Honey Sriracha Chicken Salad is one of my favorite quick summer meals. It is bright, bold, colorful, and just that right amount of spice that adults and kids both love it.
I’ve made these Honey Sriracha Chicken Salads so many times. We had a few really hot weeks and since we don’t have air conditioning, I’ll do just about anything to not turn on the oven. When it is hot, all I want is a crisp salad. And this recipe fits the bill. I got it from Donal Skehan and it has been in heavy rotation since the first time I made it.
Why You Will Love This Recipe //
- I almost didn’t even bother trying it because I thought that it would be too spicy for the kids. I toned down the sriracha a bit and added more honey. It was a hit. It does have some spice, but I’ve found that my kids actually really like bold flavors. This is a rare unicorn that everyone in my house will happily eat.
- No need for an oven. I know I just mentioned this but it bears repeating (unlike the hot weather we’re getting, which is unbearable!). You can of course make this any time of year but with its rainbow colors and coolness, it seems ideal for summer months.
- The rainbow salad is bright, colorful, crunchy, and so pretty. This is a really easy meal to throw together with whatever you have in your crisper drawer. I always have the ingredients for the chicken on hand, so it is a quick meal that is easy to get on the table on a busy night. The salad does take some chopping, but I have my kids help out with that part while I get the chicken together.
Honey Sriracha Chicken:
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 4 to 6 chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 3 tbsp sriracha
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- lime juice and zest
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced
- 1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1 orange pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow pepper sliced
- 2 carrots, grated
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp minced basil
- 1 tbsp minced cilantro
- 1 tbsp minced mint
- salted cashews
- sesame seeds
- lime wedges
How To // The Steps
Step 1: For the salad, I slice everything and lay it out on a big platter so that everyone can pick and choose what goes into their bowl. The herbs are my favorite part and add so much freshness to the chicken. It also kills some of the heat.
You can do this earlier in the day, and place a damp paper towel over it all to keep it crisp and fresh.
Step 2: Move on to the sauce and have everything ready before I start cooking the chicken. Add everything to a bowl.
Step 3: Whisk to combine and taste. If it needs more heat, add some more sriracha, or honey and soy to taste.
Step 4: Heat a large saute pan or Dutch oven over MED-HIGH heat. Add oil and brown half of the chicken. I usually have to do two batches. Take the cooked chicken out of the pan and transfer to a plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
Step 5: Add the chicken back to the pan. Reduce the heat to LOW and add the sauce. Let simmer until thickened and coated, about 5 minutes. The chicken should be cooked through and the chicken should be glazed. Be careful, this can burn easily because of the honey. Resist the urge to raise the heat and walk away.
Step 6: Fill a bowl with salad, top with chicken, and garnish with lots of herbs, cashews, and sesame seeds.
Keto-friendly variation: As noted in the FAQs below, you can make this part of a keto diet. Use a low-carb sweetener instead of the honey, and substitute cauliflower or broccoli for the carrots.
Asian-style variation: Add some Asian flavors to the salad by replacing the basil, cilantro, and mint with fresh chopped Thai basil, mint, and cilantro. You can also add some sliced cucumber, bean sprouts, and chopped peanuts for extra crunch.
Taco-style variation: Instead of iceberg lettuce, use chopped romaine lettuce and add some taco seasoning to the chicken. Go all in by serving the salad in a tortilla bowl and topping with diced avocado and shredded cheese. I have a recipe for “Mexican Chicken” (at least, that’s what I call it), if you would like to try that, too.
Mediterranean-style variation: Replace the sriracha with harissa paste and add some chopped kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese to the salad. Serve with a side of hummus and pita bread. It would be similar to this recipe for Chopped Chicken Salad.
Buffalo-style variation: Want wings in salad form? Substitute buffalo sauce for the sriracha and scatter some diced celery and crumbled blue cheese over the salad. Serve with a side of ranch dressing.
If you prefer yours spicier, try 5 tablespoons of sriracha and less honey.
You probably overcrowded the pan. If you do this, the chicken will steam and not brown.
Not really, as it contains honey and carrots, which both contain carbs. You can cut out the carrots and use a low-carb sweetener like stevia or erythritol instead of the honey. You might also want to use almonds or walnuts instead of the salted cashews, which should be eaten in moderation if you’re on a keto diet. Speaking of moderation, this salad has a lot of veggies, which can add up, so you should keep track of what you’re consuming and how much.
How To Store Honey Sriracha Chicken Salad //
If the salad was just made, let it cool to room temperature (more the chicken than the other ingredients). Store in an airtight container and put it in the fridge where it should last for up to 3 days. This salad is delicious cold so don’t worry about reheating the chicken.
Honey Sriracha Chicken Salad
- Honey Sriracha Chicken
Honey Sriracha Chicken
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 4 to 6 chicken breasts or thighs cut into bitesize chunks
- 3 Tablespoons sriracha
- 3 Tablespoon honey
- 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- Zest and juice of a lime
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- If you prefer yours spicier, try 5 tablespoons of sriracha and less honey.
- Rainbow Salad
- 1/2 head iceberg lettuce thinly sliced
- 1/2 head red cabbage thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper sliced
- 1 orange pepper sliced
- 1 yellow pepper sliced
- 2 carrots grated
- 3 green onions thinly sliced
- 1 Tablespoon minced basil
- 1 Tablespoon minced cilantro
- 1 Tablespoon minced mint
- Salted cashews
- Sesame seeds
- Lime wedges
- I like to start with the salad. I slice everything and lay it out on a big platter so that everyone can pick and choose what goes into their bowl.
- You can do this earlier in the day, and plan a damp paper towel over to keep crisp and fresh.
- I like to start with the sauce and have everything ready before I start cooking the chicken. Add everything to a bowl.
- Whisk to combine and taste. If it needs more heat, add some more sriracha, or honey and soy to taste.
- Heat a large saute pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil and brown half of the chicken. I usually have to do two batches. Tae the cooked chicken out of the pan and transfer to a plate. You don’t want to overcrowd the pan or it will steam and not brown. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
- Add the chicken back to the pan. Reduce the heat to low and add the sauce. Let simmer until thickened and coated, about 5 minutes. The chicken should be cooked through and the chicken should be glazed. Be careful, this can burn easily because of the honey. Resist the urge to raise the heat and walk away.
- Fill a bowl with salad, top with chicken, and garnish with lots of herbs, cashews, and sesame seeds.