Summertime is the perfect time to fire up the grill and enjoy a delicious grilled chicken avocado and mango salad. The smoky flavor of the chicken pairs perfectly with the sweet and juicy mango, and the creamy avocado provides a satisfying contrast in texture.
This grilled chicken garden salad is irresistible, thanks to the creaminess of avocado, sweetness of mango and the crunchiness of cashews. All combined with the flavor of marinated grilled chicken.
It is my go to salad for cookouts or unexpected guests. Especially during the summer when the grill is always ready.
It is also quick and easy to make. And tastes delicious!
In fact, this salad recipe is so good, I was once asked to bring it to a wedding.
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Here’s your shopping list:
- marinade – I usually buy a garlic and herb marinade, but most chicken marinades will work. You’ll need 1 cup.
- meat – you’ll need 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Evenly-sized, thinner chicken breasts are the easiest to cook evenly.
- oil – ¼ cup olive oil. We’ll use this as part of the salad dressing so I like to use extra virgin olive oil since it has the best flavor.
- vegetables – 8 cups spring greens, 1 avocado, 1 red pepper
- fruit – 1 mango or papaya
- nuts – ½ cup cashews.
- Chicken tenders will work instead of chicken breasts. Use 8 tenders instead of the 4 breasts.
- You can substitute Italian dressing instead of the marinade. If you do this, replace the olive oil with another ¼ cup of dressing.
- While I like to use mixed greens in this salad, you can substitute arugula, spinach, kale or pretty much any other kind of leafy green that you like.
- Similarly, you could use other types of nuts if you prefer (but I think cashews taste the best).
- Adding strawberries is another tasty variation that I love.
How to make grilled chicken avocado and mango salad
This recipe makes 4 dinner-sized servings or 8 appetizer servings.
Put the chicken in a glass bowl and pour ¾ cup of the chicken marinade over it. The chicken should be covered.
You should have ¼ cup of marinade left over. However, exact measurements are not necessary so don’t worry if you pour in a little more (or less).
Cover the bowl with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Peel and chop the mango or papaya into bite sized pieces.
Peel and cut the avocado into cubes.
Wash and dice the red pepper.
Toast the cashews in a skillet over medium-high heat on the stove for 2 to 3 minutes. Shake the pan back and forth while they are cooking to prevent them from burning. Set aside.
Make the dressing
To make the dressing, combine the remaining ¼ cup of marinade with ¼ cup olive oil in a small bowl or jar.
Whisk or shake to combine.
Grill the chicken
When the chicken is finished marinating, discard the marinade.
Then grill the chicken over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until no longer pink inside.
If you don’t want to grill the chicken, you can also broil it in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Flip it half way through so both sides are cooked evenly.
Or if you have a griddle pan, cook the chicken on medium high heat on the stove for 5 to 7 minutes per side. The liquid in the pan will evaporate leaving grill-like lines on the chicken.
When the chicken is done, slice it into ½ inch strips.
Put the salad together
Place the greens, mango, avocado, red pepper, and toasted cashews in a large bowl.
Top with grilled chicken.
Drizzle with the dressing and toss to coat the salad.
Or if you prefer, you can divide the salad into individual servings before adding the chicken.
Then top each plate with the chicken.
Serve and watch it disappear!
How to make it ahead of time
If you’re making this salad ahead of time, you’ll need to do it in parts and then combine it just before serving.
To do this:
- Do all of the prep work.
- Squeeze a little lemon juice on the chopped avocados to prevent them from going brown.
- Then add the salad, mango (or papaya), avocadoes and red peppers to a bowl. Cover and store in the refrigerator. If you want to make sure the lettuce doesn’t get soggy, put it in the bowl last (so that it is on top of the mangoes).
- Store the toasted cashews, salad dressing and grilled chicken separately in the refrigerator.
- Just before serving, heat up the chicken in the microwave. Or you can serve it cold if you don’t want to do that extra work.
- Then combine all of the ingredients in the salad bowl and serve as instructed above.
Other salad recipes you might like
- Classic coleslaw
- Berry salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette
- Mixed bean salad
- Mandarin orange romaine salad
Grilled Chicken Avocado and Mango Garden Salad
- 1 glass bowl for marinating
- 1 skillet
- 1 small bowl or jar for the dressing
- 1 Salad bowl
- 1 cup herb & garlic chicken marinade, or Italian dressing
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ½ cup cashews
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 8 cup mixed spring greens
- 1 papaya or mango peeled and diced
- 1 avocado peeled and cubed
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- Pour ¾ cup of marinade over the chicken breasts and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, toast the cashews by cooking them in a non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat, shaking the pan for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
- Make the dressing by combining the remaining marinade and olive oil in a small bowl. Whisk to blend.
- Grill the chicken 5 – 7 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
- When the chicken has finished cooking, slice it into strips.
- Place greens, papaya, avocado, red pepper and toasted cashews in a large bowl.
- Drizzle the dressing over salad and toss.
- Top with grilled chicken and serve immediately.
- If you don’t want to grill the chicken, you can broil it on a baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes. Flip it once so both sides are evenly cooked. Or cook in a griddle pan over medium-high heat on the stove.
Have questions or comments about our grilled chicken salad? Tell us in the section below.
This post was originally published on August 6, 2015 but was updated with new content on July 13, 2022.