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Sesame Ginger Chicken Salad

Sesame Ginger Chicken Salad recipe with marinated Asian chicken, cabbage, spinach, carrot, cashews, dried cranberries, a delicious peanut dressing, and more! This healthy chicken salad is loaded with nutrients, flavor, and yummy textures.

This amazing, crunchy Sesame Ginger Chicken Salad recipe was inspired by my Thai Chicken Chopped Salad and my Healthy Chinese Chicken Salad

Big bowl of Asian sesame ginger chopped salad with sliced chicken on top and a golden napkin to the side.

If you’re into crunchy, huge and filling salads, you’re going to go wild over this easy healthy Asian chicken salad recipe!

It is loaded with fresh crunchy vegetables like green and purple cabbage, carrot, bell peppers, green onion, and spinach and topped with perfectly tender and juicy sesame ginger chicken thighs, crunchy cashews, sweet dried cranberries and an otherworldly peanut dressing!

The combination of fresh ingredients results in the absolute best chicken salad! 

We’re getting an array of textures and flavors for a filling yet simultaneously light meal out of this sesame chicken salad.

The crunchy cabbage, sweet carrots, crispy cashews, tangy dried cranberries, and perfectly cooked tender chicken come together like magic when embraced by that amazing peanut vinaigrette. 

It makes healthy eating marvelously delicious!

Horizontal photo of chicken salad

For the chicken portion of the recipe, I make my Asian Baked Chicken Thighs, which have been my go-to whenever I’m in the mood for chicken. They always turn out with so much flavor and are so tender.

In addition, this salad is HUGE! For most people, it will feed four individuals comfortably as an entrée salad, ideal for serving the whole family or guests.

For those who have a big appetite, it will fill up two hungry people as a main dish.

Scooping salad out of the bowl with salad tongs.

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for this delicious healthy chicken salad recipe!

Ingredients for Sesame Ginger Chicken Salad:

Sesame Ginger Chicken Ingredients: Chicken thighs, avocado oil, sesame oil, fish sauce, garlic, pure maple syrup, liquid aminos (or coconut aminos or soy sauce), sriracha, ground ginger, and rice vinegar.

The easy Asian marinade for the chicken results in a sweet, savory, umami tender chicken. 

While I like using boneless skinless chicken thighs, you can use boneless breasts instead if you prefer.

Salad Ingredients: Green cabbage, purple cabbage, red bell pepper, carrots, green onions, roasted cashews, and dried cranberries make up the fresh salad. 

You can add any of your favorite salad ingredients, like avocado, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, almonds, pumpkin seeds, fresh strawberries or blueberries, etc.

Sesame Ginger Dressing Ingredients: Avocado oil (or olive oil), sesame oil, peanut butter, liquid aminos, rice vinegar, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, pure maple syrup.

This combination of ingredients for the salad dressing results in the most incredible vinaigrette! It has sweet and tangy flavors and makes your salad greens taste rich and inviting.

The salty soy, rich sesame oil and fresh flavor of ginger combined with enticing peanut butter makes a delicious dressing for this Asian sesame salad.

Use it as a dressing for all your green salads or even as a marinade for chicken or fish.

Close up image of sliced chicken on top of the salad.

At first glance, it will seem like there are a lot of ingredients involved in this recipe. Rest assured, there is a great deal of crossover between the chicken marinade and the salad dressing. 

In addition, most of them are refrigerator or pantry ingredients you likely already have on hand.

Customize this salad to your heart’s delight. Here are some suggestions for easy swaps and substitutions.

Recipe Adaptations:

  • If you have a favorite chicken recipe, you can put it into practice here instead of following my Asian Baked Boneless Chicken Thighs recipe. You can always use store-bought rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken.
  • As an alternative, make my Baked Honey Lime Chicken Thighs, Lemon Garlic Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs, or Honey Garlic Baked Chicken Thighs. All are great options!
  • Grill chicken in a grill pan or cook it in a skillet over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add in your favorite fresh vegetables, fresh fruit or dried fruit, nuts or seeds. Mandarin oranges are great here!
  • Swap the cabbages out for any type of salad greens such as spring green mix, power greens, romaine lettuce, etc. You can also replace them with shaved brussels sprouts.
  • Just add avocado!
  • If you love spicy food, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of spicy sriracha to the salad dressing.
  • Whip up your own dressings to go with this salad.
  • Make it a steak salad by making my Marinated Skirt Steak
  • Salmon lovers, make My Go-To Crispy Salmon Recipe
  • You can always minimize the prep by using store-bought dressing. There are plenty of brands that make delicious sesame dressings that are fairly comparable, although I must admit there is nothing like the dressing in this recipe!
  • Swap the cashews for sliced almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds.
  • Add chow mein noodles to make a noodle salad.

Now that we’ve covered the healthy ingredients for this amazing dinner salad, let’s make it!

Big white bowl with chopped salad and sliced chicken on top.

How to Make Sesame Ginger Chicken Salad:

Prepare the Peanut Salad Dressing:

Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Store in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Dressing stays fresh for up to 1 week.

Make the Chicken: 

Add all of the ingredients for the marinade (everything but the chicken) to a small bowl and whisk until well-combined.

Transfer the boneless chicken thighs to a zip lock bag or a small container along with the marinade. Seal it and move everything around until the chicken is coated in marinade. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, ideally several hours (up to 24 hours).

In addition to making the chicken thighs flavorful, marinating them will also help tenderize them.

When you’re ready to bake the chicken thighs, preheat the oven to 420 degrees F.

Transfer the chicken, including the marinade to a large casserole dish or large rimmed baking sheet or baking dish. Bake the chicken thighs for 15 minutes. 

Remove the chicken from the oven and baste it thoroughly by spooning the juices over top of the breasts. Adjust the oven to the High Broil setting and broil the chicken for 5 to 8 minutes, or until it is golden brown and the juices have begun to caramelize. Spoon the juices over the chicken again.

Transfer the chicken thighs to a cutting board and allow them to cool for at least 10 minutes.

Use a sharp knife to cut the thighs into strips. Note: you can serve the chicken hot or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it until chilled if you prefer your chicken cold.

Horizontal photo of Asian baked chicken thighs in a black casserole dish

Make the Salad:

Thinly slice the green cabbage and red cabbage, chop the spinach, bell pepper, and green onion, and grate the carrots.  Add all of the chopped veggies to a large mixing bowl along with the dried cranberries and cashews.

Pour all of the dressing over the salad ingredients (or use the amount that you want). Toss the salad until everything is coated in dressing.

Pouring peanut dressing over the salad

Serve the salad with sliced Asian chicken thighs on top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

The next time you’re craving a recipe for chicken salad, bring this one up to bat! I’m willing to bet it will become a household staple for busy weeknights.

An excellent addition to weekly meal prep meals, this salad is a great recipe to put on constant rotation.

Horizontal photo of white bowl of Asian chicken salad

Looking for more filling salad recipes? Check these out!

More Healthy Salad Recipes:

Enjoy this big, filling salad!

Big bowl of Asian sesame ginger chopped salad with sliced chicken on top and a golden napkin to the side.

Sesame Ginger Chicken Salad

Yield: 4 Large Salads
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

A vibrant, filling entrée salad recipe with Asian sesame ginger chicken, fresh vegetables and an incredible peanut dressing. This simple yet colorful chopped salad recipe is worthy of putting on constant rotation!

Ingredients

Sesame Ginger Chicken:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sriracha, optional
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp sea salt, to taste

Salad Ingredients:

  • 4 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups purple cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups baby spinach (or spring greens, romaine lettuce, or greens of choice), chopped
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup roasted cashews
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Peanut Salad Dressing:

  • ¼ cup avocado oil or olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter, almond butter, tahini, or sunflower seed butter
  • 3 Tbsp liquid aminos or soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated

Instructions

Prepare the Peanut Salad Dressing:

1. Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a blender (such as a Magic Bullet or Nutribullet) or food processor and blend until smooth.

 Peanut dressing in a blender, ready to go on the salad.

Store in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Dressing stays fresh for up to 1 week.

Peanut dressing in a jar

Make the Chicken: 

1. Add all of the ingredients for the marinade (everything but the chicken) to a small bowl and whisk until well-combined. You can also use a small blender for this step.

Marinade ingredients for chicken thighs in a measuring cup

2. Transfer the boneless chicken thighs to a zip lock bag or a small container along with the marinade. Seal it and move everything around until the chicken is coated in marinade. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, ideally several hours (up to 24 hours).

Chicken thighs and marinade in a zip lock bag.

3. When you’re ready to bake the chicken thighs, preheat the oven to 420 degrees F. Transfer the chicken, including the marinade to a large casserole dish or large rimmed baking sheet or baking dish. Bake the chicken thighs for 15 minutes. 

Chicken thighs in a casserole dish in marinade, waiting to go into the oven

4. Remove the chicken from the oven and baste it thoroughly by spooning the juices over top of the breasts. Adjust the oven to the High Broil setting and broil the chicken for 5 to 8 minutes, or until it is golden brown and the juices have begun to caramelize. Spoon the juices over the chicken again.

Spooning the marinade over the cooked chicken to baste

5. Transfer the chicken thighs to a cutting board and allow them to cool for at least 10 minutes. Use a sharp knife to cut the thighs into strips. Note: you can serve the chicken hot or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it until chilled if you prefer your chicken cold.

 Baked chicken thighs in a casserole dish. Golden-brown crispy thighs

Make the Salad:

1. Thinly slice the green cabbage and red cabbage, chop the spinach, bell pepper, and green onion, and grate the carrots.  Add all of the chopped veggies to a large mixing bowl along with the dried cranberries and cashews.

Mixing bowl with salad ingredients inside

2. Pour all of the dressing over the salad ingredients (or use the amount that you want). Toss the salad until everything is coated in dressing.

Pouring peanut dressing over the salad

3. Serve the salad with sliced Asian chicken thighs on top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Horizontal photo of chicken salad

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1 Serving (of 4)
Amount Per Serving Calories 796Total Fat 59gCarbohydrates 55gFiber 8gSugar 27gProtein 37g

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Philip

Thursday 22nd of September 2022

Did I miss adding ginger to the chicken marinade? Didn't see it on the recipe.

Julia

Friday 23rd of September 2022

Thanks for catching that, Philip! I use 1 teaspoons of ground ginger in the marinade and 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger in the dressing. I just updated the recipe :) Hope you enjoy!! xo

Shirley

Monday 12th of September 2022

This salad is so delicious, flavorful, and healthy. My other half couldn't get enough and was still picking at it after he was full. This is one recipe to make over and over again.

Julia

Monday 12th of September 2022

I'm so happy you enjoy it! Definitely a great one to put on constant rotation :) xoxo

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