Thai Crunch Salad features cool cucumbers, crunchy carrots, red bell peppers, red and Napa cabbage tossed together with a delicious citrus peanut dressing. It’s full of color, nutrition and is super easy to make!

top down, up close, view of thai crunch salad served in a rustic bowl

As we start to head into summer, I begin to crave lighter foods that are fresh and raw.

This Thai chopped salad is the perfect spring and summer salad, loaded with texture, flavor that will have you tipping the bowl for every last drop!

Bring on the warmer weather and let’s beat the heat with this easy and flavorful Thai inspired salad!

Looking for more summer salads? You need to try this Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing, Spicy Thai Mango Salad and classic Vegan Caesar Salad. All interesting, fresh, and guaranteed to inspire!

thai crunch salad peanut dressing

Ingredients You’ll Need

In this fresh recipe, a variety of colorful vegetables are chopped and tossed with a citrusy peanut dressing for a light & healthy fresh salad, perfect for lunch or dinner.

Here is everything you will need:

  • cucumbers
  • carrots
  • red bell pepper
  • scallions
  • Napa cabbage & red cabbage
  • peanuts or cashews
  • cilantro
  • orange juice, lime juice or lemon juice
  • raw or natural peanut butter (almond or cashew butter is great too)
  • tamari, coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • pure maple syrup
  • garlic
  • fresh ginger
  • red pepper flakes

Top Tips

  • Add protein: Try adding 1 cup of edamame or 1 cup of cooked quinoa. Both would be delicious in this Thai salad. And for an even bigger nutritional boost, try adding them together!
  • Produce prep: When prepping your chopped salad ingredients, if the cucumber and carrots are wide, cut them in half or quarter them if needed. For the cabbage, I thinly sliced the cabbage and then gave it a quick rough chop.
  • Tools: When grating the ginger and garlic for the dressing, I recommend this microplane. It’s a great tool for any kitchen and will come in handy over and over again. Another handy tool I love is this mandoline, for uniformly cutting the cucumber and carrot. It’s easy to use, just be careful because this blade is sharp!
  • Making ahead: This Thai Crunch Salad is best served right away, but If making ahead, I would suggest assembling the salad, keeping the peanut dressing separate until ready to serve. Once everything is mixed, the salad ingredients will start to soften. Not a bad thing, but to keep it crisp and fresh for entertaining, it’s best to keep them separate until ready to serve.

side angle view of thai peanut dressing being poured over top of the salad ingredients in a large bowl

How To Make Thai Crunch Salad

  1. Make the dressing: To make Thai peanut dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, citrus juice, tamari, ginger, garlic, and pure maple syrup, set aside to allow the flavors to come together. Taste for flavor before adding it to the salad, adding anything extra you find it may need. For a thinner dressing add 1 or 2 tablespoons citrus juice or water. For a thicker dressing, add a tad bit more nut butter.
  2. Prep the produce: Prep the cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers and green onions.
  3. Assemble the salad: In a large bowl combine the cucumbers, carrots, bell pepper, scallions, cabbages, and nuts. Pour the peanut dressing overtop and toss well.

Serve in individual bowls with extra nuts and optional cilantro for garnish.

top down view of a large serving bowl with mixed thai crunch salad and stainless steel salad utensils with black handles

How To Store Leftovers

Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in a covered container.

Adjusting For Dietary Restrictions

  • Nut-Free: Omit the nuts if you have allergies, try adding pepitas, hemp hearts or sunflower seeds instead of peanuts or cashews. Same with the Thai peanut dressing, use sunflower butter or tahini for nut allergies.
  • Gluten-free: To keep the dressing gluten free, stick with using tamari or coconut aminos only.
  • Soy-free: For a soy free dressing, use coconut aminos (no tamari or soy sauce).

side angle view of freshly mixed thai crunch salad in a bamboo bowl with salad serving utensils

More Easy Salad Recipe

If you try this easy crunch salad recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.



5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 4 reviews

This colorful Thai inspired salad features cabbage, cucumbers, red bell pepper, carrots, and peanuts all dressed in a creamy citrus peanut dressing that’ll have you tipping the bowl!

  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 - 3 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: chop, mix
  • Cuisine: Vegan




  • 2 1/2 cups English cucumbers, thinly sliced and halved or quartered
  • 1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 small head Napa cabbage (about 23 cups), sliced
  • 1/4 head of red cabbage, sliced
  • handful peanuts or cashews, for garnish
  • handful cilantro, for garnish (optional)
  • red pepper flakes, for garnish (optional)

Citrus Peanut Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons orange juice, lime juice or lemon juice, + more as needed
  • 3 tablespoons raw or natural peanut butter (almond or cashew butter is great too)
  • 1 tablespoon tamari, coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • pinch of red pepper flakes or 1/2 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce (optional)


Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the peanut citrus dressing, set aside allowing the flavors to come together. Then before adding the dressing to the salad, taste for flavor adding anything extra you might like. For a thinner dressing add 1 or 2 tablespoons citrus juice or water. To make it thicker add a tad bit more nut butter.

Assemble: Prepare your salad ingredients. Check your dressing for flavor. In a large bowl the napa and red cabbage, scallions, red bell pepper, cucumber, carrots and peanuts or cashews, pour the dressing over top the salad and toss well to coat.

Serve in individual bowls, top with peanuts or cashews, and red pepper flakes.

Makes 3 – 4 smaller salads, or 2 generous salads

Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator


Dressing: Use the orange juice for a less tangy dressing. I used orange and lime for this recipe and have also used just lemon alone as well. Both variations are great! You can also lessen the amount of juice replacing it with water. Add in some citrus zest of choice if desired. And if you’re a vinegar lover, try adding a splash or two of rice wine or apple cider vinegar!

Add more protein: Try tossing in a cup of cooked quinoa after mixing for a more nutritionally balanced profile. Also a cup of edamame would boost the protein even more.

Allergies: Those with nut allergies can opt to use sunflower butter or tahini for the dressing. For the salad, pepitas, sunflower seeds and hemp hearts would be great here!

Recommended tools: For grating garlic and ginger, this Microplane is great. And for uniformly cutting the cucumber and carrots, I love Mandoline.

Updated:This Thai inspired Salad was originally posted in June 2013, and has been updated with new photos and helpful tips in May 2019. The recipe has basically stayed the same, except for the addition of Napa cabbage and a name change to better reflect what it is. Enjoy this delicious Thai Crunch Salad, it’s still just as wonderful today as it was 6 years ago!

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  1. I am not a fan o f maple syrup what would you suggest as a substitute?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question, Jill! You can sub the maple syrup with agave or coconut nectar. Also, use pure cane sugar, white or brown, in place of the maple syrup. I hope that helps. Enjoy!

  2. Maithreyi says:

    Absolutely smacking salad! This is my new favourite! Loved it! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Good Lawd, have mercy! This salad, especially the dressing, is UNSTOPPABLE! Sooooo delicious. My family of four LOVES it – doubled the recipe and added frozen corn cuz why not!

  4. Carolyn Maxwell says:

    This has become my go-to salad prep on Sunday evening. Love the mix of flavors and all the fresh, raw veggies!

  5. This has become my favorite salad to make for my lunches for work. And this dressing! I absolutely love this dressing! I make it for all my salads now. :)

  6. Vanessa Cassani says:

    Oh, I love it! I recently created a post that is very similar to this recipe. I’ll be sharing it soon but love how you created this salad with peanut dressing. Nice!

  7. Katie Parsons says:

    This is literally plate lickingly good! Thanks so much 😍

  8. WOW!!
    This looks incredible and I am looking forward to trying it after my next shopping trip!!
    Thank you

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