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. 

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


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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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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. 🙂

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Recently visited my friend who lives next to the Oso slide in Wash state. While it was hard not to look out her window to the devastation across the river, she served us this lovely salad for lunch. at that point, all we could talk about was how good the salad was. Took our mind off of the slide for a while. thrilled she sent me your link so I could make it too.

  13. This is the most delicious salad ever devised! I added the fish sauce back in though. I love the crunchy vegetables and the fact that the dressing is the protein…

    • Fabulous salad. I think John should calm his usage of extreme adjectives. Go buy your “authentic” Thai somewhere else and learn some manners. Say something polite or stay silent.

  14. I made this last night for my hubby and I (with a back up plan for the hubs in case he didn’t like). He went for 2nds of this salad and didn’t even want the left over Chinese Food…GREAT salad! thanks for sharing!!

  15. i had a bag of trader joe’s new cruciferous slaw sitting in my fridge and this was the perfect way to dress it up. the dressing is super yum! great idea :).

  16. as i sit here eating the very whole foods salad you’ve recreated, i can’t tell you how excited i am to try this recipe. the WF version is dangerously delicious, and i plan on making my own version next week!

  17. This looks so amazing!! Definitely going to try it as I’ve decided I want to focus on a more vegetarian way of eating 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  18. This looks yummy! What is the red veggie I see in the pictures, but not in the ingredients? I assume red bell pepper? Or tomato? Or maybe I’m mistaken? Thanks for the healthy recipes! 🙂

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