When I lived in Michigan, I used to love Panera Spicy Thai Salad. Of course, I had to order it vegan, but the combination of vegetables and the tangy dressing always brought me back for more.
Since moving to Arizona, Panera has transformed its menu to include many plant-based items. Unfortunately, they haven't embraced the oil-free dressings, so I always get it without the sauce and dress it at home every time I order a salad.
Then, I took it a step further and decided to make my own vegan version of the Panera Spicy Thai Salad at home.
Although I would love to claim this ingredient concoction my own, the based idea is a copycat from Panera. However, as with all my recipes, I added additional ingredients, removed some that aren't compliant, and made my own dressing.
When it was all said and done, my copy cat Panera Spicy Thai Salad recipe blew the original one away, which is always the plan.
But, thank you, Panera, for the inspiration!
What ingredients are in Panera Spicy Thai Salad?
- Romaine lettuce
- Purple cabbage
- Green onions
- Red bell pepper
- Shelled Edamame (Mame)
- Toasted Almonds (optional)
- Grilled Asian tofu (optional)
What is Mame?
Mame is shelled edamame, which is found in the freezer section at the grocery store. Another alternative is to cook edamame and remove the immature soybeans from the pods.
Instead, I buy mame, which is already shelled to save time when making my vegan version of Panera Spicy Thai salad.
How to select and cut a mango for Spicy Thai Salad
According to Mango.org, learning how to judge a mango's ripeness makes cutting a mango easier.
- Don't focus on color. It is not the best indicator of ripeness.
- Squeeze the mango gently. A ripe mango will give slightly.
- Use your experience with produce such as peaches or avocados, which also become softer as they ripen.
- Ripe mangos will sometimes have a fruity aroma at their stem ends.
- The red color that appears on some varieties is not an indicator of ripeness. Always judge by feel.
First, peel the mango skin with a vegetable peeler.
Then, cut the mango down the middle just shy of the core or pit, which is rough and textured. Once the mango is cut from the center, chop it into bite-sized pieces and discard the center.
How to make the copycat oil-free dressing
Peanut Chili Vinaigrette
- Creamy peanut butter
- Red pepper flakes
- Maple syrup
- Low-sodium soy sauce
- Rice vinegar
- Lime juice
- Sweet chili sauce
- Red pepper flakes (optional for a spicier dressing)
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
How to toast raw almonds without oil (optional)
Even though most recipes suggest adding oil to a pan prior to tasting nuts, oil isn't necessary. Instead, place the raw nuts in a small skillet without any oil. The almonds toast without oil in a few minutes.
- Turn the stove on medium-low
- Add raw nuts to a dry small skillet
- Toss gently or use a wooden spoon to move the nuts around the pan
- DO NOT LEAVE UNATTENDED; nuts toast quickly, so be careful to watch them closely so they don't burn
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool before adding to the salad.
Do you love salad? Check out these healthy salad recipes!
- Soba Noodle Salad
- Quinoa Greek Salad with OMG Oil-Free Dressing
- Brussel Sprout and Kale Salad
- Southwest Salad
- Asparagus Salad
- Greek Orzo Salad
- Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad
- Harvest Salad
- Spaghetti Salad
- Summer Salads
- Mango Salad
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂