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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.

Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

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.


Step-by-Step Instructions

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.

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Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing

Inspired by California Pizza Kitchen’s recipe, this Thai crunch salad with peanut dressing always satisfies.

Servings: 4
Total Time: 30 Minutes


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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Note: Check out easy guidance on how to peel, grate, and chop fresh ginger here.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • 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.

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  • This is my go-to salad. We love it for dinner, and I have made it for potlucks. The dressing is simply delicious, and the combination of salad ingredients is so good!

  • I started making this salad during the summer and I’ve been making and remaking it regularly ever since. The dressing comes together fairly quickly even though there are a lot of ingredients. It is delicious. And if you are lazy or over-confident, you can be a little loose with amounts of this or that and it will still be yummy. I tend to love a sauce heavy in peanut flavor, so I lean into that ingredient. As for the salad fixings, those, too, can be mixed and matched. I’ve thrown in other vegetables and proteins. One other reason I love this recipe is that it makes for delicious leftovers. Since I’m now working from home, it’s nice to have something that reminds me of happy days in the city when I had access to a good Thai salad for lunch.

  • I have made this dressing recipe on more than one occasion. It is a favorite and keeps in the fridge for longer than you might think. Yum!

  • Perfect flavour combination. This salad is crunchy and so tasty! The dressing is unreal! Yum. Can’t wait to make again!

  • Have made this multiple times and absolutely love it! Flavors are yummy!

  • This salad is fantastic! I make a big batch and put it into Tupperware for my week’s lunches (undressed). Throw some chicken on top, dress right before eating, and yum!

  • This delicious salad was the first recipe I ever tried from this site. The peanut dressing is delicious so make a double batch. The salad is now a family favorite. It is easy to tailor it and add more or less of some ingredients based on personal preference.

  • OMG! This peanut dressing is the bomb!!! My daughters (12 and 18) and I absolutely loved every bite. Their eyes bulged out of their heads when they tried it! I did have to use fresh lemon juice instead of lime and I put a couple of pyure stevia shots instead of the sugar. I did keep the honey. We all agree we would eat it with a big salad everyday. I had fresh mint and Thai basil in our salads. It was so fresh and perfect. Thank you Jenn for this recipe. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes!!

    • I forgot to put 5 stars!

  • If adding chicken to the salad, what amount would you recommend?

    • I’d recommend about 2 cups of shredded chicken. Hope you enjoy!

  • Amazing! This is the best. Thank you for sharing Jen.

    • — Denise L White
    • Reply
  • Everyone loved this salad, especially the dressing. I chopped all the veggies the day before and even had the dressing prepared ahead of time. It was super easy to toss it all together 20 minutes before we planned to eat. I left out edamame but other than that followed exactly. Thanks!!

  • I’m making this right now. Sounds awesome.

  • Holy crap, this is good!

  • I’ve made this salad a couple of times and really enjoy the flavors. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

  • I love this dressing, how long can you keep in the refrigerator?

    • Glad you like it! The dressing will keep nicely for up to a week.

  • I always double the recipe as it’s great to have it in the fridge for a fast dinner. I usually lay some angel hair pasta on a bed of lettuce and then top with whatever vegetable, nuts, orange slices I find in the fridge and a sliced chicken breast on the top. Then everyone just adds as much dressing as they’d like. The only change I make is to leave out the sugar as we find that the honey makes it sweet enough.

  • I am excited to try this recipe, but have a couple of quick questions… Is it okay to use olive oil rather than the vegetable oil shown? I gravitate to olive oil generally, because I’ve heard it’s healthier than other oils. Also, I am new to preparing edamame at home… Can I purchase (shelled) Edamame frozen and then use it thawed for this recipe? Thank you!

    • Yes and yes. 🙂
      Hope you enjoy!

      • Thanks so much for your reply. This was soooo very good! I wanted to make sure to post the 5-star rating.

        • Glad you enjoyed it!

  • This is just fabulous! I doubled the dressing recipe so I can throw a salad together quickly whenever I want. I followed the instructions exactly except I did not add cilantro to the salad, only to the dressing as it is not my most favorite flavor. This is truly a winner.

  • I’ve never had the CPK dressing, but with extra cilantro it tastes JUST like the southwestern dressing at the Cheesecake Factory, which I used to buy jars of to take home!

    It freezes perfectly too 😀

  • My family loved this – I mean really loved it…ate it all! A favorite for sure!

  • I have so many feelings about this salad! I took the advice of other reviewers and made double the dressing and boy am I happy I did that. It is so good I wanted to just put it in a bowl and eat it with a spoon. Not gonna lie, it’s an intimidating recipe. So many ingredients! BUT, most of them you really do have in your pantry. I added grilled chicken that I let sit in the dressing for a couple hours until it was time for dinner. I added more onion, as I do with most things, and probably more ginger as I wasn’t sure how to measure it. I loved it so much I brought some over to my daughter this morning so she coud have it for lunch and she is crazy about it, too. I will defiinitely make it again. It’s not hard to make, it just takes time like most delicious recipes do. Highly recommend.

  • Made the salad dressing without the cilantro since we didn’t have it. Tossed the dressing over a salad with baby lettuce greens, roasted beets, carrots, chopped peanuts, and leftover thai satay chicken. I wished I had more greens in my lunch for dressing.

  • Beyond delicious! Had all the texture and crunch and sweet but tangy and spicy- this was such a hit at my dinner party – even with the kids!!

  • Intoxicatingly delicious! your recipes are fool proof perfection. i dont bother with any other sites or cookbooks. you ROCK!!!

  • Wonderful warm weather salad. I made it twice in two weeks for guests, all of whom loved it and wanted the recipe. The second time I replaced one of the three tablespoons of vegetable oil with a tablespoon of sesame oil to amp up the peanut flavor and would do so again.

  • I have tried this recipe few days ago and i couldn’t believe it was the most delicious salad i have ever had. I didn’t have peanut butter at home that day so used roasted peanut instead. I think it was kick which gave it a nutty crunch. Thank you chef

    • — Washima Mannan
    • Reply
    • Delicious salad!! Absolutely love the dressing! I added shredded chicken and it was just perfect!

      • — Catherine Ledoux
      • Reply
  • I’ve come back to this dressing (and salad) many times now. It’s heaven!!!! Sure way to get my boy to eat his salad. Thank you.

  • I needed a summer dinner recipe quick! I ended up making a thai bowl with what I had on hand…couscous, sliced brussel sprouts, sliced carrots and fresh pea pods all covered in peanut sauce as written.
    As usual, Jen’s recipe was full of flavor – just maybe a tiny bit think, nothing a little water and whirl in the blender couldn’t cure.
    Husband loved it and licked the spoon.

  • I just made this the other day for dinner and the dressing is truly just the best, it’s a keeper and pairs well with the shrimp tacos.
    Thank you very much

  • This salad is exceptional!!!! 10 ⭐️ . I also left out the sugar and had to use seasoned rice wine vinegar because I was out of the unseasoned.

  • This is a great dish. The flavors combined with the crunch makes this very appealing. The coolness of the chilled vegetables works well with the tangy dressing. Recipe is easy to follow. What is also good about this recipe is it’s versatility in that it can effortlessly be adjusted to taste.

  • Hi far in advance can you make the dressing? A day or 2? Thank you

    • A day or two is fine (and it will be fine for a few days beyond that). Hope you enjoy!

      • I am allergic to peanuts. Can you recommend a substitute??

        • — Janie Campbell
        • Reply
        • Hi Janie, Almond butter should also work here. Hope you enjoy!

  • This was delicious! The peanut dressing is super. It is truly a keeper and I look forward to serving this again.

    • Wonderful recipe full of flavors and textures. Healthy and filling. Really yummy.

      • Reply
  • This was so yummy. My husband complimented me multiple times. This is my first OUAC review but I have to say you are my go to for recipes that I know will be amazing. Thank you!!!

  • Do you think almond butter would be ok instead of the peanut butter?

    • — Jackie Epstein
    • Reply
    • Yep – hope you enjoy!

  • This is fabulous! I’m a pretty hardcore home cook, and I will look at recipes once in awhile, take some ingredients, then basically go my own way. I used chile garlic sauce, instead of a pinch of red pepper flakes, twice the amount of ginger (I Love Ginger!), and half the sugar called for. It is by far my favorite peanut sauce / dressing ever! I made the salad a bit different, using what I had on hand, I was very happy to use my first head of Napa cabbage out of my own garden. I cut wonton wrappers into thin strips and fried them up for a crunchy topping. I always loved the Chinese chicken salad at CPK, this dressing is so much better, so much more complex.
    Thank you, Jenn, You hit it out of the ballpark on this one!

    • — Trisha Soncini Lane
    • Reply
    • I was thinking that sounded like a lot of sweetener too. Good to hear you had success with less. Plan to try soon.

  • I thought this salad was so tasty! I didn’t even use the sugar–I thought the honey made it sweet enough. And I didn’t have napa cabbage so I just used lettuce. It still turned out great! It is definitely going into the rotation!

  • This recipe is soooooo good! I will be making this often going forward. Flavors were just perfect together. Thank you so much!!

    • — Robert H. Gibbs
    • Reply
  • This dressing was great on the salad. I also made extra and used it as a marinade for chicken skewers — worked perfectly! Thanks for the recipe.

  • This salad is so flavorful and delicious! Made this with the honey, lime, sriracha chicken and got rave reviews for the whole dinner. Made exactly as directed. Will definitely be making this again!

  • Delicious! Even better than CPK. I added a sprinkle of peanuts on top but otherwise didn’t change anything.

  • Loved this salad and the dressing was awesome – I found it really thick, not sure what I did, but I thinned it with some milk, which worked fine as we were eating straightaway and husband ate the leftover sauce out of the jug! I cooked chicken thighs in your Honey, Lime and Sriracha marinade and served them chopped up on this salad. Definitely top of our favourite salad list. Thank you for this and for all your reliable, excellent recipes.

  • awesome recipe, thank you! made it with a super spicy curry and the balance of this was perfect. i don’t eat processed sugar so just upped the honey a little and it was Perfect, didn’t need that extra sugar (in my opinion!).

  • Delicious and refreshing!

    • — Eunice Gillan-Short
    • Reply
  • So good! The dressing is similar to CPKs Thai crunch salad!

    • — Allyza DelosReyes
    • Reply
  • Have you ever made this dressing with a peanut butter substitute like Sunbutter or Wowbutter? We have a severe peanut allergy in our house.


    • — Adrienne Henriksen
    • Reply
    • Hi Adrienne, Personally, I haven’t made it with a different nut butter, but I think it would work. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

  • OMG, this is the BEST peanut dressing ever!! Absolutely amazing. I’ve tried a number of recipes over time, but this one is UNREAL!!

    • — Katherine Martini
    • Reply
  • Delicious!

  • This was amazing. It needs more than 5 stars. The only thing I suggest is double or triple the receipe, as you will want more dressing left over. Thank you Jenn.

  • This has become our go-to slaw, we’ve been using it for a while and just wanted to say bravo!

    • — Trina Thompson
    • Reply

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