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A fast and easy dinner recipe, this colorful Thai salad recipe features a flavorful peanut sauce dressing. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and delicious!

Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce Dressing | A Couple Cooks

Heard of Meatless Monday? Well, we’ve got a new one for you: Salad Sunday. Now hear me out. I used to think salads were one thing: B, O, R, I, N, G. Think iceberg lettuce, pinkish unripe tomatoes, and cardboard-y carrot shreds. You know the type, that kind that only goes down with a healthy smothering of ranch. This is not that type of salad. A good salad is a beautiful rainbow bowl of nutrients, full of contrasting textures and flavors. It should taste like a million bucks, and be able to satisfy even the most passionate meat-and-potatoes eater. Keep reading for this Thai salad recipe, peanut sauce dressing, and more about Salad Sunday.

Related:Best Gluten Free Dinner Recipes

Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce Dressing | A Couple Cooks
Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce Dressing | A Couple Cooks

How to make Thai salad with peanut sauce dressing

We think this Thai salad can stand up to the test (we hope!). The crunchy vegetables and warm, crisp-sauteed tofu are drizzled in an addicting creamy peanut sauce dressing, then topped with peanuts, cilantro, and lime. If you’re not a tofu fan, try substituting sauteed chicken, shrimp, or cooked and shelled edamame for the protein. As it stands, this Thai salad is gluten-free, vegan, and dairy-free, so it works for a variety of diets as well. There’s a lot going on in this bowl, since the more varied and interesting the flavors and textures of a salad, the more satisfying it is (read: less temptation for post-dinner snacking for me!).

Related: Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce Dressing | A Couple Cooks

Salad Sundays

Back to Salad Sundays. What better a way to end the weekend and start the week than with a tradition of a healthy, delicious salad? There’s something comforting about having a dinner idea already planned (much like Pizza Fridays), and this one has endless riffs. You could use this dressing as a concept for your own salad, but customize the veggies and proteins by using what you like or have on hand. Without fail, when Alex and I are looking for a quick, easy meal, some sort of main dish salad makes a frequent appearance at our table, so we’re on board with this no-frills Sunday evening type of fare, especially if it includes this Thai salad with peanut sauce dressing. 

This Thai salad recipe is already a favorite in our house. (That peanut sauce dressing!). We’ve also shared a few of our favorite main dish salads below. And let us know: what are your favorite main dish salads? How about you: main dish salads; yay or nay? 

Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce Dressing | A Couple Cooks
Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce Dressing | A Couple Cooks

Looking for main dish salad recipes?

Looking for main dish salad recipes? Aside from this Thai salad with peanut sauce dressing, here are a few of our favorites:

This recipe is…

This Thai salad with peanut sauce dressing recipe is vegetarian, vegan, plant based, and refined sugar free.

Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce Dressing | A Couple Cooks
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Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


A fast and easy dinner recipe, this colorful Thai salad recipe features a flavorful peanut sauce dressing. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and delicious!



For the peanut dressing

  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

For the salad

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 14-ounce package extra firm tofu
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 2 green onions
  • ¼ red cabbage
  • 4 carrots
  • 10 ounces Earthbound Farm Organic Half & Half Baby Spinach and Spring Mix
  • ¼ cup crushed peanuts
  • Cilantro, to garnish
  • Lime wedges, to garnish


  1. Remove the tofu from the package and blot it dry with a clean dish towel. With tofu block flat, slice it into 3 long strips, and cut the strips in half crosswise. Slice each piece into thirds.
  2. On a non-stick griddle or large skillet over low heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place the tofu on the griddle, sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping every few minutes, until light brown and crisp on both sides. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, and then cut into smaller bite-sized pieces if desired.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together coconut milk, peanut butter, soy, lime, maple syrup, and kosher salt. Taste, and add additional peanut butter if desired (we added 1 additional tablespoon). Refrigerate any leftovers for 1 to 2 weeks. 
  4. Thinly slice the peppers, green onions and cabbage. Shred the carrots (using a julienne peeler, or us a vegetable peeler to make ribbons).
  5. To serve, place greens in a bowl. Top with vegetables and tofu and drizzle with dressing, then garnish with crushed peanuts, cilantro leaves, and a squeeze of lime.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai

Keywords: Thai Salad, Peanut Sauce Dressing, Peanuts, Peanut Sauce, Thai, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free, Healthy, Healthy Dinner

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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  1. Love this peanut sauce. And a big yes to main dish salads! In fact they’re probably the easiest (and most delicious) way I’ve found to get weekday dinners together quickly. Love the idea of salad Sundays – you’re right that themed meals helps take the guess work out of meal planning.

  2. I too used to think that salads are boring. But thankfully I’ve changed my mind thanks to salads like this. This one is beautiful, and I bet that it’s delicious.

  3. Yes! Salad as a main dish. There are no limits. Just whatever you have on hand. Fun for having friends over as everyone can customize. Love a bowl of deliciousness for any meal.

  4. I too used to think salads were a huge bore – but how can someone say no when it looks this fun!? Anything thai inspired is something I can 100% get onboard with. Loving this. What a great way to start off the week!