Chicken Mango Salad Recipe

Sometimes, a dish looks so great, you almost feel bad taking that first bite, as the balance of color and texture will just never be the same. But then you take that bite, and you have zero regrets. This colorful, crunchy, tasty salad is just such a situation, looking picture-worthy on the plate and tasting great, too. Also, it's pretty darn nutritious.

However, just to be clear, if you think of a salad as a side dish or starter, then you're going to be (pleasantly) surprised by how hefty and filling this dish is. "This is definitely a full meal," says chef and recipe developer Molly Pisula of Vanilla Bean Cuisine. "It is plenty hearty and satisfying, with lots of protein from the chicken and nuts."

Also, don't worry about the prep. Sure, the salad looks fancy, but if you can grill some chicken and chop some ingredients, you'll be able to handle this one just fine. If you're concerned about making it, prepare the salad far ahead of when you need to serve it so you can take your time. And in fact, you can do that just as a convenience as needed. Pisula says, "This is a great recipe for make-ahead. You could either just marinate the chicken before and then grill it before you want to eat, or you could even grill the chicken in advance. And, the salad dressing and vegetable prep could definitely be done at least several hours in advance."

Gather your ingredients for chicken mango salad

This is one of those recipes that makes unique use of rather ordinary ingredients. (Okay, except for the mango.) And as it uses them in several different steps, so for starters, let's group the ingredients accordingly.

For the chicken, you'll need lime juice, chili powder, light brown sugar, garlic powder, olive oil, and of course, boneless chicken breasts. For the honey lime dressing, you'll need lime juice, chopped cilantro, honey, and olive oil. And for the salad proper, if you will, you'll need a head of romaine lettuce, two ripe mangoes, a red pepper, an English cucumber, red onion, and salted, roasted peanuts.

Marinate the chicken, and prepare the dressing

Make the marinade for the chicken by whisking together 3 tablespoons of lime juice, the chili powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour the marinade into a sealable plastic bag, then add the chicken breasts. Close the bag, refrigerate it, and marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes, or up to 12 hours. 

To make the salad dressing, mix together the rest of the lime juice, the cilantro, and the honey. Next, slowly whisk in 6 tablespoons of olive oil, then set aside until you are ready to use it.

Grill the chicken

Preheat your grill to a medium-high heat, then lightly oil or spray the grill grates. Next, remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, and place them onto the grill. (Discard the remaining marinade in the bag.) Cook the chicken for about six or seven minutes per side, with the grill lid closed. "Chicken is done at 165 F, so make it easy on yourself and buy a good meat thermometer to make sure," says Pisula. And once it's done, remove the chicken from the grill, and let it rest while you prepare the rest of the ingredients for the salad.

Prep the mango

This will be the only tricky part of this recipe, and it's tricky only because most people don't work with mango. So, we'll go step-by-step.

Lay a mango down on your cutting board on its long, narrow side, then slice off each side of the mango as close to the pit as possible. Now, take a mango lobe, and place the edge of the skin on the rim of a glass. Then, push down slowly so the glass slides between the skin and the flesh. Cube the mango flesh, and then repeat with the second mango lobe, and then the second mango. Then go back, and carefully trim any good mango bits from around the mango pits.

Prep the veggies, and assemble the salad

Now to deal with veggies. Wash the romaine lettuce, pat it dry, and then cut it into 1-inch-wide strips. De-seed the red pepper, and cut it into ½-inch chunks. Then, cut the cucumber into ½-inch chunks. And then peel the red onion half, and slice it into very thin half-moons.

Next, chop the peanuts roughly. And when the chicken has rested and cooled slightly, cut it into 1-inch-wide slices, and halve those if they are quite long.

To assemble the salad, cover a large salad bowl or platter with the romaine lettuce. Then, add the chicken and vegetables in separate sections, or toss them all together, as you prefer. Drizzle the salad with dressing, and sprinkle with peanuts to serve. Stand back, and enjoy your masterpiece, then serve and enjoy!

Chicken Mango Salad Recipe
5 from 33 ratings
This fresh chicken mango salad is plenty hearty and satisfying, with lots of protein from the chicken and nuts.
Prep Time
18
minutes
Cook Time
12
minutes
Servings
4
Servings
chicken mango salad plated
Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons lime juice, divided
  • 10 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 ¾ pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, cut into 1-inch-wide strips
  • 2 ripe mangoes
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded, cut into ½-inch chunks
  • 1 English cucumber, cut into ½-inch chunks
  • ½ red onion, sliced into thin ½-moons
  • ½ cup salted, roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
Directions
  1. Make the marinade for the chicken by whisking together 3 tablespoons of lime juice, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, the chili powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  2. Pour the marinade into a Ziplock plastic bag. Then, add the chicken breasts, close the bag, and refrigerate, letting the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes, and up to 12 hours.
  3. To make the salad dressing, whisk together 3 tablespoons of lime juice, the cilantro, honey, and salt and pepper to taste, then slowly whisk in the remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside until ready to use.
  4. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, and lightly oil or spray the grill grates.
  5. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, and place them onto the grill. Cook the chicken for about 6 to 7 minutes per side, with the grill closed.
  6. Remove the chicken from the grill, and let it rest while you prepare the rest of the ingredients for the salad.
  7. Wash the romaine lettuce, pat it dry, and cut into 1-inch-wide strips.
  8. Lay a mango down on your cutting board on its long, narrow side, then slice off each side of the mango as close to the pit as possible.
  9. Take a mango lobe, and place the edge of the skin on the rim of a glass, then push down slowly so the glass slides between the skin and the flesh.
  10. Cube the mango flesh, and then repeat with the second mango lobe, and then the second mango. (Then, go back, and carefully trim any good mango bits from around the mango pits.)
  11. De-seed the red pepper, and cut into ½-inch chunks.
  12. Cut the cucumber into ½-inch chunks.
  13. Peel the red onion half, and slice into very thin ½-moons.
  14. Roughly chop the peanuts.
  15. When the chicken has rested and cooled slightly, cut into 1-inch-wide slices.
  16. To assemble the salad, cover a large salad bowl or platter with the romaine lettuce. Add the chicken and vegetables in separate sections, or toss them all together, as you prefer.
  17. Drizzle the salad with the honey-lime dressing, and sprinkle with peanuts to serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 812
Total Fat 49.4 g
Saturated Fat 7.2 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 144.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 44.1 g
Dietary Fiber 9.2 g
Total Sugars 31.5 g
Sodium 421.9 mg
Protein 53.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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