This is a mango chicken salad with a twist. A beautiful sweet yet spicy and fresh mango marinade is brushed over chicken breasts which are then grilled until caramelized. These juicy chicken pieces are served on top of lettuce, spinach, and tomato for a healthy and delicious salad. Try my tropical mango chicken salad recipe to be jetted off to paradise!
Mango is one of my favorite fruits and that’s because it is so adaptable. Paired with berries, passion fruit, chocolate, or cream, it lifts any dessert, but have you tried it with savory foods? Mango is such a fresh, juicy addition to salsas, curries, rice and beans, tacos, and of course, salads. One of the mango’s best partners in crime is chicken as they draw out each other’s flavors – the savory, salty meatiness of the chicken, and the fragrant creamy texture of the mango. My mango chicken salad recipe pairs them together to perfection. In fact, this salad is now my favorite way to eat mango and chicken together and I think it will be yours too!
Blending the mango along with chili, garlic, lemon, and spices creates a smooth creamy marinade, perfectly balanced between the flavors of sweet and sour, and with a kick of heat. By soaking the chicken in the mango marinade, the meat is tender and juicy and full of sweet flavor. It’s the perfect addition to your salad, and incredibly easy to make.
How do I make the mango marinade?
Mango chicken salads usually include chunks of fresh mango along with the other chopped salad ingredients. However, for my mango chicken salad, I whizz the fruit up in a blender with garlic, onion, red chili, lemon, and spices. Now, instead of lots of separate components which you need to spear on your fork, all the fragrant ingredients are combined so that every mouthful is packed full of flavor.
So, what else is in the marinade?
You will need:
- 1 mango
- 1 small onion
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- ½ red chili
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Chicken seasoning blend
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Salt to taste
Simply prep all the ingredients by cutting the fruit and vegetables into small chunks or slices – however, I recommend you finely chop the garlic first, otherwise you could have big pieces in the marinade – throw them all into the blender or food processor and blitz until smooth.
As soon as you release the lid, the incredible fragrance of tropical mango with chili and garlic will hit you, and I won’t judge if you want to dip a finger in to taste!
FRESH MANGO OR FROZEN MANGO?
I highly recommend you use fresh mango for the real intensive fruity flavor, especially as once frozen mango has defrosted, there is still water retained inside. This will only dilute the marinade. However, if you have limited time to peel and chop a mango then frozen is acceptable.
HOW LONG SHOULD I MARINATE THE CHICKEN?
You don’t have to marinate the chicken for long for it to have great flavor. Usually, the meat can sit for a couple of hours in the marinade and it will taste incredible with lovely, sweet fruity flavor, however, do not leave it in the marinade for any longer than that. Otherwise, the meat will turn rubbery and dry thanks to the marinade’s acid content.
For this mango chicken recipe, the chicken breasts only need an hour in the marinade which will give flavor to the surface of the meat. If you’re short on time though, you can easily marinate the chicken in 10 minutes as the mango and spice marinade is incredibly flavorful.
WHICH SPICES SHOULD I USE?
It’s completely up to you! If you like your chicken hot, add some cayenne, however, if you prefer it cool and mild, then try a little cumin, coriander, and some turmeric for color! Personalize the flavors according to your preference.
CAN I SWAP THE CHICKEN BREAST FOR CHICKEN LEGS OR THIGHS?
Yes, definitely! Chicken leg meat is fattier than breast so you can cook it for longer and stay juicy. You can grill or griddle the chicken legs or thighs and the bone acts as a heat conductor, cooking the chicken from the inside.
For all chicken, however, you can keep brushing the mango marinade over the chicken as it cooks so it’s as flavorful as possible.
STORAGE AND REHEATING
You can keep chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days, so if you would like to prep a few days of lunches in advance, you can multiply the recipe, then marinate and cook the chicken all at once.
Don’t leave the uncooked chicken in the marinade any longer than 5-6 hours otherwise, the meat will become dry when cooked.
When you reheat the mango chicken, make sure the center of the meat reaches 165°F/73°C so it is safe to eat.
Try my delicious and nutritious mango chicken salad with the most mouth-watering mango marinade. Fresh and fruity, with a kick of heat and citrus, this juicy mango chicken is my favorite salad topping, and will be yours too as soon as you try it!
MANGO CHICKEN SALAD
- 1 Mango
- 1 Small onion diced
- 2 Garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon Red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon Olive oil
- ½ Lemon juiced
- 1 teaspoon Chicken seasoning blend
- 4 Chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon Coconut oil
FOT THE SALAD:
- 7 cups Lettuce
- 3 cups Spinach
- 1 cup Cherry tomatoes
- 1 Bell pepper
- Honey lemon dressing
- Start by cutting the mango into cubes and add it into a blender. Add the onion, garlic cloves, red chili, olive oil, chicken seasoning blend, and lemon juice and blend everything nicely.
- Take a Ziploc food-grade plastic bag, add the chicken breasts and pour in the mango spice marinade. Close the zip bag and massage the chicken breast, so that the chicken pieces become nicely coated with the spicy mango mixture. After that, let the chicken rest in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Brush the grill pan with some coconut oil and preheat it before placing the marinated chicken breasts on it. Apply the remaining mango blend on the chicken pieces by using a brush. However, don’t forget to flip the pieces occasionally and keep doing it until the chicken is fully cooked. When the chicken is done, and the centers are cooked through, remove them from the grill pan and let them rest for a few minutes.
- Chop the cherry tomatoes and bell pepper. Put the washed lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, and bell pepper in a bowl and transfer the grilled chicken on top of the salad.