This crunchy Thai Salad is the type of salad that makes you crave more veggies. It features crunchy cabbage and carrots, fresh cilantro, and a creamy peanut dressing that will make you want to lick the bowl clean!
The nut butter simply provides a creamy base, and allows you to use less oil than a traditional dressing might call for.
Why You’ll Love It
- It’s ultra-flavorful. This is a restaurant-quality Thai salad that you can make at home in less than 15 minutes. The peanut dressing brings all the veggies together, with a delicious crunch in each bite.
- It’s healthy. Who doesn’t want to enjoy eating more veggies?
- It’s gluten-free. When you use tamari instead of soy sauce, you’ll keep this recipe naturally gluten-free. (Yes, regular soy sauce contains gluten!)
- It’s dairy-free. The dressing is creamy, without using any dairy. If you sweeten it with maple syrup instead of honey, it’s vegan, too.
- It’s flexible. I often use sunflower seed butter instead of the peanut butter in this recipe. And if you don’t have one of the veggies on hand, you can certainly swap anything out that you need to. When fresh mango is in season, I love add that on top.
- You can make it ahead of time. Chop the lettuce and stir the dressing together over the weekend, and then you can assemble a salad in less than 5 minutes during a busy week.
I hope you’ll give this Thai salad recipe a try, because it’s one of my family’s favorites. My husband told me he could eat this everyday!
How to Make It
- Mix the dressing. Add the peanut butter dressing ingredients to a jar or bowl, and whisk well. Set it aside to let the flavors develop, as you chop the salad veggies.
- Chop the veggies. Use a knife to finely chop the romaine, cabbage, red bell pepper, green onions, and cilantro. I use a box grater to shred the carrots, or you can use a julienne peeler. (Or buy pre-shredded at the store!)
- Toss it together. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss well. I usually start with only half the dressing, and then add more to taste.
- Enjoy! Add any extra toppings you like, such as crushed peanuts or cashews for extra crunch.
Save any leftover dressing for future salads, or use it as a dip for Veggie Spring Rolls or sliced veggies.
- Make it nut-free. Use sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter.
- Make it vegan. Use maple syrup instead of honey.
- Add mango. Fresh mango is a match made in heaven with this Thai peanut dressing.
- Make it SCD-friendly. Use honey instead of maple syrup.
- Use only vinegar. I’ve used an extra tablespoon of rice vinegar, instead of the lime juice, in a pinch.
I’d love to hear anything else you try with this Thai salad recipe, too! We can all benefit from each other’s experiences.
More Healthy Salad Recipes
Looking for more veggie inspiration? Try these!
- Vegan Ranch Dressing
- Strawberry Spinach Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
- Vegetarian Cobb Salad
- Caesar Salad
- Sesame-Lime Cabbage Salad
- Kale Salad with Apple Cider Dressing
- Arugula Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
- Asian Cucumber Salad
Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing
Thai Peanut Dressing
- 1/4 cup peanut butter (68 grams)
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (12 grams)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (27 grams)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (31 grams)
- 1 tablespoon tamari (18 grams; or soy sauce)
- 3 tablespoons honey (57 grams)
- 2 garlic cloves (8 grams)
- 1-inch fresh ginger (5 grams)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (2 grams)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons water , or more as needed
- 1 romaine heart , chopped (5 to 6 oz.)
- 2 cup red or green cabbage , shredded (5 to 6 oz.)
- 1 cup shredded carrots (2 medium; 4.5 oz.)
- 3 green onions , chopped (0.7 oz.)
- 1 red bell pepper , chopped (3 oz.)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro , chopped (0.5 oz.)
- 3/4 cup chopped peanuts or cashews (optional; for topping)
- To prepare the dressing, add all of the peanut dressing ingredients to a bowl or mason jar, and whisk well to combine. I use a microplane to finely mince the garlic and ginger into the mix, so there won't be any large chunks in the final dressing. Taste and adjust any seasonings to taste, then set it aside.
- Chop the vegetables, then add them to a large bowl.
- Add half of the prepared dressing to the bowl of veggies, and toss well. Taste the salad, and add more dressing as needed. (You might not use it all!) Add the chopped nuts, if you'd like extra crunch, then serve right away. Leftover dressing will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Make Ahead Tips: Prepare the dressing up to 5 days in advance and store it in the fridge. The veggies can all be chopped up to 24 hours in advance, and then you can assemble this shortly before serving, to retain the maximum crunch.
- Make it Vegan: Use maple syrup instead of honey.
- Make it Nut-free. Use sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter.
If you try this Thai Salad, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it!
Reader Feedback: Any other popular salads you’d like to see here?