I seem to start craving lighter, healthier salads with the arrival of spring. Asian chicken salad is a great way to enjoy fresh, crunchy vegetables and tender chicken. There is no mayonnaise or fried chicken required for this low calorie version. Toss together this flavorful salad for lunch or dinner in no time.
I love the flavors of Asian chicken salad and used to order it all the time at restaurants. It turns out that there can be loads of hidden calories in the restaurant version. It also usually cost $12 or more for a meager meal. This salad is easy to make right at home, and is healthier and tastier than what I used to get.
This Paleo-friendly version uses coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, and apple cider vinegar instead of rice wine vinegar. The vinaigrette also includes fresh orange juice, sesame oil, and honey for sweetness. In addition, grated ginger adds its own fragrant sharp flavor.
This salad is convenient for using up any leftover chicken. Shred or dice the chicken breasts to incorporate them into the salad. If you are cooking the chicken from scratch, I suggest poaching or baking the chicken breasts so that they turn out tender. You could even make a simple soy sauce marinade to give them more flavor.
The remaining ingredients for the salad include lettuce, red onion, carrots, scallions, and almonds. Use romaine lettuce or your favorite leafy greens as the base. The proportions are easily adjustable, and you can add in more vegetables to your liking.
Also a note on this recipe – traditionally, red cabbage is used in Asian chicken salad instead of red onion. However, I am not a fan of red cabbage, so I substituted red onion for extra tang and crunch. Please feel free to use the traditional cabbage instead. As it seems, the recipe is very customizable. Enjoy the refreshing light salad along with the warmer weather!
- 2 cooked diced chicken breasts
- 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup carrots, julienned
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup blanched almonds, sliced
- Sesame seeds, optional
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp coconut aminos
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- Dash of white pepper, optional
- Whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Add the chicken, lettuce, red onion, carrots, scallions, and almonds to a large salad bowl. Drizzle with the sesame vinaigrette and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately, sprinkled with sesame seeds if desired.
- Servings: 4
- Difficulty: Medium
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