Creamy peanut butter together with honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar make for a flavorful punch to this crunchy salad. Crunch from the chicken, vegetables, wonton strips, and almonds all finish this salad with a total WOW-factor!
We are back from Cancun and have been home the past few days. We had a blast but man, am I grateful for building in a work-from-home, get’er caught up day on Friday, followed by Saturday and Sunday with a whole lotta nothing. Admittedly, I’ve gotten sucked into a Jodi Picoult book (Mad Honey), and I’m having a lot of difficulty putting it down! So, so good! Jodi is the best.
My friend came over after church and tossed a ton of expired pantry items (oops) and re-organized my entire kitchen. In addition to having done SOOOOO much laundry this weekend, I’m feeling equally exhausted and productive, and yet not ready for the busy week ahead. I must say that getting home to normalcy in terms of food and cooking has been a welcome change. As good as vacation is, home and routine is something I appreciate. We also checked out our new Aldi that opened while we were away — what a segue to this recipe!
ROLL CALL FOR THIS RECIPE
- Red Bag Chicken Fans! If you’re an Aldi-goer, you know all about Kirkland breaded chicken breasts from the freezer section of Aldi. They’re the best! They’re heavy on the chicken vs. the breading and make meal prep a breeze!
- Meal-Worthy Salads: I love a main-dish salad with substantial protein, fiber, and size to keep me full. This salad most definitely fits the bill as a complete meal! Also a must for the best healthy salad recipes: bold flavors and fresh flavors! Crunchy cabbage is one of my most favorite salad ingredients!
- Weeknight Warrior: The vegetables can be prepped ahead of time and the short list of dressing and sauce ingredients has this salad ready fast, making it great for easy weeknight meals.
KEY INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Chicken: Any breaded chicken breast will do, as will leftovers! To make this into a lighter meal, rotisserie chicken, diced chicken, or shredded chicken breast will also work beautifully!
- Vegetarian: Skip the chicken altogether to make this a meat-free meal!
- Cabbage Slaw: I love the crunchy green cabbage in this meal, but romaine lettuce or another crunchy green will work just fine! Napa cabbage anyone? Mmmmm! Feel free to use a coleslaw mix that includes shredded carrots, or a purple cabbage blend for a fun pop of color!
- Dressing: This creamy peanut dressing is to.die.for, but feel free to adapt to your liking, including more or less of the ingredients, as you prefer. A bit of crushed red pepper flakes or chili paste would add a bit of spice, if that’s your jam! A dash or two of fish sauce can also add to that Thai peanut sauce flavor.
- Vegetables: I suggest snow peas and red bell pepper, but any crunchy vegetables will work beautifully!
- Peanut Butter: I love a creamy natural peanut butter, however almond butter, another nut butter, or sun butter works, too!
- Honey: Use pure maple syrup or agave in place of honey, if you wish. Sugar or brown sugar aren’t ideal as they aren’t liquid and will thicken the sauce/dressing a bit too much.
- Soy Sauce: Use low-sodium to keep the sodium content in check. Coconut aminos is a great alternative, as well.
- Dairy-free: This salad is dairy-free as-is.
- Gluten-free: Use a gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos and omit the wonton strips to make this a gluten-free meal.
- Protein-rich: Offering nearly 35 grams of protein per serving, this salad offers some serious staying power.
- High-fiber: With over 6 grams of fiber per serving, this salad is high-fiber. Thank you, crunchy veggies!
- Colors: Offering loads of colors from the various vegetables, this salad is rich in many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
VARIATIONS, STORAGE, AND TIPS
- Store each ingredient separately in airtight container if not serving the whole salad at once (it’s a lot!). For best results, dress a few minutes before serving and toss the chicken in the sauce at the end.
- Finish with the cilantro and green onions – it’s a must! A squeeze of lime juice is also a fun pop of flavor and sesame seeds can provide a fun, textured finish with a contrasted sprinkle of white.
- Use a large bowl for the final product – it makes a lot!
- Exact measurements are not required for this recipe – feel free to add and subtract what you enjoy in terms of the sauce / dressing, as well as the salad ingredients.
- 24 oz frozen breaded chicken breasts
- 4 Tbsp rice vinegar, divided
- 4 Tbsp creamy peanut butter, divided
- 4 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce, divided
- 4 Tbsp honey, divided
- 3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 cups coleslaw mix
- 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2 red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, sliced
- 1 cup snow peas, halved
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup wonton strips
- 6 green onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- Preheat oven and cook chicken according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, combine 2 tablespoons each: rice vinegar, peanut butter, soy sauce, and honey in a large bowl; whisk until combined.
- Once chicken is cooked, chop into bite-sized pieces and toss in the large bowl with the sauce.
- In a mason jar or small container with a tight-fitting lid, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons each: rice vinegar, peanut butter, soy sauce, and honey, as well as the toasted sesame oil, salt, and garlic; shake or whisk until well-combined.
- In a large bowl, combine the slaw mix and romaine, drizzle with the dressing and toss to coat. Add the bell peppers, snow peas, and almonds; gently toss.
- Serve salad with chicken, wonton strips, green onion, and cilantro.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/6 recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 522Total Fat: 27.0gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 1089mgCarbohydrates: 40.8gFiber: 6.3gSugar: 18.5gProtein: 34.5g
Love epic salads? Me too!
- Blackened Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Citrus-Herb Dressing
- Grilled BBQ Chicken Skewer Salad
- Chicken Caesar with a Twist & Shrimp Caesar Salad with a Twist
- Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing
- Crispy Italian Chicken and Bacon Salads with Tahini Pesto Dressing and Sourdough Croutons
- Tex-Mex Chicken Chopped Salad
- Chimichurri Steak and Vegetable Salad
Weekly Menu: March 26th – March 30th
- Sunday: Cajun Orzo and Bean Skillet
- Monday: leftovers
- Tuesday: Taco Lasagna
- Wednesday: Black Pepper Chicken and rice
- Thursday: Fennel Salad with Tempeh and Walnut Cream