Healthy Thai Salad with grilled chicken and spicy thai peanut dressing! This Panera classic just got a homemade upgrade. Gluten-free friendly.
Anyone else love a good ‘ole Panera salad?
Their Thai Chicken Salad was always one of my go-to’s.
Luckily it’s really easy to re-create this healthy salad at home and add in some more veggies and other protein options.
Panera Inspired Spicy Thai Salad
You can of course use your choice of salad greens and veggies, but I went with romaine, bell peppers, edamame, red cabbage and carrots.
Grilled chicken is the traditional protein choice here but feel free to sub another vegetarian, plant-based protein option like tofu or tempeh.
- avocado, because who doesn’t want avocado on their salad?
- crunchy wontons, for a Panera-like feel.
- cashew pieces or peanuts, for a little crunch
- cilantro, for a little added flavor
Homemade Thai Peanut Dressing
The Thai peanut dressing really makes this salad and I’m always a big fan of homemade dressing recipes. You’ll need:
- peanut butter
- coconut aminos or tamari or soy sauce
- honey or maple syrup
- sesame oil and rice vingar
- minced garlic and ginger paste
- lime juice and a little milk or water for thinning
- Sriracha, for a little spice if you’d like
You can customize the flavors as you’d like, sub in cashew butter or almond butter as needed.
Use a small blender (like the NutriBullet) or a deep bowl with a small whisk to make the dressing.
So this Thai inspired salad is basically just like your Panera favorite but with a few additions like the red cabbage and avocado.
It’s a great salad to prep ahead of time and have for lunch throughout the week.
Meal Prep Tips
- Wash, dry and chop all of your veggies.
- Grill the chicken or prepare the plant protein.
- Line up storage containers, like these.
- Add in romaine, veggies and top with protein.
If using romaine lettuce, you could drizzle on the dressing up to one day in advance and it will still hold its texture.
If you’re using mixed greens like spring mix and spinach, I’d store the peanut dressing in separate containers, like these, and add to the salad once you’re ready to consume.
More Healthy Salad Recipes
- Easy Chickpea Salad – quick and easy
- Strawberry Mango Salad with Grilled Chicken – perfect dinner salad
- Thai Cashew Quinoa Salad – great for meal prep!
- Shredded Brussels Sprouts Kale Salad with lemon vinaigrette – reader favorite
If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and review below. It helps others find and learn more about the recipe too! Xx Ashley
For the Salad
- 1.5 lbs chicken breast
- 1/2 TBS avocado oil, for cooking chicken
- salt & pepper for chicken
- 8 cups chopped romaine
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup shelled edamame
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage, diced
- 2 orange carrots, shredded (I used vegetable peeler)
- 1/2 cup cashew pieces
- 1 large avocado, sliced
- wonton toppers (optional)
Thai Peanut Dressing
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 3 TBS coconut aminos (soy sauce or tamari)
- 2 TBS honey or maple syrup
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp ginger paste or 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 TBS non-dairy milk or water
- 1/2 tsp Sriracha, (optional – to taste for some heat)
- Prepare the chicken: Heat cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Once pan is hot, add about 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Trim any extra fat off chicken breast. Season chicken with salt & pepper; cook on one side for 3-4 minutes before flipping to other side and cooking through. Cook until middle is no longer pink or internal temperature is 165ºF. Place on cutting board and slice chicken.
- Prepare the salad: In large bowl add all ingredients for salad, except avocado and wontons. Toss with tongs to mix salad together well.
- Make the dressing: add all ingredients into small blender or food processor. Process until smooth – add milk or water 1 TBS at a time if thinner consistency is desired.
- Portion out salad for desired servings and sliced avocado and wontons if using. Top with grilled chicken and drizzle with Thai peanut dressing. Enjoy!
Store leftover dressing in covered container in fridge up to 1 week.
This salad is great for meal prep! Portion out salad into individual containers for easy packed lunch or dinner salad.
VEGETARIAN SUB: Feel free to sub chicken for tempeh or organic tofu.
- Serving Size: 1/6th with dressing
- Calories: 415
- Sugar: 12
- Sodium: 383
- Fat: 20
- Saturated Fat: 3
- Unsaturated Fat: 8
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 25
- Fiber: 5
- Protein: 35
- Cholesterol: 65
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