This Chicken Satay Salad - inspired by the classic appetizer - is full of amazing colors, flavors, and textures. A delicious main dish salad!
Right now, it’s all about my chicken satay salad recipe!
This is quite possibly my favourite chicken salad recipes - a delicious salad topped with flavorful marinated chicken, with spicy peanut dressing.
Thai peanut sauce is something I could do shots of, so of course I adapted my recipe for the dipping sauce into more of a dressing consistency for this recipe.
I love the bright colours and flavours in this healthy meal. It’s not necessarily a last minute option - there’s marinating involved.
It’s also not really a light dinner - this is a SUBSTANTIAL salad. You will not be left hungry after eating one of these!
Anyway, let’s get to it...
This satay chicken salad may seem involved, but uses simple ingredients that you’ll definitely be able to find any grocery store.
I tend to look at this in 4 parts - the base salad, the toppings, the Thai peanut sauce dressing, and the satay chicken.
Some notes for you:
I like to meal prep several days worth of salad base bowls on grocery day - some sort of fresh greens, along with some fairly neutral fresh vegetables - Usually shredded broccoli stems, carrot, green onion /spring onions, cucumber, and radish slices.
1 batch makes 10 salads, so we’ve got a few days worth of base salads to adorn all kinds of different ways. (They tend to last 6-7 days in the fridge.
It’s a pretty slick way to get a lot of fresh vegetables into our diet, and feels like SO much less work than making full salads individually.
See my Salad Meal Prep post for full details on how I do it.
Want to make this salad as a standalone thing?
You can use a base of salad greens, spring mix, baby spinach, and/or romaine lettuce. I’d add some cucumber and green onions in, for good measure.
I like to load this salad up with brightly coloured, crunchy vegetables.
As a minimum, I use:
Red Bell Peppers
Along with some fresh cilantro / coriander leaves, chopped peanuts and lime wedges for garnish.
Want to freestyle your salad a bit? Sliced water chestnuts, red onion, bean sprouts, and/or peas (snow peas or snap peas) are all great options to add!
The peanut satay sauce I use for this is a slightly thinned version of my satay dipping sauce.
Nothing weird here, but there are a fair amount of ingredients:
In terms of substitutions:
You can use calamansi juice (I do!) Or rice vinegar in place of the lime juice if needed / desired.
Can’t have peanuts? Use sunflower butter in place of peanut butter.
No ginger garlic paste? Use 2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger and 2 pressed or minced garlic cloves.
Satay Chicken Skewers
The star of the show, my gluten free chicken satay doesn’t require a ton of ingredients or handling - whisk up a marinade, let it all sit in the fridge for a while, skewer and grill.
Done and done!
I like to use boneless chicken breasts, but you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer - 2-3 per person tends to be about right, depending on the size of the thighs.
In terms of marinade, most of the ingredients are repeated from the dressing:
... with the addition of:
Same substitutions apply, as applicable.
I prefer Bamboo Skewers/ wood skewers, as you can serve them right on top of the salad.
If you use metal skewers, I recommend sliding the chicken off the skewers before topping the salad with it.
How to Make Chicken Satay Salad
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post. Here is the pictorial walk through, with some more detailed information where necessary.
Cut chicken breasts into relatively uniform, long strips, about 1.5″ across.
Place chicken strips in a large bowl for marinating (Ideally with a lid) - or in a plastic bag - set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients except salt and pepper, taste. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Pour marinade over chicken breast strips, gently turning to coat well. Cover with the lid (or plastic wrap), and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Measure all ingredients into a mini food processor, blitz until well combined.
Chill until serving. (If serving within the next hour or so, feel free to keep it at room temperature).
Soak wooden skewers in hot water for 30 minutes
Fluff the base salads, or divide salad greens between 2 bowls.
Arrange vegetables, peanuts, and cilantro over the base salads / salad greens. Set aside.
Preheat your grill, spray grill with nonstick spray or brush with a little oil.
Thread chicken pieces onto skewers.
Place chicken skewers over the prepared salads, garnish with lime wedges.
Note: If you don’t feel like grilling the thin strips of chicken, you can cook them in a large non-stick pan.
Just heat a little oil over medium heat, and cook until the chicken is cooked through. You can turn the stove up to medium-high heat if you’d like more browning.
More Gluten Free Main Dish Salad Recipes
Looking for more healthy salad recipes that are substantial enough to serve as a meal and gluten free? Look no further!
Buffalo Chicken Salad
Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad
Curried Chicken Vietnamese Noodle Salad
Grilled Halloumi & Peach Salad
Hazelnut Crusted Chicken Salad
Honey Ginger Shrimp Salad
Italian Sub Salad
Keto Taco Salad
Mediterranean Chicken Salad
Salad Meal Prep
Seafood Cobb Salad
Seared Tuna Salad
Sesame Ginger Chicken Salad
Shawarma Chicken Salad
Steak Salad with Creamy Wasabi Dressing
Teriyaki Chicken Salad
Thai Pesto Salmon Salad
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Chicken Satay Salad [With Homemade Peanut Dressing]
- Bamboo skewers
- 2 small Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- ¼ cup Coconut Milk
- 1 tablespoon Gluten-Free Soy Sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon Light Brown Sugar Packed
- 1 tablespoon Lime Juice
- 2 Garlic Cloves Pressed or minced
- 2 teaspoon Curry Powder
- Sriracha or red pepper flakes to taste
- ⅓ cup Creamy peanut butter
- ⅓ cup Canned coconut milk
- 2 tablespoon Cilantro
- 1 teaspoon Brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Gluten Free Soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon Lime juice or Calamansi juice
- 1 tablespoon Ginger garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon Fish sauce
- Sriracha or red pepper flakes to taste
- 2 Base Salads or 4 cups salad greens
- ½ cup Red Cabbage sliced
- 2 Green Onions thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup Carrots Julienne or grated
- ½ Red Bell Pepper
- ¼ cup Peanuts
- Lime wedges for garnish
- Cut chicken breasts into relatively uniform strips, about 1.5″ across. Place in a bowl for marinating (Ideally with a lid), set aside.
- Whisk together all marinade ingredients except salt and pepper, taste. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
- Pour marinade over chicken strips, gently turning to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours.
- Measure all ingredients into a mini food processor, blitz until well combined.
- Chill until serving.
- Soak wooden skewers in hot water for 30 minutes
- Fluff the base salads, or divide salad greens between 2 bowls.
- Arrange vegetables, peanuts, and cilantro over the base salads / salad greens. Set aside.
- Preheat your grill, spray grill with nonstick spray.
- Thread chicken pieces onto skewers.
- Grill chicken until cooked through- juices should run clear.
- Arrange chicken skewers over the prepared salads, garnish with lime wedges.
- Serve immediately, with peanut dressing