Make-Ahead Spicy Chicken and Rice Salad

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make ahead spicy chicken and rice salad recipe
Katherine Gillen

We love a lettuce-free lunch salad for many reasons. Chief among them, it’s easy to make a few days ahead and store in the refrigerator until needed. This make-ahead spicy chicken and rice salad relies on cabbage for a crisp, crunchy bowl sans lettuce.

Here we chose purple cabbage because we like the pop of color it adds, but know that it will probably stain your salad a pinkish hue as it sits in the fridge. It’ll still taste just as delicious, but you can also use green cabbage if you want to avoid this. Use a rotisserie chicken for ultimate convenience, or cook your own chicken breasts if you have the time. Pat yourself on the back: You just meal-prepped without even trying.


1½ cups brown rice

¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar

¼ cup fish sauce

½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups cubed or shredded chicken breast

½ head cabbage, cored and finely shredded

3 scallions, sliced

¼ cup chopped cilantro

1 carrot, julienned


1. Cook the rice according to the package directions. Transfer to a large bowl to cool while you make the dressing.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, jalapeño, sugar and red pepper flakes.

3. Add the chicken, cabbage, scallions, cilantro and carrot to the cooled rice. Pour the dressing over the mixture and toss to combine. The salad will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge.

Nutrition Facts
  • 323 calories

  • 7g fat

  • 46g carbs

  • 18g protein

  • 11g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...