Ramen Chicken Salad made with napa cabbage, coleslaw mix and Asian style dressing is a delicious dinner salad that's easy to make and perfect for summer.
Asian chicken salad is a delicious blend of cabbages, chicken and crunchy ramen noodles. It gets extra flavor from sesame seeds, almond slices and mandarin oranges and is perfect when you want something different from the usual chicken salad recipe.
You can make this easy dinner salad ahead of time, pop into the fridge and serve when you're ready to eat. It makes a lot of food, so you can enjoy leftovers the next day -- perfect for meal prep!
I got this easy ramen chicken salad recipe years ago from a friend of mine -- It's very popular at potlucks. I misplaced the original recipe when I first wrote this post, and just updated it since I very luckily found the original when we moved.
How to Make Napa Cabbage Chicken Salad with Ramen
I think this is one of those recipes that you can easily customize and make your own. There's really no right or wrong way to prepare it, and I've seen tons of different variations over the years.
Make the Dressing
Start off by whisking the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl. Pop the dressing in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the salad -- This gives the flavors time to blend.
Toast the Ramen
Next, break up a couple of packages of ramen noodles. I find it easiest to open them, remove the flavor packets and put the dried noodles into a large plastic freezer bag while breaking them into smaller pieces.
Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a large skillet, and toast the ramen noodles, sesame seeds and almonds until just lightly browned.
I like to make salads that are as colorful as possible, so I use a blend of napa cabbage and bag of coleslaw that has purple cabbage and shredded carrots in it. You can chop up your own veggie, but it's a lot easier to use a mix.
Assemble the Salad
To assemble the salad, use the largest mixing bowl you have. Then, start adding some of the cooked chicken, cabbage, coleslaw mix and ramen.
I like to reserve some of the ramen and add it right before serving. It gets soft in the salad, so those that like it crunchy are satisfied!
Pour the dressing as you add the ingredients so that you get it on each layer. Add the rest of the ingredients, and mix it all up!
Add Mandarin oranges and chopped green onions to the top for an extra pop of color and crunch. You can also add more sesame seeds and slivered almonds for presentation.
Isn't this one of the prettiest, most colorful salads on the planet? Only problem is my kids eat the oranges first, so there's none left by the second day!
How Long does the Salad Last?
This salad lasts for up to 3 days before getting a little too soggy. The flavors get better the longer it sits, so it still tastes good, though!
Ramen Chicken Salad Recipe
Ramen Chicken Salad
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup rice vinegar or rice wine vinegar if you can find it
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- pinch sea salt, black pepper and ground ginger to taste (optional)
For the Salad
- 2 tablespoons butter or oil
- 2 packages ramen noodles broken up and toasted (discard the flavor packet)
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds toasted
- ½ cup blanched slivered almonds or almond slices, toasted
- 1 head napa cabbage chopped
- 1 bag coleslaw mix with carrots and purple cabbage
- 3 cups cooked chicken diced
- 11 ounce can mandarin oranges drained
- 2 green onions chopped
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, pepper and ginger. Place in refrigerator while you make the salad
- Break the ramen into smaller pieces, and discard seasoning packets
- Heat butter or oil in medium skillet, and cook the ramen noodles, almonds and sesame seeds until light brown, stirring frequently -- about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool, and reserve some for topping the salad if desired
- In a large mixing bowl, add some of the chicken, chopped cabbage and coleslaw mix. Pour some of the dressing over salad. Add ramen, almonds, sesame seeds, remaining chicken, cabbage and coleslaw mix, and remaining dressing. Toss until well mixed.
- Top with mandarin oranges and chopped onions and reserved ramen (if using) cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until ready to eat
Recipe has been updated as of May 2020