This Pad Thai salad is a vegetarian inspired take on the famous pad Thai dish. Great for meal prepping and can easily be made vegan when you leave off the scrambled egg.

This whole paleo challenge thing the second time around hasn’t been so easy.

It’s warmer, there’s ice cream to be had on weekends and pizzas to devour when your husband has this new obsession with homemade ones on the weekend and that’s just way more fun than paleo.

Honestly, the only thing keeping me from saying “screw it” to the whole shebang has been the fact that we’re partnered up this time.

If I cheat, my partner gets no points for the day and vice versa. The guilt. It gets me.

Did I want to eat a salad the other day for lunch?

Pad Thai salad on two small plates with homemade Thai dressing.
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Nope. Not at all.

So I made it really pretty, made a kick ass creamy, spicy dressing that I drenched it in and tried to excite myself about a bunch of leafy greens that were supposed to mimic my favorite Thai dish except minus the best part, the noodles.

It’s similar to my Thai Kohlrabi Noodle Salad except this pad Thai salad has the creamy effect from the almond butter in the dressing.

The crispness and crunchy texture of this salad has a lot in common with my favorite bok choy salad. It’s another recipe that mimics takeout Asian flavors in a healthier way.

Raw pad Thai salad ingredients on a plate before the dressing has been added.

And shockingly, it worked.

The only bad thing about this was the fact that I ate it not even 30 minutes before a sled pull workout.

Not my brightest idea.

What Is Pad Thai?

Traditionally, pad Thai is a stir dish where the protein varies but includes noodles (sometimes veggies) all tossed in a creamy pad Thai sauce.

Today we are placing a spin on the conventional recipe and making it a raw salad instead!

Pad Thai Salad Ingredients

  • cabbage – feel free to swap for spiralized zucchini instead (or make these Thai Chicken Zucchini Noodles!)
  • swiss chard
  • yellow peppercut the peppers into thin slices known as matchsticks
  • bean sprouts
  • cilantro
  • cashews – could also swap for peanuts
  • green onions
  • chili peppers
  • egg – make sure to scramble

Pad Thai Dressing

  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • white wine vinegar
  • garlic clove
  • red pepper flakes
  • ground ginger
  • almond butter – could use peanut butter and make it into a peanut sauce
  • almond milk
Pad Thai salad with Thai dressing and scrambled egg next to two forks.

How to Make Vegetarian Raw Pad Thai Salad

Assemble the raw salad ingredients once you have everything chopped and sliced.

Whisk together the pad Thai dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

You can also use an immersion blender. Start with two tablespoons of almond milk, then whisk in more as needed.

Toss the salad in the dressing or serve on the side.

Meal Prepping Tips

  • For an on the go lunch, you can pre-make pad Thai salad in mason jars, adding the dressing first. Then shake when you are ready to eat.
  • Chop veggies ahead of time if you are planning to make more than one salad for the week.
  • Make additional dressing ahead of time.

Now only if I could kick this 10pm cookie craving I’m currently having while writing this with a giant colorful salad.

Sorry, paleo.

More Thai inspired recipes:

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
Sticky Thai Chicken
Spicy Thai Carrot and Kale Salad
Thai Basil Cashew Chicken Skillet

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5 from 3 votes

Pad Thai Salad

Servings: 2 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
This Pad Thai salad is a vegetarian inspired take on the famous pad Thai dish.


For the Salad

  • 1 cup cabbage, shredded
  • 4-5 large leaves of swiss chard, sliced/chiffonade
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 small chili peppers, diced
  • 1 egg, scrambled

For the Thai Dressing

  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons almond milk


  • Arrange salad ingredients in a bowl.
  • Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Start with 2 tablespoons almond milk and whisk in more as needed to get desired consistency.
  • Pour dressing over salad and enjoy.


Lightly adapted from A Couple Cooks


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 396kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 14gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 403mgFiber: 8gSugar: 24g

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

Additional Info

Course: Salads
Cuisine: Thai
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I made this a couple of times all ready and both time it was a big hit in our house, there was nothing left!

    Thanks for a great recipe :)

  2. I order pad thai every single time we go out for Thai food. What a fun salad idea! Wish it would help with the cookie cravings, because I could totally use that!

  3. You have CHANGED my life with this recipe! I can’t tell you how long I’ve been craving Pad Thai for … and every curry recipe just hasn’t done it. Well, you did it! Made this for lunch today and everyone at work is asking “what is that you’re eating- it smells delightful!” Because it is. THANK YOU!

  4. This salad looks gorgeous!

    Are you doing a paleo challenge? Is it just for fun or health reasons? I’m just curious. I’ll probably find my answer if I just go back a few posts, so I’m off! :)

  5. I love Pad Thai! What a great idea to combine all the delicious flavors of that dish into a fresh salad! Can’t wait to try this one soon.

  6. LOVE pad thai too!
    Your photos enhances this healthy dish for me to now put on the list too! Thank you!