Chicken Cashew Crunch Salad with Sesame-Teriyaki Dressing is meal prep-friendly and perfect for weekday meals. Ready in just 20 minutes and full of nutritious, flavorful ingredients.Read more
Why You'll Love this Chicken Cashew Salad
During peak summer months, I'm all about low-effort/high-reward meals. (Which is why this Cucumber Edamame Salad is a recent staple!)
This crunch-tastic salad requires minimal ingredients, yet delivers big flavor. Plus, it requires NO cooking, which is also a big win for me right now.
The Sesame-Teriyaki Dressing is inspired by a dressing at sweetgreen that I absolute love and just had to recreate. It's gluten free, dairy free, AND nut free, so super allergen-friendly.
Because this salad uses cabbage (or kale), you can make it ahead without worrying about it going too soggy.
Plus, the mix of hearty greens provides satisfying texture and crunch.
- Chicken: I use rotisserie chicken for convenience, however you certainly cook and shred your own chicken breasts or thighs.
- Cabbage or Kale: I suggest using Napa cabbage, green cabbage, or kale. If making ahead, use green cabbage or kale (or a mix of both), as they are heartier and won't wilt as quickly as Napa cabbage.
- Carrots: Feel free to a buy a bag of shredded (matchstick) carrots or shred large carrots yourself.
- Cashews: Look for roasted cashews for richer flavor. They can be salted or unsalted - your preference!
- Green Onion: You need 1 cup of green onion, which should include the light and dark green parts of the onion. (This amounts of roughly one batch of green onion.)
- Tahini: Use a good quality tahini brand here, such as Soom Foods for the best results!
- Tamari: Tamari is thicker than soy sauce, so it adds more body and flavor to the dressing. And since tamari is made without wheat, it's a great gluten-free alternative to soy sauce.
- Maple Syrup: The sweetness helps balance the bitter notes of the sesame oil.
- Sesame Oil: Look for dark (toasted) sesame oil for richer flavor.
- Garlic: You need 1 large of garlic, which you can either grate or finely mince.
- Cilantro: For a pop of freshness!
For the full list of recipe ingredients and substitutions, see the recipe card below.
- Make Vegan: Simply swap the chicken for 1 can of drained and rinsed chickpeas.
- Add Grains: For a heartier salad with a little more staying power, mix in ½ cup of cooked and cooled farro, quinoa, or brown rice.
- Make Nut Free: Swap the cashews for ½ cup pumpkin seeds OR ⅓ cup sunflower seeds.
- Add Avocado: I love adding creamy cubes of avocado to this salad.
Step 1: Prepare Sesame-Teriyaki Dressing by combining all ingredients in a glass jar or large liquid measuring cup; whisk to combine.
Step 2: Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Pour dressing overtop and toss to combine. Serve right away, or refrigerate for 2 extra days.
The salad will last up to 3 days, however I think it's best on days 1 and 2. By day 3, the greens and cashews will have softened, however the flavors should stay sharp.
Yes, the dressing can be mixed and refrigerated up to 5 days ahead. You can even prepare a double batch and use it on other grains bowls and salads throughout the week.
This chicken cashew salad is a fantastic mix of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, making it well-suited to be a full meal. However, if you wish for a little extra oomph, mix in ½ cup of farro, quinoa, or brown rice.
More Meal Prep Friendly Salads:
If you give this chicken cashew salad a try, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!
Chicken Cashew Crunch Salad
- Chefs knife and cutting board
- Mixing bowls
Chicken Cashew Salad
- 5 heaping cups chopped Napa cabbage, green cabbage, or kale see notes below
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- 1 cup shredded (matchstick) carrots
- 1 cup finely chopped green onions (about 1 bunch)
- ¾ cup roasted cashews
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- Prepare dressing by combining all dressing ingredients in a glass jar or large liquid measuring cup; whisk until smooth.
- In a large bowl, combine cabbage or kale, chicken, carrots, green onion, cashews, and cilantro. Season salad components with a few pinches of salt. Pour dressing overtop and toss well to combine.Serve immediately or refrigerate for an additional 2 days.
- If making ahead, I suggest using a mix of green cabbage and kale, which are heartier than Napa cabbage and less prone to wilting.
- The salad will last up to 3 days, however I think it's best on days 1 and 2. By day 3, the greens and cashews will have softened, however the flavors should stay sharp.