Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Red Cabbage and Chicken Asian Salad Recipe with Tangy Cilantro Dressing (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

I'm crazy about this deliciously healthy Red Cabbage and Chicken Asian Salad Recipe with Tangy Cilantro Dressing.

Red Cabbage and Chicken Asian Salad Recipe with Tangy Cilantro Dressing (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free) found on

I'm a fan of all types of cruciferous vegetables, but the one cruciferous vegetable I almost always have in my crisper is cabbage, and I especially love sweet red cabbage in salad.  So back in 2008 when I spotted a recipe in Cooking New American with red cabbage, chicken, and an Asian dressing with peanut butter and cilantro, of course I wanted to try it.  My version of this Red Cabbage and Chicken Asian Salad Recipe with Tangy Cilantro Dressing has turned out to be one of my favorite salads with red cabbage, and I'd happily eat this any time of year.

Red Cabbage and Chicken Asian Salad Recipe with Tangy Cilantro Dressing (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free) found on KalynsKitchen.comIn the original post I proved how much I loved the salad with this photo, and when I made this recently and decided to update it with better photos, it disappeared just as quickly.   There are any number of wonderful variations to this salad that would work.  If you're not a cilantro fan, I'd use some thinly sliced green onion in the dressing.  I love to make this with leftover rotisserie chicken, but if you don't eat meat, I think you could use all veggies for this and make a delicious salad. The dressing is a slightly-sweetened tangy combination of ginger, garlic, cilantro, peanut butter, lemon juice, peanut oil, and soy sauce. Just imagine what would taste good with that and let your imagination go.

Red Cabbage and Chicken Asian Salad Recipe with Tangy Cilantro Dressing (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free) found on
Slice up several cups of red cabbage. (If you have one, I'd use a Mandoline Slicerto get thin slices of cabbage.)  Slice the green onions and sugar snap peas (or use a different vegetable if you prefer.)  Chop up a few cups of cooked chicken.  Buzz together ginger, garlic, chopped cilantro (or green onion), peanut butter, lemon juice, soy sauce (use Gluten-Free Soy Saucefor gluten-free), hot water, and sweetener of your choice to make the dressing.

Red Cabbage and Chicken Asian Salad Recipe with Tangy Cilantro Dressing (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free) found on
Toss the chicken pieces with part of the dressing, until all the chicken is well-coated with dressing.  Add the red cabbage, sugar snap peas, and sliced green onions and toss, adding more dressing if desired.  Then toast the almonds and sprinkle over the finished salad and enjoy!

Red Cabbage and Chicken Asian Salad Recipe with Tangy Cilantro Dressing (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free) found on
And just for fun, here's the original close-up of this salad from back in 2008!

Red Cabbage and Chicken Asian Salad Recipe with Tangy Cilantro Dressing (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free) found on
Red Cabbage and Chicken Asian Salad with Tangy Cilantro Dressing
(Makes 3-4 servings, recipe adapted from Cooking New American.

Salad Ingredients:
(You can use other vegetables or vary the proportions of different ingredients based on what you have.)
2 - 3 cups very thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cup diagonally sliced sugar snap peas (carrots or red bell peppers would also be good, or use a combination of veggies)
1/3 cup diagonally sliced green onions (scallions)
2 cups diced cooked chicken (leftover rotisserie chicken is great for this salad)

Dressing Ingredients:
1/2 tsp. ginger puree or minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. garlic puree or minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (or use sliced green onion if you're not a cilantro fan)
3 T peanut butter (or more, use natural low-sugar peanut butter, or pick the peanut butter with the least amount of sugar)
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 T peanut oil
3 T soy sauce (low sodium is ok; use Gluten-Free Soy Saucefor gluten-free)
1 T very hot water
1 T sweetener of your choice (Stevia In the Raw Granulated Sweetener, Splenda, sugar, or Agave Nectar)

Garnish Ingredients:
2-3 T finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds or peanuts

Remove outer leaves from cabbage, cut out core, and cut into thin slices not more than 1/4 inch thick; use a Mandoline Slicer to cut the cabbage if you have one.  Cut sugar snap peas (or other vegetables) into thin diagonal slices or matchstick pieces and thinly slice green onions.  Chop chicken into pieces about 1 inch square.

Put ginger, garlic, cilantro (or sliced green onion), peanut butter, lemon juice, peanut oil, soy sauce, hot water, and sweetener of your choice in food processor. Pulse about one minute, until ingredients are well combined. Taste to see if you want more peanut butter. (I think this could be done in a blender if you don't have a food processor.)

Put the chopped chicken into a large salad bowl with about half the dressing, then toss until all the chicken is coated with dressing.  Add the cabbage, sugar snap peas, and sliced green onions and toss, adding more dressing as desired.  Divide salad into individual serving bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and almonds or peanuts.

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South Beach/Low-Carb Suggestions:
For South Beach Diet use low-sugar peanut butter for the dressing. (Peanut butter labeled "natural" is usually low in sugar.) This salad is perfect for Phase One, especially if you use Stevia In the Raw Granulated Sweetener or another approved sweetener to sweeten the dressing.  Even made with sugar or Agave Nectar, this still a very low-carb salad because the amount of sugar per serving is really small.

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. 

More Yummy Salads with Cilantro:
(Recipes from other bloggers may or may not be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Vegan Tomato Salad with Cucumber, Avocado, Cilantro, and Lime ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Cucumber Salad with Fresh Pineapple and Cilantro ~ Reluctant Entertainer

Cucumber Avocado Salad with Tuna, Cilantro, and Lime ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Chicken Curry Salad ~ Simply Recipes

Chicken and Avocado Salad with Lime and Cilantro ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Southwestern Black Bean Salad ~ Skinnytaste

(I find these recipes from other blogs from Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosures:
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!

This recipe was originally posted for Weekend Herb Blogging #115, hosted by Vani from Batasari and was also featured for Phase One Fridays where  I highlight Phase One recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites.
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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. Yeah, I think this would be great with just veggies!! The dressing looks amazing...all my favorite flavors and I love a good crunch in my salad:)

  2. Wonderful colours, Kalyn! I think I'll try a red cabbage coleslaw soon :)

  3. Kalyn, that looks really good! How can it be that I haven't heard of this cookbook?? From Fine Cooking, I love Fine Cooking! Now, I'll have to go search for it.

  4. Pam, this is a pretty old cookbook, published in the 1990's sometime. I got it really cheap because of that and I've found a lot of good recipes in there.

  5. I am really getting hooked on salads with peanut butter dressings. And cabbage with peanut butter! OK, anything with peanut butter!

  6. ha! i love the picture of the empty bowl. that's when you know you made a good dish!!!

  7. Yum! I love how you put it..."going steady lately with cruciferous vegetables". The combination of dressing ingredients for the peanut sauce is one of my faves. I usually add some pea sprouts or mung bean sprouts and a little green onion. Great with baked/seasoned tofu for a veg version as well. Yay cruciferous veg!

  8. What a colourful salad! It looks so crunchy and the dressing sounds tasty.

  9. You´ve got me! I have just a red cabbage in my kitchen, and so this is what I´m trying at noon!!
    Thanks Kalyn, wonderful pictures, and I dare say, my bowl will be as empty as yours!! :)

  10. Yep, this has my name all over it! As much as I love my greens, sometimes I crave the crunch of cabbage.

  11. Kalyn, the sald looks yummy. I like the dressing....should try it sometime :-)

  12. I would love to try this. The color is so wonderful

  13. hi
    I read your blog quite often and i am from India, i usually read blogs to see if i can find a new fusion recipe which i can prepare with the ingredients available to me and give it an Indian touch.
    I feel this is just the right recipe for me to try and will surely do so..
    can i use roasted and finely ground peanuts instead of peanut butter.
    We do not have snow peas so can i use french beans.
    pls help me out and thanks for the wonderful blog that you have.

  14. Mahek, how fun to hear that this recipe is going to get an Indian touch! I think green beans would be great (or use carrot which the original recipe called for.) Peanut butter is simply ground peanuts, but they are ground so long the oil is released. You may need to add a bit of oil to the ground peanuts if it's not sticky, although I bet in this dressing it might work just fine. Hope you like it!

  15. For a long time, your chicken salad with cashews and the buttermilk dressing has been my favorite, but this recipe has beat it out for top honors! My husband and I make this at least once a month, and it is wonderful both the first night and as leftovers ... thanks for sharing another wonderful recipe that has become a family favorite in our house!

  16. Kit, thanks for the feedback. So happy to hear you're enjoying the salad.

  17. Kalyn, this is such a great salad! I had it last night and it was even better than I expected it to be! And it's absolutely amazing for breakfast this morning! Thanks for the recipe! :)

  18. Emma, so glad you liked it. Thanks for the reminder, I need to make this myself again.

  19. O.K., I had this salad for lunch and I couldn't believe how tasty and scrumptious it was. Definitly restaurant quality! Kalyn, I am sure I am not the first person to ask this, but have you ever considered writing a cookbook? A cookbook with all the recipes from the blog and yor favorite picks and recommendations for dishes that go together would be one that I would snatch in a heart beat.

  20. Elena, so glad you enjoyed it.

    Truly I am not really interested in writing a cookbook. It's a ton of work, and lots of my recipes are adapted from other sources. I'm not saying never, but it's highly doubtful. Thanks for the vote of confidence though!

  21. Just wanted to say thank you, Kalyn - this has become one of my favorite salads. I made it again last night, ate some for dinner, and am really looking forward to lunch.
    It's so versatile, both on the salad ingredients and the dressing - add more peanut butter to make it thicker and more like a dip. Add a little more water/juice/soy sauce to have a more dressing-y consistency.
    *SO* good I could - alright, I'm just gonna be honest: I HAVE eaten it by the spoonful all by itself. 8-)

  22. Hi there! I love this too, and haven't made it for a long time. (Hmmm, it is phase one!)

  23. I love salads like this because one can add one's favorite ingredients to it (like snap beans and carrots). And it makes a healthy and hearty meal. But wowee that dressing sounds out of this world!

  24. Beautiful, healthy, irresistible and so colorful! a perfect combination of flavors. I love salads of that kind...



  25. Thanks Jamie and Rosa. I think I could eat this once a week and not get tired of it!

  26. You definitely have me with this one! *swoon*

    Thank you for taking the time and effort to share your fabulous recipes,

  27. Cabbage is one of those foods I love raw, but don't like as much when it's cooked. And I think I just might like this cilantro dressing, even though cilantro isn't usually my thing. The whole salad looks so tempting!

  28. I can see why you cleaned your bowl. These flavors sound wonderful!

  29. Just made the dressing and the salad will be for my dinner, while I feed the boys hot dogs. ;) Can't wait!

  30. Just made this and I loved it! The flavors are strong, but in a good way. I loved the crunch of the purple cabbage, and I used chopped red pepper instead of snap peas. I have some leftover so I'm hoping it stores ok with the salad dressing already on it.... we'll see! I made a chicken in my crock pot at the beginning of the week and used the chicken in this.

  31. Katharine, I really like the idea of using red pepper in this!

  32. What a wonderful salad, Kalyn! I can never resist anything with peanut sauce.

    1. Thanks Dara! Same here; I could eat this dressing on anything!

  33. Snap peas and cilantro and red cabbage....all my favorite ingredients....and with your salad they are exceptional. Love this recipe, Kalyn.

    1. Thanks Wanda. I love all these flavors too.


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