Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing

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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!

thai salad with peanut dressing in glass bowl

If you don’t eat peanut butter often, you’ll also be happy to know that this recipe works beautifully with sunflower seed butter, almond butter, or cashew butter, too.

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!

peanut salad dressing poured on salad

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.

shredded veggies added to glass bowl

Variations

  • 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.

thai salad tossed in glass bowl

More Healthy Salad Recipes

Looking for more veggie inspiration? Try these!

thai salad with peanut dressing in glass bowl
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5 from 35 votes

Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing

This Thai-style salad is tossed with a creamy peanut dressing that will make you want to lick the bowl clean! Add fresh mango, when it's in season, for an extra-delicious combination.
Course Salad
Cuisine Thai
Keyword thai salad, thai salad dressing
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 255kcal

Ingredients

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

Thai Salad

  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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.
    thai peanut dressing whisked in glass bowl
  • Chop the vegetables, then add them to a large bowl.
    shredded veggies added to glass 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.
    peanut dressing tossed with veggies

Video

Notes

Nutrition information is for 1 of 4 servings, using the entire batch of dressing. This information will vary, and is just an estimate, not a guarantee.
  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 507mg | Potassium: 490mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 9236IU | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg

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?

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Comments

Nadene

This dressing is absolutely delicious!! It’s my go to dressing. The only thing I do differently is a bit less sweetener, and I use maple syrup instead of honey.

David

We quickly made this dressing in a pinch to pour over some brown rice & roasted veggies, and OMG it’s fabulous!! My wife is on a candida cleanse diet and our sunflower butter had added sugar so we substituted with almond butter. Instead of the 3 Tbl of honey we added a 1/2 teaspoon of powdered stevia which was the perfect sweetness for us. We didn’t have red pepper flakes but we DID have Thai chilies from our garden which gave the heat a nice depth of flavor. We subbed with 1 Thai chili, de-seeded.

We make peanut sauces all the time and this is definitely a great new addition to our regular list! Ty! 🙂

Erika

WOW this sauce knocked my sock off! my hubby and I couldn’t stop liking the bowl. I personally think it would make great popsicle flavour! lol

Erika

I make this every week to go with my spring rolls for lunch, so tasty 😋

Martina

Made with Pb2 powder – delicious 😋

Kayla Clark

I use peanut butter instead of sunflower butter, and have recommended this to so many people already. It’s so good!

Caren

Amazing flavor explosion!!! Love this dressing. I also used raw sunflower seeds (1/2 cup) like some other people mentioned, in place on sunflower butter.

Trish Aquino

Can I use all lime juice instead of any vinegar? Thank you!

Sandra Liotus

I made the Thai Salad With Peanut Dressing recipe today and it is so satisfying, crunchy and nutritious. A perfect summer dish, light, tasty, easy and healthy. I have already shared the recipe with other friends who I know will love it! Thank you!

Edcjm

So delicious and easy! We had this salad for dinner tonight. Instead if chopped nuts, we topped the salad with some canned chicken. My carnivorous husband said it was a good dinner. Thanks Megan! The dressing really makes it special.

Sarah

OMG, this is amazing!
I love reading your recipes and this is the first time making one.
We will be having this again.
Deelish!

Jill

Could you put the dressing ingredients in the Vitamix vs a microplaner so there aren’t any chunks?

Judy S

What can I say….yum, yum and yum.
Hanks for all your great recipes!

DAwn

This was absolutely delicious! I made it three nights straight for dinner!

Erika

How do I say this? Amazing!

helan

Thanks For Sharing this Amazing Recipe. My Family Loved It. I will be sharing this Recipe with my Friends. Hope They will like it.

kate

New favourite Salad! Could eat this every day – thank you

Kate

This is one of my favourites. So moreish and healthy 🙂

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