This citrus harvest chicken salad is bursting with flavor and perfect for any picnic, lunch, or dinner! The vibrant colors of pickled onions, Cara Cara oranges, strawberries, and avocado are beautiful. What I like even more is how delicious this salad tastes.
Everyone should have a go-to salad in here back pocket. When springtime comes, I make this citrus harvest chicken salad once a week. No matter who your hosting, guests will think they are at a world-class spa enjoying this salad.
So what makes this salad great? The hibiscus pickled onions are sweet and tangy, Cara Cara oranges are juicy, and the avocados are rich and creamy. All together, they make a mouthwatering salad that you will be making on repeat.
What you need to make this recipe
- Chicken - For Protein
- Olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning - Mix together for chicken marinade
- Strawberry - For a burst of sweetness in your mouth
- Mixed greens - Combinations of greens like romaine, radicchio, spinach, arugula, and tatsoi
- Feta cheese - Flavorful and salty
- Avocado - Rich and creamy
- Almonds - Toasty and nutty component
- Cara Cara Oranges - Cross between a grapefruit and navel orange
- Pickled onions - Sweet and tangy
- Golden Balsamic Dressing
How To Make Citrus Harvest Chicken Salad
2. Brush chicken breasts with marinade on both sides.
3. Bake chicken at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees. Set aside too cool.
4. Toast sliced almonds in the same 350-degree oven for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
5. Slice strawberries
6. Using a sharp knife cut the top and bottom off to the orange, so it sits flat. Remove the outer peel making sure there is no white pith.
7. Segment the oranges by cutting in between the lines. Each orange segment has an outline on both sides. Cut in between those two lines.
8. Peel and slice avocado.
- Use Cara Cara oranges. Sure, you can use any variety of oranges. Cara Cara adds beautiful color and taste to this salad. A very underrated orange that you should try!
- Toast almonds. It pains me to see people adding raw nuts to their salads. By toasting the almonds, you bring out the nuttiness.
- Pickle your onions. Always having pickled onions on hand is a lifesaver. Raw onions tend to be harsh and strong. Pickled onions are sweet, tangy, and delicious.
- Mix up your greens. In this recipe, I use mixed greens but change it up. Try out kale or butter lettuce.
- Choose the right dressing. Any type of balsamic dressing will work in this salad. I love to make a golden balsamic dressing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I switch up the ingredients?
Yes! This salad translates to what's in season. Instead of strawberries, you could use blackberries or blueberries. Try out different nuts like walnuts, or macadamia nuts. Tired of putting chicken on every salad? Substitute with pan-seared salmon.
How do I meal prep this salad?
Great question! We have to keep everything separate. In small containers prep all of the ingredients. When you are in a mood for a salad mix all ingredients together and drizzle with a golden balsamic dressing. Mixed greens are very delicate and have the reputation of getting soggy.
What's the best time of year to make this salad?
Springtime. The star of this salad is the use of Cara Cara oranges. They become available from December through April. Right now in California, it's May and they are still delicious.
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Citrus Harvest Chicken Salad
- 10 oz package of mixed greens
- ½ cups sliced almonds toasted
- 2 Cara Cara oranges segemented
- 1 cup strawberries sliced
- ½ cup feta cheese cubed
- 1 avocado sliced
- ½ cup pickled red onions
Golden Balsalmic Dressing
- ½ cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 cup light olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl combine extra virgin olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine.
- On a parchment-lined baking tray, place chicken on top and brush with marinade. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees. Remove from oven to let cool. Once cooled, thinly slice.
- In the same oven, toast sliced almonds at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.
- Wash strawberries under cold water and slice. Set aside.
- Peel, and segment the Cara Cara oranges. Set aside.
- Peel, and slice avocados. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss mixed greens with golden balsamic dressing. Place in your preferred salad bowl and top with almonds, oranges, strawberries, avocado, onions, and feta cheese. Enjoy!
- Place all the ingredients, except for the oil in a blender or immersion blender and puree.
- With the blender running slowly pour in the oil in a steady stream.
- Adjust seasoning if needed.