THAI CHICKEN SATAY NOODLE SALAD WITH CREAMY COCONUT PEANUT DRESSING

Thai Chicken Satay Noodle Salad with Creamy Coconut Peanut Dressing | The perfect salad for every occasion via Club Narwhal

This has been the longest, coldest winter that I can remember and the only thing I can do to survive is dream of summer days replete with fresh garden veggies and lazy beach naps. But since it is March in Michigan, this gorgeous, vibrant Thai Chicken Satay Noodle Salad will have to do. Plus, it totally has me wanting to pack my bags and board the next plane to Thailand…anyone else want to join me?

Thai Chicken Satay Noodle Salad with Creamy Coconut Peanut Dressing | The perfect salad for every occasion via Club Narwhal

This noodle salad is a heartier version inspired by the Thai Crunch Salad I made last year (which is still in heavy rotation). A rainbow of crisp vegetables party with a bowl of whole grain noodles, a few handfuls of aromatic herbs, and salty/sweet chicken satay skewers. Cloak the whole thing in creamiest, most luscious coconut peanut dressing and you have heaven in a bowl.
I even made you a GIF to prove it:

 

Thai Chicken Satay Noodle Salad with Creamy Coconut Peanut Dressing | The perfect salad for every occasion via Club Narwhal

Please humor my obligatory noodles-twirled-on-a-fork shot; it is pure magic to my carb-loving soul.  Sidebar: I would totally take a giant pan of cheesy, carbolicious pasta over an equally giant, carbolicious cake any day. What camp do you fall in?

Thai Chicken Satay Noodle Salad with Creamy Coconut Peanut Dressing | The perfect salad for every occasion via Club Narwhal

But back to this salad: I am completely and utterly smitten. It is everything that I want in a meal, and then some. And those chicken satay skewers? Oh. Em. Gee. Serve those bad boys with anything–a bed of steamed rice, quinoa, or just devoured straight off the pan–and you will make everyone at your table happier human beings. Just look at all that caramelized goodness. Best part? No grill required. Total score!

Thai Chicken Satay Noodle Salad with Creamy Coconut Peanut Dressing | The perfect salad for every occasion via Club Narwhal

Can you blame me for wanting to pour everything out of my new friend? I have big plans for blackberry syrup in the future.

 

Thai Chicken Satay Noodle Salad with Creamy Coconut Peanut Dressing | The perfect salad for every occasion via Club Narwhal

 

I love how beautifully this came together, especially since half of the dressing is used as the marinade. This is the perfect make-ahead salad for everything from a picnic to a baby shower to a casual dinner party. Just make the noodles and chicken skewers the night before (or make a big batch of the chicken for dinner and use leftovers for the salad) and top it with chopped vegetables the next day.Thai Chicken Satay Noodle Salad with Creamy Coconut Peanut Dressing | The perfect salad for every occasion via Club Narwhal

I recommend making a big batch of everything on Sunday and use it for the upcoming week’s lunches. I would keep the noodles, veggies (covered with a paper towel and sealed in a tupperware), chicken, and dressing all in separate containers so things don’t get soggy. You will pat yourself on the back every day you get to dive into this gorgeous salad.

Are you a salad person? If so, what’s your go-to version?

Thai Chicken Satay Noodle Salad with Creamy Coconut Peanut Dressing | The perfect salad for every occasion via Club Narwhal
Okay, so I admit that this looks like a super long recipe, but don’t be afraid. This salad requires almost zero cooking skills. If you can chop vegetables and boil water, you can make this salad! And it is so totally worth making.

THAI CHICKEN SATAY NOODLE SALAD WITH  CREAMY COCONUT PEANUT DRESSING

For the Marinade and Creamy Coconut Peanut Dressing
*Use 1/3 of this to marinate the chicken and the rest to dress the salad. Divide into two separate containers/baggies so the raw chicken doesn’t contaminate the dressing.*
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • zest from 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon garlic and ginger paste (or finely minced garlic clove and ginger root)
  •  1 tablespoon lemongrass paste (I love the dimension this brings but if you don’t want to buy a giant tube, I think you would be okay without it)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons rice vinegar (*only for the dressing portion*)
Whisk everything together in a medium bowl and use 1/3 of it to marinate the chicken. The marinade will be very thick. Thin the remaining portion with 1-2 tablespoons rice vinegar to use as the salad dressing.
For the Chicken Satay Skewers
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/3 of the marinade, recipe above
  • 4 wooden skewers, soaked in a cup of water
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice each thigh into two long strips (or into one-inch chunks if it is easier). You could use chicken breast, but the thighs need less marinating time and are just plain tastier. Marinate in a plastic bag or tupperware for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the vegetables. Weave chicken strips onto the skewers and bake for 20-25 minutes on a pan lined with parchment paper. Please line your pan before baking since the sugary marinade will make it a pain to clean up!
For the Noodle Salad
  •  7 oz. multigrain spaghetti noodles (half of a 14.5 box)
  • 1/4 red cabbage, sliced (or bagged coleslaw)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
Boil the noodles according to the package directions. Drain and douse with cold water to stop the cooking. Toss with chopped veggies, top with chicken skewers and dressing.  All said and done, this salad generously serves 4 adults as the main course.

 

Love food? Me, too. Let’s be Pin Pals! A few more salads to get you ready for spring:

Perfect Salmon Salad

Perfect Salmon Salad via Club Narwhal

 

Caprese Tortellini Salad

Caprese Tortellini Salad via Club Narwhal

 

Thai Crunch Salad

 

Thai Crunch Salad via Club Narwhal

And just because my love of carbs demands that I share this with you:

Baked Sausage Rigatoni with Spinach

Baked Sausage Rigatoni with Spinach via Club Narwhal

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