Trader Joe's Copycat Thai Salad Is Packed With Protein

POPSUGAR Photography | Leta Shy
POPSUGAR Photography | Leta Shy

Trader Joe's salads are great in a pinch — they're ready to go and more affordable than grabbing takeout every day. But a plastic-wrapped, store-bought salad can mean sacrificing flavor and freshness (in addition to nutrients).

This version of Trader Joe's citrus chicken salad tastes better than the original and is just as low in calories. A mix of digestion-relieving cabbage and papaya and hydrating, antioxidant-rich daikon — along with a tangy Thai-inspired citrus dressing — makes for a flavorful, filling lunch that's high in protein and low in fat and calories. Plus, since this recipe makes three servings, you can make it ahead and have lunch ready for most of the work week.

Thai Citrus Chicken Salad

Cook TimeAbout 25 minutes
Yield3 servings

Leta Shy, POPSUGAR Fitness


    • For the salad:
    • 1 chicken breast, about 7 to 8 ounces, cubed
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 1/2 cup Napa cabbage, shredded
    • 1 cup red cabbage, shredded
    • 1 cup papaya, cut into matchsticks
    • 1 cup carrots, shredded
    • 1/2 cup daikon, shredded
    • 1/4 cup green onion, minced
    • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • 1/2 lime, cut into wedges
    • For the dressing:
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
    • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 to 1 jalepeno, or to taste


    1. Sprinkle cubed chicken breast with salt and pepper, and add minced garlic. Set aside for a few minutes.

    2. Over medium-high heat, heat a skillet or pan and add olive oil.

    3. When oil is hot, add chicken breast and cook, turning occasionally to brown on both sides. Remove when done, about seven minutes. Squeeze juice from a wedge of lime on the chicken, and set aside to cool.

    4. In a large bowl, mix together the rest of the salad ingredients (red and Napa cabbage, carrots, papaya, daikon, green onion, and cilantro). Set aside.

    5. In a small bowl, combine all salad dressing ingredients and mix together.

    6. Pour dressing into a blender, and blend until emulsified.

    7. Add chicken and dressing to salad, and mix to combine. Serve with a lime wedge.


    The hardest part of this recipe is shredding and chopping all the vegetables, so opt for preshredded red and green cabbage mix if you want to save time. If you want this spicier, add more jalepeño to the dressing.