This Crunchy Thai Salad is a flavorful Thai-inspired chopped salad recipe that’s easy to make with shredded mixed cabbage, broccoli slaw, nuts, fresh herbs all tossed in a creamy dressing. It makes the perfect light and refreshing salad for spring and summer potlucks, barbecues and parties. Gluten-free, low carb, paleo, vegan, keto and Whole30 compliant.
Updated May 2022
Crunchy Thai Salad with Homemade Dressing
Craving a crunchy veggie-packed dish that’s full of nutrients and flavor for spring and summer? You’re going to love every bite of this Crunchy Thai Salad that’s an explosion of freshness with the crispy cabbage, crunchy snap peas, bell peppers, crunchy cashews and the creamy sesame ginger vinaigrette. Eating healthy has never felt so divine.
If you’re a fan of crispy and satisfying salads, you’re going to be downright obsessed with this Thai chopped salad. It’s healthier, easier, fresher, cheaper—and it comes together in a matter of minutes. It’s a delicious lunch option, dinner side and will have all your guests wanting more at any weekend BBQ, potluck or picnic. Plus, our version complies with a much wider variety of dietary restrictions since it’s naturally gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, dairy-free, low carb, keto paleo and Whole30 compliant.
Ingredients you need
It’s time to reveal the wholesome ingredients that make up this satisfying Thai crunch salad. Off we go!
For the Chopped Salad
- Shredded tri-color coleslaw mix: You can also chop your own green and red cabbage.
- Broccoli slaw mix
- Sugar snap peas: Trimmed and cut into halves.
- Red bell pepper: Very thinly sliced.
- Green onions: Finely chopped.
- Fresh cilantro: Roughly chopped.
- Cashews: Toasted.
- Toasted sesame seeds: You’ll need 1 teaspoo
- Lime wedges
For the Thai Salad Dressing
- Coconut vinegar or rice vinegar: Adds a mild tanginess to the salad. You can also sub with fresh lime juice or champagne vinegar.
- Maple syrup: You can also sub sugar-free maple syrup or with any sticky liquid sugar-free or keto sweetener of choice. Omit for Whole30.
- Coconut aminos: You can sub gluten-free tamari or low sodium soy sauce if not gluten-free.
- Toasted sesame oil
- Creamy cashew butter: You can sub creamy peanut butter (not paleo) or any nut butter.
- Lime: Fresh lime juice works best.
- Garlic: Minced or grated.
- Ginger: Freshly grated.
- Red pepper chili flakes: To add a kick of spice. Omit if desired.
- Fine Sea Salt: 1/2 teaspoon or to taste.
- Warm water: If needed to thin out the consistency.
How to make Crunchy Thai Salad
- Prepare the vegetables and add to a bowl: In a large bowl combine the cabbage mix, broccoli slaw, snap peas, red bell pepper, green onion, cilantro, cashews and sesame seeds.
- Make the creamy Thai dressing: In a medium bowl or jar, whisk or shake together the dressing ingredients. Add warm water as needed, about 1 teaspoon at a time to achieve a smooth dressing like consistency.
- Assemble the salad: Pour half of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Taste and add more dressing as needed. Top with chopped cashews, more green onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.
- Chill and serve: Chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes for best results, before serving.
Can I Make it in Advance?
Yes – feel free to make this Asian coleslaw and the dressing up to 1 day before you toss them together and serve. Store them in separate airtight containers in the fridge.
Tips for the Best Results
Determined to whip up the most amazing Thai salad of all time? Let’s make it happen!
- Fresh Ingredients are Key: It’s always best to use the freshest produce ingredients you can get your hands on. That’s what makes this salad so heavenly!
- Make it Your Own: This isn’t one of those recipes that you have to follow super strictly. Go ahead and load up your salad with whatever you’re craving!
- Swap out the nut butter: If you’re not paleo, swap the cashew butter for peanut butter to make an Authentic Thai cabbage salads with a cream peanut butter dressing.
- Adjust the Consistency of the Dressing: Once the dressing is blended and smooth, you may want to make it thinner or thicker. To make it thinner, simply add a small amount of water and re-blend it (a little goes a long way!). You can make it thicker by adding more of any solid ingredient.
Wondering what goes well with this chopped Thai salad? Honestly, we don’t know what doesn’t! We’ve rounded up a few standout pairing options to help you get inspired.
- Serve with Grilled Shrimp: These easy Grilled Shrimp Skewers are served with a zesty lemon butter sauce that’s going to knock your socks off! They complement this salad beautifully.
- Pair with Tofu: If you’re looking for a hearty main course that’s vegan-friendly, you can’t go wrong with these Orange Tofu. They might just become a new family favorite!
- Serve with Juicy Chicken: This Easy Grilled Chicken is a must-make for summer!
How to Store Leftovers
It’s best to store the dressing separately from the salad if possible. Keep everything in airtight containers in the fridge either way. Enjoy your leftovers within 1-2 days.
Can I Freeze This?
We don’t recommend freezing this Asian chopped salad or the dressing that goes with it. The thawing process would diminish the quality of the dish.
More Healthy Salad Recipes
Need more nutritious salads in your life? Here are some of our favorite:
This Crunchy Thai Salad is a flavorful Thai-inspired chopped salad recipe that's easy to make with shredded mixed cabbage, broccoli slaw, nuts, fresh herbs all tossed in a creamy dressing. It makes the perfect light and refreshing salad for spring and summer potlucks, barbecues and parties. Gluten-free, low carb, paleo, vegan, keto and Whole30 compliant.
- 2 cups shredded tri-color coleslaw mix
- 2 cups broccoli slaw mix
- 1/3 cup sugar snap peas trimmed and cut into halves
- 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 4 green onions thinly sliced + plus more for garnish
- 1/3 cup cilantro roughly chopped + plus more for garnish
- 1/3 cup dry roasted cashews roughly chopped + more for topping
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- Lime wedges
- 1/4 cup creamy cashew butter or sub peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons coconut aminos or sub gluten-free tamari
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp coconut vinegar or rice vinegar
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp grated or minced fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ tsp red pepper chili flakes
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- Warm water if needed to thin out the consistency
- In a large bowl combine the cabbage mix, broccoli slaw, snap peas, red bell pepper, green onion, cilantro, cashews and sesame seeds.
- In a medium bowl or jar, whisk or shake together the dressing ingredients. Add warm water as needed, about 1 teaspoon at a time to achieve a smooth dressing like consistency.
Pour the dressing over the salad and stir gently to combine.
- Top with chopped cashews, more green onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.
Store dressing separately from salad if possible. Refrigerate everything in airtight containers for 1-2 days.