Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing
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Inspired by California Pizza Kitchen’s recipe, this Thai crunch salad with peanut dressing always satisfies.
This recipe was inspired by the popular Thai crunch salad served at California Pizza Kitchen. It’s made with crisp Napa cabbage, crunchy vegetables, and edamame, but it’s the creamy peanut dressing that makes it so good. I guarantee you’ll want to put it on everything! Serve this salad as a light lunch or pair it with grilled chicken or steak for a more substantial meal. It’s excellent with my honey, lime and sriracha chicken skewers.
What You’ll Need To Make Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing
This is one of those recipes with a long list of ingredients but don’t let that deter you; you can use many of the prepared vegetables available at the supermarket today, and the dressing is quickly puréed in a blender.
Begin by making the dressing. Simply combine all of the ingredients except for the cilantro in a blender and process until completely smooth. It’s best to roughly chop the garlic and ginger beforehand, as most blenders aren’t able to process large pieces.
Add the cilantro and process for a few seconds until the cilantro is finely chopped. (If you add it in the beginning, it will completely blend into the dressing and give it a greenish hue.)
It will look like this.
Next, make the salad. I typically use a blend of Napa cabbage, cucumbers, red bell peppers, shredded carrots, shredded purple cabbage and edamame, but you can use any crunchy vegetables that you like.
If you use cucumbers, be sure to remove the seeds, as they can make the salad watery.
Combine all of the vegetables in a bowl along with the chopped spring onions and cilantro, and toss to combine.
If you’re serving the salad right away, drizzle the peanut dressing overtop and toss; otherwise serve the dressing on the side so the salad doesn’t get soggy.
You May Also Like
- Asian Slaw with Ginger Peanut Dressing
- Kale Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing
- Classic Coleslaw
- Thai Cucumber Salad with Peanuts
Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing
Inspired by California Pizza Kitchen’s recipe, this Thai crunch salad with peanut dressing always satisfies.
For the Thai Peanut Dressing
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from one lime
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2½ tablespoons sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1-inch square piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped (see note)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
For the Salad
- 4 cups chopped Napa cabbage or shredded coleslaw mix (I like to toss in a little shredded red cabbage for color)
- 1 cup prepared shredded carrots
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 small English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 cup cooked and shelled edamame
- 2 medium scallions, thinly sliced
- ½ cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro
- For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients except for the cilantro in a blender and process until completely smooth. Add the cilantro and blend for a few seconds until the cilantro is finely chopped. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- For the salad, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. If serving right away, drizzle the peanut dressing over top and toss; otherwise, serve the dressing on the side so the salad doesn't get soggy.
- Note: Check out easy guidance on how to peel, grate, and chop fresh ginger here.
- Per serving (4 servings)
- Serving size: Approximately 2 cups
- Calories: 282
- Fat: 18 g
- Saturated fat: 2 g
- Carbohydrates: 28 g
- Sugar: 17 g
- Fiber: 6 g
- Protein: 7g
- Sodium: 505 mg
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
I’m not a Thai food fan, but I was looking for a different salad to try and thought I’d branch out a little. I’m so glad I did! This really is very, very good! I used jarred ginger paste because that’s what I had. I used honey but no sugar in the dressing. Also the grocery was out of green onions (gasp!!!) so I used some very thinly sliced red onion that I soaked for an hour. Came out Great!! I’ll be making this for my friends when I go see them in a few weeks. Thanks so much for the great recipe! I have a few of your other vegetarian dishes and salads book marked and will be going through and making them one by one. 🙂
My wife absolutely loves this dressing, she keeps begging me to make more (I usually double up the recipe). She puts the dressing on everything!
I always come back to this salad… this time 3x for a teacher/staff potluck. I subbed sun butter and GF soy sauce to make it peanut-free and celiac friendly. Slightly less honey. Worked great! Thanks!
Made the peanut dressing tonight for a regular garden salad and it’s delicious but I had to add some water to thin it out because it was super thick and wouldn’t really pour.
I’ve checked the recipe over a few times and can’t see anything that I did wrong.
Ive never tried the salad it’s inspire by so I’m not sure if it’s suppose to be really thick or what?
I will definitely save the recipe and be making this regularly.
Found this recipe in your cookbook – had to try it. Love, love, love the dressing! Only change I made was not adding the sugar as it was a bit too sweet! This is definitely going to be one of my top of list dressings! Salad was very good as well. Definitely a keeper!
Delicious! I made with the honey lime chicken and will definitely be making again. Jen, you make trying new dishes and cooking fun. I love all your recipes and bought your cookbook for my daughter-in-law.
Just made this tonight. I made a full recipe of the dressing and half of the salad. I probably used a bit more dressing than the recipe calls for because I forgot I had halved the salad but not the dressing, and it was wonderful. Saving the other half of the dressing and undressed salad separately for another day. We will be making and eating this often!
I used crunchy natural 100% peanut butter and it was fine. Also accidentally put the cilantro in the blender with all the other dressing ingredients and that was also fine.
Wow, this dressing is soo good. Highly recommend. Had it with carrots, purple cabbage and romaine lettuce and left over chicken. Oh the crunch
How long can I store the dressing refrigerated? I couldn’t finish it in one meal.
Hi Lorie, it will last nicely for up to a week in the fridge.
I really enjoyed this recipe. I work from home and it was nice to be able to make an easy but delicious salad. I added wonton strips, avocado, and chicken.
Fantastic dressing!! Thank you!
This salad was such a big hit at dinner last night that my guest requested seconds. It’s so over-the-top delicious that it’s insane! I paired this salad with your Beef Bulgogi and my meal was memorable. You’re the best, Jen!
Delicious, especially the dressing! I used green and red cabbage, added shredded chicken and topped with crushed peanuts and Siracha!! YUM – thank you (again)!
Coincidentally, I was just at our California Pizza for lunch last week. I always, always, order the this salad. I get the 1/2 portion which is huge. It is just so delicious.
Once my brand new(4 month old)refrigerator gets a new compressor, I will make this.
Oh, I made sure I saved the pickles! We did get a loner for the time being.
Another delicious-sounding recipe. I would like to add some chicken to the salad. Would, say, 2 cups of rotisserie chicken be advisable?
Yup, that sounds like a perfect amount. Hope you enjoy!
This is a definite keeper! The flavours were great. I added a bit of dried coconut and mint. SO good!
Just remember to double the dressing recipe because it’s that good!!!
This is my favorite go-to recipe, and when I make it at home my mom always jokes about drinking the dressing LOL
Oh, now that I’ve put the salad together I realize all I’ve changed is coleslaw mix for the Napa cabbage and sugar snap peas for the edamame…anyhow, it’s awesome!
I’ve just made the dressing and have to say it is beyond delicious it’s somewhere up in the stratosphere of scrumptious!!! I’m making the salad with coleslaw mix, chopped sugar snap peas, grated carrot & red pepper, serving with large, wild caught Argentina shrimp and cilantro & chicken stuffed mini-wantons.
However, there is also a good chance I may just put the dressing in a pretty stemmed glass and drink it 😉 – the heck with supper 😉
Delicious!! Great for hot nights, my husband loved it. We’re making it again (already!). Dressing on the side makes it perfectly portable for the next day’s lunch. Easy to plug in a substitution when you don’t have everything on hand.
This is a wonderful recipe, and I don’t like cucumbers, cabbage, or peppers! I made it because I love peanut sauce, and this one is fantastic! I doubled the recipe, added diced chicken, and used Swerve instead of sugar. All flavors complimented each other deliciously. My husband turned to me during dinner and said it’s a keeper. I agree.
This recipe is really forgiving and you can swap ingredients, the dressing is delicious, and it is perfect if you have GF, DF and/or vegan folks to feed. It is really hearty and everyone I made this for loves it. I can’t eat peanuts and make with almond butter and top with toasted sliced almonds- this recipe just works great, like most all the others in the cookbook (where I first found this)
I love this recipe! I have made it several times, and it is a “go to” recipe for me.
Made t for Father’s Day. Amazing everyone loved it. This recipe is perfection!
Thank you for all the extra details in the preparation of your recipes. They are truly helpful.
This was wonderful. No need to thin down the dressing as it clung beautifully to every bite. I also didn’t use the sugar which was great for us. You have to love cilantro and peanut butter to enjoy this one.
This is to second the suggestion that the dressing is just as good–different, but just as good–without the sugar!
I almost cried when I taste tested the dressing – it was so good. I’ve wanted a good peanut dressing for years and finally found one. Thank you so much for this great recipe!
What a delicious salad! The dressing is beyond tasty! Love your recipes!!
I am serving this salad, along with another salad, as a side for 8 people. I am wondering if I should double the recipe. This is the site I trust most for recipes and I am very rarely disappointed. Excellent recipes and well written.
Hi Susan, if you’re going to have another salad, I think you could get away with keeping the recipe as is (or for extra insurance, you could make 1.5 times the recipe). Hope everyone enjoys!
Love this recipe just as is. I add any veggies I have but love to always use edamame and sprouts. I’m curious if there’s a way to use PB powder (as a lower-fat alternative) as a dressing ingredient?
Hi Lauren, so glad you like this! I’ve never worked with peanut butter powder so I can’t say for sure how it would impact the dressing but I suspect it would work. I’d love to hear how it comes out if you end up trying it!
I could take a bath in this dressing! It is so beloved amongst my family, and neighbors that I’m asked to make it for them at parties, since they only know limited English. I’ve also doubled the recipe with great success.
So glad I made this for lunch today – it was perfectly delicious, and has definitely made its way onto my MA (make again) list. Thank you!
This is simply delicious. One of my top 5 favorite salads. My husband loves it too. He generally isn’t overly enthusiastic about salads…he likes them okay but isn’t blow away by them and he said this one is REALLY GOOD. My mom asked for the recipe and makes it now too. Family favorite!
My go-to Asian style dressing. Quick, easy and perfectly balanced. Thank you for sharing, Jenn!!
I live alone. I made this salad last night for dinner. It is delicious – 5 stars. The peanut dressing is perfect. I liked the tiny bit of heat on my palate, but the next time I make it I might add an additional 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. The ingredients of each item in the salad were perfect for me – loved them all.
I’m embarrassed to say it was the first time I ever purchased Napa cabbage. I have enough cabbage left to make another batch of this recipe in a few days.
I have your cookbook, Once Upon a Chef, and have purchased the ingredients to make the Creamy Wild Mushroom soup. Looking forward to another delicious meal.
My husband avoids salads, UNTIL NOW! He LOVES this salad and so do I. I cannot wait to serve it to guests and have already notified friends who love to cook and eat well that they should make this recipe(and visit your site for others) because it can be prepped ahead for a quick to serve meal that is wonderful! I had it with salmon, my husband with chicken, and the extra dressing spooned over the meat was a real treat!
Time to order your cookbooks. I have time to try out LOTS of recipes, and hope to give copies to several friends next Christmas if all goes as I expect it will. Thank you so much for such tasty, healthy, and simple to prepare recipes so carefully presented.
Sooooooooo Good!!! I could not find edamame at my local grocery store, but I did find a bag of frozen mukimame (precooked and shelled edamame) so I decided to give it a try. I was doubtful using defrosted, previously frozen beans would taste alright in this salad, but I was pleasantly surprised. Plus all the work of cooking and shelling the beans, was already done for me – bonus!! I added chicken to make this a delicious lunch (or dinner). Definitely a keeper – thanks for sharing!!
We LOVE this recipe. We leave out the cucumber and sprinkle roasted peanuts on the top at the end as a garnish. We also add rotisserie chicken if we have it to make a hearty meal.
Also, we often use bagged coleslaw mix to make super quick prep.
Another winner! The dressing is the bomb and came together very quickly. I used my food processor. For the salad, I used a bag of shredded cabbage, then added the green onions, chopped up mini cucumbers, edamame, and chopped red peppers. I added some grilled chicken breast and it was out of this world! Love the blend of flavors.
This salad is so delicious. I’ve made it four times lately for company and it’s been enjoyed by all. I would cut down on the sugar next time. I add chopped snap peas instead of the edamame beans. So good and crisp.
Thanks Jenn for this great idea for a refreshing healthy salad.
added a dash of fish sauce to the dressing… it’s just not thai without a little bit o that wonderful funk!