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Spicy Peanut Chopped Chicken Salad

Updated: May 16, 2022

I think we are all familiar with the ubiquitous Chinese chicken salad. We see it on menus with chunks of fried chicken, oily wonton chips, and mushy canned mandarins thrown in- all suffocated by a sickeningly sweet sauce. Yuck! This version features none of that nasty nonsense- it’s clean, fresh, a little spicy, super crunchy, and totally tasty (thank you Bobby Flay for the inspiration). This salad is a go to when I’m craving something light yet filling. The flavor factor here is off the charts thanks to a bounty of chopped herbs, fresh veggies, and a savory, spicy peanut chipotle dressing, which is in fact the same sauce I use for my Asian Steak Tacos and Thai Tofu Noodle Stir fry. I love a good all purpose sauce! This salad is so easy to prep in advance, and there is no real “cooking” involved. Chop your veg, pull the meat off your store bought rotisserie chicken, and blend the dressing up earlier in the day. All you have to do is toss it together when you’re ready to eat! If you leave the arugula out or add it just before serving, this dressed salad will keep in your fridge overnight. I like to use Napa cabbage in this recipe as I feel it has a more delicate texture, but plain old red or green cabbage would be great too. Just make sure to slice it very thinly! You can also add different vegetables in- edamame, bean sprouts, julienned cucumbers, shaved radish, and/or blanched and chopped green beans would all be delicious. Chop chop- check this one out for yourself!


prep time: 20 min. cook time: 5 min. Serves: 4-6


1 store bought rotisserie chicken, meat removed from bones and coarsely shredded (about 3 cups)

2 cups baby arugula

4 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage

2 cups shredded carrot (two large carrots)

2 cups thinly sliced snow peas

1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper

1 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

4 scallions, thinly sliced

2 tbsp chopped mint

2 tbsp chopped Thai or regular basil

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

kosher salt

lime wedges, for serving


1-1” piece ginger, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari

1 chipotle en adobo

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp honey

juice of 1/2 lime

1/4 cup avocado or neutral vegetable oil



Make the dressing by adding all of the ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend until the mixture is well combined. Check for seasoning and set aside. For the salad, combine all of the ingredients save about 2 tbsp of peanuts and the lime wedges in a large bowl. Spoon in some of the dressing (not all of it) and toss gently to coat. Add a little more dressing if the salad seems dry. Check for seasoning- add a little salt if needed. Portion the salad out into bowls and garnish with the reserved peanuts and lime wedges.

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