It’s crunchy, it’s sweet, it’s savory, it’s my absolute favorite Thai-inspired chicken quinoa salad loaded with a rainbow of fresh produce and paired with a creamy peanut dressing.
I mean, just look at those colors! I originally published this salad jar recipe back in 2018 and decided it (like my other salad jars) also needed a little refresh. This beautiful Thai-inspired chicken salad truly makes the most perfect, satisfying lunch that you can even enjoy on the go. That’s what I love about these salad jar recipes — they’re incredibly easy to prep, store in jars, and eat during busy weeks.
Leftover chicken works perfectly well in this recipe, but I included an amazing curry tahini marinade in case you want to cook some chicken up! I also shared tons of easy ways to customize this salad and truly make it your own. You’re going to LOVE this one.
The key to making a salad in a jar
I love making and storing salads in jars because they’re such an easy, fun way to meal prep! The key to a perfect mason jar salad is to layer the ingredients in a way that they don’t get soggy. You’ll always want to put the dressing at the bottom, followed by crunchy veggies, protein, and greens at the top. Get all of my mason jar salad tips & recipes here!
For example, in this Thai-inspired chicken salad in a jar, you’ll want to keep that romaine crisp and nuts crunchy by adding them last!
Ingredients in this Thai-inspired chicken salad
This Thai-inspired chicken quinoa salad is packed with protein, fruit and veggies to ensure that you hit almost every food group. It’s sweet, savory and comes with an addicting peanut dressing. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- For the dressing: we’re using this creamy, super flavorful peanut dressing that pairs perfectly with all of the salad ingredients. Feel free to use your fav store-bought peanut dressing if you’d like.
- Chicken: you’ll need cooked, diced or shredded chicken breast. Notes on this below!
- Quinoa: you’ll get another great boost of protein from quinoa! Learn how to cook the best fluffy quinoa here.
- Fruits & veggies: this Thai-inspired chicken quinoa salad is loaded with red bell pepper, green onion, carrots, sweet mango, fresh cilantro, and romaine lettuce.
- Nuts: I love adding roasted cashews or honey roasted peanuts for crunch!
Ways to add chicken to this salad
This Thai-inspired chicken quinoa salad is a great way to use up leftover chicken or even rotisserie chicken. If you’d like to cook chicken from scratch we recommend:
- Marinating the chicken in this delicious curry tahini marinade
- Grilling or baking it
- Then dicing it up or shredding it using one of these techniques!
Simple swaps in this Thai-inspired chicken quinoa salad
Just like tons of my salad recipes, this one is super easy to customize to your taste preferences! Here’s what I recommend for swaps and add-ins:
- For the dressing: you can also use extra curry tahini marinade as the dressing or this Sesame Ginger Dressing if you’re not a fan of peanut dressing.
- To make vegetarian: simply omit the chicken and 1 cup of chickpeas or 1 cup of cooked, cubed tofu. Learn how to grill tofu here!
- To make nut free: use one of the other suggested dressings above and simply omit the nuts.
- Try a new grain: I love the earthy, nutty flavor of quinoa, but you could also add orzo, barley, or farro.
- Choose your produce: feel free to use shredded cabbage or even shredded brussels sprouts in place of the romaine, or pineapple in place of the mango!
How to make this Thai-inspired chicken salad in a jar
- Prep the dressing. Start by making the peanut dressing, either of the other two suggested dressings or choosing your fav store-bought peanut dressing.
- Cook the quinoa. If you don’t already have cooked quinoa, learn how to cook perfect quinoa here and then set it aside.
- Chop your produce. Chop and dice all of your veggies and fruits as directed so that they’re bite-sized.
- Layer the mason jar. Add all of the ingredients to your mason jar in the following order: dressing, bell pepper, green onion, shredded carrots, cooked quinoa, cilantro, mango, chicken breast, romaine, and cashews.
- Store, then serve. Store your mason jar salad in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it, then enjoy!
Storing & serving tips
Store the Thai-inspired chicken salad in a 16 ounce mason jar or meal prep container for up to 2-3 days. Because it’s tricky to create the layers in a meal prep container, I recommend storing the dressing separately and adding it right before serving. Simply pour the salad out from the jar into a bowl or onto a plate to enjoy it, or mix it right in your meal prep container.
More meal prep salad recipes we love
- Balsamic Chicken Berry Salad in a Jar
- Southwest Chicken Salad in a Jar
- Greek Chicken Salad in a Jar
- Cashew Crunch Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Roasted Carrot Cauliflower Quinoa Salad with Sunshine Dressing
Get all of my mason jar salad recipes here, and the rest of my salad recipes here!
I hope you love this easy Thai chicken salad. If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!
Thai-Inspired Chicken Quinoa Salad in a Jar
Incredible Thai-inspired chicken quinoa salad paired with a sweet & savory peanut dressing! This flavorful Thai-inspired chicken salad is packed with fresh mango, crunchy veggies, cashews, and curry marinated chicken for a delicious meal prep lunch.
- 2 tablespoons peanut dressing*
- ¼ cup diced red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons sliced green onion
- 1 large carrot, shredded or cut into matchsticks
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- 2 tablespoons diced cilantro
- ⅓ cup diced mango
- 1 cup diced or shredded grilled or baked chicken breast* (see notes for the perfect marinade)
- 1-2 cups chopped romaine
- 1/4 cup roasted cashew halves or honey roasted peanuts
Make the mason jar salad by adding the ingredients to a 16 ounce mason jar (or equivalent) in the following order: dressing, bell pepper, green onion, shredded carrots, cooked quinoa, cilantro, mango, chicken breast, romaine, cashews. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days until you’re ready to eat. When ready to eat, simply pour ingredients into a bowl or onto a plate and enjoy! Feel free to double the recipe to make 2 mason jar salads.
To make vegetarian: simply omit the chicken and add 1 cup of chickpeas or 1 cup of cooked, cubed tofu. Learn how to grill tofu here!
*Feel free to use a store-bought peanut dressing if you’d like.
**We recommend marinating your chicken in this curry tahini marinade before baking or grilling it.
This post was originally published on May 14, 2018, and republished on August 10, 2022.
Thanks so much for all of these salad recipes. They’ve all been delicious and I can’t wait to make this one. Loved this series!
I’m so happy to hear that Kim! Plenty more salads to come all summer 🙂
That looks very tasty.
It’s delicious! 🙂
YUM! I like the addition of mangoes!
Lil’ sweet to go with the savory!
So excited about that peanut dressing!! 🙂
First time EVER that my husband didn’t complain about quinoa!! Not to mention, entrée salads are not necessarily his thing – and he rave about this dinner more than once! It’s so pretty too!! Great recipe! Loving the salad dressings AND the marinade for the chicken in these recipes – I really think it adds so much!!
Amazing!! So happy to hear that 🙂 And yes the marinades are a game-changer for flavor!
I love being able to throw a salad in a large mason jar or prep ahead for the days ahead. And PEANUT SAUCE is everything to help me eat my vegetables!
YES it’s the best!!
Cashews, quinoa, and peanut sauce are the BEST additions in a salad. I would love to make this recipe with grilled tofu or tempeh. Looks like the perfect spring or summer lunch!
This would be delicious with grilled tofu or tempeh!
Just made it and I’m so glad I didn’t omit the mango. It is a delicious salad. I didn’t feel like cooking and marinating chicken, so I opened a bag of precooked shrimp. I put the shrimp in a ziplock bag and then put in the marinade ingredients. Thanks for the recipe.
That sounds delicious! So happy you enjoyed!
this salad is AMAZING!! It is filling and very satisfying.
I’m glad you liked it!! Agree – perfect lunch 🙂
What size do you mean (large mason jar) please say in cups of ounces…and do you pack them full to the top or ok to leave some air?
I usually use a 32oz mason jar – check the full instructions for those details 🙂 I also pack them pretty full (like in the photos) but it’s okay to leave a bit of air!
Thanks for the recipe! What curry powder do you use? It says yellow curry powder. Can I know the brand.
You bet! I typically use McCormick curry powder.
Thank you! Will try this soon.
I just discovered this while looking for a fresh salad and holy cow is it amazing! I might make this everyday forever! I do not have peanut butter, so i used almond butter and it’s seriously delicious! Thank you for creating!
Perfect! So happy you found this one!
This salad is so good, especially the dressing. I will definitely be making this again!
Glad you enjoyed!
My husband and I can’t say enough about how incredible this was! Loved the recommendation of tofu so I used that and we thought it fit perfect! So many wonderful elements to this salad, you can’t not like it! Will be on the top of our favorites list!
Amazing! So happy to hear that!
All the family adore this receipe. I make in a bowl as do not have jars .
Super easy super quick.
So happy to hear that!
This one missed the mark for me. It had some Thai elements, sure. We loved the veg, mango, chicken marinade, and dressing. The quinoa was fine. But, the romaine didn’t fit. Lot’s of great elements. I’d recommend calling it “Thai-inspired.”
Sorry you didn’t love it! And yes, thanks for the note about the name–we’ll do that!
Stumbled upon this recipe and OMG DID IT HIT THE SPOT! Can’t stop eating it. best salad. Dug up all your old quinoa salads and I’m here for them.
Yay!!! I’m so happy you loved it! So excited for you to try more 🙂
Absolutely delish and perfect for meal prep! Made the peanut dressing using coconut aminos and omitted honey and it took the salad it over the top! Very filling. 5/5