Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad

May 26, 2014 by Ali

This Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad is full of amazing colors and flavors, it is topped with a heavenly peanut dressing, and it is also naturally gluten-free.

Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad | gimmesomeoven.com #glutenfree

It’s no secret that I adore color.

I love colorful food! And colorful artwork. And colorful sunsets. And colorful scarves. And colorful gardens. And colorful farmers market.

The only place where I have decided that I do not like bright colors? On my walls.

Oh man. I bought my first house when I was 23, and quickly discovered in that first year how easy (and cheap!) it was to buy a can of paint and completely transform a room. So I took a house whose interior was 100% gray and transformed it over the course of that first month into a veritable rainbow of colors. The living room was butter yellow, the dining room was “asparagus” green, the kitchen periwinkle, my bedroom teal, my bathroom yellow, and on and on. I thought it was the coolest thing. I mean, all of my favorite colors? In one house? What could be better??

The only problem was that it was a small 1920′s bungalow, and each of the rooms were connected and about thiiiis big. So it basically felt like a kaleidoscope walking in. Although instead of being pretty bright colors on tiny paint chips, the rooms began to feel like very bright colors the size of 1000 paint chips. Yes, I learned that there was such a thing as too much color.

So I swallowed my pride and traipsed back to Home Depot and eventually began neutralizing the house with the very creams and grays and whites that I used to think were oh-so-cliche about decorating. And then when I moved into my loft, I went for 100% light grey to go with my white kitchen and brick walls, and I could not be happier. To each his and her own, for sure. Some people rock out super-colorful houses. But for me, I prefer to go neutral with the paint colors, and let vivid food provide the “pop” of color in my kitchen.

Like this rainbow Thai chicken salad, of course.

Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad | gimmesomeoven.com #glutenfree

I have been a Thai chicken salad lover for years, with Panera’s version actually being one of my favs. But whenever I make it at home, I love seeing how many different colors — er, ingredients — I can cram into it to make it all the prettier and tastier.

This version?

Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad | gimmesomeoven.com #glutenfree

As you can see, we hit nearly every color of the rainbow. We have:

  • Red: bell peppers
  • Orange: carrots (and you could also throw in orange bell peppers)
  • Yellow: fresh mango (don’t use frozen)
  • Green: avocado, green onions, cabbage, fresh cilantro and fresh limes
  • Purple: cabbage

Plus chicken and thai peanut dressing and chopped cashews or peanuts. I still have yet to find an awesome blue veggie for rainbow recipes. Alas, maybe someday.

Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad | gimmesomeoven.com #glutenfree

Anyway, this salad is super simple to make. The hardest part is just chopping all of that fresh produce. But if you pop on some tunes and have a little kitchen dance party while you chop, I guarantee the time will fly right by…

Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad | gimmesomeoven.com #glutenfree

…and you’ll have a delicious salad ready to go in no time!

Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad | gimmesomeoven.com #glutenfree

I also chose to just drizzle my salads with the peanut vinaigrette so that my friends could see and appreciate the rainbow-ness of the salad. But you can also toss it all together if you’d rather.

Either way, it’s a fabulous way to taste the rainbow. And oh man, is it a tasty one too. Enjoy!

Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: About 4-6 servings


    Thai Chicken Salad Ingredients:
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 (large) carrot, julienned or shredded
  • 1 red pepper, cored and julienned (or diced)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews or peanuts
  • Peanut Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (if you are gluten-free, use GF soy sauce or tamari)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • pinch of red pepper flakes


To Make The Salad:

Toss all salad ingredients together until combined. Drizzle with dressing or toss to combine, then serve immediately.

To Make The Dressing:

Whisk all ingredients together until combined. If the dressing is too thick, add hot water a teaspoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you desire.

Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad | gimmesomeoven.com #glutenfree

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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47 thoughts on “Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad

  1. Love the colors in the chicken salad recipe
    Hope to make it for dinner tonight and test it on my fussy adult son.


    - Harriett Langdon

  2. Yum! Have never seen blue vegetables… or blue food – maybe I would add some borage flowers – edible and blue!!!

    - Paola

  3. My amazing husband made this last night for work lunches today so I’m crunching as I type…this is so delicious and perfect for my GF/DF lifestyle! Thanks so much for sharing!

    - Becky

  4. I made this… I put curly leaf lettuce in it as well. Very good!!! Thanks!

    - leann lindeman

  5. While I used edamame instead of avocado, I just fixed this for supper and the husband and I both loved it! I think it will become a staple in my house. Thanks a delicious rainbow!

    - Rachel

  6. Yum!! This looks so delicious! Definitely pinned :)


    - Millie l Add A Little

  7. Wowza. This is just gorgeous, and I’m a sucker for thai peanut dressing. I need to try this!

    - Amy @ The Nifty Foodie

  8. Omg! This looks amazing. I love all the colors and totally know what you mean about transforming a neutral room with a can of wild paint. Love it!

    - Meg

  9. Absolutely beautiful! So bright and fresh!

    - Lauren @ Living the Savory Life

  10. This looks wonderful. However, this recipe technically isn’t gluten free since it calls for soy sauce. One would have to use tamari sauce instead. Just being a picky celiac disease patient. But thanks in advance for changing this.

    - Audrey

    • Hey Audrey!

      Thanks for pointing that out. I keep GF Kikkoman soy sauce at home, but went back and made a note for GF cooks to either use that or tamari. Thank you! :)


      - Ali

  11. This is bursting with color and fresh flavors! I think I’ll have to make this at home.

    - Tiffany @ Triple Crème Decadence

  12. oh my goodness. This salad was delish! I didn’t have sesame oil so I just left it out (didn’t want to go back to the store) and it was so yum!

    - Melissa

  13. So colorful! Will definitely give this a try.

    - Matt @ Plating Pixels

  14. Definitely loving how colorful this salad is too. Great job!

    - Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie

  15. That salad and dressing look amazing!

    I can’t wait to whip up that dressing for my family sometime…soon!mm

    - Elizabeth @ AllThingsLibby

  16. I love your love of color! This looks absolutely delicious!

    - Becky (So Very Blessed)

  17. Such a colorful. Salad! Love all the stuff inside!

    - Ami@naivecookcooks

  18. I have a hard time putting anything but neutrals on the walls, too. It’s stressful! I’ve found that bringing in color with pieces of furniture, objects, art on the walls…much more my style! But this salad, bring on the color. Beautiful!

    - Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles

  19. I wonder if this recipe would be good if I substitute almond butter for the peanut butter?

    - Briana

  20. Oh my gosh, what a beautiful and bright salad this is!! I can’t stop looking at it, so pretty! I love making my food colorful with all sorts of vegetables and it is especially nice when everything tastes good together too! About a year ago we moved into a house where every wall was a different shade of pink and after I got a hold of the paint brush each room is now a beautiful bright color, none of which are pink!

    - Isadora @ she likes food

  21. This salad! The rainbow colours are just amazing and it looks incredibly tasty. I am picturing endless summer days and this salad is the crystal ball :D.

    - Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes

  22. I adore colorful food too!! (And photos and sunsets and clothing… ) Wish I had this salad right now!

    - Liz @ The Lemon Bowl

  23. You do like your colored foods don’t you!!

    Somewhere over the rainbow salad, that’s what I would call this!

    - Laura @ Raise Your Garden

  24. I don’t think I’ve seen a more festive and colorful salad. And the photography is impeccable. I will have to get used to adding peanuts to my salads because they really do wonders for soups. With or without nuts, I’d dig this recipe any day.

    - Cristina Calvo

  25. I think we have all made that mistake of not realizing that colors on a tiny square get magically brighter on an entire wall! Hello electric blue bedroom!

    This salad, on the other hand, looks amazing! Be honest, how many times did you have to practice that drizzle over the top before getting it to look that perfect?! I mean, seriously, it looks like you photoshopped it on! :-) Gorgeous! Pinned

    - Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking

  26. So gorgeous, I could eat this every day of summer!

    - Laura (Tutti Dolci)

  27. This looks delicious. Sharing it with my blog FB fans right now. Can’t wait to make this.

    - Leigh Powell Hines

  28. I am a huge color freak too so this is my kind of salad. Love the flavors!

    - Tieghan

  29. I’ve seen a lot of salads this season but this is def the most colorful one! I love the mixture of colors and flavors. YUM! :)

    - Layla @ Brunch Time Baker

  30. Who doesn’t love colorful food? :) This looks amazing, loving all of the Thai flavors in here.

    - How to Philosophize with Cake

  31. Love, love, love the look of this. So bright and fresh and vivid!

    - Kathryn

  32. Love that color, love these flavors, love it ALL!

    - Marie @ Little Kitchie

  33. That is one of the most beautiful salads I have ever seen!

    - Jess @ Sweet Menu

  34. Girl, you are the QUEEN of all things rainbow food! I ADORE Thai chicken salads, and this one is just gorg! Pinned! :)

    - Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness

  35. I love everything about this salad! The colors are so bright, my favorite ingredients and such fantastic dressing!

    - Medeja