Quick and easy meals don’t have to come out of a box. This delicious Asian chicken salad can be on the table in minutes.

Overhead of Asian chicken salad on square decorative plate, with small pitcher of dressing, on bamboo mat. Text overlay reads "Asian Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, RachelCooks.com."

You guys! Let’s talk.

Quick meals do not have to come out of a box.

Quick meals do not have to be laden with fat and sodium.

Quick meals do not have to be covered in cheese to make them taste good.

Quick meals do not have to consist of mushy, grey substances.

Quick meals can be colorful. Crunchy. Flavorful. Full of nutrients. Refreshing. Interesting.

Cilantro. Lime. Red bell peppers. Scallions. Peanuts.

This salad is not lacking in the flavor department.

Front view of salad on decorative plate.

You could make this salad even better for you, and lower in sodium by cooking your own chicken or making your own rotisserie chicken. A grocery store rotisserie chicken is super convenient though. Easy peasy! Or add this yummy Instant Pot Honey Sriracha Chicken to the salad and skip the dressing.

If you are looking for r-e-a-l-l-y easy, use prepared bags of salad mix. Buy one bag of coleslaw mix and one bag of romaine. 

Add more veggies. Sugar snap peas would be so good!

I love the homemade cilantro lime dressing in this Asian salad. Isn’t it a beautiful color? Don’t like cilantro? Substitute parsley. 

If you’re not crazy about peanuts, cashews would be so good, too. Or leave the nuts off and substitute crispy wonton strips or crispy roasted chickpeas.

Have a toddler? So do I! Make separate piles of the chicken and each vegetable on their plate with a little container of dressing for dipping. They’ll love it!

Partial view of salad on plate, with black cloth napkin and fork.

I apologize for these photos. They are blurry because in order to get enough light in Michigan, I have to go outside. And you know what, it’s kinda cold outside in the middle of winter in MI. I was probably shivering. Makes it hard to steady a camera. Bear with me — at the time I was too cheap to buy a tripod.

Update: Thank goodness, I now have a nice warm studio inside! Maybe someday I’ll update the blurry photos.

More great salads that totally count as a meal:

 

Asian chicken salad in square decorative plate.

Asian Chicken Salad

Yield: 6 main dish servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Quick and easy meals don’t have to come out of a box. This delicious salad can be on the table in minutes.

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro (leaves and soft stems)
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice (2-3 limes)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Salad

  • 1 store-bought rotisserie chicken or about 4 cups of shredded chicken
  • ¼ medium red cabbage, shredded (or buy the pre-shredded stuff to save time!)
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into thin strips
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green)
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded or julienned
  • 1 large head of red romaine lettuce torn into pieces
  • ½ cup lightly salted peanuts

Instructions

  1. In a blender or using hand blender, blend cilantro, lime juice, sugar and vegetable oil until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper and more sugar if needed.
  2. In a large bowl, or on individual plates/bowls, layer the lettuce, cabbage, chicken, and vegetables.
  3. Top with peanuts and serve with dressing.

Notes

    • You may also toss the romaine with half of the dressing before serving, and then layer vegetables/chicken on and serve with remaining dressing.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 436Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 358mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 41g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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