shake if you don’t have a small blender.

Once the chicken has finished baking, allow it to rest 15 minutes, then chop it on a cutting board. Note: You can chill the chicken first rather than serving it warm. I’m fine with eating it slightly warm fresh out of the oven, but chilled is nice too!

Chop the vegetables and place them in a large serving bowl. Add the chicken and pour in desired amount of dressing. Toss everything together until it’s all well-coated in dressing and serve!

Paleo Chinese Chicken Salad - soy-free, refined sugar-free, nutritious and filling | TheRoastedRoot.net

 

Recipe Adaptations:

  • This recipe serves 2 generously or up to 4 people if you’re serving something with it. Consider doubling the recipe if you want to make this an entree for more than two people.
  • Replace the romaine with half of a green cabbage or 5 ounces baby spinach.
  • Add more veggies, like carrot, kale, cucumber, tomato, radishes, etc.
  • Instead of chicken, serve the salad with Crispy Honey-Glazed Salmon.
  • Make this Low-FODMAP by swapping the honey for pure maple syrup in the dressing and omitting the garlic.
  • Omit the honey to make Whole30.

Paleo Chinese Chicken Salad - soy-free, refined sugar-free, nutritious and filling | TheRoastedRoot.net

Additional Entree Salad Recipes:

Get your crunch on!

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If you make this Healthy Chinese Chicken Salad, please feel free to share a photo and tag @TheRoastedRoot on Instagram!

Paleo Chinese Chicken Salad - soy-free, refined sugar-free, nutritious and filling | TheRoastedRoot.net

Paleo Chinese Chicken Salad

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: gluten free, grain free, healthy, paleo, salad
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4 people
Author: Julia

A paleo version of classic Chinese Chicken Salad that is soy-free, refined sugar-free and free of vegetable oil. A filling and nutritious salad recipe

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Ingredients

Orange Marinated Chicken:

Sesame Ginger Dressing:

For the Salad:

  • 4 romaine hearts chopped
  • 1 cup red cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1 large avocado pitted and diced
  • 4 clementines peeled
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds

Instructions

Prepare the Chicken:

  1. Place the chicken breasts in a zip lock bag along with the ingredients for the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, but ideally 4 to 6 hours. 

  2. When you're ready to bake the chicken, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place chicken in a casserole dish with the marinade. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

  3. Once the chicken has finished baking, allow it to rest 15 minutes, then chop it on a cutting board. Note: You can chill the chicken first rather than serving it warm. I’m fine with eating it slightly warm fresh out of the oven, but chilled is nice too!

Make the Dressing:

  1. While the chicken is baking, prepare the salad dressing. Add the ingredients for the dressing to a small blender and blend until combined. You can also whisk the ingredients together or put them in a jar and shake if you don’t have a small blender.

Make the Salad:

  1. Chop the vegetables and place them in a large serving bowl. Add the chicken and pour in desired amount of dressing. Toss everything together until it’s all well-coated in dressing and serve!

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Comments

  1. Charlie Mcdougal

    You should consider the implications of titling this recipe “healthy Chinese chicken salad” as if to say the American-Chinese food people love is real Chinese food. Just call it paleo Chinese chicken salad. Traditional chinese food is healthy.

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Charlie,

      I appreciate the feedback and understand the concern with using the word, “healthy.” Chinese Chicken Salad isn’t actually Chinese by origin, and the intention wasn’t to imply all Chinese food is unhealthy. I understand you’re trying to teach a lesson here but it’s important to remember the intent rather than getting caught up in the details. Hope you try the salad. xo

      Reply
  2. Nanette A

    This is excellent! I made it with grilled salmon and it was so yummy (I did sub tamari for the aminos and mandarins for the clementines). Thanks for the great healthy recipe!

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Ooh la la! The grilled salmon version sounds amazing! I bet tamari tastes marvelous in the dressing. Thanks for sharing your experience! xo 😀

      Reply

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