Crunchy Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing

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Irresistibly crunchy Thai salad with creamy peanut dressing will be your new vegetable obsession! Each bite packs a powerhouse of fresh superfoods.

bowl of crunchy Thai salad with creamy peanut dressing

Crisp, satisfying and full of nutrients! This crunchy Thai salad tossed in a creamy peanut dressing will be your new salad addiction. Each bite contains a powerhouse of fresh superfoods and a peanut flavor punch to match.

If you are looking for a quick, wholesome and exciting meal that you can enjoy for dinner or pack for lunch the next day, this salad will make your taste buds super happy. A few chops with your chef’s knife and a blend of the sauce, and you’ve got your next veggie-packed meal ready in minutes.

Bowl of unmixed Thai salad with recipe ingredients

This Thai salad screams summer, with the rainbow of colors and tropical mango slices it makes me want to hop on the next flight to Phuket! It’s so easy to find the freshest produce and ripe fruit at the market right now. Summer is in high gear, and it’s like the grocery store is just giving away mangoes!

To balance the slight bitterness of the kale greens, mangoes, and sweet red bell pepper add just the right amount of natural sweetness. I’d like to take a quick poll… Raise your hand if you LOVE peanut sauce? You know, the kind you can usually find with chicken satay or served with shrimp spring rolls?

Jar and spoon of homemade peanut sauce with chopped nuts on top

Not only is this Thai salad so tasty, but it’s also packed with those superfoods I mentioned up top! The kale, two types of cabbage, red bell peppers, carrots, green onions, and lime juice are all some of the top nutrient-dense superfoods you can enjoy. Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too, but in this case, it would be a delicious salad with an addictive peanut sauce, ha!

After shooting the photos for this recipe, it was getting to be around 1 pm, and I couldn’t wait to gobble this salad up! Each forkful is so refreshing, plus the light drizzle of peanut sauce hit the spot. You can instantly turn this salad into an entree by adding some grilled tofu, chopped chicken, beef or shrimp.

Thai salad in a bowl with peanut dressing

More Thai recipes

What is the difference between peanut butter vs. peanut spread?

There are a lot of options on the market for peanut butter products. Peanut butter labeling is regulated by the FDA and must contain at least 90% by weight of peanuts. There also may not be any added artificial colors, preservatives or sweeteners. The other 10% can be seasoning and stabilizing ingredients like salt, sugar, palm oil or peanut oil for example. If the amount of non-peanut ingredients exceeds 10%, then it would be labeled as a spread. You have most likely seen natural ground peanut butter separate over time and have oil on the top when you open the jar. Oils like palm oil are added when processing the product to prevent separation and make a more creamy spreadable product.

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Crunchy Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing

Irresistibly crunchy Thai salad with peanut sauce dressing will be your new vegetable obsession! Each bite packs a powerhouse of fresh superfoods all in one bowl.
Pin Print Review
3.95 from 168 votes
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Salad
Cuisine Thai

Ingredients

Thai Salad

  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 ½ cups napa cabbage
  • 1 ½ cups red cabbage
  • ½ cup red bell pepper
  • ½ cup carrot
  • 1 mango
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon green onions
  • ¼ cup peanuts, roasted, roughly chopped

Peanut Dressing

  • cup peanut butter, natural creamy or smooth
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons honey, or pure maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • ½ teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions 

Thai Salad

  • In a large bowl add thin slices of kale, cabbage, bell pepper, carrot, mango, cilantro, mint, and green onions. Set aside and make the dressing.

Peanut Dressing

  • In a blender add peanut butter, lime juice, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, ginger, garlic, and water.
  • Puree until smooth and combined, about 1 minute. Alternatively, the ingredients can be whisked together in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Add more water if needed to thin out the dressing if desired. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

To Serve

  • Gradually add enough dressing to coat the salad, toss to combine. Drizzle with more dressing if there's any remaining. Top with freshly cracked black pepper and chopped peanuts.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Serving Size: 1 ½ cups of salad
  • If you like the dressing less sweet, start with 1 tablespoon honey and gradually add more to taste.

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Nutrition Facts
Crunchy Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 179 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Sodium 340mg14%
Potassium 392mg11%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 8200IU164%
Vitamin C 120.5mg146%
Calcium 80mg8%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Reader Interactions

69 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Paul says

    Jessica, I like your creativity with your recipes but the last several have all been in a bowl. I would suggest offering a blend of recipes in a bowl with others.

    Thanks for website and continued creative recipes.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you for your suggestion Paul! Don’t worry, more non bowl recipes are coming your way 🙂

  2. Tristan says

    Absolutely gorgeous! I love how bright and colorful your recipes are. They all look delicious and I’m definitely making this one today.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you SO much Tristan! I love eating a rainbow of colors 🙂 I can’t wait to hear what you think!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Totally agree Brittany! I love incorporating as many colors as I can, so yummy plus lots of health benefits 🙂 Thank you for your lovely comment!

  3. Lynn Deutsch says

    The Crunchy Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing was very tasty. My only feedback would be to gradually add the honey if you are concerned about it being too sweet. Other than that, it was a great summer salad that I served with grilled flank steak.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you so much Lynn for your feedback! I appreciate any comments to improve the recipe, I’m sure other readers will find it helpful as well!

    • Ferment4life says

      I agree! I started with 1 T, planning to add more if needed. It really was sweet enough for me without anymore. Delicious and just what I was looking for to go with a dinner of Coconut Curry Shrimp.

  4. Monica Cissell says

    My husband and I made this salad tonight for our family. A lot of chopping but the result was worth it. A fantastic salad! We made nearly double the recipe so we would have some leftovers for lunch. Keep the great veggie recipes coming! Monica

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I’m so thrilled to hear you enjoyed the recipe Monica! I just consider the chopping as my arm workout, hehe.

  5. Chris says

    I made this salad for dinner last night and it was absolutely delicious! Three of us devoured it; not even a shred of cabbage left in the bowl.

  6. Suzette Leiva ? says

    Simply amazing ..!! Made some Paleo adjustments changing out the peanuts butter for cashews butter .. I also used coconut amino’s instead soy sauce and used coconut nectar to sweeten the dressing.. thank you ❤️

  7. Tricia says

    Thank you so much for this recipe. The peanut sauce was absolutely divine! My hubby and I both wanted to just slurp it up by itself. We had the salad with a grilled pork tenderloin for the protein. So yummy! Will make often, I’m sure!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      You are so welcome Tricia! You can slurp the sauce, I won’t tell! I love the addition of the grilled pork, I’ll have to try that 🙂

  8. Jackie says

    I’m not a fan of kale ( I know, shame on me, lol). Could I use baby greens or choppped romaine instead?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Jackie! Yes, you can absolutely use baby greens or romaine as a substitute. Romaine may give the most crunch!

  9. Laila says

    Made this tonight for some pals and it went down a treat! I couldn’t find napa cabbage so used savoy instead and it was still very tasty! Will definitely be making again.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yay Laila! I’m so happy to hear everyone enjoyed the recipe. Smart substitute for the napa cabbage with the savoy!

  10. Heidi says

    Can you make the salad dressing a day ahead? I serve Thai Curry on Christmas but due to commitments must have it all prepared except for some chopping the day ahead.

  11. Andrea says

    Hi amazing salad I’ve made a few times now although I get confused every time I read the instructions. Firstly you have mix all of the salad ingredients except….. them go on to list all of the ingredients!! So I’m a little confused. I’m guessing you save the peanuts to sprinkle on at the end?? Also you say at the end to add freshly cracked bell pepper. Do you mean just cracked pepper? Or an actual capsicum (bell bell pepper as you call it) ???? thanks

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thanks for he feedback Andrea! I’ve updated the recipe so it’s more clear 🙂 Thanks for the bell pepper catch! haha

  12. Rike says

    Today’s dinner was a salad inspired by this recipe – I don’t like kale and cabbage, I simply replaced it with mixed greens. The peanut dressing is absolutely addictive – and so simple! Something funny happened though when I mixed it in the blender – it became a paste! It became wonderfully creamy after adding a lot more water than the recipe said. Any ideas why this happened? Maybe I over-mixed it?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you for your feedback Rike! Sometimes when honey and peanut butter is blended together (like when you make peanut butter), the mixture sometimes heats up from the shear of blending and the sugars cause the peanuts to seize up a little and thicken (especially if it becomes warm), like the paste you experienced. Adding the additional water after the initial blending definitely helps to loosen up the dressing.

  13. Miranda says

    This was soooo yummy!! I also had to add a bit more water, but my peanut butter was super thick and creamy. I added some grilled chicken to it as well and it was perfect I will definitely be making it again and putting the peanut sauce all over everything <3

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you for your feedback Miranda! Great idea adding some extra protein with the chicken to make it more of an extree salad 🙂

  14. Aisha says

    Hi Jessica,
    Just wanted to thank you for posting this recipe. I made this last night to go with a piece of salmon and it was fresh, crunchy and absolutely delicious! I couldn’t get the kale but it worked even without it!
    Peanut sauce was also so scrumptious. I substituted sriracha with sriracha mayo (as I didn’t have sriracha) with a little extra chilli flakes for an added kick, I think it still worked out well.
    The smells and
    Flavours transported both my partner and I back to Thailand. We will definitely be eating this more often! Totally scrumptious ????

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you for the lovely feedback Aisha! So happy that it could take your taste buds on a little vacation 🙂

  15. Judith says

    Your photos show a generous sprinkling of red pepper flakes, but I don’t see them mentioned in the recipe. I added them to the peanut sauce, and have made this recipe several times in the past few weeks. Perhaps I missed the red pepper flakes in the recipe, but , if they are indeed not there, it would be a great suggestion to add to the posts.

    It’s a wonderful salad that our extended family loves. Thank you.

  16. Christine says

    I doubled the recipe and followed to a T. The dressing is perfectly balanced with the salty, sour and sweet with a hint of heat! It’s amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Sandra says

    This was delicious, thank you Jessica! thought I had honey in the cupboard but didn’t but it didn’t lack it I think. Will definitely be making this again!

  18. Deanna Vazquez says

    Absolutely delicious! I made it exactly as published and the flavours and textures are perfectly balanced. I’m not even a big salad/superfoods person, but this one is definitely a winner in my household. Thanks for publishing the recipe!

  19. Jess M says

    Wow! I made this last night and my wife and I were blown away by how bright and refreshing and delicious the different flavors are. It’s like a deconstructed spring roll. That peanut sauce dressing… So tangy and rich at the same time. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I’m sure we’ll return to it again and again.

  20. Steve Southard says

    I served this last night for company along with my Thai Coconut Seafood Soup. The salad was a a HUGE hit! Whew! I don’t normally serve an untried recipe for company but I took a chance on this one and it was a winner. The only thing I did different was I used baby romaine instead of the kale, mostly because I had the romaine on hand and needed to use it up. Wow, the dressing is the bomb! Will definitely make this many times in the future and just half the recipe for the two of us. Thank you for posting this!!

  21. Jess M says

    Been making this salad on the regular for a year now; in our house we now refer to it as the GOAT salad. Everyone loves it. Thanks again!

  22. Erika says

    I’ve made this a few times for myself, and my family, but it’s also been a meal I’ve prepared for new mom friends, paired with some grilled chicken. (As I recall a lot of people bring lasagnas, enchiladas, and other delicious but heavy meals.) Anyway, two thumbs up over here.

  23. zeynep says

    I have white rice vinegar and white wine vinegar in my pantry. Can I use one or the other, or a combination of the two, as a substitute for rice wine vinegar?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      You can substitute it with white rice vinegar or white wine vinegar, however after you make the dressing taste it. It made need more honey or salt, since rice wine vinegar is seasoned.

  24. Eliza B. says

    I made it tonight. I made my salad with romaine lettuce, shredded carrots, grilled chicken thighs(cubed), sliced radishes, red onion, cilantro, diced cucumber and topped with tortilla strips. Turned out yummy. I think next time I’ll add extra ginger, garlic and salt.

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