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This Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe with ramen noodles, Napa cabbage, coleslaw mix and Mandarin oranges is an easy main dish salad perfect for summer. With its tangy homemade dressing, this easy meal is a family favorite and perfect for potluck dinners!

chinese ramen chicken salad with crunchy ramen noodles, mandarin oranges and napa cabbage in serving bowl

Easy Ramen Noodle Salad

Chinese ramen chicken salad is a delicious blend of cabbages, chicken breasts and crunchy ramen noodles. This Asian ramen noodle salad 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 Asian ramen salad recipe years ago from a friend of mine — It’s sometimes called Napa cabbage salad, and it is 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.

Love ramen noodles? Try my soy sauce ramen noodles recipe. And my tips to cook ramen noodles in the microwave!

ramen noodles, napa cabbage, coleslaw mix, cooked chicken, almonds, mandarin oranges, veggies and dressing ingredients.

Ramen Salad Ingredients

You can find ingredients for ramen salad recipe in your grocery store or online. Full amounts are in the printable recipe card below.

  • Butter or oil — for toasting the noodles
  •  Dry ramen noodles — Top Ramen or your favorite brand — discard the flavor packet
  •  Sesame seeds — for flavor and crunch
  •  Blanched slivered almonds — or almond slices for flavor
  • Napa cabbage — chopped
  • Coleslaw mix — with carrots and purple cabbage for added color. I like to add more cabbage and carrots for extra color, but it’s not necessary.
  •  Cooked chicken — diced
  • Canned Mandarin oranges — drained
  •  Green onions — chopped

Dressing — You will also need soy sauce, vegetable oil, sesame oil, rice vinegar, salt, pepper and ground ginger for the homemade salad dressing.

How to Make Chinese Chicken Salad with Ramen

You’ll need cooked chicken to make the salad. You can use rotisserie chicken from the store or cook chicken breasts in the oven, in the Instant Pot or Crock-Pot.

Make the Dressing

Start off by whisking the dressing ingredients 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.

whisk Asian salad dressing in mixing bowl

Toast the Ramen

Toasting the ramen noodles makes them crunchy so they won’t get too soggy in the salad. So, don’t skip this step.

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 golden brown.

toast dry ramen noodles in skillet

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 veggies, but it’s a lot easier to use a mix.

Assemble the Salad

To assemble the salad, use a large mixing bowl — the largest mixing bowl you have. Then, start adding some of the cooked chicken, cabbage, coleslaw mix and ramen to the large bowl.

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 in the tangy Asian 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!

bowl of asian chicken salad with napa cabbage and mandarin oranges

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 sliced 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!

ramen chicken salad in a glass mixing bowl


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.

Feel free to leave out the almonds to make the salad nut free. You can also vary the fresh ingredients to suit your own tastes. Leave out the Napa cabbage and just use the coleslaw mix if you like! Sunflower seeds, red cabbage, snow peas, and red bell pepper are also great additions.

I’ve never been a fan of the seasoning packets that come with Top Ramen noodles–it’s just so easy to add your own spices and sauces! But, feel free to use the ramen seasoning packet if you want.

Recipe Tip

If making several hours ahead of time, add the ramen before serving if you want it to stay crunchy or reserve some ramen to add before serving.

How to Store

Store ramen salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The leftover 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!

5 from 17 votes

Ramen Chicken Salad

By: Dee
Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe with ramen noodles, Napa cabbage, coleslaw mix and Mandarin oranges is an easy main dish salad perfect for summer. With its tangy homemade dressing, this easy meal is a family favorite and perfect for potluck dinners!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12



  • 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
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  • 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



Salad can be made using all freshly chopped cabbages and carrots instead of coleslaw mix.
If making several hours ahead of time, add the ramen before serving if you want it to stay crunchy or reserve some ramen to add before serving.


Calories: 185kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 26mg, Sodium: 135mg, Potassium: 404mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 650IU, Vitamin C: 43mg, Calcium: 105mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main, Salad
Cuisine: American
Like this? Leave a comment below!

Recipe published in 2016 and updated in May 2024

close up of ramen noodle salad with mandarin oranges in mixing bowl

Cold salads are some of my favorite recipes for warmer months, and the bright color, great crunch, and sesame flavors of this ramen salad make it the perfect salad for this time of year!

For more cold salad recipes, side dish recipes, and great recipe ideas for summer, subscribe to the newsletter and follow me on social media!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Ann says:

    This is a great dish to make for lunch on a hot summer day! Love the flavor and the crunch of the ramen noodles!5 stars