No more missing Chinese chicken salad with this quick and easy keto recipe!
This tasty Asian chicken salad is an ideal weekday lunch or meal since it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and the flavor is all there!
To make this salad quick and easy, we use store-bought coleslaw mix (simply made with chopped green and red cabbage and slivered carrots), rotisserie chicken, slivered almonds, and a sweet sesame dressing made with just 5 ingredients.
If you've had the salad before, you know that the sweet sesame dressing is a highlight. Our dressing recipe is inspired by Macy’s toasted sesame dressing, which is a family favorite. Our sesame dressing is a little less sweet, but we think it’s just as yummy (although we may be a bit biased 😃). Of course, if you want to make it sweeter, you can always add more erythritol to taste.
The rest of the salad is just as delicious due to the combination of flavors and textures. It includes two types of crispy cabbage (green and red), slivered carrots (a minimal amount), shredded rotisserie chicken and crunchy toasted almonds. We keep the salad simple, but you can add other common ingredients such as romaine lettuce, green onion, sesame seeds or cilantro.
Each serving of the low-carb and keto salad is 4.6 grams of net carbs.
Even through this salad is called "Chinese chicken salad" or "Asian chicken salad," it is not a traditional Asian or Chinese dish (as you might have guessed). Rather, it’s a fusion dish that includes a few ingredients typically used in Asian cooking like rice vinegar, sesame oil and soy sauce.
There are many variations of Chinese or Asian chicken salad. However, typical ingredients include cabbage, lettuce, chicken, fried wontons, nuts, and a dressing usually made from vegetable oil, sesame oil and rice vinegar.
Although its origins are unclear, some report that it was created at Madam Wu’s in Los Angeles in the 1960s. A variation of the salad appeared in Sunset Magazine in 1970, while Wolfgang Puck created a version of it in the 1980s. The salad has since grown in popularity as variations of it appear in many cookbooks, food blogs and restaurants.
Just a few notes on key ingredients:
- Coleslaw mix: We purchase an organic coleslaw mix that includes chopped green cabbage, red cabbage and slivered carrots. Be sure that the coleslaw mix has been washed. Each serving (about 85 grams) should be no more than 2 grams of net carbs.
- Rotisserie chicken: We recommend buying a rotisserie chicken that is organic, free-range, and free of hormone. Also, check the ingredients to be sure that no sugar is added and only simple seasonings are used. We prefer to shred the chicken into smaller pieces (as opposed to larger chunks) for this recipe.
- Toasted, slivered almonds: In our taste tests, we found that toasted slivered almonds had more crunch than sliced almonds, which is important in this recipe. However, you can use toasted sliced almonds if preferred.
How To Make
STEP 1: Add olive oil, vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce and erythritol to a mason jar and shake well to combine. Set aside.
STEP 2: In a large salad bowl, add 10 ounces of coleslaw mix, 3 cups of shredded chicken, and ½ cup of toasted, slivered almonds. Shake dressing again and pour over salad. Toss until salad ingredients are well coated with dressing. Season with salt and pepper as necessary. Serve immediately.
How to Make Ahead
To make this salad ahead of time, you'll prepare the dressing in a mason jar, shred the chicken, and have the coleslaw mix and slivered almonds ready to go. The dressing and rotisserie chicken can be stored in the fridge for three to four days. At the time you plan to eat, simply combine all the ingredients and serve immediately.
NOTE: If you mix all the salad ingredients and then store in the refrigerator, the salad won't taste as good. The chicken soaks up the dressing and the mixed salad tends to loose its flavor over time.
Some variations of this salad include higher-carb ingredients like Mandarin oranges and fried wontons. We don't recommend those ingredients if you're looking for a low-carb and keto-friendly recipe. But, you could consider adding other ingredients like romaine or iceberg lettuce, green onions (or other onion of choice), cilantro or sesame seeds.
Since store-bought coleslaw mix includes a minimal amount of slivered carrots, the carbs in this salad mix is usually quite low at only 2 grams of net carbs per every one and a half cups (or 85 grams).
Yes, you can use another sugar-free sweetener if you prefer. Just be sure to adjust the measurement for the sugar-free sweetener as necessary (check the conversion rate!).
Yes, cabbage is a keto-friendly vegetable that is low in carbs. Shredded green cabbage has just 2.3 grams of net carbs per cup, while shredded red cabbage has a little more carbs at 3.7 grams of net carbs per cup.
If you try this recipe, we would love to hear your feedback! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag @lowcarbsimplified on your photo of this recipe on Instagram or Facebook. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
Quick & Easy Chinese Chicken Salad (Low Carb, Keto)
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ cup Swerve Confectioners Sweetener (or other powdered erythritol)
- 3 cups Rotisserie chicken, shredded into small chunks
- ½ cup slivered, toasted almonds (or toasted sliced almonds)
- 12 ounces coleslaw mix (about 6 cups)
- Make dressing: Add olive oil, vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce and erythritol to a mason jar and shake well to combine. Set aside.
- Combine ingredients: In a large salad bowl, add 10 ounces of coleslaw mix, 3 cups of shredded chicken, and ½ cup of toasted, slivered almonds. Shake dressing again and pour over salad. Toss until salad ingredients are well coated with dressing. Season with salt and pepper as necessary. Serve immediately.