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Copycat Panera Spicy Thai Salad

  • Author: Amy
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 salads 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Panera is known for its whole-food approach to fast food and the Spicy Thai Salad With Chicken (without chicken for us), is one of my favorite items on the menu. Crisp lettuce with charred red pepper, carrots, and edamame, and crunchy toasted almonds and wonton strips is the salad I order every single time. The spicy, sweet, tangy dressing with a hint of ginger brings the whole thing together. If you can’t make it to Panera to try this amazing salad, I’ve worked on developing this copycat Panera spicy Thai salad for you to try at home.




2 medium heads of romaine lettuce, trimmed and chopped

2 cups cilantro, chopped

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 red bell peppers, chopped

1 1/2 cups baby carrots, sliced

1 cup edamame

5 Won Ton wrappers cut into strips, or store bought crispy won tons

1 Tbsp oil for the Won Tons

1/4 cup sliced almonds


4 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

4 tsp rice wine vinegar

2 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp lime

4 tsp sweetener (I used Swerve sugar substitute)

4 Tbsp water

1 birds eye chilis (depending on the desired level of spicy), finely chopped


1/4 cup peanut butter

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp sweetener (I used Swerve sugar substitute)

2 tsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 Tbsp minced onion

2 Tbsp light coconut milk

2 tsp lime juice

1 birds eye chili

pinch of salt (no more than 1/8 tsp)


  1. Saute or Grill: Saute the carrots, red pepper, and edamame on medium-high heat in oil for 8-10 minutes or until they become softened and slightly charred, OR (more authentic) grill the vegetables until softened and slightly charred.
  2. Fry: Prepare the won-ton strips by sautéing in shallow oil
  3. Toast: Toast the almonds over medium heat almonds until barely browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  4. Prep the dressing: Whisk together ingredients for the vinaigrette. Separately, blend the ingredients together for the peanut dressing.
  5. Toss: Toss lettuce, cilantro, and vegetables together with the vinaigrette dressing, top with almonds, and crunchy won ton strips.
  6. Drizzle: Drizzle the peanut dressing on top.
  7. See Recipe notes below for notes about adding chicken.


*We didn’t make chicken with this because we don’t eat chicken but we have had this with chicken plenty of times before becoming vegan.  If you plan on having chicken, each salad gets about 4oz of chicken.  You can use pre-cooked chicken or marinate and cook it yourself.  I believe they use a citrus marinade (orange juice, vinegar, sugar, dried basil), and it seems baked.  I hope that helps!

**I am not entering nutrition data for this salad because there are too many variables and some leftover peanut dressing (yum).

***If you can’t find birds eye chilis, you can use 1 tsp of finely minced habanero pepper, the flavor is almost the same.  

  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Assemble
  • Cuisine: Thai American

Keywords: panera spicy thai salad, panera spicy thai salad with chicken, panera spicy thai salad dressing, panera bread recipes, spicy thai salad panera,