Ditch the deli counter and whip up a homemade recipe for Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing.

A white plate containing Chinese Chicken Salad ingredients

That big bowl of flavor and crunch up there is my dinner at least once a week. Fast, fresh and figure-friendly, my mom’s recipe for Chinese Chicken Salad has become my go-to alternative to all things DoorDash, Uber Eats and GrubHub.

Small glass bowls containing lettuce, red cabbage, chicken, scallions and almonds

This colorful mix features a plethora of tastes and textures, from shredded purple cabbage and tender chicken to crunchy almonds, crisp cucumber batons, and yes, those classic Mandarin oranges. All that goodness is tossed in a homemade sesame dressing that’s sweet, tangy and a touch sour.

A large glass bowl containing chopped lettuce, cucumbers, scallions and chicken

This Chinese Chicken Salad is ideal for meal prep and lunches on-the-go. Simply layer the ingredients into mason jars and stash the dressing in a plastic bag. When you’re ready to dig in, pour the dressing into the jar, seal it, shake it and get your salad on!

If you’re looking for more ways to ditch the delivery and still satisfy those takeout cravings, don’t miss recipes for Baked Orange Chicken, Chicken Egg Rolls with Ginger-Soy Dip, and Sticky Pineapple Chicken.

A white plate containing Chinese Chicken Salad

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Main Course

Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing

Fast, fresh and figure-friendly, my mom’s recipe for Chinese Chicken Salad has become my go-to alternative to takeout.
4.77 from 13 votes
A white plate containing Chinese Chicken Salad
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 6 servings


For the salad:

  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (See Kelly's Notes)
  • 3 cups shredded Romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
  • 1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced into batons
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup crispy chow mein noodles
  • 1 cup Mandarin oranges

For the dressing:

  • 3 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper


  • In a large bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients, tossing until well mixed.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and then pour over the salad, tossing to coat.

Kelly's Notes:

  • I buy a rotisserie chicken and shred the meat (discarding the skin). It's fast, fresh and just enough meat for 4 to 6 servings.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


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Calories: 351kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 660mg, Potassium: 469mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 2485IU, Vitamin C: 20.2mg, Calcium: 58mg, Iron: 1.3mg

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  1. 5 stars
    Loved this. Also made a spinach wrap out of it and added peanut dressing. Could eat this several times a week.

  2. 3 stars
    I made the dressing with more sesame oil, no salt or pepper and no salad oil. It came out just like what I have had in restaurants with just the sesame oil, a bit of sugar and the rice vinegar. I also like the grilled chicken strips that are sold at Costco, not rotisserie chicken.

  3. 5 stars
    Excellent! We’ve made it 4 times and it’s easy enough for my teenagers to prepare before I get home from work!!!!!!

  4. Good recipe for bought cooked chicken except years ago for dressing we used a little soya sauce instead of salt and coated shredded chicken and let sit. Fry Mai Fun rice sticks and strips of won ton skins instead of bought noodles and add cilantro to lettuce. Otherwise almost the same as 50 years ago learned from Asian neighbors in PTA

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious!!! I live in Japan, so I always have to sub certain things. I used regular cabbage and leaf lettuce since that’s what I had access to, and added a shredded carrot. Also added sesame seeds and peanuts to the top. So so good. My kids gobbled it up. I call that a win! Thank you!

  6. Hi Kelly! I just discovered your blog/site and there are SO many yummy looking recipes. I am definitely going to try this one soon.

    I do have one question thought – I am only one person, so do you know what the portions would be then? Its always hard to determine how to make a recipe properly when its for 6 servings.

    It would be much, much appreciated! Thank you!

    1. Hi Vanessa! Welcome to Just a Taste! You can adjust the ingredient measurements by hovering your cursor over the SERVINGS above and sliding the bar right or left.

  7. Made a slightly different version of this tonight. Used a mixture of spiral and thin egg noodles. Par boiled carrots broccoli red cabbage, capsicum ( el dente), Chopped grilled bacon and added shallot sliced fine, cooked pasta and veg, Chicken poached in chicken stock, all tossed in dressing as per recipe. Family very impressed, came back for seconds.

  8. Baaaabay! This. Was. On. Point! Refreshing, delightful and perfect for my low carb venture. Added prawns instead of chicken. Family LOVED!

  9. 5 stars
    This is the BEST Salad and the recipe is requested by everyone I make it for! BUT, this is a different version – the one I’ve always used didn’t have soy sauce in the dressing (or mandarin oranges).
    Can you confirm that the dressing for the older version is the same ingredient and ratio just minus the soy sauce? From memory, that’s what I recall but want to be sure before I make it tonight. Thank you for an AWESOME SALAD recipe!

    1. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipe, Tanya! I just updated it to reflect the original :) And you are correct. Exact same proportions, just minus the soy sauce. Mandarin oranges are optional!

    1. They also come in small cans and small fruit cups – like jello or pudding cups. They are sweeter and I prefer them in this recipe.

  10. 5 stars
    Mmhmmm good. I used to get a prepackaged Chinese chicken salad from a large wholesaler very similar to this. I am no longer near that type of place and was looking for a duplicate recipe, and I am not disappointed! AWESOME AND THANKS!

  11. 5 stars
    I have made this salad three times in a row now and it is my new favourite salad. I’ve made it with and without chicken and Romaine lettuce and its great any which way! Since I can’t have almonds I toasted sunflower seeds instead. I’ve been using the seasoned rice vinegar and since you mentioned it has more flavour I just used 1/8 cup and it’s perfect! Thanks again for this great recipe!

  12. Comes together quickly and is a tasty salad. Even better, a great way to use up my leftover chicken fingers/cutlets. Thank you!!!!

  13. 5 stars
    Tried the salad tonight for dinner. Loved it! My daughter calculated the WW points which is 8/serving. Definitely worth it! Sooo satisfying! Thank you!

  14. 4 stars

    The dressing was lovely other than i dont think it needs the vegetable oil.

    Its oily enough with the sesame oil.

    A touch of soy sauce with it is nice too.

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