Thursday, May 30, 2013

Recipe for Leftover Chicken Asian Chopped Salad

Leftover Chicken Asian Chopped Salad
Next time you have leftover chicken, try this easy chopped salad with Asian flavors!

(Updated with new photos and step-by-step instructions, May 2013.) It's no secret that I'm a fan of those rotisserie chickens that jump into your basket at Costco, so I'm always coming up with ideas for using the leftover chicken, and this type of Leftover Chicken Asian Chopped Salad is something I'll often make when there's leftover chicken in the fridge. You can vary the ingredients depending on what you have, but for this version that I first posted in 2006, I used romaine lettuce, sliced mini-peppers, sliced sugar snap peas, chopped cilantro, cashews, and black sesame seeds. All those tasty ingredients get stirred together with a slightly sweet Asian dressing, for a delightful salad made from leftovers. This reminds me of the kind of Asian chopped salad you might get in a restaurant; hope you enjoy!

Stir together rice vinegar, soy sauce, sweetener of your choice, ground ginger root, sesame oil, and vegetable oil to make the dressing.  (In the photo I'm only making half the dressing to make one salad for myself, but the recipe is enough for 2 or 3 salads.)

Then chop up the leftover chicken and slice the mini-peppers and sugar snap peas.  Put the chicken into a small zip-loc bag with some of the dressing and let it marinate.  (Photographer fail, forgot to take a photo of that step!)

Also chop up the cashews and cilantro and measure the sesame seeds.  (Black sesame seeds look pretty here, but if you only have regular sesame seeds they will still add a nice flavor.)

Tear up the romaine lettuce with your hands and give it a good wash in the salad spinner.

Combine desired amount of lettuce, red pepper rings, sliced sugar snap peas, and cilantro and toss with the dressing.

Arrange the lettuce mixture in serving bowls and top with some of the marinated chicken.

Then sprinkle the salad with the cashews and black sesame seeds, and dig in.

And just for fun, here's the original photo of this salad from 2006, taken with my very first point-and-shoot digital camera!

Leftover Chicken Asian Chopped Salad
(Makes 2 servings, recipe created by Kalyn when she had leftover chicken from making Greek Lemon Chicken.)

Dressing Ingredients:
3 T rice vinegar (be sure not to get seasoned vinegar, which contains sugar)
1 T soy sauce
1 T Splenda, Stevia In the Raw Granulated Sweetener, or sugar (use Splenda or Stevia for South Beach Diet)
1 tsp. grated ginger root (I used ground ginger from a jar)
1 T sesame oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Salad Ingredients:
2 cups chopped leftover chicken
3 cups chopped romaine or iceberg lettuce
6-8 small sweet peppers, sliced (different colors if possible)
1/2 cup sugar snap peas, cut on diagonal into fourths
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
2 T toasted sesame seed (preferably black sesame seed if you have it)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cashews

Mix together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sweetener of your choice, and ginger root, and then whisk in the sesame oil and vegetable oil to make the dressing. Chop the chicken and place in Ziploc bag with about 3 T of the dressing mixture to marinate while you cut up the veggies.

Cut peppers into rings and slice sugar snap peas. Chop cilantro, if using. Tear apart the lettuce with your hands and wash and spin dry in salad spinner (or wash in the sink and dry with paper towels.)  In large bowl, combine lettuce, peppers, snow peas, and cilantro and toss with dressing. (You may not need all the dressing.)

Divide the lettuce mixture among 2 plates or salad bowls. Arrange chicken over salad and sprinkle with sesame seeds and cashews.

South Beach Suggestions:
Be sure to use Splenda or Stevia if you're making this for the South Beach Diet. Everything in this salad is a perfect low-glycemic ingredient, so this is great for any phase of the South Beach Diet.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

Recipe for Leftover Chicken Asian Chopped Salad found on

More Tasty Salads to Make with Leftover Chicken:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing ~ FoodieCrush
Chicken Salad with Tarragon and Peas ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Lemon Basil Chicken Salad ~ The Pioneer Woman Cooks
My Favorite Leftover Chicken Salad with Cafe Rio Dressing ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Adobo Chicken Salad ~ Picky Palate
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. Oh, the dish is beautiful. I think is so important to eat colorful food, not only because of the balancing and inviting colors factor, but because of the different nutrients and antioxidant properties they carry.

  2. Already done my bit for BoB...

    Isn't leftover chicken sooo tasty the next day? My Fiance's specialty is to turn leftover chicken that i've roasted to a stirfry the next day.

    A little tip - try adding a tsp of finely chopped ginger...

  3. Hey Kalyn,

    I bragged on you to my readers over at my "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog today and encouraged them to vote for Kalyn's Kitchen in the Best of the Blogs contest.

    But I couldn't help but notice they also had a Weight Loss/Fitness category and a little bit miffed that mine wasn't even considered. :( Could we possibly start a write-in campaign for "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb?" Wouldn't that be a hoot?!

    THANKS again for all you do for the low-carb community, Kalyn. You are a top-notch professional in my book and I am grateful that I can call you my friend. Take care!

    Jimmy Moore, author of "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb"

  4. I liked your new Second Helpings idea! Brilliant! So me .. since I eat for one and cook for 4! Will try to submit lily bulbs for Weekend Herb Blogging but if it is late, can you use that for next week instead?

  5. All you guys are making me blush from all the praise. Jimmy, I could not believe the things you wrote about me on your site. You're so kind. It is really too bad one of your readers didn't notice the Best of Blogs nominations and nominate you.

  6. I voted, Kalyn!

    On my blog, you mentioned something about the "splenda police." Meaning people that don't like splenda? And why would that be?

    I'm going to do a round-up of nut-containing recipes in a couple of days and include this one and another I found on your site.


  7. Thanks Lisa. There are some people who consider Splenda to be harmful, although the scientific research says it is not. I personally feel fine about it, for one thing it is made from natural sugar, and for another thing, I don't use it in large amounts.

  8. Lisa, forgot to say, THANKS for voting for me!!

  9. Honestly, sometimes the thing I love best about these updated posts is seeing the old photos! You have come so far in your photography. Of course, I'm always glad to be reminded of recipes posted years ago. Like you, I'm a fan of store-bought rotisserie chicken, and you can never have too many great recipes to use it.

  10. Lydia, I like seeing those old photos best when they're at the bottom of the post with a new photo at the top!

  11. This might be the best salad I ever ate. The flavors and texture were great. I didn't miss the fried wontons you usually get in the restaurant version because of the crunch from the cashews. This salad definitely goes on my list of favorite Kalyn's Kitchen recipes.

  12. Amy I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

  13. I follow you on Pinterest, don't follow South Beach but find your recipes easily adaptable to other meal plans. Have you ever tried this with poppy seeds instead of black sesame? Just wondering . . .

  14. Rebecca, so glad you're enjoying the recipes! And I think poppy seeds would be awesome in this; great idea!


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