My Summer Citrus Salad with Grilled Chicken is a colorful and delicious dish that comes together in just 30 minutes! Vibrant citrus fruit, creamy avocado, and fresh greens are topped with grilled chicken and a simple citrus salad dressing. It's the perfect light and nutritious summer meal! It's low carb and gluten free too.
In the summertime, I tend to gravitate towards lighter meals like main dish salads, which are light and nutritious but still filling. I love taking advantage of all the beautiful produce that’s abundant at the market this time of year. Some of my favorite summer salads are my Santa Fe Salad (Southwest Chicken Salad) Quinoa Salad with Spinach and Strawberries, and Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes.
My Summer Citrus Salad with Grilled Chicken is the perfect summer meal whether you’re entertaining or having a casual weeknight dinner with your family. In the time it takes to grill the chicken, you can assemble the rest of the salad. It’s a colorful, delicious, no fuss dish that comes together in just about 30 minutes!
I toss fresh summer greens with vibrant oranges and creamy avocado and top it with grilled chicken. To tie it all together, I make a delicious Creamy Citrus Salad Dressing. The dressing actually performs double duty- I use it to dress the salad and also to marinate the chicken.
A final sprinkling of sliced almonds and dinner is ready. Quick, easy, delicious, and healthy too!
Why You'll Love This Dish
- A celebration of colors, flavors and textures
- Packed with super foods like oranges, avocados and almonds
- Quick and easy- make it in 30 minutes
- Perfect light summer meal- will fill you up without weighing you down
Ingredients For Summer Citrus Salad
- Chicken breast- chicken takes this salad from side dish to main dish! Grilled salmon, shrimp or pork tenderloin would also work well in this dish.
- Salad greens- I use mixed baby greens but you can use any greens that you like such as baby spinach or arugula.
- Avocado- provide a healthy amount of good fats, fiber, and nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients! Read more about avocados as a super food.
- Oranges- packed with vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C- a powerful antioxidant. I used oranges and some lovely blood oranges that I found at the market.
- Almonds- provide healthy fats, protein, fiber, and other nutrients. Read more about the nutritional benefits of nuts.
How To Make This Dish
See recipe card below for full recipe details.
- Step 1- Place oil, orange juice, lemon juice, yogurt, mustard, vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a mini food processor or blender.
- Step 2- Blend until smooth.
- Step 3- Pour some of the dressing into a bowl with the chicken breast and let it marinate for 10-15 minutes. Pour the rest of the dressing into a container to serve with the salad.
- Step 4- Grill the chicken on a grill or grill pan for 4-5 minutes on each side until chicken is cooked through and reaches 165°F with a meat thermometer. Let the chicken rest and then slice it. Arrange the salad greens on a plate with sliced oranges and avocado. Top with the grilled chicken and sliced almonds. Drizzle some of the Creamy Citrus Salad Dressing on top. Serve extra dressing on the side.
Creamy Citrus Salad Dressing
It’s so easy to make your own salad dressing at home- once you try it, you’ll never want to buy salad dressing again! Not only is it tastier, it's also healthier. Store-bought salad dressings can have a lot of hidden sugar, sodium or other additives.
All you need to make homemade salad dressing is:
- Oil- like olive oil or avocado oil
- An acid like vinegar or lemon juice
- An emulsifier (like mustard) to bind it all together
- Optional seasonings like herbs or sweeteners
For my Creamy Citrus Salad Dressing, I like to use either avocado or olive oil. For the acid, I use a combination of orange and lemon juice (you can also use lime juice) and apple cider vinegar for bright flavor. I use dijon mustard as the emulsifying agent for my dressing.
To sweeten the dressing, I use a touch of pure maple syrup. Maple syrup contains several vitamins and minerals including riboflavin and manganese as well as beneficial plant compounds or polyphenols.
In addition to functioning as a salad dressing, I also use the Creamy Citrus Salad Dressing as a quick marinade for the chicken. The dressing tenderizes the chicken and infuses it with rich flavor.
Chef's Tips and Recipe FAQs
The best way to check if chicken is fully cooked is with a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat. The internal temperature should be 165°F. When you cut into the chicken, the juices should run clear. If the juices are red or pinkish in color, the chicken may need to be cooked longer.
Yes, this salad is packed with nutrient-rich superfoods like avocados, oranges, and almonds. The ingredients in this salad contain many health-promoting compounds including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
Yes, this salad is gluten free.
More Tasty Salad Recipes
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Summer Citrus Salad with Grilled Chicken
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets
- 5 ounces (1 container) mixed baby greens
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 2 oranges peeled and sliced into rings
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
Creamy Citrus Salad Dressing
- ½ cup avocado or olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or lime juice)
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- To make the dressing, blend the oil, orange juice, lemon juice, yogurt, mustard, vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and pepper together in a blender until smooth.
- Pour about ¼ cup of the dressing into a resealable plastic bag and add the chicken. Marinate the chicken for 10-15 minutes.
- Heat a grill or grill pan over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Grill the chicken, 4-5 minutes on each side, until chicken is cooked through and reaches 165°F with a meat thermometer. . Remove from grill and let rest for a few minutes.
- To plate the salad, arrange the greens on a plate and top with avocado and orange slices. Slice the chicken and arrange the slices on the salad. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Drizzle some dressing on top and serve extra dressing on the side.
Serving size: 2 tablespoons Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 0.2mg | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 19mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.1mg