Asian Chicken Salad


5 from 3 votes
Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

This Asian chicken salad features crispy breaded chicken tossed with crisp vegetables and a creamy dressing.

Asian chicken salad.

This salad is a perfect dish to eat for lunch or a light dinner, featuring a mix of crispy fresh vegetables and chicken tenders, all tossed in a flavorful Asian-style dressing. I was inspired to create this recipe after consistently ordering the famous Applebee’s salad a little too often.

By making it myself, it’s not only cheaper, but I know exactly what goes into it..and it tastes so much better, too!

Table of Contents
  1. Why this recipe works
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make a Chinese chicken salad
  4. Flavor variations
  5. Storage instructions
  6. More delicious salad recipes to try
  7. Frequently asked questions
  8. Asian Chicken Salad (Recipe Card)

Why this recipe works

  • Healthy and nutritious. Made with a bunch of fresh vegetables and low-fat protein, this salad is packed with nutrients. 
  • A perfect make-ahead salad. Make a big batch of this salad and keep the dressing separate. Mix and enjoy a big bowl of it for lunch or dinner throughout the week. 
  • Loaded with flavors and textures. My family loves this salad because it’s loaded with tons of fun textures (crispy noodles, crisp vegetables, crispy chicken) and full of umami-forward flavors.

Ingredients needed

This Asian salad features a mix of chicken and crunchy vegetables all tossed in a delicious almond butter dressing. Here’s everything you need to make it. 

  • Chicken tenders. I made my own crispy chicken tenders (my chicken katsu recipe but with tenders instead of breast meat) but any frozen chicken tenders work too.
  • Chopped vegetables. Use a mixture of green cabbage, carrots, iceberg lettuce, and greens. These vegetables provide a crunchy base for the salad. 
  • Almonds. Slivered almonds for more crunch and nutty flavor. 
  • Sesame seeds. A staple ingredient in Asian-style cooking. Sesame seeds add a mild sweetness and nutty flavor to dishes along with some crunch. 
  • Crispy noodles (optional). If you happen to have these at home, fry one and add it to the salad for extra flavor and crispiness. Avoid this ingredient if your goal is to keep this salad as healthy as possible. 

For the Asian chicken salad dressing:

  • Almond butter.To provide a creamy base for the dressing. 
  • Chilli sauce. To add some heat. Add more or less of this sauce depending on your preferences. 
  • Soy sauce. To add a savory and salty flavor to the sauce. You can use tamari or liquid aminos for a gluten-free option.
  • Ketchup. Adds a punch of sweetness.
  • Cayenne pepper. For some heat. This is completely optional and I tend to only add this if I’m making it for myself.
  • Water. To thin out the sauce.

How to make a Chinese chicken salad

What I love about this recipe is that it comes together very quickly. I often make this as a last minute potluck dish when I need something fast but impressive.

Step 1 – Cook the chicken. Season chicken tenders and grill or pan-fry them. Once cooked, slice the chicken into bite-size pieces and set aside. 

chicken tenders frying in a skillet.

Step 2 – Prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, mix all your dressing ingredients and mix well until fully combined. Add a tablespoon of water to the dressing, aiming for a pourable but thick consistency. Toss it over the salad.

Asian chicken salad dressing.

Step 3- Assemble. Slice the chicken, add it on top of the salad, and sprinkle the slivered almonds and crispy noodles over the top.

sliced chicken assembled on salad.

Flavor variations

  • Use peanut butter. If you don’t have almond butter at home, use peanut butter to make the dressing. The peanut butter will provide a nutty and creamy base for the sauce while yielding a sweeter flavor. 
  • Add more veggies. Bell peppers, cucumbers, snap peas, and red cabbage will fit perfectly into this salad and add more vitamins and colors to it. 
  • Use other protein. I like the breaded chicken because it reminds me of both Panera’s and Applebees, but grilled or baked chicken works too. Even shredded leftover air fryer whole chicken or spatchcock chicken works.  

Storage instructions

Store the salad leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. 

If you are making the salad in advance, store the chopped vegetables, cooked chicken tenders, and dressing separately. Mix them all together right before serving the salad. 

Stored in an airtight container or jar, the salad dressing keeps well for up to a week, refrigerated. You can use it to drizzle other salads too. 

Chinese chicken salad.

More delicious salad recipes to try

Frequently asked questions

Why is it called Chinese chicken salad?

Chicken salad has numerous variations. The one that is called Chinese chicken salad typically features shredded or sliced chicken, crunchy vegetables, and a dressing that contains Asian cooking staples. 

What goes well with Chinese chicken salad?

Chinese chicken salad pairs well with various Asian dishes. You can serve it with noodles, spring rolls, dried rice, dumplings, etc. 

Asian chicken salad recipe.

Asian Chicken Salad

5 from 3 votes
This Asian chicken salad features crispy breaded chicken tossed with crisp vegetables and a creamy dressing.
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes


  • 2 chicken tenders pre-cooked or homemade
  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • 2 tablespoon slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup crispy noodles optional

Asian chicken salad dressing


  • Prepare your crispy chicken tenders as instructed. Slice into bite sized pieces and set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Using a tablespoon, add water until a thick dressing is formed. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped veggies and mix well. Add half the dressing and mix through until all the veggies are coated. Add the chopped chicken and mix until fully combined.
  • Serve in bowls and top with extra dressing, sesame seeds, and slivered almonds.


STORAGE: Store the salad leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. 
If you are making the salad in advance, store the chopped vegetables, cooked chicken tenders, and dressing separately. Mix them all together right before serving the salad. 
Stored in an airtight container or jar, the salad dressing keeps well for up to a week, refrigerated. You can use it to drizzle other salads too. 


Serving: 1servingCalories: 198kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 12gFat: 13gSodium: 663mgPotassium: 354mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 492IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 96mgIron: 2mgNET CARBS: 9g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

You May Also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Made a salad with what was in the fridge, then the dressing as written. Delicious! I scooped up some dressing with garlic flatbread, and next I’m going to dip into it with popcorn.

  2. KETCHUP is my life. I like my food with my ketchup.
    But yay for this recipe – it looks delicious, and I love seeing some green on the blog 😛 hehe <3

  3. I love Thanksgiving leftovers to make sandwiches with. It is the only time of year I put cranberry sauce on my sammie. I love the stuff from the can that retains it’s shape. Don’t judge, it’s great. I always try to catch some of the parade. My favorite part are the musical acts that take place over the Macy’s symbol. I wouldn’t want to see it live though, cold and angry New Yorkers are not nice. This is one thing that is better on TV

  4. Ohhh I love how you incorporated the Gardein turkey into an Asian-style salad. My Japanese heart is happy ;). Call me a bad American, but I’ve never watched the parade in person or on TV. Eating Thanksgiving food in a restaurant sounds like a lot better of a deal than standing outside in the cold to me haha

  5. I think it was way back in 2005 or 2006 when my daughter and I caught the Macy’s Day Parade in NYC – we did get there early and were right up front next to this incredibly interesting older man who told us that he had never missed the parade in all his 89 years! Phenomenal eh?
    Arman – speaking of phenomenal, this here is one phenomenal salad – and WOA, what an epic dressing indeed – BTW IMO Wonton skins are never optional 🙂

  6. We have the parade on t.v. every year. I love a good ol’ turkey sandwich or turkey noodle soup with the leftovers. So yummy! This salad is making me drool all over my computer.

  7. Vegan “chicken” salad sounds fantastic. I think it would be fun to get up close and personal at the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 🙂

  8. thanksgiving is not something i grew up with so i am not too crazy about the turkey. im more into sides…i have not seen the Macy’s day parade but i can image the crowd in NYC at time of the year.

  9. I’m someone who THINKS going to the parade in person would be fun, and then I’d get there and be so annoyed by the large crowds. Actually, I never even watch the parade on TV, or if I do it’s just on in the background. Conclusion: my holiday spirit is lacking. Clearly.

  10. I would love to see the Macy’s parade live some day! It’s my favorite thing to do Thanksgiving morning at home- sip coffee by the fire and count how many times a color guard girl drops her baton.
    I don’t usually end up with a lot of Thanksgiving leftovers, but sandwiches and salads are the most popular in my house when I do have them.

  11. Dear Arman, this looks absolutely wonderful! The chicken looks great…I could eat this whole bowl up.

    We sometimes watch the parade, but most times, I am too busy in the kitchen preparing for the company. I pull double duty on Thanksgiving because it is also my son’s birthday!

    Have a wonderful day my friend, Catherine

    1. Oh wow- What a lucky son- He’d think the entire feast is for him 😀

      Hope you have a fantastic day today, Catherine!

  12. I like the sound of the dressing!

    My firm plan for Thanksgiving in NYC is to stay away from Time Square and any store. Your poor friend! A shoe in the face is not on my NCY bucket list 😉

  13. Oh, the parade is a staple in our house every Thanksgiving morning. And here’s a little secret that I haven’t shared with anyone yet: my lifelong goal is to be the Santa at the end of the parade. Do you think you can use your connections to help make that happen? Also, food does cure all! And I’m going to drown my sorrow about not being Santa in this Asian Chicken Salad. Delicious!

    1. Oh man, I would line up at 2am to see that……Okay maybe not 2am! Why not Hello Kitty? You’d fulfill that role better!

  14. I’ve never watched the parade, always prefer to be warm and eating with family 🙂 and I love making salads with leftover turkey!