Dive into an explosion of vibrant flavors and fresh ingredients that whisk your taste buds off to a tropical getaway.
This recipe, inspired by an unforgettable meal at The Cheesecake Factory, is no ordinary salad. It takes a twist on the conventional green bowl by introducing a symphony of ingredients that are as vibrant in their colors as they are in their flavors.
This recipe is a Chicken Mango Avocado Salad, a spectacular combination of ingredients that’s bound to make your taste buds dance with joy.
How To Make Chicken Avocado Mango Salad:
Preparing the Chicken
The journey to create this exceptional salad begins with the chicken. Procure 1 pound of chicken, roughly equivalent to two medium-sized chicken breasts. Cut them in half lengthwise, seasoning both sides with garlic salt and black pepper. A hot skillet coated with 2 teaspoons of olive oil is where your chicken finds its flavor. Cook each side for about 3 minutes, ensuring the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the chicken is cooked to perfection, let it rest on a cutting board while you shift your focus to the salad’s leafy foundation.
Building the Salad Base
The salad’s backbone comes from one large head of romaine lettuce, chopped into bite-sized pieces. Discard the core and wash the lettuce thoroughly, drying it after. If you end up with about 6 cups of chopped lettuce, you’re on the right track. This lettuce serves as the canvas on which the rest of the salad ingredients will be painted.
Adding the Remaining Ingredients
As the chicken cools, begin preparing the remaining ingredients. Slice the rested chicken into bite-sized strips and arrange them over the bed of romaine lettuce. Next, turn your attention to the mango. Using a mango slicer, dice up the fresh fruit and sprinkle it onto the salad. The mango adds a sweet, tropical twist that sets this salad apart from others.
Not to be outdone, the avocado brings a creaminess that perfectly balances the sweetness of the mango. Peel and dice the avocado, transferring it to the salad bowl. Next, thinly slice half of a small purple onion and half an English cucumber, scattering them across the salad. Toss in half a cup of halved cherry tomatoes for a burst of juiciness.
Herbs are a vital aspect of any salad, and in this case, cilantro takes the stage. Chop about a quarter cup of fresh cilantro and sprinkle it over the salad. As a final touch, consider adding some toasted, sliced almonds for an extra crunch.
Whipping Up the Dressing
To accompany this vibrant salad, you’ll need a dressing that stands up to its robust flavors. Combine 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons of honey, and 1 minced garlic clove (about a teaspoon) in a small mason jar. Add a teaspoon of sea salt and a quarter teaspoon of black pepper. Once sealed, give the jar a vigorous shake until the ingredients are well blended. Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving and toss gently to ensure every ingredient gets a light coating.
How to Cut a Mango:
The easiest way to cut a mango is to use a sharp chef’s knife. Cut along the flat side of the mango, starting at one end and cutting toward the other.
You should be able to see through the skin of the mango as you cut. You will have to work slowly, as the mango is very slippery. If you cut too deep or twist or press down on the fruit while cutting, you will have a mess on your hands.
When cutting mangoes, I use a small spoon to remove any seeds that may be attached to the outside of the fruit. Seeds can be painful and don’t taste good in your smoothie!
If you’re not sure how ripe mango is, just squeeze it. It is ready for eating if it feels firm but has some give to it. If it feels soft and squishy, it must be ripened in an air-tight container on your kitchen counter for 2-3 days before eating (or use an underripe mango).
Tips and Variations
This salad is as versatile as it is delicious. Consider substituting the chicken with grilled shrimp for a seafood twist. You can also replace the romaine lettuce with kale or spinach for a nutrient-packed alternative. For a vegan version, omit the chicken and add in some grilled tofu or chickpeas.
If mangoes aren’t in season, feel free to use canned mango chunks or substitute them with fresh, ripe peaches. As for the dressing, adding a squeeze of fresh lime juice can add an extra tang that perfectly complements the sweetness of the mango.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I make this salad in advance? Yes, you can prepare the salad a day in advance. However, to keep it fresh, add the avocado and dressing just before serving to avoid browning and sogginess.
- What kind of chicken works best for this recipe? Ideally, boneless, skinless chicken breasts work best. However, you can also use pre-cooked rotisserie chicken or even leftover grilled chicken.
Kitchen Tools/Equipment Needed
- Large Skillet
- Cutting Board
- Sharp Knife
- Large Salad Bowl
- Mango Slicer
- Mason Jar
- Salad Spinner
A tropical twist on the classic salad, this Chicken Mango Avocado Salad recipe combines fresh, vibrant flavors with a tangy homemade dressing. Perfect for a light lunch or side dish.
1 pound of Chicken Breast
Garlic Salt and Black Pepper to taste
2 teaspoons of Olive Oil
1 head of Romaine Lettuce
1 fresh Mango
1 ripe Avocado
1/2 small Purple Onion
1/2 English Cucumber
1/2 cup of Cherry Tomatoes
1/4 cup of fresh Cilantro
Sliced Almonds (optional)
1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
2 teaspoons of Dijon Mustard
2 teaspoons of Honey
1 Garlic Clove
1 teaspoon of Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon of Black Pepper
Preparation of Chicken:
- Start by cutting your chicken breasts in half lengthwise.
- Season both sides with garlic salt and black pepper according to your preference.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
- Place the chicken in the skillet, and cook each side for about 3 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- After the chicken is fully cooked, transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing into bite-sized strips. This allows the juices to redistribute, keeping the chicken moist and tender.
Preparing the Salad Base:
- While the chicken is resting, start preparing the salad base.
- Take a large head of romaine lettuce, remove the core, and chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces. You should have about 6 cups of chopped lettuce.
- Wash the chopped lettuce thoroughly to remove any dirt or grit, and dry it using a salad spinner or clean kitchen towel.
- Arrange the lettuce in a large salad bowl. This will form the base of your salad.
Assembling the Salad:
- Begin assembling the salad by arranging the rested and sliced chicken over the bed of romaine lettuce.
- Next, prepare the mango by peeling and dicing it into small pieces. Sprinkle the mango pieces over the salad.
- Now, prepare the avocado. Peel and dice the avocado into similar-sized pieces as the mango, and add it to the salad.
- Thinly slice half of a small purple onion and half an English cucumber. Scatter these over the salad.
- Halve a cup of cherry tomatoes and add them to the salad.
- Lastly, chop about a quarter cup of fresh cilantro and sprinkle it over the salad. If you like, you can also add some toasted, sliced almonds for extra crunch.
Making the Dressing:
- In a small mason jar, combine 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons of honey, and 1 minced garlic clove.
- To season the dressing, add a teaspoon of sea salt and a quarter teaspoon of black pepper.
- Secure the lid tightly on the jar and shake vigorously until the ingredients are well blended. This emulsifies the dressing, giving it a smooth and creamy texture.
- Just before serving, pour your homemade dressing over the salad.
- Gently toss the salad to ensure every ingredient is lightly coated with the dressing.
- Now, your Chicken Mango Avocado Salad is ready to serve and enjoy!
Remember, the best salads are made with fresh, high-quality ingredients, so choose ripe and in-season produce for the best results. Enjoy this tropical, flavor-packed salad as a light lunch or dinner. It’s also perfect for picnics, potlucks, and any summer gatherings!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Dinner, lunch, Salad
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 plate
- Calories: 450
- Sugar: 10g
- Sodium: 350mg
- Fat: 30g
- Saturated Fat: 34g
- Unsaturated Fat: 22g
- Carbohydrates: 20g
- Fiber: 7g
- Protein: 30g
- Cholesterol: 80mg
Keywords: california chicken salad, chicken mango avocado salad, Grilled Chicken Avocado and Mango Salad, grilled chicken avocado salad, leftover chicken breast recipes, mango chicken