Healthy and Refreshing Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe

Welcome to my Vietnamese chicken salad recipe! I’m thrilled to share this super simple and delicious dish with you. Whether you’re looking to impress guests at your next dinner party or simply treat yourself to a flavorful and healthy meal, this recipe is sure to satisfy.

This Vietnamese chicken salad is a perfect combination of tangy, spicy and refreshing flavors. It’s packed with fresh herbs like cilantro and mint, as well as colorful veggies like red bell pepper, carrots, cucumber, and red onion. The addition of roasted peanuts adds a delightful crunchiness to the mix.

The dressing for this salad is made with fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and garlic. This zesty blend perfectly marries all the flavors in the salad together in just the right way. And if you prefer a spicier version, hot chili peppers can be added to kick up the heat.

One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. You can easily make it your own by substituting certain ingredients or adding new ones altogether. And with just a few simple steps to follow, it’s easy to whip up this dish even on a busy weeknight.

So let’s get started on making this delicious Vietnamese chicken salad!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vietnamese Chicken Salad
Vietnamese Chicken Salad

There are a million and one reasons to love Vietnamese Chicken Salad, but for the sake of keeping this brief, I’ll limit myself to just a few. Firstly, this chicken salad recipe is super simple to prepare with easy-to-find ingredients. One of the best things about Vietnamese cuisine is its fresh flavors and vibrant colors and this particular dish represents both amazingly. Secondly, Vietnamese Chicken Salad is incredibly versatile in terms of variations and substitutions – you can tweak it according to your own preference while still maintaining that authentic taste. Finally, this salad is healthy yet filling and is perfect for a quick lunch, evening meal or when hosting dinner parties. Trust me, you’ll keep coming back to this recipe again and again.

Ingredient List

Sure thing! Here are 11 unique photo captions for the Vietnamese Chicken Salad recipe:
Sure thing! Here are 11 unique photo captions for the Vietnamese Chicken Salad recipe:

Here’s what you’ll need to create this Vietnamese Chicken Salad:

  • Chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken: 1 ½ pound, boneless and skinless.
  • Napa cabbage: 4 cups, thinly sliced.
  • Savoy cabbage: 2 cups, thinly sliced.
  • Carrots: 1 large or 2 small, peeled and shredded.
  • Seedless cucumber: 1, thinly sliced.
  • Red bell pepper: 1, thinly sliced
  • Red onion: 1 medium-sized, thinly sliced.
  • Fresh cilantro leaves: chopped, for garnish.
  • Fresh mint leaves: chopped, for garnish.
  • Roasted peanuts: ¼ cup, roughly chopped.
  • Fish Sauce
  • Lime juice
  • Sugar
  • Garlic clove

These ingredients are readily available in most supermarkets. If you have difficulty locating anything, try looking in the ethnic food section or an Asian grocery store. It’s important to note that the quality of your ingredients can significantly impact the flavor of your salad. So I recommend using fresh and high-quality products to get the best results possible.

The Recipe How-To

Prepare the Shredded Chicken

  1. Chicken Breasts: First, take 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and place them in a pot of salted boiling water for about 12-15 minutes, or until fully cooked.
  2. Once done, remove from the heat and place the chicken breasts on a cutting board to cool.
  3. Using your hands or a pair of forks, shred the chicken breasts into thin strips and place them in a large mixing bowl.

Mix Together the Salad Ingredients

  1. Vegetables: Cut 1 carrot, 1/2 of a seedless cucumber, 1 red bell pepper, and 1/4 of a red onion into thin slices or matchsticks.
  2. In addition, chop up around 4 cups of savoy cabbage and 2 cups of napa cabbage.
  3. Then, finely chop about 3 cloves garlic, a few sprigs of fresh cilantro leaves, and mint leaves.
  4. Finally, add about 1/4 cup of roasted peanuts on top.

Prepare the Dressing

  1. In another bowl, combine all liquids: 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons fish sauce, and juice from 1 fresh lime.
  2. Add in a little sweetness with around 1 tablespoon of sugar.
  3. Stir everything until combined, you can taste it to perfect it in case an adjustment is needed.

Combine Your Mixture

Now that both parts are ready, we’ll mix them together as below:

  1. Take that big bowl containing shredded chicken from before.
  2. Toss everything from vegetable mix over it (cabbage, carrot, onion…).
  3. Drizzle dressing mixture with small amounts while mixing things together to ensure all ingredients are distributed evenly.
  4. Sprinkle some fresh herbs on top to garnish (herbs like cilantro and mint).

You can either gobble it up right away or let it sit in the fridge for around 30 minutes to slightly marinate!

Substitutions and Variations

 Bright and colorful veggies add crunch and flavor to this delicious salad.
Bright and colorful veggies add crunch and flavor to this delicious salad.

If you’re craving a Vietnamese chicken salad but don’t have all the necessary ingredients, there are plenty of substitutions and variations to consider. Here are some options:

– Vegetarian option: If you want to make this recipe vegetarian, simply omit the chicken and add more greens or tofu for protein.

– Different protein: If you’re not a fan of chicken or want to mix things up, shrimp or thinly sliced beef work well in this salad. You can also use leftover rotisserie chicken instead of cooking it from scratch.

– Swap out the cabbage: If you don’t have savoy cabbage or napa cabbage, you can use regular green cabbage instead.

– Different herbs: Fresh mint and cilantro add brightness and flavor to this salad, but if you don’t have them on hand, you can use Thai basil or parsley instead.

– Less heat: The hot chili peppers in this recipe give it a nice kick, but if you’re not a fan of spicy food, reduce the amount of chili peppers or omit them altogether.

– More veggies: This salad is packed with veggies, but feel free to add more or swap them out as desired. Shredded zucchini, bean sprouts, and bell peppers would all be great additions.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and flavors – that’s what makes cooking so fun! Just remember to balance the sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors that are characteristic of Vietnamese cuisine.

Serving and Pairing

 This chicken salad packs a punch of flavor with fresh herbs and zesty dressing.
This chicken salad packs a punch of flavor with fresh herbs and zesty dressing.

This Vietnamese chicken salad recipe makes a light and refreshing main course salad; it can also be served as a side dish, appetizer or snack. It pairs perfectly with a variety of dishes for a complete meal.

I recommend serving the salad in a large bowl placed at the center of the table so that everyone can help themselves to a portion. It’s also great for feeding a crowd, making it ideal for any potluck or party.

To complete your Vietnamese-inspired meal, consider pairing this chicken salad with some vermicelli noodles, rice congee or vegetable salad with herbs like rau ram. You could also serve it with some crusty bread or cooked rice to make it more filling.

For drinks, I suggest keeping it light and refreshing with some iced tea or lemonade to balance out the spicy flavors of the dish. If you’re in the mood for an adult beverage, pair it with a crisp glass of white wine or a cold beer.

Overall, this versatile and flavorful Vietnamese chicken salad is perfect as the main event or as a side dish to complement any meal. You’ll love how easy and delicious it is to prepare, and how well it pairs with all kinds of foods and drinks.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Say goodbye to boring salads - this Vietnamese twist will keep your taste buds satisfied.
Say goodbye to boring salads – this Vietnamese twist will keep your taste buds satisfied.

One of the best things about this Vietnamese Chicken Salad recipe is that it can be made ahead of time, making party planning a breeze. The chicken and vegetables can be cooked and prepared up to two days in advance, and stored separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator.

When you’re ready to serve, simply toss everything together with the dressing and garnish with fresh herbs and peanuts. Make sure to give the salad a good mix to ensure that each bite is bursting with flavor.

Leftovers can also be stored for up to two days in the refrigerator, but keep in mind that the vegetables will lose their crispness over time. To reheat, simply microwave or warm the chicken and vegetables in a pan on low heat until heated through.

If you’re planning on making this salad for a larger crowd, consider preparing each component separately before assembling everything together just before serving. This way you can easily adjust the amount of ingredients needed based on your guest list.

Whether it’s served as a light lunch or appetizer, this Vietnamese Chicken Salad can be made in advance and easily stored for later use or reheated without sacrificing any of its delicious flavor.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Tender, juicy chicken adds protein to this healthy salad.
Tender, juicy chicken adds protein to this healthy salad.

Preparing Vietnamese Chicken Salad calls for some basic cooking skills, but the recipe is simple enough for anyone to follow. To ensure the perfect salad result, here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind.

First, use fresh ingredients as much as possible. It may be tempting to use canned or frozen vegetables, but fresh veggies provide more texture and nutrients to your dish. When buying herbs like cilantro and mint, opt for those with bright green leaves and a sweet aroma.

Second, take note of the dressing’s balance. The salad dressing requires a mix of salty, sour, sweet and spicy flavors. Experiment with the ingredient proportions until you achieve a balance that will complement your taste buds’ preferences.

Third, undercook your chicken slightly. Overcooked chicken can destroy the flavor and make it tough to chew. Cook your chicken breasts until they’re just done – this will ensure that they remain juicy and tender.

Fourth, remember to toss the ingredients thoroughly when mixing everything. You want all flavors evenly distributed throughout the dish.

Lastly, get creative with your ingredients! Feel free to experiment with different types of roasted peanuts or chilies to add more depth and flavor to your salad. The key is finding the perfect balance of textures and tastes that suits you best.

By following these tips above, you’ll enjoy an incredibly delicious Vietnamese chicken salad that can wow your guests at your next occasion!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Vietnamese Chicken Salad recipe is a great addition to your cooking repertoire. It is easy to make, healthy, and delicious. The combination of savory fish sauce, tangy lime juice, and sweet sugar brings out the flavors of the roasted peanuts, fresh cilantro and mint leaves, and crunchy vegetables such as red bell pepper, carrot, and cucumber.

Moreover, the recipe is versatile enough to accommodate substitutions and variations depending on your taste and preference. You can switch up the protein by using shredded rotisserie chicken or chicken thighs instead of breasts. You can add rice noodles to make it heartier or omit the chili peppers if you prefer less heat. The possibilities are endless.

Lastly, this Vietnamese Chicken Salad recipe is perfect for any occasion, whether it be a lunch on a hot summer day or a potluck party with friends. It pairs well with other Vietnamese dishes such as chao ga (chicken congee) or bắp cải (cabbage salad) for a full-on feast. And the best part? It can be made ahead of time, stored in the fridge for up to three days, and reheated easily for a quick and satisfying meal.

So what are you waiting for? Try this super simple yet flavorful Vietnamese Chicken Salad recipe and impress your guests with an authentic Vietnamese-style dish!

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe

This is the perfect entree salad in my opinion! Once you make it the first time, you will want it again and again! It is very crisp, clean and fresh tasting. Although there are a lot of ingredients, it is very simple and foolproof to prepare. I always buy a precooked whole chicken at the market to use for this salad. Makes it perfect for a summer get-together!
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Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Appetizer/Salad
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 561.5 kcal


  • 4 chicken breast halves (can use any precooked chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon lee kum kee chili-garlic sauce or 1 tablespoon chili paste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 6 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 head savoy cabbage (shredded or chiffonade)
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 small fresh red hot chili peppers or 1 small green hot chili pepper, diced
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, julienned
  • 2 large carrots, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped roasted peanuts


  • Salt, pepper and roast chicken breasts at 400 until done.
  • Cool.
  • Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together chili paste, garlic, sugar, vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, and peanut oil until well combined.
  • Set aside.
  • Remove chicken meat from bones and slice each breast thinly on the bias.
  • In a medium bowl, toss together cabbage, mint, and cilantro.
  • Add 1/2 of the dressing and toss.
  • Place on a large platter or 4 individual platters.
  • Top cabbage mixture with onion, pepper, cucumber, carrots, bell pepper, and chicken.
  • Drizzle with the reserved dressing, garnish with peanuts and cilantro sprigs, and serve.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 308gCalories: 561.5kcalCarbohydrates: 28.3gProtein: 24.3gFat: 41.4gSaturated Fat: 7.4gCholesterol: 46.4mgSodium: 1695.7mgFiber: 4.9gSugar: 16.5g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Asian, Chicken, Meat, Poultry, Vietnamese
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