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 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 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!
You can find ingredients for Chinese chicken salad recipe with ramen in your grocery store or online:
- Butter or oil
- Dry ramen noodles -- Top Ramen or your favorite brand -- discard the flavor packet
- Sesame seeds
- Blanched slivered almonds or almond slices
- Napa cabbage -- chopped
- Coleslaw mix with carrots and purple cabbage
- Cooked chicken -- diced
- Mandarin oranges -- drained
- Green onions-- chopped
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 Napa Cabbage 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.
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 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 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!
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!
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.
Add your cold salad favorites. Sunflower seeds, red cabbage, snow peas, and red bell pepper are great options for this Asian ramen salad recipe.
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.
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.
Hoisin sauce, sesame dressings, soy sauce, and any tangy dressing are my favorites for this Asian ramen noodle salad.
How to Store
Store the chicken salad in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. 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
- 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
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
Recipe has been updated as of May 2022
Cold salads are some of my favorite recipes for warmer months, and the bright color, great crunch, and sesame flavors of this ramen chicken 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!
What a great lite summer meal! Served cold too! Great flavors!
Easy Peasy! Had all of the ingredients but the napa cabbage. Will make this a lot this summer!
We have made this twice now and it is great and light for a summer salad. Kids love it too!
I am so happy to hear this, James. Thanks!
We love to make ramen salad but haven't tried it with chicken until now. It's the perfect way to use up leftover chicken!
I love adding chicken to it. Thanks, Suzy!
Sara Welch says
Such a great balance of flavors with the perfect amount of crunch! Hands down delicious!
Thank you for the wonderful review!
This salad looks amazing! It's such a great idea to use ramen!
Thanks, Catalina. The ramen really makes the salad! 🙂
My kids always go for the oranges first but honestly, I don't blame them. I just try to remind myself to keep more on hand to add if we have leftovers.
Great idea, Jen! I need to start doing this!
Allyson Zea says
OMG This came out so delicious! Thanks for the easy recipe!
So happy you liked it! Thanks, Allyson.
Haley D. Williams says
This dish is brilliant! So much flavor and very satisfying
This was sooo good! Instant hit in our family, especially the crunchy ramen!
Thank you so much, Jake! Glad you all enjoyed the salad.
Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert says
I'm drooling! This Ramen Chicken Salad is everything I love!
Hope you like it, Erin. Thanks!
Carole from Carole's Chatter says
Hi Dee, this is great. I hope you bring it over to Food on Friday: Chicken. Cheers from Carole's Chatter
Sandra Garth says
I would eat this in the dead of winter and be a happy camper!
Thanks, Sandra! It's actually kind of addicting! 🙂
Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
Whoo weee, we haven't hit 100 yet but we'll be there soon! Love this ramen chicken salad!
It's supposed to cool down a little, but it's still hot enough for a cool salad! 🙂
eat good 4 life says
This is totally up my alley. Love the Asian take on it and the fact that you added chicken that adds tons of protein. Great recipe!
Thank you so much! I'm pretty sure we'll be having it again and again this summer. 🙂
Michelle | A Latte Food says
I love the addition of ramen in this salad! Such a fun salad for summer!
You know, the ramen just might be the best part!
Heather | All Roads Lead to the Kitchen says
I love all versions of ramen salad, and yours is making me crave some! I think I'll have to add it to the menu for the weekend.
Thanks! It's so hot here that we'll be having salads a lot from now on.
My Mom makes a salad like this and I love it, especially in the summer! I am trying your version!
Thanks so much, Julia. There are so many ways to make this! I hope you enjoy it. 🙂