This delicious Vibrant Thai Salad is gluten-free and easily made vegan. It’s full of vibrant, fresh flavors, and makes such an easy meal!
A recipe that’s full of good-for-you ingredients, doesn’t take long to make, and tastes amazing is a recipe I want to make. This Vibrant Thai Salad checks all those boxes. It’s made with real ingredients and fresh veggies that are great for your body.
The flavor is so fresh and vibrant. To make it, you just have to chop up some veggies, blend your dressing ingredients, and BAM you’re done! The fact that it’s such a colorful and beautiful dish is an added bonus.
This salad is seriously so easy and incredibly tasty. If you need more healthy lunch ideas, this is a great recipe. You can make the salad and dressing ahead of time and store them separately to prevent the salad from getting soggy. When you’re ready to eat, all you have to do it put your salad in a bowl and top it off with the dressing. SO EASY!
Ingredients-What You Need
Napa cabbage is a pale green color that has milk flavor. It’s a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber which are both essential for digestive health.
Red cabbage has a beautiful color and fresh flavor. It’s an excellent source of potassium.
For some people, fresh cilantro tastes like soap. If that’s you, you can go ahead and substitute parsley or fresh basil. Both cilantro and parsley are fresh herbs that are rich in vitamin K, C, and A.
Their orange color adds to all the other vibrant colors in this Thai salad. They are full of vitamins and minerals.
Red Bell Pepper
Bell peppers are full of vitamin C as well as iron, potassium, and magnesium. Their mildly sweet taste combines great with the other flavors in this Thai salad.
Cashews are a great source of protein in this salad. They’re also rich in health fats and fiber.
Almond butter gives the dressing a delicious flavor and creamy texture. I use natural almond butter because the only ingredient is almonds. Some kinds that you buy at the grocery store that aren’t natural contain added sugars and unnecessary additives. If you’d rather use natural peanut butter, that will work as well.
Tamari has a similar flavor to soy sauce, but doesn’t contain any wheat. It’s a great gluten-free soy sauce option. You could also substitute fish sauce if you would like.
Fresh lime juice adds the perfect citrus flavor to the dressing.
Rice Wine Vinegar
Just a little bit of rice vinegar adds the perfect amount of acidity. It’s also a rich source of vitamins and minerals.
Honey adds just a tad of sweetness that blends so well with the other dressing ingredients.
Not only does ginger add great flavor, but it also has many health benefits. It’s full of medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties.
Garlic adds the best flavor to the dressing. It also has many medicinal properties and is highly nutritious.
Crushed Chili Peppers
Using crushed chili peppers gives the dressing a little kick. If you want a mild dressing, you can leave this out.
How to make Thai Salad:
- Place all of the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
- In a blender or food processor, blend all of the dressing ingredients until smooth and creamy.
- Drizzle the dressing on the salad ingredients. Toss to evenly coat the salad with the dressing. Enjoy!
Is this Thai Salad recipe a meal?
This Thai Salad is filling enough to be a meal, but it could also be enjoyed as a side dish. It would be great served with my vegan spring rolls. If you’re going to eat it as a meal, you could even add a grilled chicken breast to make it a Thai Chicken Salad which would give it more protein. Or serve it on the side with this Chicken and Broccoli recipe!
Can I add any extra veggies to this salad?
Absolutely. Any type of bell pepper, some green onions, or red onion would be delicious in this Thai salad.
Is red cabbage the same as purple cabbage?
Yes. They are both the same, some people just use different names.
What should I do with leftover dressing?
You can store any leftover dressing in an airtight container such as a mason jar or small bowl with a lid. It would be delicious on any salad!
How long will this salad last?
This salad will last for 3-5 days as long as you store the dressing separate. Just store the salad and dressing in separate airtight containers in the fridge.
Can I substitute the honey?
You can substitute the honey for any liquid sweetener such as maple syrup to make it vegan. Just note it will change the flavor.
Can I substitute ground ginger?
Yes, you can substitute 1 1/4 tsp. of ground ginger in place of fresh ginger. I prefer fresh ginger, but if you’re in a pinch ground will work.
What does it mean to cut the veggies into matchsticks?
Cutting veggies into matchsticks is similar to julienne. Matchsticks isn’t quite as thin as julienne. To cut your carrots and bell peppers into thin matchsticks, thinly slice them lengthwise. You can also use a veggie slicer if you have one.
Is this recipe spicy?
The crushed red pepper flakes in the dressing do give this salad a little kick. You can adjust it to your preferences. If you don’t love heat, leave them out. If you want it even spicier, add more.
Can white vinegar be substituted for the rice wine vinegar?
Rice vinegar is the best flavor profile for this dish, but if you don’t have any, white vinegar or apple cider vinegar is an acceptable substitute.
Can I use peanut butter instead of almond butter?
Yes. You can use natural peanut butter in place of almond butter if you would like. I prefer to use almond butter over peanut butter when possible as some studies show peanuts to be inflammatory, and I try to stick to an anti-inflammatory diet as much as possible.
More Salad Recipes to Try
If you love this recipe, here’s some more healthy salads for you to try!
- Quinoa Power Salad
- Lemony Broccoli Salad
- Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
- Lentil Salad
- Layered Mediterranean Salad
If you make this Vibrant Thai Salad or any of my other healthy recipes, please share it on Instagram and I’ll feature you! Also, if you try it, please leave a comment with a star rating below! Those star ratings are so helpful in helping my recipes get discovered. I appreciate you!Print