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Packed full of flavor this Sesame Chicken Salad mixes of crisp vegetables, smoky grilled chicken, crunchy noodles and fresh herbs with sesame.
Some version of this crunchy, sweet salad is on rotation at my house all year long. In the summer, I prep big batches for camping and potlucks and in the fall and winter it’s the perfect make ahead lunch that stays fresh for days.
I recently noticed the NEW P.F. Chang’s® Home Menu Sauces at Walmart I had to try the sesame variety to see if it could my quick sesame chicken salad on the table even faster.
It’s hard to find a sesame dressing that has good flavor without being overly sweet, salty or loaded with complicated ingredients, so I make my own. It takes a little effort to remember the right mix of ingredients, measure whisk and get the flavor just right. Actually, whisking up the homemade sauce for this quick chicken salad is usually what takes the most time. But, with a sauce as good as P.F. Chang’s® you can skip that step completely! Available exclusively at Walmart in the Asian food aisle in a variety of flavors.
To add BIG flavor fast I use P.F. Chang’s® sesame sauce as a marinade on the chicken before grilling to give it a nice caramelized flavor. And again as a grilling sauce to give a fresh burst of sesame flavor once it was done. Then, by simply whisking oil into the same sauce it becomes a delicious sesame salad dressing.
Light up the grill, chop the veggies and you’re almost done!
My tip for using carrots in slaws and other salads is rather than cutting them with a knife, shred em up with a box grater. It takes only seconds. Who has time to julienne or cut carrots into perfect tiny matchsticks? Not this mama! Also, if you don’t want to grill, you can cut even more time off this recipe by using leftover shredded or store bought rotisserie chicken. Simply coat the chicken with sesame sauce before adding. It won’t have the smoky grilled flavor but will be delish (and fast!)
Aside from being fast and flavorful this salad is my favorite because it stays fresh and crisp for daaaayyysss. By storing the chopped veg separate from the dressing, chicken and noodles a fresh lunch is only a minute away.
I always store this sesame chicken salad separately and take a big batch camping. That way I can live off it for a week while the kids eat pancakes, hot dogs and pb & j sammies.
And, like most my recipes, it’s so versatile! Savoy cabbage has a nice crinkly texture but green cabbage or napa cabbage are both just as delicious! Or, use kale, lettuce or chard. Throw some bean sprouts, bell pepper or celery in the mix. Add spicy red pepper flakes or a drizzle of hot sauce. Try fried shallots instead of scallions. Add roasted almonds or cashews for crunch instead of chow mein noodles. Use any mix of fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, mint or parsley. There really are a million different chinese chicken salad recipes with all sorts of ingredients. The combination of carrots, cabbage, herbs, chicken and crunchy noodles is just what I turn to most.
This post was created in partnership with P.F. Chang’s® and ConAgra Foods- Visit their Social Hub for more grilling made simple ideas. Thank you for supporting the brands that support me.
- 1 bottle toasted sesame dressing 14 ounces
- 4 medium chicken breasts boneless, skinless
- 1/4 head red cabbage about 2 cups sliced
- 1/2 head savoy cabbage about 4 cups sliced
- 2 medium carrots 1 cup grated
- 1 small bunch scallions sliced
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro about 1/2 cup chopped
- 4 large fresh basil leaves about 1/4 cup chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup crispy chow mein noodles
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Pour sesame dressing in large plastic storage bag, reserving 1/2 cup for later. Add chicken breasts, cover with sauce, seal and marinate at least 1 hour up to overnight.
- Start grill or preheat indoor grill pan. Grill chicken until thoroughly cooked and opaque throughout, about 10 minutes per side.
- Let grilled chicken cool at least 5 minutes before chopping.
- Add chopped chicken to a large bowl and coat with 1/4 cup of the reserved sesame sauce and sesame seeds.
- Whisk olive oil into remaining sesame sauce to make the dressing.
- Mix sliced cabbage, carrots, scallions, and herbs together. Then, top with chicken, dressing and chow mein noodles before serving.
What tricks do you have for getting an already easy meal on the table even faster? Leave a comment and let me know!