This Asian Chicken Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing is colorful, crunchy, and healthy! It has an assortment of veggies you can easily find at the store year-round. Plus, a tangy and earthy homemade dressing that’s out of this world!
Easy & Healthy Chicken Salad
Are salads the healthy and boring choice? I think not! Here me out.
So, salads are usually deemed as the health-concsious choice, right? Someone wants to go on a diet and their brain immediately goes to SALAD. Salads for lunch and dinner. Which sometimes may lead to someone getting turned off because who REALLY wants to eat a bowl of mixed greens for every meal?
I personally love salads. And if you’re the opposite, I want you to see what I do here. The salads that I make are not just a bowl of salad greens, grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, and a boring dressing. In fact, they are the opposite. Which brings me to this Asian Chicken Salad with Seasame Ginger Dressing.
This, my friends, is more like a party on a plate. It has so many different ingredients with contrasting textures and flavors. And that is what makes a salad amazing! It’s well-balanced, incredible flavorful, and still healthy!
What You’ll Need
Below is the list of ingredients to make my Asian Chicken Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing exactly as I made it. But there is absolutely no harm in omitting what you don’t have or swapping out a few of the ingredients. (I’ll give you some suggestions.)
For the Salad:
- Greens: I used a spring mix, but you can use whatever greens you have on hand. Lighter and softer greens like arugula and spinach work really well for this salad.
- Snow Peas: I love the crunch that snow peas adds to this salad! You could also use blanched green beans cut into 1″ pieces.
- Red Bell Pepper: The red bell peppers add a little bit of sweetness and a pop of color. Yellow and orange peppers would also work.
- Mandarin Oranges: Of course, these little guys add a bit of sweetness that really rounds out the flavor of the salad. You could also use fresh orange segments.
- Carrots: Another vegetable that adds color and texture. You could add some shredded cabbage instead if you don’t have any carrots.
- Green Onions: Chives also will work! Or you could use sliced red onions.
- Boneless Chicken Breast: You could also use leftover chicken or meat from a rotisserie chicken. Just make sure that you remove any bones.
- Salt, and Pepper: For seasoning the chicken.
- Sesame Seeds: A flavorful and fiber-packed garnish that adds more crunch!
For the Dressing:
- Soy Sauce: Or you can use tamari if you’re gluten-free.
- Rice Vinegar: You can find seasoned rice vinegar or regular rice vinegar. Seasoned vinegar is going to be a little sweeter.
- Fresh Ginger: I highly recommend using fresh ginger and not dried ginger here. There’s nothing quite like the mix of fresh ginger and garlic.
- Fresh Garlic: Again, using fresh is highly recommended!
- Raw Honey: This adds a little sweetness to the dressing, which is needed to balance out the acidity. You could also use maple syrup or agave syrup.
- Sesame Seeds: One of the stars of the dressing! I love the way they look in the salad and they add flavor and texture, too.
- Black Pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes: Add more or less depending on how spicy you want it the dressing to be.
- Sesame Oil: The taste that the sesame oil brings is what makes this dressing so unique. I don’t recommend using a substitute.
- Olive Oil: This will mellow out the sesame oil, so you can use a substitute here. I recommend avocado oil.
How to Make Asian Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing
Here’s how to make this delicious, restaurant-quality salad!
First, make the dressing. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk together or you can shake them up in a mason jar.
Then, grill the chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook it on the grill. Make sure that the juices run clear and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 175F. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing.
Then build your salad! You can do this however you’d like…I like to toss the vegetables, greens, and other salad goodies with the dressing and then add the chicken on top (with more drizzles of the dressing). Serve the Asian Chicken Salad immediately.
Tips for the Best Grilled Chicken Salad
It’s really simple to make this Asian Chicken Salad taste like it’s straight off of a takeout menu. Follow these tips and you’ll amazing your friends, family, and even yourself!
- Buy the freshest produce. Most of these ingredients can be found year-round. I prefer to buy fresh vs. frozen when it comes to salads. I would choose a fresh alternative vegetable (like green beans instead of snow peas) over using a canned or frozen ingredient.
- Cut everything to be able the same size. It’s all about getting that “good bite” which has a little bit of everything on it. And the best way to do that is to cut everything to be about the same size.
- Make the salad right before you want to eat it. Never dress a salad long before you want to serve it! It’s bound to get soggy. If you want to prep everything ahead of time you can keep the vegetables and greens separate in air tight containers in the fridge.
Some of my favorite ways to serve this Asian Chicken Salad are below including some protein substitutes and beverage pairings.
- No chicken? No problem! This recipe will cater to a number of different proteins. My favorite is to make Grilled Shrimp to put on top instead.
- Soup and Salad Combo: Make my 30 Minute Thai Soup for the best of both worlds – warm and comforting soup paired with a bright and fresh salad.
- Lunch and Cocktails: Make it an afternoon with the girls and serve this chicken salad with a fun cocktail like my Pineapple Rum Punch or Paloma!
Can This Chicken Salad Be Prepared in Advance?
I don’t recommend making this Asian Chicken Salad ahead of time. What I suggest is doing all of the prep work for the salad and then storing the items separately in the fridge. This way the items stay as fresh as possible and nothing gets soggy!
I like to use small air-tight tupperware container when meal prepping this Asian Chicken Salad. Then I can grab them and build the salad whenever I want to eat it. The cut up vegetables will stay fresh in the fridge for about 3-4 days. Same goes for the chicken. You can choose to reheat the chicken or not – either way is equally delicious!
Asian Chicken Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing
This Asian Chicken Salad is full of flavor, texture, and bright colorful ingredients. A healthy chicken salad recipe that can easily take the place of takeout! It’s packed with vegetables like snow peas and carrots and then topped with a homemade Sesame Ginger Dressing.
- 10 oz. of spring mix
- 1/2 cup of snow peas, cubed
- 3/4 cup red pepper, julienned
- 3/4 cup of mandarin oranges, drained
- 1/2 cup of carrots, grated
- 1/2 cup of green onions, sliced
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- season with salt & pepper
- garnish with sesame seeds, lime wedges and cilantro
Sesame Ginger Dressing:
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced or grated
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, honey, sesame seeds, black pepper, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, and olive oil. Mix until well combined and there is no more oil & vinegar separation.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, about 350°F-375°F.
- Season both sides of chicken breasts with salt & pepper.
- Place chicken on the grill and grill each side for 5-6 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove chicken from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes, then sliced chicken.
- In a large bowl place, fresh spring mix, snow peas, red pepper, carrots, green onions, mandarin oranges, sliced grilled chicken breast. Garnish with sesame seeds, fresh cilantro and lime wedges. Serve with Sesame Ginger Dressing.
Keywords: healthy chicken salad, grilled chicken salad, easy salad recipes
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