If you love a salad with a tang of feta and the sweetness of honey dijon dressing, my Chicken Mango Avocado salad is for you! Add the crunch of kale and colours of beets and carrots, and it forms a most delightful meal in less than 30 minutes!
What tastes better than a perfectly ripe, sweet mango? This salad adds another dimension to my favourite food! It rounds out cooked chicken with the nutritious punch of avocado, kale, carrots, and beets for a relaxing summertime meal. This is a healthy mango salad.
Why This Mango Avocado Salad Recipe Works
This recipe is satisfying to the palate because it combines sweet, salty, sour, and bitter flavours with soft, moist, creamy, and crunchy textures. The mango and beets are sweet, feta cheese is salty, apple cider vinegar provides a subtle sour note, and kale can be a little bitter. (More on how to compensate for that later.) The cheese is soft, mango is moist, avocado is creamy, and the carrots, beets, and nuts are crunchy.
What you Need
Here's what you need to make this Chicken Mango Avocado Salad:
- Lettuce - I usually use the washed, organic spring lettuce mix from the box. Any washed lettuce will work here, though. The leaves should be dried, and large ones torn into bite-sized pieces.
- Kale - Kale gets a bad rap because of its bitterness. The way to overcome this and to tenderize it is to shred it finely, and massage it in some oil or acid like lemon juice. In this case, we'll use our salad dressing and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Mango - There can be such a contrast between a good, perfectly-ripened mango and a dry, too-green one! Mostly, rely on touch to determine whether your mango is ready or not. It should feel a little soft without squeezing and bruising it. This takes practice! Look for some pinkish, yellow, or orange colouring, although a ripe mango can still have a considerable amount of green colour showing on the outside.
- Avocado - Avocado is similar to mango in that it's difficult to know how ripe it is before you cut it open. It should also feel a little soft in your hand rather than rock hard. The colour will have mostly turned dark from the brighter green of an unripe avocado. When an avocado is ripe, the little piece at the end where the stem was attached will pull away easily.
- Carrot and Beet - One medium-sized carrot and a beet about 2-inches in diameter will be right for this salad. Both should have the top and bottom ends cut off and be peeled.
- Almonds - Sliced or slivered almonds, raw or toasted, work here.
- Goat Feta - I use goat feta because of my own food intolerances. I'll go into that in more detail below. If this isn't a concern for you, use any feta cheese that you like.
- Cooked Chicken - Use any boneless, cooked chicken or turkey. This might be leftover rotisserie chicken without the skin or bones. It could be leftover from a chicken or turkey you've roasted at home. Or you might simply cook boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts from scratch. Thighs give you a darker, moister meat.
How to Make Chicken Mango Avocado Salad
Whisk together all of the salad dressing ingredients in a bowl or shake them together in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Cut the kale leaves into fine ribbons, discarding the thick, chunky stalks. Then drizzle a spoonful or two of salad dressing over it and massage it into all of the sliced kale with your hands. Let it sit while you prepare the other salad ingredients. This will soften the kale, and it will become less bitter.
Measure out and prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Lettuce should be clean and in bite-sized pieces.
- Peel the mango and cut it into cubes down to the pit. Discard the pit.
- Cut the avocado in half. Remove the pit by whacking it with the sharp edge of a chef's knife, giving it a little twist, and pulling it out. Score the flesh gently to the skin and scoop out the pulp. Toss the avocado pieces with a little salad dressing to keep them fresher longer.
- Peel and remove the ends from the carrot and beet. Cut each of them into thin slices and then cut through the slices to form matchstick-sized slivers.
- Cut the cooked poultry into slices or cubes.
Layer lettuce, kale, mango, avocado, carrot, and beet into a serving bowl or onto individual plates. Either keep each ingredient in its own group, scatter the layers, or toss it all together.
Add remaining ingredients to the top of the salad. Either toss it all together with the dressing or, for a more attractive presentation, drizzle the salad dressing over it all and serve.
Tips and Frequently Asked Questions
I am sensitive to casein, but my naturopathic doctor tells me that I can have goat milk products. They have a different kind of casein. You should check with yours if you're wondering whether or not some dairy products might be right for you. While I must avoid most cheeses, I happily seek out goat cheese these days. Goat cheese is a nice, tangy addition to salads!
You can prepare parts of the salad ahead. Certainly, make the dressing and make sure you have cooked chicken on hand. You could also chop and massage the kale with dressing the day before you serve it.
Leftovers can be refrigerated. However, I would make a few recommendations to preserve the salad successfully. Keep any lettuce that you won't be eating immediately away from the dressing. Also store almonds in a dry container until you're ready to eat the salad.
What Else to Make with Cooked Chicken
- Festive Cranberry Salad with Chicken
- Chicken Waldorf Salad
- Easy Chicken Salad Recipe
- Broccoli Slaw Recipe with Chicken
Mango Avocado Salad with Chicken and Honey Dijon Dressing
- 3 cups kale leaves removed from stems and chopped
- 6 cups spring lettuce mix
- 1 mango peeled, pitted, and cubed
- 1 avocado peeled, pitted, and cubed
- 1 carrot peeled and cut into toothpicks
- 1-2 beets peeled and cut into toothpicks
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts grilled, roasted, or poached and sliced or cubed
- 6 tablespoons goat feta cheese crumbled
- 6 tablespoons sliced almonds
Honey Dijon Dressing
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Combine the dressing ingredients and set aside.
- Finely chop the kale and massage it with a drizzle of salad dressing. Let it sit while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Arrange all of the other ingredients in layers, saving the almonds and feta for the end. Drizzle the salad dressing over all.