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. 

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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.

Kale & Cabbage Pad Thai Salad

  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4


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.


  • 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
  • 12 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Thai


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 359
  • Sugar: 14 g
  • Sodium: 848 mg
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Carbohydrates: 42 g
  • Fiber: 15 g
  • Protein: 13 g

Keywords: pad thai salad, kale and cabbage salad, kale and cabbage pad thai salad, salad, vegan, gluten free, kale, cabbage, pad thai

More Kale Salads to Try:

More Healthy Salad Dressing Ideas:

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Recipe rating

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

      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!

    2. Caitlin Wilson
      March 15, 2021 AT 12:57 pm

      This salad is so delicious!! It tastes fresh and healthy but also super flavorful. Made it for the first time last week and will be making it again today! 🙂

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 15, 2021 AT 3:00 pm

        Yay! So glad you loved this salad, Caitlin. 🙂

    3. Karen
      January 29, 2021 AT 7:09 pm

      This salad is amazing! It’s beautiful, healthy and delicious. The only thing I will do differently next time is to use 1/2 the red onion and taste test before adding more. It overpowered the other flavors in this (my first of many!) batch. I will absolutely be making it again, soon!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 29, 2021 AT 9:39 pm

        So glad you loved this recipe, Karen! Thanks for coming back to leave a review. I appreciate it. 🙂

    4. Laurel
      November 24, 2020 AT 2:01 pm

      I’m drooling just thinking about this salad. Cant wait to make it.

    5. Ruth
      November 11, 2020 AT 6:05 pm

      Great recipe. Did not have red pepper, but made it anyways and we liked it very much!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 11, 2020 AT 7:53 pm

        So glad you enjoyed this salad, Ruth!! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. 🙂

    6. Lynn Thorn
      August 16, 2020 AT 8:21 am

      Just made this yesterday and not only is it pretty with all those colors, it tastes amazing. This will be my go to dish to bring to a BBQ or potluck!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 17, 2020 AT 3:24 pm

        Ahh yay! That makes me so happy to hear, Lynn. I’m glad you’re a fan of this salad. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I appreciate it. 🙂

    7. Nita
      August 14, 2020 AT 2:41 pm

      Brittany! This is freaking AMAZING. I had left over ground chicken so I put that in the salad but I’ll be using chickpeas next time! The dressing is perfect and satisfies my Thai cravings!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 14, 2020 AT 5:21 pm

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Nita! I’m so pumped you loved this salad. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    8. Sophie
      August 12, 2020 AT 12:12 am

      Delicious and refreshing! The veggies took a bit of time to clean and prep but it made a bunch so definitely worth it. The dressing was so good. I roasted the chickpeas for 30 mins at 425 to make them crispy. Will make this again!

      Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 12, 2020 AT 7:55 pm

        So glad you enjoyed this salad, Sophie. 🙂 Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!

    9. Macie
      August 5, 2020 AT 10:03 pm

      Made this tonight and it was so yummy! I hade to stop myself from drinking the dressing as if it were a soup lol

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 5, 2020 AT 11:23 pm

        Haha isn’t it SO good?! I’m glad you enjoyed this salad, Macie. Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it. 🙂

    10. Samantha
      August 4, 2020 AT 8:49 pm

      Another delicious and nutritious meal from EBF. Perfect for summer since cooking on the stove is not required! Flavorful, refreshing, and that dressing, oh me oh my!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 5, 2020 AT 1:33 am

        Yay!! So pumped that you loved this salad, Samantha! I really appreciate you making my recipe and coming back to leave a comment + star rating. 🙂

    11. Kara Culp
      August 2, 2020 AT 12:15 pm

      I just made this salad for lunch today and it is so satisfyingly delicious! Yummy! Thank you for the recipe

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 3, 2020 AT 12:31 am

        Yay! So glad you enjoyed this salad, Kara!

    12. Angela Mizera
      June 11, 2020 AT 1:59 pm

      Just made the Cabbage & Kale Pad Thai Salad for the first time. I’m not usually a fan of Kale, but I sliced it very thin and I’m in love with this salad! It’s crunchy, bright and fresh! The dressing is wonderful…I added some peanuts because I had them around for some extra crunch. My new favorite salad!

    13. Rashi s
      February 24, 2020 AT 11:35 am

      Great recipe, the dressing is wonderful. I love your recipes, they are healthy and delicious.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 24, 2020 AT 12:47 pm

        Yay!! So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Rashi. I really appreciate you coming back to leave a comment + star rating. It means the world to me!

    14. Tiffany
      January 28, 2020 AT 9:01 pm

      Super good! I made a few substitutions based on what I had on-hand…but it turned out so yummy because of the dressing…and I’m not a big cabbage or kale fan. 🙂

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 29, 2020 AT 11:50 pm

        Yay! That makes me so happy to hear, Tiffany. Thanks for trying my recipe and for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. It means the world to me. <3

    15. Christine
      May 22, 2019 AT 9:18 pm

      Yummmmmy! I amped up the garlic, ginger, and sriracha in the dressing a bit because we like a little heat. I substituted scallion for red onion, and added cucumber and avocado on top. I would give it 6 stars if I could!

    16. Mary
      March 24, 2019 AT 9:24 am

      I’ve made this delicious salad twice this week. We love it, thank you! ELIminated the oil because we don’t eat it…..still great.

    17. Tami T.
      March 3, 2019 AT 2:06 pm

      Delish! Perfect salad for lunches or gatherings.

    18. Jessica
      September 18, 2018 AT 10:13 am

      I made this last night and absolutely loved it! This might be my new go-to detox salad. The dressing is especially yummy! Thank you for a delicious vegan recipe!

    19. Shannon
      September 16, 2018 AT 7:55 pm

      Although the salad took me longer to prep then the recipe stated it was worth every minute! I have made this using the dressing, but preferred just using store-bought peanut sauce to drizzle. I’ve also added shrimp cooked Thai style. It makes a huge portion! Love it!

    20. Brittany Audra @ Audra’s Appetite
      September 12, 2018 AT 11:28 am

      I adore crunchy salads packed with lots of different textures! And savory peanut dressings…delicious! 🙂

    21. Malin Andersson
      March 23, 2016 AT 7:12 am

      Hello! Brittany, I love your post because it is looking very nice. This recipe is commonly used in our home. I am very happy to see this recipe. Thanks for sharing it.

    22. Mikkel Magnuson
      February 10, 2016 AT 8:49 am

      Hi Brittany ! I am big fan of your personality and your recipes. This recipe looks so healthy and delicious. Surely I will this recpie for dinner tonight. Thanks for sharing and making cooking so easy for us.

    23. Lynn
      May 19, 2015 AT 10:29 pm

      Thank you for this recipe. I made a full recipe yesterday. My husband who doesn’t fuss kale loved it. He had some for supper last night and brought some for his lunch today. My teenage son ate half of the recipe to himself. I finished what was left for supper tonight. I had some kale and cabbage left, therefore, I made another batch tonight (for tomorrow) minus the chickpeas as I didn’t have any…. maybe I’ll stop by the store tomorrow. Instead of sriracha sauce, I put Frank’s hot sauce. Thank you.

    24. Rachel
      February 6, 2015 AT 9:24 pm

      I made this today and adapted it to what I had on hand in my kitchen. I subbed soy sauce for Tamari/Liquid Aminos, subbed green onion for red onion, didn’t have any chick peas but the added protein would have been appreciated, and subbed honey for maple syrup. It was delicious, husband and toddler both loved it.

    25. Tricia
      December 18, 2014 AT 3:49 pm

      This really is delicious. Thank you Brittany! I made it for the 2nd time last night, though the red onion was very strong. Next time I think I’ll soak the onion pieces in ice water for ~15 mins. to mellow them out.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 18, 2014 AT 11:29 pm

        So glad you liked it, Tricia. Sometimes red onion can be a little intense. I haven’t tried soaking it in red onion before but I’ve seen others do it. Hopefully it will help!

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