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This Whole30 + paleo Chinese chicken salad is packed with flavor, thanks to a delicious sesame-ginger dressing, crunchy veggies, mandarin oranges, and almonds. It comes together super quickly and is a light but filling dinner or entree salad the whole fam will enjoy.

Overhead angle of part of a white bowl containing Chinese chicken salad

What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • It’s a super healthy, restaurant-quality Whole30 + paleo chicken salad that’s way more interesting than your average bowl of lettuce and dressing.
  • It’s light and refreshing, but also super filling. You won’t feel heavy and blah after eating, and you’ll be satisfied until your next meal!
  • It’s so easy to make. While I always recommend fresh ingredients for the best flavor and quality, you can use rotisserie chicken and prepackaged shredded cabbage & carrots to cut way down on your prep time.

Key Ingredients

Almonds – Most Chinese chicken salad variations use chow mein (fried noodles) for a little crunch, but those are a Whole30 no-no. Instead, we’re using almond slivers for a similar effect.

Shredded Cabbage – You can use prepackaged shredded cabbage if you want, but shredding your own is super easy, and that way you know you’ve got the freshest ingredients! Check out our post highlighting 3 Different Ways to Shred Cabbage.

How To Make It

The full recipe & ingredients list are below, but here you’ll find a quick overview for making this recipe perfectly, along with useful tips and info!

Constructing this salad literally could not be easier. First, mix all your salad ingredients together. Then, mix all of your dressing ingredients together. And last, mix everything together – then serve and enjoy!

The most time consuming part of this salad is prepping the ingredients – but even that really isn’t too bad!

If you’re following a Whole30 diet, be sure all of your Chinese chicken salad ingredients are compliant!

Ingredients for Whole30 Chinese chicken salad

Chef’s Tips

  • Toast your almonds first to make them crunchier and bring out more of their nutty flavor. If you don’t have time or want a more subtle flavor, you can use raw almond slices.
  • If you prefer a really crunchy paleo Chinese chicken salad, add the almonds and dressing literally right before you eat. When the salad mix sits in the dressing, it gets kind of soggy.
  • Looking for a make ahead option? Just store the dressing separately! Keep it in an airtight container and pour a little over your salad when it’s time to eat. Store the salad mix in an airtight container, too, and you can refrigerate it up to 5 days without losing any of the texture.
  • You can absolutely add more veggies to your paleo chicken salad. Kale and baby spinach make great additions, or even alternatives to the lettuce.
Chinese chicken salad in a large white bowl

More Delicious Whole30 & Paleo Recipes

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik
4.80 from 5 votes

Chinese Chicken Salad (Whole30, Paleo)

Prep 10 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
This Chinese chicken salad is packed with flavor, thanks to a delicious sesame-ginger dressing, crunchy veggies, mandarin oranges, and almonds. Did we mention it’s Whole30 and paleo?! It comes together super quickly and is a light but filling dinner or entree salad the whole fam will enjoy.
4 servings


  • 4 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded chicken see Notes
  • ¾ cup jarred mandarin oranges drained
  • ½ cup shredded carrot
  • cup sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds raw or toasted

For the Dressing


  • In large bowl, toss together lettuce, cabbage, chicken, mandarin oranges, carrots, green onions, and almonds.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar, coconut aminos, sesame oil, olive oil, garlic, ginger, and salt.
  • Drizzle dressing over salad. Toss to combine, then serve.
  • Rice Wine Vinegar: Make sure you’re not using a “seasoned” rice wine vinegar. Those almost always include sugar, which means they’re not Whole30 compliant.
  • Shredded Chicken: Whether you cook your own chicken or use a precooked rotisserie chicken, the methods outlined in our Instant Pot Shredded Chicken post are the easiest ways to shred your chicken.
Recipe yields approximately 4 servings total. Nutritional information shown applies to 1 serving, approximately 1/4 of the entire recipe. Macros will vary slightly depending on the specific brands of ingredients used.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1servingCalories: 282calProtein: 21gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 425mgPotassium: 540mgTotal Carbs: 16gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gNet Carbs: 12gVitamin A: 4108IUVitamin C: 42mgCalcium: 75mgIron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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  1. A little bit of prep work, but once it’s done…it’s done! Very tasty snd satisfying. And it made so much!5 stars

    1. Avatar Jessica | 40 Aprons Team says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Melissa!

  2. This was great! Very authentic to a “Chinese chicken salad” you’d get at a fast food joint. I swapped coleslaw mix for the cabbage and carrots, so it made prep time super quick! Will definitely be making again.5 stars

    1. Avatar Jessica | 40 Aprons Team says:

      So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing, Amanda 😊

  3. My pleasure! Stay safe!5 stars

  4. This was my 1st time making Asian/Chinese salad. It was a big hit! I already had an Asian Sesame Ginger dressing on hand, so we used that. Tastes so yummy! I used canned chicken (I chopped the meat a bit).

    Thank you for this healthy, yummy recipe!4 stars

    1. Megan | 40 Aprons Team Megan | 40 Aprons Team says:

      So glad you loved it, Arianne! Thanks for the review!

  5. Adding this to the recipe rotation!!! Very good! Enjoyed by the entire family!5 stars

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