This Chinese Chicken Salad is loaded with fresh lettuce, cabbage, carrots, sweet mandarin oranges, crunchy almonds and cilantro all tossed together with a delicious ginger-sesame vinaigrette!
Let’s talk about my all-time FAVORITE salad, shall we? This crunchy and delicious Chinese chicken salad was inspired by ALL the salads I love to order anytime we go out to restaurants. If you’ve ever had Cheesecake Factory’s Chinese chicken salad then you know exactly what I mean…DELISH. This salad is loaded with all of your favorites and the dressing makes everything taste that much better!
Everyone should have a favorite salad and this one is super easy to throw together. It has all your favorites like fresh romaine lettuce, green and red cabbage, crunchy carrots, sweet mandarin oranges, green onions and cilantro all tossed in the most delicious ginger sesame dressing! Then I like to garnish with almonds and sesame seeds!
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED:
- Chicken – I love making this with rotisserie chicken because it’s quick, easy and SO flavorful! You could also use cubed chicken breasts, leftover shredded chicken or even canned chicken would work. Pro tip: use your crock pot or Instant Pot to make the most flavorful, fall-apart shredded chicken! Simply throw your chicken into the pot, add 1/2 cup chicken broth and turn it on!
- Romaine lettuce – crunchy romaine lettuce is my absolute fav, but you could also use iceberg lettuce or just extra cabbage.
- Cabbage – I like to use a mix of napa cabbage and red cabbage, but you could use regular cabbage or just stick with all lettuce.
- Carrots – I always julienne my carrots for salads, but you could also grate them or even purchase store-bought matchstick carrots which always makes things easier!
- Mandarin oranges – I usually just use canned mandarin oranges (make sure they’re in 100% juice), but you could also just cut up some fresh oranges
- Cilantro and green onions
- Almonds – I used sliced almonds in this recipe, but you could use cashews or peanuts instead of the almonds if you prefer!
I can’t begin to tell you how easy this salad is to throw together! I always buy a rotisserie chicken to shred for all my salads each week which makes things really easy, but sometimes I’ll even batch cook shredded chicken in my crock pot or Instant Pot. You could also swap out the chicken and make a shrimp salad!
HOW TO MAKE GINGER-SESAME DRESSING
You’ve probably seen this recipe several times on my blog and that’s because this dressing is an absolute staple in our home! It’s a delicious blend of soy sauce, garlic, fresh ginger, honey, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and olive oil. I like to stick to lower sodium soy sauce as I personally think the regular one is too salty, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand. You could also swap the soy sauce with coconut aminos or tamari if keeping this gluten-free or paleo.
This ginger-sesame dressing will last about a week in your fridge so feel free to make this ahead of time! I always make a big batch of the dressing and just store it in my fridge to use anytime I’m in the mood for this salad. Just make sure to dress the salad right before eating so your veggies stay crisp and fresh. Pro tip: Use extra dressing to marinate your chicken with for even more flavor!
HOW TO ADJUST THIS SALAD FOR YOUR DIET
- Gluten-Free – just swap the soy sauce for tamari or coconut aminos
- Paleo – swap the soy sauce for coconut aminos
- Keto/Low Carb – swap the honey with Swerve sweetener (or any other keto sweetener you prefer) and omit the mandarin oranges
- Whole 30 – swap the soy sauce for coconut aminos and instead of honey, try adding a little juice from the mandarin oranges to sweeten!
Not only does this Chinese Chicken Salad taste way better (and cheaper) than ordering take-out, but it’s a much healthier option too. Perfect for lunches or even dinner as this salad is super filling, but it works great as a side dish too!
MORE SALADS YOU’LL LOVE:
- Crunchy Thai Chicken Salad
- Roasted Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Kale Salad
- Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
- Roasted Chickpea Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing
- My FAVORITE Detox Salad
Hope you all enjoy this fresh and crunchy Chinese Chicken Salad and if you love this recipe as much as we do, please leave me a five-star rating below and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram using the hashtag #eatyourselfskinny! I love seeing all your delicious recreations!
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