If this salad doesn't scream summer, I don't know what does. Piles of chopped cucumbers, carrots, red bell peppers, tomatoes and fresh greens are topped with roasted chicken and creamy mango-lime dressing.
It's both hearty and light, filling your stomach with delicious, fresh, nourishing food that won't weigh you down.
This recipe is part of the No Recipe Required series.
No Recipe Required is a series of quick and easy dishes that are more idea than recipe. Each dish in this series is meant to inspire really good, really quick and easy meals that can be adapted to what you like, what you have on hand, and how many people you're cooking for.
Creamy Mango-Lime Dressing
If you have a blender, the creamy mango-lime dressing for this salad couldn't be more simple. You simply dump all the ingredients into the blender and flip the switch. A food processor will work well too, but you might need to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times.
As with most salad dressing recipes, this one should be viewed as more of a guideline than an exact formula.
Swap out the rice vinegar for white wine or cider vinegar if you like. Use a different kind of pepper instead of the jalapeño. Add more or less salt, ginger, or lime. The most important thing is to taste as you go and add more or less of whatever tastes good to you.
Or, use a different kind of dressing altogether and top your salad with blueberry vinaigrette for a gorgeous summer meal that's just as fruity and delicious!
What Kind of Vegetables Should You Use in This Salad?
I love to make this salad with carrots, red bell peppers, carrots and tomatoes. But, honestly, you should use whatever veggies you like or whatever veggies you have. It's a salad.
The recipe is more of an idea than something that needs to be taken word for word.
Regardless of what vegetables you choose to use, I do strongly suggest that you chop them into very small pieces. In general, I feel that salad ingredients should either be cut into deliberately large pieces and prepared separately, or chopped into very small pieces so that they all mix together.
For example, in the classic Niçoise salad (one of my all-time favorite meals), each ingredient is prepared separately and grouped together on the plate. Every component in a Niçoise is meant to compliment the other flavors on the plate, without being all mixed together.
It's kind of like choosing sides and a main dish that taste great together, but choosing to prepare and serve them all individually instead of piled together into a casserole.
Other salads, like this salad and the classic Israeli Salad, are so delicious because the vegetables are chopped into pieces that are about the size of a pea or a kidney bean, ensuring that every bite includes a variety of flavors and textures.
Pre-Cooked Chicken Makes this Salad Quick and Easy
This is the perfect thing to make when you have some leftover chicken hanging around in your refrigerator. In fact, salads like this make a great case for the value of planned leftovers.
- Simple Roast Chicken. It takes nearly as much time and effort to roast two (or three) chickens as it does one, so why not make extra? Enjoy a roast chicken dinner one night and save the leftover meat for this salad later in the week.
- Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken. Leftover butter chicken is SO DELICIOUS on this salad. The flavors in the meat are a perfect match to the flavors in the mango lime dressing.
- Lemon Rosemary Grilled Chicken. This is one of my favorite ways to eat chicken in the summer: Quick, easy, and packed with flavor. Just like Roast Chicken, it takes very little effort to throw a few extra pieces of chicken on the grill just so you have some leftover for this salad.
- Paprika Chicken. Paprika Chicken is juicy, packed with flavor, and one of those dishes that gets made all the time at our house because it’s always delicious and super easy. Also, I never make this without making enough for leftovers. There are so many delicious ways to use leftover paprika chicken, including in this salad. As with Butter Chicken, the flavors in paprika chicken are perfectly matched to the mango dressing.
Of course, you can also just pick up a rotisserie chicken. Or, any kind of chicken from your local deli counter.
Top Your Salad with Yemenite Ja'ala
Ever since discovering Yemenite Ja'ala, it's something we nearly always have around the house. Ja'ala is simply a mix of nuts and seeds, coated with spices and roasted until crunchy. It's super easy to make and adds flavor and crunch to pretty much any kind of salad.
I LOVE Ja'ala on this salad, but any kind of roasted, salted nuts will do. The nuts add a crunchy, salty component that's magical with the creamy mango dressing.
More Popular Salad Recipes:
- Israeli Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette and Ja'ala
- Steak Salad Wraps
- Niçoise Salad with Bacon and Pomegranate Vinaigrette
- Wild Rice, Corn and Fried Chicken Salad
- Cornbread Salad with Italian Sausage and Tomatoes
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- 1 - 1 ½ cups Mango Lime Dressing
- 4 - 6 cups salad greens ( I like to use a combination of baby greens and arugula)
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 English cucumber
- 3 large carrots
- 10 ounces cherry tomatoes
- salt and pepper
- 4 cups cooked chicken (*see note)
- 2 cups of Ja'alal (Roasted nut and seed mix) or any kind of roasted, salted nuts
- Chop of the top of the bell peppers, removing the stem and the seeds from inside the pepper. Cut the pepper into thin strips that are about ½-inch wide. Chop the strips into pieces that are no larger than a kidney bean.
- Trim the ends of the cucmber and slice it crosswise into three equal pieces. Cut each piece in half lenghtwise, then slice each half into long strips that are about ½-inch wide. Chop the strips into pieces that are no larger than a kidney bean.
- Peel the carrots and trim the tops and bottoms. Slice the carrots in half, then nto long strips that are about ½-inch wide. Chop the strips into pieces that are about the size of a pea.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
- Sprinkle all the cut vegetables with salt and pepper.
- To assemble each salad, pile a plate with a 1 to 1 ½ cups of greens. Top with a couple handfuls of chopped veggies, then about a cup of chicken. Drizzle dressing over the salad, then sprinkle on a handful of nuts.
You'll want about 1 cup of cooked, shredded chicken per person for this dish. Use leftover chicken from another night's meal, a deli rotisserie chicken, or simply roast a chicken earlier in the day or week.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 442Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 285mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 8gSugar: 17gProtein: 39g