Chicken With Cabbage Salad


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This is a very simple yet tasty recipe. It’s great for a beginner cook, family dinner or as finger food at a party. As with most casseroles it can be easily converted to suit any dietary requirements.

Chicken Cabbage Salad

Light and flavorful Vietnamese Chicken Cabbage Salad with cabbage, chicken, veggies, cashews, basil, and a refreshing dressing. Paleo, Whole30, low carb, and gluten free!

Prep : 10 mins

Cook : 30 mins

Total Time : 40 mins

Serves : 16 cups

Vietnamese Chicken Cabbage Salad in a white bowl on a blue and white striped towel. Around it are chopsticks, a bowl of cashews, and lime wedges.

Light and flavorful Vietnamese Chicken Cabbage Salad with cabbage, chicken, veggies, cashews, basil, and a refreshing dressing. Paleo, Whole30, low carb, and gluten-free!

Vietnamese Chicken Cabbage Salad in a white bowl on a blue and white striped towel. Around it are chopsticks, a bowl of cashews, and lime wedges.

Spring is here and it’s salad season! I mean I can eat salad every single day, but now that it’s warmer, my body is craving lighter foods. So today I’m sharing this Vietnamese inspired chicken cabbage salad!

White shallow bowl filled with healthy chicken cabbage salad topped with fresh basil on sitting on a striped towel. A bowl of cashews is behind it.

The dish I loved the most was their chicken and cabbage salad. It was full of veggies, chicken, crispy shallots, fresh basil, and a delicious sauce. It was so simple yet so tasty, and from what I could tell, pretty good for you as well!

After thinking about that salad for about a week after having it, I decided to recreate it, like any other food blogger would do haha. I based my dish off their salad, while changing it up a little as well.

I took out the fried shallots and added quick pickled onions instead. I also added some cashews for some more crunch and healthy fats. Those easy swaps make my version of chicken cabbage salad paleo and Whole30 approved!

Overhead view of a bowl of chicken cabbage salad topped with fresh basil and garnished with lime wedges. Next to it is chopsticks, a bowl of cashews, lime wedges, and fresh Thai basil.

how to make chicken cabbage salad

Asian chicken cabbage salad does take some prep work, but it mostly a lot of chopping. You can do all of that while the chicken cooks to save some time. The ingredients are simple but the dressing brings them all together to make a crispy, crunchy, and refreshing salad. Here is what you need:

  • chicken breast
  • cabbage
  • red bell peppers
  • sugar snap peas
  • carrots
  • red onion
  • cashews
  • thai basil
  • coconut aminos
  • sriracha
  • garlic
  • fish sauce
  • rice vinegar
  • apple cider vinegar
  • lime juice
  • ground ginger
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
A jar of quick pickled onions with a fork coming out of them. They are sitting on a striped towel.

I know it looks like a lot, but I promise it is easy to make.

First make the quick pickled onions and let them marinade while you do the rest.

Then get cooking. Start by toasting the cashews in a large sauté pan until lightly golden brown on the outside. Add the oil to the pan and and cover the chicken with the ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Pan fry the chicken until it is browned on the outside and cooked through, about 25-30 minutes depending on the thickness.

Large saute pan filled with 3 seasoned and cooked chicken breasts.

Next you get to chopping!! Cup up all the veggies according to the recipe and add them to a large bowl. Then make the dressing and set aside. Hopefully the chicken is almost done and then you just need to assemble. Once the chicken cools some, shred it and add it to the bowl with the veggies.

Toss the chicken and veggies with the dressing to combine. Finally add in the basil and cashews (if going to eat right away) and mix again.

A large glass bowl filled with shredded cabbage, sliced red peppers, sugar snap peas, pulled chicken, shredded carrots, pickled onions, and cashews.

meal prep chicken cabbage salad

This salad makes a huge batch. Like filled to the top of the biggest bowl I have huge. Even though it makes a lot, we go through it pretty fast. It was gone in only 3 days at our house! We eat a lot haha.

Tips for meal prepping:

  • Make the salad per the directions, but leave off the cashews. Store them separately and then add them as you eat the salad. If you mix them in when making it, they will lose a little of their crunch if you aren’t going to eat it in the next couple of days. If you decide to mix them in, they will still be good though!
  • If you already have shredded chicken, you can substitute that instead of the pan fried chicken breast. I find the seasoned chicken breast works the best for this recipe, but the shredded chicken makes an easy substitute.
Large glass bowl filled with Vietnamese chicken cabbage salad all mixed up.

This paleo salad recipe is perfect to make on Sunday and then have it for lunch or dinner throughout the week. It pairs really well with rice (cauliflower or white), or you could load it in a baked sweet potato. We served it with a said of air fryer potatoes (minus the rosemary) and it was a great match! Michael said it would be good in a sandwich so if that sounds tasty, go for it.

It will last in the fridge for up to 5 days in a tightly sealed glass container.

Vietnamese Cabbage-and-Chicken Salad

If you’re a dark-meat fan, try boneless chicken thighs here in place of the breasts. They’re just as easy to prepare, and add even more flavor to the salad. Let them simmer for about ten minutes rather than five. 


Vietnamese Cabbage-and-Chicken Salad

Recipe Summary




Ingredient Checklist

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3)
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, sliced
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 head green cabbage (about 2 1/2 pounds), shredded (about 2 1/2 quarts)
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 3 radishes, grated
  • 4 scallions including green tops, chopped
  • 2 cups coarse-chopped mint, basil, cilantro, or dill, or a combination
  • 1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, cored and grated


Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1Rub the chicken breasts with 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil. In a medium saucepan, combine the jalapeño, ginger, and water. Bring to a simmer, add the chicken, and cover the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the chicken steam for 5 minutes. Remove the chicken breasts from the saucepan; when they are cool enough to handle, pull them into shreds.
  • Step 2Meanwhile, in a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the cabbage with the vinegar, fish sauce, lime juice, and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Toss and let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Step 3Add the carrots, radishes, scallions, 1 1/2 cups of the herbs, and the apple to the cabbage mixture. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Serve the salad topped with the chicken and the remaining 1/2 cup herbs.


Asian fish sauce is available at Asian markets and most supermarkets.

Chicken & Cabbage Salad with Sesame Seeds, Scallions & Almonds


Inspired by the Sumi Salad at the Honest Weight Food Coop in Albany, this one has the addition of a poached whole chicken. It’s truly delicious without the chicken, but I find the chicken turns it into more of a meal and makes it last longer.

I learned the cabbage salting method from The Slanted Door cookbook. The brief salting helps the cabbage relax and release some of its liquid, which not only helps it absorb the dressing better, but makes the shreds more tender and easier to eat.

If you don’t feel like dealing with a whole chicken, you could certainly substitute pieces, such as two or three boneless skinless chicken breasts or legs. To use boneless, skinless pieces: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the chicken pieces, turn off the heat, cover the pot, remove it from the heat and let it poach for 15 minutes. Remove pieces, let cool briefly, then shred. This method is the same one used in the sesame noodles with chard and chicken recipe.

To make chicken stock, don’t discard the bones and poaching liquid in step one. Return the carcass, bones, and skin to the pot, and simmer for 2.5 to 3 hours or until the broth tastes good. —Alexandra Stafford

  • Test Kitchen-Approved
  • PREP TIME20 minutes
  • COOK TIME20 minutes
  • SERVES6 to 8
Ingredients send grocery list
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • whole chicken, about 3 lbs
  • head cabbage, about 2.5 lbs
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil such as canola or grapeseed
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • scallions, thinly sliced
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Drop in the chicken and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let sit for 15 minutes. Remove chicken, let cool briefly, then remove meat from bones, and pull or shred into pieces. (See notes above about making stock with poaching liquid and bones/skin).
  2. Meanwhile, cut the cabbage into quarters through the core. Thinly slice it, discarding the core. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Using your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage. Let sit for 15 minutes. Fill bowl with cold water and jostle the cabbage with your hands. Drain into a large colander. Don’t worry about drying the cabbage.
  3. Meanwhile, make the dressing: Whisk together the neutral oil, sesame oil, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, and remaining teaspoon kosher salt.
  4. In a large bowl, place the cabbage, pulled meat, almonds, sesame seeds, and scallions. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Serve.

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