This Thai Peanut Salad recipe is one of my favorite recipes to make in the summer. It is filled with healthy vegetables like red cabbage, carrots and bell peppers. The dressing is made from peanut butter, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and garlic – it works so well together with the crunchy peanuts and fresh vegetables, making a delicious salad for any occasion!
Crunchy Thai Peanut & Quinoa Salad
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Thai
This Thai-flavored salad recipe is made with carrots, cabbage, snow peas, and quinoa, tossed in delicious peanut sauce. This healthy salad is vegan, gluten free, and packs well for lunch. Recipe yields 4 salads.
- ¾ cup uncooked quinoa or millet
- 1 ½ cups water
- 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1 cup thinly sliced snow peas or sugar snap peas
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
- ¼ cup chopped roasted and salted peanuts, for garnish
- ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (I love ginger so I used 2 teaspoons)
- ½ lime, juiced (about 1 ½ tablespoons)
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Cook the quinoa: First, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander under running water. In a medium-sized pot, combine the rinsed quinoa and 1 ½ cups water. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer the quinoa until it has absorbed all of the water. Remove the quinoa from heat, cover the pot and let it rest for 5 minutes. Uncover the pot and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set it aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the peanut sauce: Whisk together the peanut butter and tamari until smooth (if this is difficult, microwave the mixture for up to 30 seconds to loosen it up). Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. If the mixture seems too thick to toss into the salad, whisk in a bit of water to loosen it up (I didn’t need to do this).
- In a large serving bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, shredded cabbage, carrot, snow peas, cilantro and green onion. Toss to combine, then pour in the peanut sauce. Toss again until everything it lightly coated in sauce. Taste, and if it doesn’t taste quite amazing yet, add a pinch of salt and toss again. Divide into individual bowls and garnish with peanuts.
- This salad keeps well, covered and refrigerated, for about 4 days. If you don’t want your chopped peanuts to get soggy, store them separately from the rest and garnish just before serving.
MAKE IT VEGAN: Use maple syrup (or agave nectar) instead of honey.
MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: Be sure to use certified gluten-free tamari, not soy sauce.
THAI NOODLE SALAD WITH THE BEST EVER PEANUT SAUCE
The other day I got a hankering for an old standby we used to have on the Mizuna menu, the vegetarian restaurant my friend Tonia and I started together way back when. Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce.
This vegan Thai Noodle Salad is great made-ahead salad, and keeps well for 3-4 days in the fridge -perfect for midweek meals and lunches, or potlucks and gatherings. Top this with flavorful Sesame Ginger Tofu or baked chicken for added protein if you prefer. So delicious!
HOW TO MAKE THAI NOODLE SALAD! |30-SEC VIDEO
Thai Noodle Salad
Yes, I may be biased – I’ve had many versions of Thai peanut sauce, here and throughout Thailand, but this Thai Peanut Sauce is still hands-down my all-time very favorite! Not too sweet, perfectly balanced.
The secret ingredient in this recipe is fresh orange juice, giving it a delicious brightness. I highly recommend making a double batch of the Thai Peanut Sauce to use with spring rolls or buddha bowls. If you are like me you will be eating it by the spoonful. It’s that good! (Also know that this works with almond butter too!)
HOW TO MAKE THAI NOODLE SALAD!
- Cook the noodles. It starts with 6 ounces of dry noodles. So here again, the salad is actually, by volume more veggies than noodles- my kind of salad! Use linguine, soba noodles, Pad Thai-style rice noodles, brown rice noodles or seriously any pasta you have in your pantry. I personally love rice noodles here.
- Prep the veggies and herbs. You’ll need 4 cups of shredded veggies- red cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, radishes, plus green onions, jalapeño, and cilantro (or basil) and place in a large bowl.
- Make the Peanut Sauce.
- Combine the noodles, veggies, herbs and peanut sauce in the mixing bowl.
- Garnish with toasted, crushed peanuts if you like! Or try this Peanut Chili Crunch!
- Add protein if you like: shredded or baked chicken, baked tofu, crispy tofu, or shrimp.
WHAT VEGGIES TO USE?
- red cabbage
- bell pepper
- use any veggie that will stay crunchy in the salad for several days.
The light and creamy peanut sauce is a nice contrast.
Make this as spicy as you want. I love adding fresh, finely chopped jalapeño to the salad for a little added heat.
Toss it up and serve it in a serving bowl.
Garnish with the roasted crushed peanuts and chopped scallion at the end ( so they stay fresh and crunchy).
Substitute almond butter and toasted, slivered almonds!
Healthy, delicious and filling- I love having this Thai Noodle Salad on hand for a quick healthy snack too!
Here is the Thai Noodle Salad topped with the Baked Sesame Ginger Tofu.
Hope you enjoy this vegan Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing. Make a batch on Sunday and have it throughout the week- you’ll love yourself for it- I promise!
THAI PEANUT SALAD
Fresh, nutty, and zesty, this Thai Peanut Salad is just bursting with flavor! Ready in just minutes, this is a quick and easy side dish, or add some healthy protein to make it a meal. It’s naturally gluten-free and vegetarian, and can easily be made vegan.
This has to be one of my favorite salad recipes. This Thai Peanut Salad tastes absolutely amazing and it’s really healthy too! Loaded with cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, green onions, and cilantro, it all gets drizzled in a mouth-watering peanut dressing and sprinkled with crushed peanuts for a bit of crunch.
The best part? It takes just a few minutes to toss it all together. It’s an excellent side dish anytime, or you can make it for lunch. Just add a healthy protein to round out the meal, and it will keep you full until dinner. I particularly enjoy it with salmon or chicken!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Simple: There is no cooking required in this Thai Salad Recipe! Just chop up the vegetables, whip up the dressing, and toss it all together.
- Quick: This fast healthy salad is ready in 10 minutes or less! Perfect for a quick lunch, snack, or side dish with dinner.
- Healthy: Loaded with vegetables and nuts for some healthy fats, this salad recipe is raw and so good for you!
- Goes with anything: I like to eat this on its own or with a lean protein like chicken breast, salmon, or tofu.
INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED FOR THIS EASY THAI SALAD
- Cabbage: One whole head of any color of cabbage will work for this recipe! You should opt for the round, firm varieties of cabbage rather than the loose pointy ones.
- Carrots: Carrots add natural sweetness and a pop of color. Try parsnips as a substitute.
- Herbs: Green onions and cilantro bring out this healthy Thai Peanut Salad recipe’s freshness. You could use 1/4-1/2 a red onion instead of green onion if needed.
- Bell pepper: Sweet colors like red, orange, and yellow are perfect for this recipe.
- Peanuts: Peanuts add a little crunchy texture. My favorite part!
- Seasoning: Simple kosher salt and pepper, to taste
FOR THE THAI SALAD DRESSING:
- Peanut butter: Creamy peanut butter is best to make this Thai peanut dressing nice and smooth. Make sure that it is 100% peanuts with no extra sugars for the healthiest version!
- Coconut aminos: Sweet, salty, and tangy, coconut aminos are a delicious soy sauce alternative. You can add soy sauce instead, just adjust the honey to sweeten it to taste.
- Lemon: Both the zest and juice add bright citrus notes. Lime is great in this recipe too!
- Honey: Honey adds sweetness to the Thai peanut salad dressing. Maple syrup is a great alternative if needed.
- Water: Use a little water to thin the dressing as desired
HOW TO MAKE THIS THAI PEANUT SALAD RECIPE
1. Make the dressing: Whisk the dressing ingredients in a large bowl until smooth. Add water as needed to thin it until it reaches your desired consistency.
2. Add veggies: Stir in the cabbage, carrots, green onions, pepper, cilantro, and peanuts.
3. Season and toss: Season to your taste and thoroughly toss to coat the salad with the creamy peanut dressing.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- Add a protein to make it a meal: Round out this recipe with a healthy protein like chicken, turkey, or fish. It’s so filling this way!
- Double the Thai Salad Dressing and save some for salads throughout the week.
- Make it vegan by adding maple syrup instead of honey.
- Make it paleo by adding almond butter instead of peanut butter, and slithered almonds or crushed pecans instead of peanuts.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Thai dressing made of?
Just a few simple pantry staples make this delicious Thai salad dressing: peanut butter, coconut aminos, lemon, and honey. All you have to do is mix the ingredients together and thin it with a little water until the dressing reaches your desired consistency.
What is Thai Peanut Sauce called?
Thai Peanut Sauce is commonly called Satay Sauce. It can be used as a salad dressing or a dip or marinade for meats.
What goes with Thai Peanut Salad?
Although this salad tastes amazing on its own, it’s also great with protein or as a side salad to another dish. Here are my favorite recipes to serve this salad alongside:
Thai Peanut Salad Recipe (Keto Salad)
Thai Peanut Salad Recipe (Keto Salad) is so tasty with fresh shredded cabbage, peanuts, chopped veggies, tossed with a Thai peanut dressing. This healthy salad recipe is one everyone will enjoy!
The perfect side salad or make it a main dish chicken salad by simply adding chopped cooked chicken. This salad is low carb, keto, gluten-free, and has no added sugar.
🎥 Recipe Video
❤️ Thai Peanut Salad Recipe
This Salad is Addicting
Warning! This Thai Peanut salad recipe is addicting. 🙂 I tested multiple versions of this recipe and we gobbled up every bit of it. I think it’s a combination of the fresh chopped veggies, peanuts, and the slightly spicy, salty, sweet peanut dressing. It’s got some crunch from the peanuts and cabbage so it is just so satisfying and GOOD.
Easy To Make
Simply shred/chop your veggies and toss them with the salad ingredients. Make this a Thai chicken salad by adding 12 to 16 oz of chopped cooked chicken.
Healthy Low Carb Keto Salad
This keto salad is so delicious! It has lots of reviews and thousands of shares – try it for yourself!
Using coconut aminos and a sugar substitute like monk fruit or erythritol, this is a perfect low carb, sugar-free, and keto salad recipe. It has so much flavor, is filling, and satisfying – all of which will help you stay on track!
If you want to lower the carbs even further you could use half the peanuts and green onions. It will reduce the net carbs a couple of grams per serving and shouldn’t compromise the taste too much. You still want it yummy, right?
16.2 g fat | 7.2 g net cabs | 6.1 g protein
🥘What You’ll Need
Here’s what you’ll need to make Thai Peanut Salad:
- Green Onions
- Salted Peanuts
- Red Bell Pepper
- Optional: make it a full meal by adding 12 oz diced cooked chicken
Thai Peanut Salad Dressing
This peanut Thai dressing is REALLY good! 😉
- Peanut Butter – use all-natural peanut butter and adjust the quantity if needed (every peanut butter is different)
- Olive Oil
- Rice Vinegar – you can also you regular white vinegar
- Coconut Aminos, Soy Sauce, or Tamari Sauce – use the appropriate “soy” product for your dietary needs.
- Sweetener – granulated sugar substitute or regular sugar
- Ginger Paste – use can also use finely minced ginger
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Salt and Pepper
- Optional: Fresh Cilantro for garnish
🔪 How To Make It
In a large bowl add cabbage, cucumber, green onions, peanuts, pepper, and chicken (if you’re using it).
In a small bowl whisk together all of the peanut salad dressing ingredients – peanut butter, olive oil, vinegar, coconut aminos or soy, sweetener, garlic, ginger paste, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
Pour salad dressing over the salad and toss until well coated.
Adjust salt and pepper, and any other seasoning to your liking. Enjoy!
- Make it a Thai Peanut Chicken Salad! Yum. Just add about 12 oz chopped cooked chicken. 🙂 Now it’s a full meal and the perfect lunch recipe!
- Adjust seasoning to your liking. Add a little spice if you enjoy the heat.
- Feel free to add fresh cilantro or even a squeeze of lemon or lime to give it a little brightness.
💭 Top Tips
- If using tamari or soy sauce, increase the sugar (or sugar substitute) by a ½ tsp, for a total of 1½ tsp. Coconut aminos was used in this recipe and it is sweeter than tamari or soy sauce.
- Every peanut butter brand is different. All-natural peanut butter that has not been refrigerated can be quite runny. This is what we used in this recipe. You may need to adjust the quantity of peanut butter or add a little liquid to accommodate any differences.