50% off Strength programs

Chinese Chicken Salad | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad is a new lunchtime favorite in our house, and I think you’ll see why the first time you try it!

This Chinese Chicken Salad makes an easy pack-ahead lunch, and it's loaded with crispy veggies, healthy protein, and tasty dressing. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

What Goes in This Chinese Chicken Salad?

The crunchy napa cabbage, carrots and snap peas play so well with the tender chicken and crunchy cashews. Plus, the simple orange ginger dressing adds a fresh pop of flavor that brings it all together. Plus, it’s gluten-free and paleo.

Is Chinese Chicken Salad Healthy?

Not only does this salad taste incredible, it’s loaded with nutrients. Chinese cabbage is rich in potassium and Vitamins A and C. The chicken adds a dense source of protein, and the ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory food. Those are just a few of the highlights.

I first made this Chinese Chicken Salad recipe last month when my mother-in-law was in town visiting us from Scotland. As it happened, the weather was super hot for September here in San Diego – 100 degrees!

Instead of turning to slow cooked, hearty fall favorites, I put together some of my favorite salads…because who wants to fire up the oven when it’s that hot?!

We loved it so much that I think we ate three batches of this salad over the week. Safe to say it was an instant hit.

How to Modify This Recipe

There’s about a bazillion ways you can customize this Chinese Chicken Salad to suit your liking.

  • Swap out any of the veggies you’d like for what’s on hand. No napa cabbage around? Just use regular green cabbage.
  • Switch snap peas for snow peas. (Yes, these are okay on a paleo-style plan because you can eat the peas inside raw unlike other legumes. And truthfully, they’re more green fleshy pod than anything else.)
  • Don’t like cashews? Use any other nut you like in this Chinese Chicken Salad. The nuts add a little bit more crunch.
  • You could always leave out the chicken to make this a meatless salad.
  • Need to put it together even faster? Skip poaching the chicken yourself and add shredded meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken. No shame in that!

This Chinese Chicken Salad makes an easy pack-ahead lunch, and it's loaded with crispy veggies, healthy protein, and tasty dressing. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

How to Poach Chicken Breasts

If you do opt to poach the chicken breasts yourself, follow this simple method:

  • Lay the chicken breasts in a large, high-sided skillet or Dutch oven. They should be flat and in one layer.
  • Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Fill the skillet with water until it covers the chicken completely.
  • Cover the pan, and bring the water to a boil. Then, reduce the heat so the water is gently simmering.
  • Poach the chicken for about 15 minutes or until the meat is completely cooked through.
  • Cool the chicken on a plate, then dice, shred, cube, etc.

You can definitely meal prep this salad for your work week ahead. If you opt for that, don’t add the dressing until you’re ready to eat. The veggies will stay crisp that way.

Chinese Chicken Salad | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Chicken, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Whole30
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 312 kcal

This Chinese Chicken Salad makes an easy pack-ahead lunch, and it's loaded with crispy veggies, healthy protein, and tasty dressing.



  • 1 lb chicken breasts poached (see method above), then cubed
  • 1/2 medium napa or Chinese cabbage sliced thinly
  • 2 medium carrots julienned
  • 3 green onions white and light green parts only, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1 cup snap peas halved
  • 6 tbsp orange juice you can always buy a couple oranges and squeeze the juice out
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • Sea salt & black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cashews roughly chopped


  1. In a very large bowl, combine the poached chicken, cabbage, carrots, green onions, bean sprouts, and snap peas. Toss the ingredients to combine.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, olive oil, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, and ginger. Gently stir until mixed, then pour over the salad. Toss to coat.
  3. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. Garnish with cashews.
Nutrition Facts
Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 312 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Cholesterol 48mg16%
Sodium 152mg6%
Potassium 703mg20%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 3930IU79%
Vitamin C 44.1mg53%
Calcium 88mg9%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pin this Chinese Chicken Salad recipe for later!

This Chinese Chicken Salad makes an easy pack-ahead lunch, and it's loaded with crispy veggies, healthy protein, and tasty dressing. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Share this post

15 Responses

  1. I have some tru roots sprouted mung beans, do I add them to this salad cooked as directed on bag, or raw ? Sorry if this seems like a ridiculous question, new to cooking a whole foods lifestyle !

    Can I sub coconut vinegar for rice wine vinegar ?

    Thanks, love getting your recipes !

  2. I keep hearing about fish sauce in recipes and I don’t make them because of this one item. Does it add a fishy taste? I’m sure it does as it’s FISH sauce so why add it to chicken? Silly question…lol

    1. It’s to add umami, a savory flavor. Feel free to leave it out. It doesn’t add a fishy taste, but rather an element of savory that enhances the other flavors.

  3. Looks yummy. I don’t drink fruit juice of any kind, and while I get why it’s in the recipe, I don’t want to buy an entire container of orange juice for 6TBSP. Is there any substitute for the orange juice?

    Thanks much.

    1. Hey Syd…I just squeezed the juice out of a couple oranges. No need to buy a huge container 🙂 If you have no access to oranges, you can just leave it out.

  4. Can you please tell me the calorie count for one serving? I am trying to lose some
    weight and this sounds delicious!


    1. Hi Joann,

      I don’t provide calorie counts (because I don’t believe in calorie-counting) but I do recommend that if you’re curious, you can use My Fitness Pal to enter the ingredients and come up with some rough estimates.


  5. I love making Chinese Chicken Salads for my wife and I all summer long. Yours is by far, simple, and with the practical & healthy ideas. Thanks

Steph Gaudreau

Hi, I'm Steph Gaudreau (CISSN, NASM-CPT)!

Nutrition and fitness coach for women, Lord of the Rings nerd, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.


Purpose built for strength, fitness, and athleticism. This is a templated, app-based 12-month progressive strength program for women over 40.


Strength Nutrition Unlocked

For athletic women 40+ who want to get stronger, build muscle, boost energy, and perform better. Implement evidence-backed strategies to fuel, train, and recover smarter with the support & accountability you need.

free workout program