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Lighter Chinese Chicken Salad

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Lighter Chinese Chicken Salad |

I always get a little pit in my stomach whenever one of those dramatic restaurant exposes comes up online or on the news. You know what I’m talking about. A picture of a beautiful green salad or light sandwich is shown, but then the announcer comes on with his dark and scary “mwahaha” voice and challenges, “Do you KNOW what you’re eating?” Dum..dum..DUM!!!!

Ok, by this point in life, I know that most of the healthier-seeming options in restaurants are often less than such. But every now and then I’m still blown away by the nutrition facts. And more often than not, big beautiful salads tend to win the awards for most fat and calories. I remember when I recently looked up the nutrition facts for one of my favorite Asian chicken salads from a large well-known restaurant chain, it scored in at a whopping 98 grams of fat. Nope, no typo there. 98, people!!!!

Gah. This is why I like salads made at home!

So for anyone else out there who might like Chinese chicken salads, today I’m happy to be sharing with you a Lighter Chinese Chicken Salad recipe. No fried chicken, crispy fried wontons or heavy peanut-y dressing here. Just lots of greens and veggies tossed with marinated chicken and almonds, topped with a yummy sesame ginger vinaigrette. Quick, easy, and full of flavor you can feel good about. Just the way I like it.

I vote we leave the number 98 for boy bands. ;)

Lighter Chinese Chicken Salad |

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Lighter Chinese Chicken Salad

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


A lighter version of the ever-popular Chinese Chicken Salad!



Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 4 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup edamame
  • 2/3 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup chow mein noodles
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • sesame ginger vinaigrette (see ingrediente below)

Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. sriracha chile sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper


To Make The Salad:

  1. Combine chicken breasts, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar in a large bowl or ziplock bag and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and season both sides of each chicken breast with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for 4 minutes per side or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside. Remove and let rest for at least 5 minutes. Then cut into thin strips.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together Romaine, red cabbage, edamame, carrots, chicken, chow mein noodles and almonds until combined. Toss with your desired amount of vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

To Make The Vinaigrette:

  1. Whisk together all ingredients until combined. You can add more sriracha for an extra kick.

Lighter Chinese Chicken Salad |

Lighter Chinese Chicken Salad |

Lighter Chinese Chicken Salad |


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117 comments on “Lighter Chinese Chicken Salad”

  1. I was hoping for the nutritional information.

  2. Why can’t I print your recipes when I hit the print button? I have no problem printing recipes from other sites

  3. This recipe is so delicious. My husband and I are both looking at new recipes to add to our boring meal plans. This recipe did not disappoint.

  4. This sounds delicious, I definitely have to try it sometimes :)
    Also, spectacular pictures!

  5. This looks so good I think I could eat it every day!

  6. This salad was DELISH!! We did everything as directed in the recipe but even though I bought edamame, I forgot to add it, darnit! Anyway, I used rice noodles instead of chow mein and we added green onion. Next time, we’ll also add mandarin oranges, which I think will be a great addition to this already excellent salad! All in all, GREAT recipe!! The whole family loved it. I will say that I was surprised how spicy this salad was, but it wasn’t unbearable. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. You’re *supposed* to eat fat with vegetables. You’re not going to get the full nutritional value from them any other way.

    About the only good thing about preparing at home vs getting the salad in the restaurant is you have control over what fats go into your food. But you DO still need the fats. The honey in this recipe is more problematic, for crying out loud, than the oil is. Honey’s biochemically almost the exact same thing as table sugar. It’s just been refined by insects instead of people.

    Incidentally… if you make this, people, skip the “vegetable oil.” That name is so misleading. It’s soybean oil. I know the soy industry wants you to believe it’s a health food, but… really not. I’ve gotten most soy out of my diet, including switching to coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, and it has been such a help. Olive oil is much, much better for you. Sesame is OK, but don’t make it a daily habit.

  8. Just made this for dinner tonight. Absolutely delicious and worth making. My 6 yr old & 13 yr old sons enjoyed it too! Thanks for a great recipe.

  9. Gorgeous photos of a colour bomb dish, nice recipe, thanks!
    I was looking for some low carb recipes… I wonder if we’re more into that in Europe than you are in the US? I’ve read a lot of ‘skinny’ options, which is often no potato/rice/pasta… but covered in heaps of honey and sugar = definitely not low carb! Maybe you could add another category in your list?
    …Hopeful ready, who loves what I’ve seen of your blog so far!

  10. This salad is so delicious that I crave it every single day and probably have it every other day. I highly recommend it, please try it.

  11. Nutrition information?

  12. I have made this salad twice. It is beautiful and delicious! My brother and his family are coming this weekend and I am planning to make it for them. I think they will love it, too.

  13. So delicious! I made it last night and my family loved it. I fried some thinly sliced wonton strips instead of the chow mien noodles because I was making cream cheese wontons, too. Thanks for the great recipe, and I had no idea “that” salad had 98 grams of fat! Insane! That was my go to item, but no more.

  14. Love this recipe. Thank you.

  15. I dare Applebee’s salad! Oh no! How unhealthy. Cannot wait to try this! Did you post calorie/servings info? Did I miss that? Was just wondering how many WW pts this would be. Thank you! Love your blog.

  16. Made this tonight for dinner, and it was fantastic! Already had some cooked chicken, so I didn’t marinade it–still sooo good. The sesame ginger dressing is perfect. My husband even commented, “This is a keeper!” Great recipe.

  17. I am making this salad for a 4th of July gathering. Wanted something really healthy. I know I will love it! Right up my alley. Thanks for the great recipe. This will be a winner.

  18. I found this recipe via Pinterest and made it last night. What a hit! I expected to have leftovers, but there were none. My husband ate 4 helpings and my picky eater ate 2!

    I added more chicken and lettuce and omitted the edamame and sriracha. Also, added just a touch more honey. I also used Ramen noodles since that is what I had on hand.

    This one definitely gets added to the regular dinner rotation! Thanks so much for sharing it!

  19. Made these in mason jars for the week. Yum Yum Yum. Lunch today was definitely a treat. Thanks!

  20. is this safe for someone with diabetes?

    • Hey Ravia. There is sugar in the rice wine vinegar, and then of course there’s the honey (both in the vinaigrette). The recipe is for 4-6 servings, but if you’re concerned, you could use Agave instead of the honey (it’s more concentrated, and lower on the glycemic index). Interestingly enough, some studies have showed that vinegar can reduce blood sugar and insulin levels, 2 hours after a meal. You can check out one article here. I’m not a doctor, so I’m not positive though! I hope this helps!

  21. Hi, I love the look and will undoubtedly also love the taste of this salad. And I noticed that you posted about how much fat is in other salads.  However there have been several comments as to the nutritional value of your version of the salad and you haven’t responded. Can you please advise as to the fat content of your salad along with the other information? 

    • Hi Rae, unfortunately we aren’t publishing nutrition facts on the site at this time. The nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. But many of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. While we don’t know the exact fat content or nutrition facts of this particular recipe, we feel confident in saying this is low in fat. We hope this helps, and that you enjoy the salad!

  22. Found Gimme Some Oven on Pinterest and this was one of the first recipes of yours I tried.  It’s so tasty. Hits all the right notes I wanted from a sesame dressing.  I added a little creamy peanut butter to the dressing and actually keep a bottle of it in the fridge. The edamame, almonds and crunchy noodles make the salad. If there are ever leftovers from the night before, I throw them in a spinach wrap for lunch.  Thanks for sharing!

  23. Yum! This was so good! I used chicken thighs instead of breasts, and they were delish! The dressing was yummy too…I will definitely make it again!

  24. In the photograph, I see that there are bean sprouts. Should i add it? And how much?

    • Hey Ivan! The bean sprouts are totally optional and you’re welcome to add as much as you’d like! We hope you enjoy! :)

  25. Thanks for this recipe it was lovely. I made it tonight with a few changes as I couldn’t find some of the ingredients. I used apple cider vinegar for the rice wine vinegar and I didn’t use the noodles or the edamame. I had it with sweet potato mash which worked really well.

  26. I really enjoyed this and made it a second time replacing the chicken with tempeh. Both times the leftovers didn’t last the day.

  27. Hi! Are the chow mein noodles dried/fried or cooked?

  28. Lose the chow mein noodles and add a gluten free dressing for celiacs

  29. Love this recipe and so easy to make at home. Your recipe makes it a pleasure to cook and eat at home.