Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

With Memorial Day officially in the tail lights, it’s time to begin ushering in the warm weather season. The boys have one week of school left and then we  turn off the alarm clocks and turn on the lazy days of summer. Well… maybe not so lazy if you’re in this family. We’re taking a week to recover and then it’s full steam ahead with camps, travels and summer school programs. This year we’ll be coasting everywhere from Delaware to Hilton Head to Minneapolis and back again. I’m actually going to be attempting my first overnight drive cross country with all three boys and no husband in tow for moral support (and associated heavy lifting). Wish me lots and lots of luck; I’ll be fortunate to make it out in one piece.

Along with the rising mercury comes the transition to warm weather food and, for me,  nothing says summer quite like a fresh and healthy salad.  Cooking Light recently sent me a couple new cookbooks to add to my collection.  Both of them were definite keepers, but the one that especially caught my eye was their Salad Collection.

As I was paging through the assortment of meals, I came upon a Thai salad that literally had my name written all over it.  Honestly, how can you go wrong when peanut butter’s involved?  Ok, yes, I’m still a child at heart.  Now pass me a spoon and the jar, pronto!

This meal takes a mere twenty minutes if you follow it to the letter.  I, of course, deviated a bit as I had no rotisserie chicken and subsequently had to roast my own.  No matter.  It was still a perfect choice for a weeknight warm weather dish.

To toss up a quick eat, grab a bowl and drop in your salad fixings.

For the dressing, eat one spoonful of peanut butter (shh… I won’t tell if you don’t) and then add two more to a small saucepan along with a pour of coconut milk, a little lime juice, soy sauce, and cayenne.

Heat it up to boiling and then let it simmer for about 5 minutes until thickened.  And…. you’re all done.  Told you it was speedy!  Here’s the finished salad ready to be consumed.  You can almost see the vultures my family twiddling their thumbs in the background ready to pounce on it at any moment.

So what are your fun summer plans?  Anything exciting on the calendar for those coveted months off?

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Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

Yield: 4 Adult Sized Servings

Total Time: 20 min

Taken from Cooking Light with Minor Adaptations


6 Cups Romaine Lettuce, Roughly Chopped
2 Cups Boneless, Skinless Rotisserie Chicken (I used chicken pieces roasted with salt, pepper and garlic powder)
2 Cups Bean Sprouts (I used spring pea shoots)
1 Cup Shredded Carrots
3/4 Cup Chopped Celery
2/3 Cup Coconut Milk
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Peanut Butter
1 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice (I used 1/2 of a lime, squeezed)
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce (I used three)
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp Ginger Powder (My addition to the recipe)
2 Tbsp Chopped Peanuts


In a large bowl, toss together the first five ingredients: the lettuce, chicken, bean sprouts, carrots and celery.

In a small saucepan combine the coconut milk, sugar, peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, pepper and ginger.

Bring to a boil and then let simmer for about 5 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.

Serve the warm dressing over the top of the salad. Sprinkle peanuts to finish.

Amount per serving

Calories: 262, Fat: 11.2g, Saturated fat: 3.7g, Monounsaturated fat: 4.5g, Polyunsaturated fat: 2.5g, Protein: 27.5g, Carbohydrate: 17.1g, Fiber: 4.4g, Cholesterol: 63mg, Iron: 2.3mg, Sodium: 599mg, Calcium: 67mg


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18 Responses to “Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing”

  1. 1

    Ameena — May 31, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

    You are a brave brave lady. Especially seeing as I can barely handle my 1 child on our way to drop her off to school. You have my utmost respect Julie!

    Love the salad…thai flavors are perfect for the summer.

  2. 2

    Marie — May 31, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

    Whew… overnight drive with three kids and no backup? I just started doing overnight drives and I can’t even stay awake to be the backup! You should have one of them live-tweet your drive. ;) Good luck and have a wonderful summer! I’ve been looking for a good and easy peanut sauce recipe for salads and pasta… this is it!

  3. 3

    Jen M O — May 31, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

    I wish you lots of luck and lots of fun! Our only plans are the beach. The salad looks so good. Anything with peanut butter is a big hit at my house. I will be making this recipe real soon.

  4. 4

    Alysha — May 31, 2012 @ 8:34 pm

    I’ve always wanted to make a peanut sauce. I have about 8 jars on PB in the house now, so I think it’s a sign!

  5. 5

    Rita — June 1, 2012 @ 9:19 am

    What a lovely presentation; a must try! I have never made peanut sauce; this sound be fun.

  6. 6

    Mari — June 1, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

    It’s a great summer salad. I like the peanut dressing and the sweetness I am sure the peanut butter adds to the salad.

    Have a fabulous weekend.

  7. 7

    Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef — June 1, 2012 @ 11:12 pm

    I’m a huge fan of Thai satay and I would love, love, love your salad!

  8. 8

    Sorta Southern Single Mom — June 2, 2012 @ 8:14 am

    That sounds yummy and the temperatures and my scale tell me I need to be eating more salads!

  9. 9

    Katerina — June 3, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

    Salads are so appropriate for this time of the year! I love your oriental type of this salad Julie!

  10. 10

    Juliana — June 4, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

    Julie, I love your chicken salad, especially with the peanut dressing…like the coconut milk in it…so tropical…perfect for the Summer.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe and have a great week ahead :)

  11. 11

    Deanna — June 4, 2012 @ 6:21 pm

    That is the perfect summer salad. I love the way they made the dressing. I absolutely have to make this.

  12. 12

    Beth — June 4, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

    This salad looks terrific!

    For the first time in many years, we aren’t taking a family holiday this year. My oldest daughter is working at camp for the whole summer. But my husband and I are taking a short holiday to Denver and New Mexico. I can’t wait!

  13. 13

    The Healthy Apple — June 4, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

    Looks delish; I love chicken salad in the summertime. Can’t wait to try this and I love Cooking Light; it’s my favorite magazine. Great post and I can’t wait to meet you in Seattle for BlogHer Food and the TreeTop tour this week!

  14. 14

    Lori @ RecipeGirl — June 6, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

    Oh, I need a big book of salads like that to keep me inspired for eating healthy all summer long! Thai sounds like a good one to whip up! Looking forward to meeting you in Seattle!

  15. 15

    101 Salad Recipes for SummerFood – Construed — June 21, 2012 @ 10:13 pm

    […] Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing – Mommie Cooks […]

  16. 16

    malia — June 29, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

    absolutely gorgeous. you have given me another case of mouth watering recipe envy!

  17. 17

    Monet — July 14, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

    What a gorgeous salad! Perfect for a hot summer day. I can’t wait to whip this up. I have a friend coming in town tomorrow, and I think this would be a perfect Welcome Meal.

  18. 18

    Anastasia Healthy Mama Info. — February 14, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

    Yummy! Just leave out the chicken if you try to stay away from meat & this recipe is still amazing! I used organic peanut butter, which made the flavor really pop:)

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