This Thai-inspired slaw recipe is loaded with flavor and extra nutritious. Make extra peanut dressing, you're going to want it.
This Thai-Inspired Peanut Superfood Slaw Recipe is so over-the-top good, that one of the readers in our community commented:
"Oh my!!! I just made this slaw recipe and it would have to honestly be the tastiest salad I have had. The dressing is unbelievable—I have to now make a second bowl as I have managed to demolish the first one!"
Yes, it's that good.
There's something about the creamy dressing with the punch of garlic and ginger mixed with the crisp cabbage and veggies that make this slaw recipe one of those dishes that you can't stop eating. I am not Thai in heritage and want to mention that this recipe is inspired by salads I've had at restaurants! I used ingredients that commonly show up in Thai restaurants here in the US.
Thai-Inspired Peanut Slaw Recipe Ingredients:
Peanut Butter (or Almond Butter)
I use organic peanut butter here but almond butter tastes delicious in this recipe too. Peanut butter has a bad rap in the health community for a few reasons, 1) it's usually loaded with sugar, 2) peanuts aren't huge superfood superstars when compared to almonds and other nuts*, and 3) peanuts stored in mass quantities grow mold very easily.
(*Peanuts aren't nuts, they're legumes. That's a post for another day.)
For those reasons, it's VERY important to only buy organic & unsweetened peanut butter to ensure you are getting high-quality food. Read the ingredient label, it should only say organic peanuts. A little organic peanut butter every now and again is a great addition to a healthy eating plan for those who don't have nut allergies.
The reason I chose peanut butter today because it's so (SO!) important to vary the foods we eat so our immune systems don't become intolerant to certain foods. With the popularity of almond butter, almond milk, almond flour, and all other things almond in the past few years, I thought a break from almonds might some people good. It's not that I don't love almonds, I just needed some variety this week. If you haven't been on the almond bandwagon and want to use almond butter or sun butter here, then please do.
This is a slaw, after all! Cabbage is one of the most overlooked nutrient-dense superfood superstars in the produce section. It's PACKED with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants & fiber, and when prepared correctly is really a fantastic texture.
To shred cabbage by hand, cut it in half down the center of the core, then cut each of the halves again down the center of the core so you have quarters. Take each quarter on its side and cut the core out on the diagonal. Then (slowly and patiently) thinly slice the cabbage into shreds. Or, to make this super easy, grab a package of pre-shredded cabbage in the lettuce section of your grocery store—it often comes with the cabbage and carrot already shredded.
Carrots are nutritional powerhouses loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and hydration. Plus, they add a pretty orange color and delicious flavor to your slaw.
Red Bell Peppers
The bright rainbow of veggies in this slaw recipe covers the spectrum of health to deliver a huge dose of antioxidants and good stuff your body craves. Red bell peppers are perfect for color, flavor, and crunch here. Green peppers are too bitter for me in this recipe, but yellow or orange would also be great. But this is your slaw! Leave them out if you don't care for peppers.
And don't forget the cilantro, unless you're someone who has the gene that makes cilantro taste like soap. Cilantro is a powerful chelator, meaning it grabs onto heavy metals in your digestive system and pulls them right out (a good thing, trust me.) If you don't care for cilantro, just leave it out.
Peanut Dressing Recipe Notes
This peanut dressing is addictive! You can substitute the peanut butter with almond butter or sun butter (sunflower seed butter) one-for-one and it's still fantastic.
Raw apple cider vinegar adds the perfect amount of tang, while fresh ginger and fresh garlic punch up the flavor volume. Plus, they are two of nature's most powerful superfoods. Both garlic and ginger have huge antiseptic, antimicrobial, and other healing properties.
To make the peanut dressing, simply add all of the dressing ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. If you don't have a food processor or blender, finely chop or grate the garlic and ginger, when whisking all of the dressing ingredients together in a small saucepan over low heat until it's well-emulsified. Let cool before adding to the slaw. The heat is simply to help you whisk it together; no need to heat anything if you make this in a food processor or blender.
I eat this salad plain as a light lunch; you can easily add hemp seeds, shelled edamame, or leftover chicken for protein. We really like it with shredded chicken, you can find my Crockpot Shredded Chicken here and my Instant Pot Shredded Chicken here.
This Thai-Inspired Peanut Superfood Slaw Recipe is a long-time reader favorite. It's bursting with flavor and packed with nutrition. Use it as a light lunch, a side dish, or add your favorite protein of choice to turn it into a meal. We occasionally add shredded chicken or shelled edamame. If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating in the comments below to help other readers in our community.
For the slaw:
- 4 cups shredded cabbage (any variety you like, OR, one 12-ounce bag of pre-shredded cabbage)
- 2 carrots, peeled & julienned or shredded (about 1 cup)
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
- 6 scallions (aka green onions), root end and 2 inches of green top removed, finely chopped
- ½ cup peas (fresh or frozen defrosted in room temp water)
- ½ cup rough chopped fresh cilantro
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons organic tamari (gluten-free soy sauce; sub low-sodium soy sauce if desired)
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons raw honey (sub white sugar if desired)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons creamy organic peanut butter (or almond butter or sun butter)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
- Optional: hot sauce or a small fresh jalapeno for heat
- Put all of the ingredients for the dressing in a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix) and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Alternatively, you can finely chop the garlic and ginger and whisk all of the dressing ingredients together over low heat in a small saucepan until well emulsified.
- Wash and prepare all produce. You can shred the cabbage on a hand-help mandoline (my preference), by hand with a sharp knife, or use the shredding blade in a food processor. The veggie measurements are pretty flexible; adjust to your preference, what you might have on hand, and what’s a good price at the store (e.g. yellow vs red bell pepper). The peas are optional—I really like them here but if you don't care for peas just leave them out.
- Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The cabbage will give off some water the longer it’s stored, so the fresher the better.
Keywords: Thai Peanut Slaw, Asian Slaw, Peanut Slaw Recipe