Incredible Sesame Chicken Salad | Ambitious Kitchen (2024)

Remember this easy, super flavorfulGrilled Sesame Chicken that I published just yesterday? You guessed it — it’s time to put that chicken recipe to use with a brand new, fresh, crunchy, filling salad recipe.

This sesame chicken salad is packed with a rainbow of veggies, tossed with my go-to homemadesesame ginger dressing, and topped with that juicy grilled sesame chicken. The team and I had this salad for lunch after perfecting the recipe last month and omg we were OBSESSED with that incredible crunch and all of the wonderful flavors and textures.

It has the perfect amount of sweetness from the dressing and marinade, plus lovely savory elements from the grilled chicken and toasted nuts. Don’t forget the kick of heat from jalapeño and the perfect amount of freshness from cilantro and green onion! This salad is so easy to customize with your fav meat and plant-based proteins, so enjoy the perfect hearty lunch or dinner any day of the week.

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Ingredients in this sesame chicken salad

This gorgeous salad is filled with a rainbow of crunchy veggies, super flavorful grilled sesame chicken, and my go-to sesame ginger dressing. Here’s everything you’ll need to make it:

  • Chicken: we’re using my new Grilled Sesame Chicken and adding it straight to the salad! See below for more protein options.
  • Veggies: this sesame chicken salad is packed with shredded red and green cabbage, green onion, cilantro, carrots, red bell pepper, and jalapeño. So fresh and colorful.
  • Dressing: you’ll be tossing everything in my famousSesame Ginger Dressing that has the perfect balance of sweetness and tang.
  • To serve: top the salad with some toasted sliced almonds (learn how to toast them below!), roasted cashews, sesame seeds, extra cilantro, green onion & jalapeño slices. I also like to add crispy wonton strips if I have them!

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Can I make it vegan or vegetarian?

Yes! You can easily make a vegan sesame chicken salad by simply omitting the chicken or replacing it with:

  • Cooked, cubed tofu (learn how to grill tofu here!)
  • A can of rinsed, drained chickpeas
  • Cooked edamame

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More ways to customize this sesame chicken salad

Feel free to mix and match ingredients to truly make this salad your own! Here’s what I can recommend:

  • Try a new dressing: I think thisHealthy Thai-Inspired Peanut Dressing would be perfect.
  • Add sweetness: feel free to add fruits like mandarin oranges, mango, or pineapple for delicious bites of sweetness.
  • Pick your veggies: you can pretty much use any veggies you’d like in this salad. Shredded brussels sprouts, finely chopped broccoli, and even a leafy green like kale would be delicious.
  • Go nut free: simply omit the almonds and cashews to keep the salad nut free.
  • Choose a new protein: this salad would also be delicious with grilled shrimp or salmon! Feel free to marinate either one the same way that you marinate the chicken.
  • Make it a wrap: looking to make the sesame chicken salad even heartier? Wrap it all up in a tortilla and enjoy it as a wrap!

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How to toast almonds

You can easily toast your own almonds right at home for this salad, and there are two ways to do it: on the stovetop or in the oven!

  • Stovetop method: add sliced almonds to a pan and place over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 2-5 minutes until almonds are slightly golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool before adding them to the salad.
  • Oven method: preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place sliced almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes until fragrant and golden brown, stirring once halfway through baking. Watch carefully so that nuts do not burn!

Make it a noodle party

This sesame chicken salad would also be delicious with cooked rice or ramen noodles tossed right in! You may want to reduce the amount of chopped veggies a bit so that the noodles shine through and soak up all of that delicious dressing.

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Prep this salad ahead of time

If you’re looking to save some time, I’d recommend chopping up all of your veggies 1-2 days ahead of serving or eating the salad so that you can easily throw it together! You could also make the dressing 1-2 days ahead of time as well and store it separately in the fridge.

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Storing tips

Store any leftover sesame chicken salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.

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More salad recipes to try

  • High Protein Salads in Jars that Make the Perfect Lunch
  • Spicy Ranch Chopped Chicken Cabbage Salad
  • Spicy Cashew Chickpea Broccoli Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing
  • Herby Olive Italian Orzo Salad

Get all of my salad recipes here!

I hope you love this fresh & crunchy sesame chicken salad recipe! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

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Prep Time 45 minutes minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes minutes

Total Time 1 hour hour

ServesServes 4 servings

Fresh and delicious sesame chicken salad packed with bright, crunchy vegetables, juicy chicken, and a flavorful sesame ginger dressing. This flavorful sesame chicken salad is easy to customize with your fav veggies and proteins for the perfect healthy lunch or dinner during the week!


  • For the chicken:
  • Grilled Sesame Chicken
  • For the salad:
  • 4 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup diced green onion
  • 3/4 cup freshly diced cilantro
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (bagged or cut into matchsticks for excellent crunch!)
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly julienned
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • For the dressing:
  • 1 batch Sesame Ginger Dressing
  • For serving:
  • 1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup roasted cashews halves
  • Sesame seeds
  • Extra cilantro
  • Extra green onion
  • A few jalapeno slices
  • Optional: Crispy wonton strips


  • Marinate the chicken using this grilled sesame chicken recipe.

  • Make the sesame ginger dressing. Set aside.

  • Assemble the salad together: in a large bowl, add the green and red cabbage, green onion, cilantro, carrots, bell pepper and jalapeno. Pour dressing all over the salad and toss to combine and coat all the veggies. Cover and set aside while you bake or grill your chicken according to the recipe.

  • Serve the salad: add salad to a large platter. Garnish with toasted sliced almonds, cashews, extra cilantro, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, a few jalapeno slices and some additional chopped green onion, if desired. I also love adding crispy wonton strips but that’s totally optional. Dig in! Serves 4 as a hearty main dish or 6 as a side dish.

Recipe Notes

For a vegetarian/vegan option: This salad is just as fabulous without the chicken. Feel free to omit, or replace with tofu or a can of rinsed and drained chickpeas.

See the full post for even more ways to customize this salad!


Serving: 1serving (based on 4)Calories: 594calCarbohydrates: 34.9gProtein: 35.9gFat: 36.6gSaturated Fat: 5.2gFiber: 7.1gSugar: 19.2g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by:Eat Love Eats

Incredible Sesame Chicken Salad | Ambitious Kitchen (2024)


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