We love a Pad Thai Cafe Salad – a pad thai recipe made with fresh veggies, chicken, noodles, and spicy flavors in the homeamde sauce! This recipe feeds a crowd!

white bowl of Pad Thai Salad

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Thai Noodle Salad is the best “anytime” salad! This homemade recipe reminds us of a cafe that serves light meals and drinks–a buffet  filled with an abundant of salads. This Pad Thai salad recipe serves a crowd, so it’s great for potlucks and holidays. It’s also great left-over and keeps in the fridge up to 5 days! So good!

Pad Thai Cafe (Salad)

The dish is garnished with fresh cilantro and peanuts. Oh, and for peanut allergies? You can replace the peanuts with slivered almonds!

Easy Pad Thai Salad with cilantro

Why we love this recipe

  • It’s truly easy to make – and feeds a lot of people.
  • You can serve it as a main dish or a side dish. It’s a great potluck salad!
  • It’s great for game day or any gathering.
  • The leftovers are amazing (in eggs, wraps, served cold or hot).

bowl of Easy Pad Thai Salad with peanuts

Ingredients for Pad Thai Cafe (Salad)

  • Dry rice noodles: or soba noodles, pad Thai-style rice noodles, brown rice noodles, or linguine
  • Oil
  • Rotisserie chicken (you can also add shrimp)
  • Fresh garlic
  • Daikon radish
  • Shredded carrots
  • Napa cabbage
  • Cilantro
  • Pad Thai sauce: or make homemade dressing (recipe included)
  • Peanuts
  • Sriracha hot chili sauce
  • Lime wedges

We also love this recipe for a midweek meal, and just know it gets better and better as it sits (the flavors), and it gets devoured quickly, because everyone loves a good Pad Thai Salad! Or, you may want to try this Chicken Pad Thai Noodle Bowl recipe!

Easy Pad Thai Salad

Pad Thai Salad

If you love chicken pad thai, you’ll love this recipe today. Chilled and served as a salad, this recipe isn’t going to leave you hungry; it’s packed with delicious ingredients with a homemade pad thai sauce! Optional to buy store-bought dressing if you need to (but not as good).

We all have to eat, and eating at home is usually healthier! You may also want to try my Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches Board or Strawberry Watermelon Chicken Salad.

ingredients for Easy Pad Thai Salad

How to make a Pad Thai Cafe (Salad)

Cook the noodles: It starts off with dry noodles. You can actually use less noodles, and add more volume of veggies. Here’s the beauty of the noodles–you can even use whatever pasta is in your pantry!  Or use soba noodles, pad Thai-style rice noodles, brown rice noodles, or linguine.

Slice the veggies: Add veggies like Napa cabbage, radish, carrots, cilantro.

Mix in the protein: Add chicken, sauce, cilantro (or basil). You can also add beef, shrimp, or pork.

Sauce: You can use store-bought Thai dressing, or you can make homemade (recipe included).

Toppings: Pad Thai sauce, peanuts,  Sriracha hot chili sauce, and lime!

making Easy Pad Thai Salad

Make your own thai peanut sauce ingredients:

  • Fresh ginger and garlic
  • Peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • Citrus: fresh oranges and lime
  • Soy sauce
  • Honey
  • Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Salt
  • Sriracha sauce

Add more veggies!

  • cucumber
  • red cabbage
  • bell peppers (red, green, yellow, orange) large or you can use sliced mini bell peppers
  • jicama
  • use any veggie that will stay crunchy and doesn’t get soggy

mixing in a bowl Easy Pad Thai Salad

Tips and substitutions:

  • Take a peek in your pantry and see what kind of noodles you have! This recipe is great with any kind of noodles, but best with dry rice or soba noodles.
  • Serve hot or served cold (the perfect summer meal).
  • Optional to make your own homemade sauce, or you can buy storebought Peanut Sauce (dressing).
  • Make it with shrimp and chicken–you can combine 2 proteins. You can also add beef, pork, or tofu (to make it vegetarian).
  • A great made-ahead salad, and keeps well for 3-4 days in the fridge -perfect for midweek meals and lunches, or potlucks and gatherings.
  • Peanut allergy? Substitute peanuts for toasted, slivered almonds!

Garnish with cilantro and peanuts (optional); refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with fresh lime.

taking a bite of Easy Pad Thai Salad

Healthy, delicious and filling- we love having this Thai Noodle Salad in the fridge for a quick healthy snack, or leftover lunch!


More chicken salads

Honey Mustard Chicken Salad

Fruity Curry Chicken Salad

Summer Chicken Salad Sandwiches

taking a bite of Easy Pad Thai Salad
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Easy Pad Thai Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 10
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  • 2 pounds dry rice noodles, about 1/4″ wide
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 2-3 cups rotisserie chicken, pulled and chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 cups daikon radish, finely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup Napa cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups cilantro, chopped
  • 16 ounce jar prepared Pad Thai sauce, OR HOMEMADE RECIPE BELOW
  • 1 cup peanuts, chopped
  • Sriracha hot chili sauce, optional
  • Lime wedges

Homemade Peanut Dressing:

  • 5 slices fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • ½ cup peanut butter, or almond butter
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ cup light soy sauce, we use Coconut Amino Acids
  • cup honey, agave or maple syrup
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1-2 tsp sriracha sauce, or more, according to spice level


  • In a large bowl, submerge the dry rice noodles in hot tap water. Let soak for 8-10 minutes; drain and set aside.
  • In a large saute pan over medium high heat, add the garlic to the pan, and fry until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the chopped chicken; cook for 2 minutes. Add the noodles, radish, carrots, and Napa cabbage. Stir together and fry for 1 more minute.
  • THE DRESSING/SAUCE: Mix together the peanut dressing ingredients for a homemade dressing, or at this point, use storebought dressing/sauce.
  • Add the sauce to the noodle mixture. Add sriracha sauce if you want more spice. Turn the heat back up to medium-high. Stir to combine. Add in the peanuts and cilantro; toss to combine. Place the salad in a large bowl and refrigerate.
  • Garnish with cilantro and peanuts (optional); refrigerate for at least 2 hours; serve with fresh lime.


Repost from May 2016
Cuisine: Thai
Course: Salad
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taking a bite of Easy Pad Thai Salad with chopsticks