Kale & Cabbage Pad Thai Salad


This kale and cabbage pad thai salad has all the flavors of pad thai in salad form! It is my take on the Sweet and Spicy Kale Pad Thai from Whole Foods. Vegan + gluten-free.

Whenever I’m shopping at Whole Foods I’m always tempted to grab something from the salad bar or prepared foods section for my next meal. Through this habit I’ve discovered quite a few salads from the Whole Foods bar that I absolutely LOVE.

The Sweet and Spicy Kale Pad Thai is one of those salads! It has all the flavor of pad thai and an awesome crunch, but no noodles! After purchasing this salad from the prepared foods section too many times to count, I decided I should probably try making my own version at home, which I’ve done with a couple other Whole Foods salads including the Garlicky Kale Salad and the Crackling Cauliflower.

Kale and cabbage pad thai salad on a plate with peppers, onions and chickpeas. Another plate is in the background.

So here’s my version of the Whole Foods kale pad Thai salad!

I haven’t done a side by side taste test to see if the flavor is spot on, but I do know that this homemade version is delicious.

Glass bowl filled with the ingredients for the pad thai salad sectioned out. There are chopped onion, chickpeas, cilantro, carrots, and red pepper on top of kale and cabbage. Bowl is on a kitchen towel.

Normal pad Thai is certainly tasty, but it’s pretty carb heavy. In this recipe we’re replacing the rice noodles with kale and cabbage for a veggie-loaded, fiber packed dish that you can feel good about loading on your plate. I don’t know about you, but I’m totally a volume eater so vegetable packed dishes like this are great. They allow me to eat a lot of food so I feel full and satisfied, but not stuffed or heavy.

I also like how bright and colorful this salad is. The orange carrots, green kale, red bell pepper and onions are so beautiful. Added bonus: filling your plate with colorful foods means your getting a ton of different nutrients, but it can also boost your mood! Win, win.

Glass bowl with wooden salad spoons tossing a salad made from kale, cabbage, chickpeas, carrots, onion, and peppers. Sprigs of cilantro are to the side on the table.

Two plates of kale and cabbage pad thai salad sitting on a kitchen towel. Sprigs of cilantro are around the plates.

All of the veggies included in the salad are tasty on their own, but what really makes this salad is the dressing. It has all the flavors you’d expect from a Thai peanut dressing, but I used Bragg’s liquid aminos in place of soy sauce and skipped the fish sauce, which is a usual suspect in Thai sauces. So this dressing is soy free and vegan!

Peanut dressing in a jar with the lid laying on a kitchen towel.

Yum! Isaac and I have been eating it as a side with lunch and dinner over the past couple days and absolutely love it. I can’t wait for you to try it as well.

PS – If you love pad Thai, I have two other veggie based versions you should try: zucchini noodle pad Thai and lightened up pad Thai with cabbage noodles.

Plate with pad thai kale and cabbage salad. Plate is set on a napkin, with herbs laying around the table.

If you make this kale and cabbage pad thai salad please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Your feedback is so helpful for the EBF team and other readers. 

Kale & Cabbage Pad Thai Salad

4 from 35 votes
This kale and cabbage pad thai salad has all the flavors of pad thai in salad form! It is my take on the Sweet and Spicy Kale Pad Thai from Whole Foods. Vegan + gluten-free.
Glass bowl with wooden salad spoons tossing a salad made from kale, cabbage, chickpeas, carrots, onion, and peppers. Sprigs of cilantro are to the side on the table.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1/2 small head of green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of kale, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1-2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Light Pad Thai Dressing

  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • juice of 2 limes, about 4 Tablespoons
  • 2 Tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, or low-sodium tamari
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha, or more depending on your taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic


  • Combine all dressing ingredients in a glass jar. Stir or shake until combined and smooth. It might be hard to stir the peanut butter at first, which is why shaking might be your best bet.
  • Make sure all your veggies are chopped into bite-size pieces and toss in a large bowl to combine. Add chickpeas and top with dressing. Mix until all ingredients are well coated, serve and enjoy!



Serving: 1/4 of recipe Calories: 359kcal Carbohydrates: 42g Protein: 13g Fat: 12g Sodium: 848mg Fiber: 15g Sugar: 14g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: cabbage, gluten-free, kale, kale and cabbage pad thai salad, kale and cabbage salad, pad thai, pad thai salad, salad, vegan


Please leave a comment and star rating on this post and share on social media using the hashtag #eatingbirdfood. I love seeing your recipe shares!

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Recipe Rating

    1. Laurie Smith
      September 26, 2021 AT 7:09 pm

      I love this salad! Very easy to make, so flavorful and fresh, and very filling! This will be a new go to recipe! Thank you 😊

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 27, 2021 AT 10:45 am

        Ah yay! This makes me so happy to hear, Laurie! So pumped this salad was a hit. Thanks for the review!!

    2. Tricha
      June 10, 2021 AT 6:46 pm

      Can u sub almond butter for the peanut butter?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 11, 2021 AT 12:59 am

        Yes, that will be just fine!

    3. Lisa
      April 26, 2021 AT 7:53 pm

      5 stars
      As soon as I saw this recipe I could not wait to make it. My husband & I both absolutely loved it!! Super fresh and healthy! I will definitely be making this again, would make an amazing dish for a summer bbq! I added some fresh mint, broccoli and cucumber because I had some in my fridge & it worked really well. Thanks for the great recipe!!

    4. Molly
      April 19, 2021 AT 2:35 pm

      4 stars
      Very yummy and surprisingly filling! The only thing I would change would be to season the chickpeas on their own because they’re bland in comparison to the rest of the salad that soaks up the dressing (which is super tasty, by the way).

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 20, 2021 AT 3:36 pm

        Glad you enjoyed this salad, Molly! Thanks for the review 🙂

    5. Rachel Rodney
      April 6, 2021 AT 8:56 pm

      5 stars
      This salad is perfect!! Crunchy light, delicious and best of all – EASY(and budget friendly)! Thank you Brittany!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 7, 2021 AT 7:00 pm

        So glad you loved this salad, Rachel! Thanks for the review!

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.


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