Panera’s Thai Chopped Chicken Salad

Ok, I confess, I am completely hooked on this salad. I actually have had dreams in which I am eating this salad lately. Crazy? Yes, I know. So, I have set out over the past three weeks and attempted a few “copycat” recipes for Panera’s Thai Chicken Salad and was not quite satisfied with any; one of the most recent attempts, my husband was actually in tears at the dinner table because I added alittle too much spice! Opps! As you can see, I am not a “perfected cook” by any means, just someone who is after “perfect recipes”!

Well, it has arrived! My Make-At-Home Panera’s Thai Chicken Salad, that I think is even better than Panera’s! The main reason is because I LOVE this peanut sauce drizzle and can have as much as I desire at home! :)

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 1 head of Romaine Lettuce
  • 2 Boneless Chicken Breasts, cooked or grilled, chopped
  • 1 cup of Edamame, Roasted
  • 1 Red Pepper, Chopped and Roasted
  • 1 Lg. Carrot, Chopped and Roasted
  • 1/2 Cup of Crushed Peanuts
  • 1 cup of Wonton Strips

Thai Vinagarete:

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Thai Chili Garlic Paste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • Kosher salt to taste

Peanut Sauce Drizzle:

  • 1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons Hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Thai Chili Garlic Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy sauce, divided
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 3/4 Tablespoon Toasted Sesame Oil (optional, although preferred)

Directions:

1. Begin by cooking the edamame, carrots, and red pepper in a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook and saute until the vegetables are cooked through and lightly roasted. Set aside.

2. While the vegetables are cooking, combine the Thai Vinagerette ingredients, whisk together, and set aside.

3. Next, begin making the Peanut Sauce Drizzle. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chili garlic paste – it should sizzle and bubble when you add it- cook for about 30 seconds.

IMG_1573

4. Whisk in the peanut butter and Hoisin sauce, allowing to heat through. (At this point the sauce will look like a dark paste, but don’t stop.) Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in the rice wine vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and water until smooth. If you prefer your Peanut Drizzle to be a little less thick add in the 3/4 Tablespoon of sesame oil (optional; although preferred).

5. Finally, build your salad: drop in your romaine lettuce and add the chicken, cashews, pepper, edamame, carrot, and wontons on top. Pour a little of the vinagarette over the salad, and then top with some delicious peanut sauce drizzle.

PG
Mackenzie is a follower of Jesus, wife, mama of two toddler boys, teacher at heart, and coffee lover. She was a lower school elementary teacher for over 6 years, with a master's degree in Reading, and is a certificated Reading Specialist. She currently works part-time at a private school allowing her more time at home with her little guys.

Mackenzie has blogged 688 posts here.

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Comments

  1. Rikelle says:

    This looks amazingly good. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I’m so excited to find this! Just had this salad at Panera for the first time a couple nights ago and the husband and I loved it! I’m curious, how much does this make? Would it be enough as a meal for two?

  3. Dear Lindsay, I am an admitted Panera Thai Chicken Salad Junkie! So, finding this recipe was so exciting to me! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I am going to go purchase all the ingredients to make it for dinner tonight! Thank you, thank you!

    …P

  4. What is Edamame?

  5. THE CILANTRO! every recipe i find for this doesn’t have the cilantro in it, but this recipe is the best so far THANK YOU!!

  6. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this web site before but after browsing through many of the articles I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I came across it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back often!

  7. Hi, Mackenzie!

    Thank you for this recipe. It’s definitely a new favorite of mine! I boiled chicken breasts with garlic and ginger to give some extra flavor and also threw in some roasted garlic to the final product. Delicious!

  8. Hello! Thank you so much for this recipe (from my taste buds and my wallet)! I am addicted to Panera, and therefore spend way too much money there. This is my favorite salad from Panera… I am heading to the grocery store this afternoon to get all of your ingredients to make a big, healthy dinner for my whole family. Thanks again!

    • Taylor- I totally hear ya! I am a HUGE Panera fan too. I love their salads… and soups… and sandwiches… I pretty much love it all! haha :) Keep me posted on how it turns out for you!

  9. I JUST got done eating this delicious salad with this delicious recipe! I ended up putting too much peanut sauce on my salad so it tasted too peanut buttery to me. But it’s an amazing recipe, thank you!! I’ll be making this alot for sure!

  10. Where’s the best place to find all these ingredients?

  11. I made this last night and YUMMY! It was delicious, but I had a question about the soy sauce ingredient in the peanut sauce drizzle. The ingredients call for the soy sauce to be divided and the instructions indicate to add the remaining soy but I didn’t see it mentioned anywhere else. The recipe was delicious as is so I am assuming it is just a typo. Great work. I am adding this to my blog reader!

  12. Did Jesus eat Thai salad?

  13. Tricia Slimbarski says:

    Thanks Mackenzie for your Thai Chicken Salad recipe. I had this salad at Panera Bread yesterday and I found your recipe online while at the restaurant eating the salad. I immediately went to the store and bought the ingredients. I fixed to today and my husband absolutely loved it! Thanks so much, have a blessed day!

  14. Thank you! I just made this for dinner and we polished it off in one sitting. This recipe was perfect! (I had to make a few substitutions – like using sweet chili sauce for the thai garlic chili sauce) and even then this turned out so well!
    Thank you, thank you!

  15. Susan Beagle says:

    Wow, I am so glad you came up with the “correct” ingredients for this – it would have taken me forever to identify some of the ones you did. It sounds “perfect”, and will save me much time. I also appreciate Item 4 in your directions… I can’t tell you how many times when “something didn’t look right” that I’ve started over from scratch!

    This salad is my favorite thing at Panera Bread (except for an occasional pastry) and I can’t wait to try it. Thank you SO much!!

  16. Thank you! I have just discovered this salad and am so excited to know I can make it at home! I have bought several thai dressings from the grocery store and they just do not compare. Can’t wait!

  17. Michele says:

    Just made this tonight – it’s an excellent copy of the Panera salad. My husband wants me to make it again next week!

  18. Love this panera salad. Just tried another recipe for it recently but not spicy enough. It used Thai sweet chili sauce. Is this one closer to the spicyness of panera s? How long can you keep dressing. After its made. Thanks for your help.

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