Skinny Napa Cabbage Chinese Chicken Salad

Look on the menu of many restaurants from Wendy’s, Applebee’s, Ruby’s Diner to Wolfgang Puck’s Chinois and you’re bound to see the very popular Chinese chicken salad. Normally it’s made with iceberg lettuce, chicken with the skin still on, or even fried chicken, deep fried noodles and fattening Asian dressing. Happily, this skinny makeover really delivers a delicious and nutritious crunch thanks to the Napa cabbage, sliced almonds, pea pods, and scallions.  The skinny homemade Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing is one of the best you’ll ever taste. Each main course salad including dressing has 208 calorie, 8 grams of fat and 5 Weight Watchers SmartPoints.   

Prep Time: 15 minutes (including dressing)


1 recipe for Chicken Chinese Salad Dressing (recipe follows)

1 head Napa cabbage, washed and dried, shredded or chopped

2 cups chicken breast, cooked and chopped (remove skin)

1 cup Chinese pea pods, chopped

3 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced

½ cup Chow Mein crispy noodles or crispy rice noodles (optional topping)


 1. Prepare the Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing and refrigerate.

2. In a large bowl, add all salad ingredients except the Chow Mein noodles.

3. Toss salad with dressing and divide among 4 plates.

4. Sprinkle each salad with a little Chow Mein noodles, if desired and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Healthy Benefit
Napa cabbage (also called Chinese cabbage) is a good source of vitamin A, folic acid, and potassium.  It also contains a fair amount of fiber.

Shopping Tips
Choose Napa cabbage with firm, tightly packed heads, and crisp green-tipped leaves.

Chow Mein noodles can be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets.  I like LA CHOY Chow Mein noodles are available in a 5 oz can. They contain  2.5 grams of fat for ¼ cup.

Weight Watchers SmartPoints 5
Weight Watchers POINTS 

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 main course salad including dressing
208 cal, 8g fat, 1g sat. fat, 21g protein, 14g carbs, 0g fiber, 268mg sodium, 6g sugar

Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing

Wait until you taste this fabulous dressing.  It’s sooo delicious. Each tablespoon has 33 calories.  Try it as a dip for carrots, pea pods, and celery.  Yum!

Prep time: 5 minutes


½ cup Best Skinny Ranch Dressing

¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon chopped or crushed ginger (from a jar)

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


 1. In a small bowl whisk together all of the ingredients.

2. Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate for 1 hour to thicken.

3. Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing will keep in the refrigerator at least 1 week.

Makes ¾ cups

Shopping Tip
Chopped or crushed ginger (in a jar) can be found in the produce section near garlic (in a jar).

Prep Tip
To toast the sesame seeds, sprinkle on a piece of foil.  Place under the broiler for about 1-2 minutes until toasted. Keep an eye on them. They brown very quickly.

Quick Tip

To chill the dressing faster, place in the freezer for 20 minutes (set a timer so you don’t forget about it!)
SKINNY FACTS: for 1 tablespoon
33 cal, 2g fat, 0.2g sat. fat, 1mg chol, 1g prot.,3g carbs, 0g fiber, 70mg sodium, 2g sugar

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