Gluten Free, Nut Free Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on July 27, 2016

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When I lived in West Hollywood years ago, about twice a week (or more!) I would grab Chinese Chicken Salad from this little grocery store down the street. I craved it. Little did I know it was damaging my insides from the gluten in the dressing and crispy chow mein noodles and probably from the peanuts, which are often cross contaminated.

Recently, that old craving cropped up and I decided to try and recreate that salad from memory. I usually can’t recall where I put my sneakers or car keys 10 minutes ago, but I decided to try anyway.

I also decided to make the salad nut-free, so I substituted SunButter for the peanut butter in the dressing and skipped the addition of peanuts on the top. I also skipped the chow mein noodles, but still wanted that little bit of salty crunch, so I crushed up a few gluten free pretzels and guess what? It did the trick! Not exactly classic Chinese, but then Chinese Chicken Salad is probably not classic Chinese anyway!

The dressing for this salad is the way I like it, a little on the tart side. If you want more sweetness, just add a little more honey.


Gluten Free, Nut Free Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe


¼ cup Creamy SunButter
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons gluten free tamari
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon honey
Juice of 1 lime
½ cup grapeseed oil
Kosher or fine sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded
½ head Napa cabbage, shredded (about 3 cups)
1 cup shredded carrots
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
4 green onions, sliced
¼ cup gluten free pretzels, crushed


In a small bowl, whisk together the SunButter, vinegar, tamari, Sriracha, honey, and lime juice. Whisk in the oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a large salad bowl, combine the chicken, cabbage, carrots, cilantro, and green onions. Add about half the dressing and toss to coat. Serve the rest of the dressing on the side, if desired.

Top the salad with the crushed pretzels and serve.


A gluten free recipe that serves 4 to 6

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Categories:    Salads & Dressings

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Linda July 30, 2016 at 9:30 am

Sounds terrific! Thanks Carol!


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