Nordstrom Cafe Signature Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe

Many of my favorite recipes for delicious salads happen to be from Nordstrom Cafe. In Orange County, my local Nordstrom is about a 5 minute drive, so I make sure to plan frequent visits for lunch when I’m there. In Salt Lake, our closest Nordstrom isn’t to much much further, but what I find interesting is that at the two Nordstrom restaurants closest to our house they have different styles of restaurants that make the salads a little bit differently than I’m used to. That caused me to do a little investigative work and see if I couldn’t whip up a few of the Nordstrom Cafe Salad Recipes that I love so much here in my own kitchen, just the way I like them. The Ginger Sesame Chicken Salad is my favorite, with the cilantro lime shrimp salad comes in a close’s really good with chicken too if you don’t love shrimp. I’ll have to work on that recipe to add here later. These are delicious, healthy recipes that are super easy to make. My favorite combination.   Affiliate links are included in this post.

nordstrom cafe recipe for salads

This Ginger Sesame Chicken salad recipe from Nordstrom Cafe is very simple. What you see is what you get. The fresh ingredients are all easy to identify right there in the salad, so the recipe is very easy to replicate. The cilantro lime chicken salad is a little trickier to figure out because the cilantro lime vinaigrette is key to the recipe and it is a little more effort to make.


nordstrom cafe recipe for salads

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this Nordstrom salad recipe:

  • Chicken Breasts
  • Red Peppers
  • Yellow Peppers
  • Carrot Sticks
  • Wontons
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Salad Dressing

Just seeing those delicious ingredients all laid out in one spot is making me hungry!  I love taking pretty pictures of food! Especially because it means you get to eat the props afterwards. 😉

I am admittedly a bit lazy and usually buy spring mix greens or pre-washed baby greens so I don’t have to wash, dry and chop any lettuce. If you didn’t have anything like that on hand, I’m sure this recipe would be just as delicious with romaine lettuce or iceberg. I also buy matchstick carrots because well…for an entire bag it’s about $1.25, and that just isn’t worth it to me to wash, peel and cut carrots into tiny little pieces either. lol! 

Actually, you can really buy just about everything that goes into this salad already pre-made if you feel like it, which makes putting the whole chicken salad recipe together about a 2 minute task.  Talk about an easy lunch!

nordstrom cafe recipe for salads

I do cut my own red and yellow bell peppers…I know, applause accepted. ha!  Then I simply toss the spring mix, carrots and bell peppers together in a large bowl and it looks so pretty and colorful! 

nordstrom cafe recipes for salads

For the chicken I like to buy boneless chicken breasts that are thin cut.  These cook up a lot faster and more evenly and chop up for perfect bite size pieces in your salad recipe.  I simply sprinkle these with a little salt and black pepper and then cook on the stove in a non-stick pan with a little olive oil turning once, until they are cooked through. 

Even though you only need about 1/2-1 chicken breast in each salad, I make a few extra because it is great to have these already ready to go in the fridge for other meals or salads.  Just throw the leftover cooked strips of chicken in an airtight container in the fridge. It’s best cold on the salad anyway. If you prefer, you can buy pre-cooked chicken strips to use in this salad recipe.

nordstrom cafe salad recipes

Wonton strips are often readily available in the salad aisle at the grocery store, but just in case you can’t find them, you can find the full sized wonton wrappers (about the size of 3×3 square) in the refrigerated aisles somewhere. That is what I had to use this time and fry up my own because I was only able to find wasabi flavored wonton strips at the store, and that is not what I was looking for.  For these Nordstrom Cafe salad recipes I wanted the simple, salty fried strips of wontons.  If you need to fry up your own wonton strips, just cut the wonton wrappers into about 1 inch strips. 

Place them in a pot with enough oil covering the amount of wontons you want to fry at one time. I just used a little canola oil I had on hand. Make sure your pot has tall enough sides to prevent the oil from going over the edge once you put your wonton strips in to fry and they expand. Heat up your oil and and place the wonton strips you have cut into the pan slowly. Only put a few in at a time to fry. They cook quickly.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked wontons and place them on a paper towel to drain.  Sprinkle with salt while they are fresh out of the oil.  Then, add some more to the pot to fry.  The wontons are best kept at room temperature like chips, in a sealed container in a dry place. Don’t put them in the fridge or they will get soggy.  I make lots of extras to have on hand for all my Nordstrom Cafe salad recipes. 

This recipe might be a little intimidating since it involves frying, but deep frying isn’t scary if you are prepared, go slowly and are patient.  All you need is a small pot, enough oil to cover the food you want to fry, a slotted spoon or utensil to get the food out of the pot, and paper towels drain the food. It might seem scary at first, but really it’s not that hard! I also like to use a splatter guard to keep little droplets of oil from escaping.

Once your wonton strips are drained and cooled, you can finish assembling your salad. Place a sliced chicken breast on top of your bed of spring mix, carrots and peppers. Sprinkle the salad with the sliced almonds and arrange a few sweet mandarin orange slices around the bowl. I wouldn’t recommend candied almonds for this recipe, but if you can find lightly glazed honey almonds at the store those are fine too.

nordstrom cafe salad recipes

Drizzle the salad with the most important ingredient…the Nordstrom Cafe Ginger Sesame Dressing. You can buy the actual Nordstrom version at Nordstrom, or if you don’t have a Nordstrom nearby, you can make your own with this delicious recipe from the Nordstrom Cookbook.   Next, toss a few sesame seeds on top of the dressed salad, top with a generous pile of fried wonton strips and wa-la!  You have yourself an amazingly delicious Nordstrom Cafe salad. Isn’t that an easy recipe?

I will eat this salad morning noon and night. It’s great for family dinners, as a light meal if you want to omit the chicken, and definitely as a side dish for a spring or summer gathering. If you want to modify this recipe a bit you could add a few sliced green onions on top, some shredded cabbage to the lettuce mix, or maybe even some tart green apple slices. All might be good additions.

I love so many things at Nordstrom Cafe. They sell a lot of their salad dressings and some pre-packaged goodies in the restaurant and the Nordstrom cookbooks make great gifts if you’re looking for something for Mother’s Day or a wedding gift.

Nordstrom Cafe Asian / Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe

nordstrom cafe recipe for salads


  • Spring Mix
  • Red and Yellow Bell Pepper Strips
  • Chopped Matchstick Carrots
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Fried Wonton Strips
  • Nordstrom Ginger Sesame Dressing
  • Sliced Honey Almonds


  1. Toss together spring mix with pepper strips, oranges and carrots.  Top salad with slices of cooked chicken breasts, sliced almonds, dressing, sesame seeds and fried wonton strips.  Enjoy!
nordstrom cafe recipes for salads

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Looking for more great recipes ideas? You can find so many good ones here in our Recipe Gallery. I’ll get working on that recipe for the cilantro lime salad and have it here for you soon!

Happy cooking!



Creative Director at Pink Peppermint Design
Tammy Mitchell is the founder and creative director of lifestyle blog Along with being a homeschooling mom of two kiddos, she is also an in-demand prop and event stylist, photographer, interior and graphic designer. On Pink Peppermint Design, she shares creative DIY projects, easy entertaining and gift ideas, inspiring interiors and events. She lives in Southern California, with her husband and two children.

nordstrom cafe recipe for salads

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