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Asian Chicken Chopped Salad makes a delectable lunch or dinner entrée — with an amazing texture and incredible dressing. You can’t go wrong with this satisfying salad, that’s also fast and easy to make.
If you wish, this salad can be meal-prepped: the ingredients prepared ahead of time, for a super fast assembly when you’re ready to serve a great meal, or even for meals on the go (like packed lunches).
Asian Chicken Chopped Salad is perfect for most diets, with healthy anti-inflammatory ingredients, and specifically can be included in Paleo, Whole30, Gluten-free, Keto, AIP, Low FODMAP, GAPS and VAD diets. Enjoy! So exciting how good healthy tastes!
Important: The ingredients change slightly, depending on your dietary needs. So be sure to look for the notes I’ve written in the recipe for your unique diet. 🙂
Ingredients in Asian Chicken Chopped Salad
You’ll be surprised by how healthy these salad ingredients are! And, they can be varied slightly for your individual needs and diet:
- iceberg lettuce — Did you know that iceberg lettuce is actually healthy?! It is! Just as long as you buy organic, this lettuce is not void of nutrition like we’ve been told. In fact, this crispy, delicious lettuce is a significant source of vitamin K, which plays heavily into how well our bodies age, bone health and detox (it’s an important co-factor for other minerals and vitamin D). You may also use butter lettuce or romaine, if you prefer.
- chicken thighs — I use thighs for this salad because they’re juicier and more flavorful than breast meat. But you can definitely use leftover breast meat if you like, prefer or have it on hand.
- cucumber — This gentle veggie, peeled, is great for most people and most diets.
- asparagus — I chose this wonderful, oftentimes Asian, veggie because it’s spring time! Year round, asparagus can also be accessed, or left out. Plus, it’s a wonderful summer vegetable! I love asparagus, and it’s great for detox. Omit for Low FODMAP.
- carrots — Omit for Keto; omit or use white carrot for VAD.
- fresh cilantro — You may also use Thai basil or regular basil here, as preferred.
- green onions — In this salad, I just use the greens of green onions, which keeps this recipe Low FODMAP and Keto.
- fresh ginger — My favorite bites of this salad include the fresh minced or grated ginger! If you LOVE ginger like I do, you might like to mince your ginger instead of grating it, because then you get a spicy nuanced punch each time you bite into a tiny piece of it.
- optional: red cabbage — This is a classic Asian salad ingredient, and pretty, too. But it’s optional for those who don’t do well with raw cabbage or sulphuric veggies: omit for VAD. (One other option that’s lovely is to roast or sauté before adding it to the salad.)
Part of what makes this salad SO good is, of course, the Asian Dressing! The ingredients in it are: olive oil or avocado oil (or for non-AIP, sesame oil), coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, almond butter (or for AIP: tiger nut butter), maple syrup (just a tiny bit), optional fish sauce, dried ginger and sea salt.
The dressings whisks up into a rich brown, slightly thick vinaigrette that tastes just perfect.
How to make Asian Chicken Chopped Salad
This salad has just a few steps.
If you cook raw chicken just for this recipe, instead of using leftover or rotisserie chicken, you can make Meal Prep Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs, or sauté chicken quickly on the stove top. Freshly cooked chicken thighs take 20 to 25 minutes to cook.
Veggie and dressing prep
The remainder of the recipe is just chopping veggies — chopped salads typically include veggies cut in neat bite-size pieces that make them feel and taste extra special in your mouth! — and making the salad dressing.
Asian Chicken Chopped Salad
- 1 head iceberg lettuce or use romaine/butter lettuce if you prefer, chopped into small square bite-size pieces
- 1.5 lbs chicken thighs Use this recipe for Meal Prep Chicken Thighs (25 minutes baking time or meal prepped ahead of time), or sauté chicken on the stove top (20 minutes). Faster option: It's also okay to use leftover chicken (even breast meat), chopped into bite-size square-ish pieces.
- 1 cucumber peeled and cut in half lengthwise, and then cut diagonally, or chopped
- 1 bunch asparagus chopped into 1" lengths and blanched or steamed until bright green (or to your preferred tenderness) Omit for Low FODMAP.
- 1-2 carrots (omit for Keto; omit or use white carrot for VAD), peeled and cut into short matchsticks
- ½ bunch fresh cilantro chopped; also fine to use fresh Thai basil or regular basil (omit for VAD)
- 1 bunch green onions' greens, sliced at an angle (omit for VAD)
- ¼ of a small whole red cabbage cut into 2" sections and very thinly sliced (omit for VAD)
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger grated or minced small (amount depends on how much you love it)
- ⅓ cup sesame oil for non AIP; for AIP, use olive oil or avocado oil
- 2 Tablespoons coconut aminos
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 4 teaspoons nut butter: almond butter for non-AIP; for AIP, use tiger nut butter
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup For Keto, this one or similar
- ½ teaspoon fish sauce (omit for VAD)
- ½ teaspoon dried ginger
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Prepare and assemble all of your ingredients in a large salad bowl, except the salad dressing: lettuce, chicken, cucumbers, carrots, asparagus, optional red cabbage, green onions' greens, fresh cilantro and fresh ginger root.
- Make Asian Dressing: Add all ingredients to mixing jar. (I like to use an up-cycled jam jar or 2-cup mason jar, which also stores any leftover dressing, or a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup, which helps with first measuring the oil.) Use handheld blender or frother, and blend to mix the ingredients well. (Or place all ingredients in small blender or small food processor, to mix well.) If you're not using an electric blender of some kind, whisk together dried ginger and salt before combining the wet and dry ingredients. Add nut butter and maple syrup. Whisk well to thoroughly combine. Add all remaining ingredients. Whisk well.
- If you're ready to serve, add Asian Dressing to your salad ingredients, and toss well to coat. You'll use most or all of the dressing. (If you prefer your salad lightly dressed, use less, and provide the extra at the table for those who'd like more.)
- Serve, and enjoy!
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