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."
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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


Asian Chicken Salad

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 main dish servings
Quick and easy meals don’t have to come out of a box. This delicious salad can be on the table in minutes.
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  • 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


  • 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


  • 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.
  • In a large bowl, or on individual plates/bowls, layer the lettuce, cabbage, chicken, and vegetables.
  • Top with peanuts and serve with dressing.


    • You may also toss the romaine with half of the dressing before serving, and then layer vegetables/chicken on and serve with remaining dressing.


Serving: 1g, Calories: 436kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 41g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 19g, Cholesterol: 115mg, Sodium: 358mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) says:

    I’ve been so disenchanted with salads lately, but this one looks like it has great flavors!

  2. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    I’m always so sad when I see peanuts in things but I love everything else about this!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Cashews would be amazing in place of the peanuts!

  3. Karly says:

    I was with you on every point until the cheese. You’ll pry the cheese out of my cold dead fingers. ;)

    Seriously, this salad looks amazing! So fresh and colorful!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Oh don’t get me wrong–I would die without cheese. I was trying to make the point that cheese makes even the grossest meals taste good. ;)

  4. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts says:

    This is my kind of salad, I love all the Asian flavors! CAn’t believe E will eat salad (even if just piles dipped in the dressing), never in a million years can I get my 7 year old to do that. And isn’t for lack of trying!

  5. natalie@thesweetslife says:

    the pictures are fine!! The salad sounds great–amen to your proof that quick meals don’t have to be storebought!

  6. Sues says:

    This is such a pretty salad! The more pretty colors, the better for you :)

  7. Joy @ Yesterfood says:

    Rachel, the colors in this salad are riveting! Even in the cold, even with shivers, these are great photos. Then I find that the salad SOUNDS fantastic, too! Double whammy! :) And I love your idea of giving the salad to your toddler as finger food with dipping sauce! <3

    Have a great week!

  8. Cassie | Bake Your Day says:

    I love quick meals that don’t come out of a box and these flavors are my favorite. I love this Rach!

  9. Colleen @ What's Baking in the Barbershop?! says:

    What a wonderful looking salad! Packed with flavor. Looks like the perfect quick and healthy weeknight meal to me!!

  10. Audra | The Baker Chick says:

    I think your pictures look great! I hear ya about the low lighting thing though- I have a tripod actually but never use it because I’m lazy. :)

    On another note- this salad looks fresh and delicious!