Mango salad is a fresh, fruity summertime salad loaded with nutrient-dense foods, topped with a light oil-free lime peanut dressing. Every bite tastes like summertime in a bowl. This easy recipe takes 15 minutes or less. You will love this simple mango salad recipe!
It's mango season, so mangos taste fabulous this time of year and are affordable. I love mangos, and nothing tastes better than a mango salad on a hot summer day. However, the secret to a fabulous mango salad recipe is the combination of flavors in the salad ingredients and fresh lime peanut dressing.
First, you need to pick a base for the mango salad.
To turn this mango salad recipe into a nutrient-dense powerhouse of ingredients, I chose kale as my base before adding fabulous colors and flavors.
But feel free to use your favorite greens if kale isn't your thing.
The Health Benefits of Kale
According to Healthline, kale is the king of all the super healthy greens. It is one of the most beneficial and nutritious plant foods.
For instance, kale is loaded with beneficial compounds, some of which have powerful medicinal properties.
For example, kale is a popular vegetable and a member of the cabbage family. Kale is cruciferous, like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts.
A single cup of raw kale (about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces) contains:
- Vitamin A: 206% of the DV (from beta-carotene), Vitamin K: 684% of the DV, Vitamin C: 134% of the DV, Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
- Manganese: 26% of the DV
- Calcium: 9% of the DV
- Copper: 10% of the DV
- Potassium: 9% of the DV
- Magnesium: 6% of the DV
- It also contains 3% or more of the DV for vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), iron, and phosphorus.
- Kale: I love kale. And, of course, its a superfood. Chopping it finely makes it easy to chew and digest, and it stays incredibly fresh when dressed ahead of time.
- Mango: A ripe fresh mango can be described as tasting sweet, citrus, and almost melon flavor all in one.
- English Cucumber: An English cucumber is generally sweeter than the regular, common cucumber with many large seeds, contributing to their bitter flavor. The skin is thinner than a slicing cucumber and therefore doesn't need to be peeled.
- Red Onion: Red onions are sweet and perfectly complement this salad's mango and other ingredients.
- Roma Tomatoes: Roma tomatoes have a lower water content compared to other types, with an almost chewy flesh
- Avocado: Avocados are creamy and beautiful in this salad. But, ensure not to add them until before servings so the avocado doesn't turn brown.
- Cilantro: A pleasing combination of flavors reminiscent of parsley and citrus
- Peanuts (optional): Salted peanuts provide a wonderful crunch and salty contrast to the sweet ingredients in the mango salad recipe.
I love any salad with kale because it can be dressed long before serving. For example, dressing the mango salad recipe in advance makes the kale easier to chew and digest.
Salad Ingredient Substitutions
- Use Romaine lettuce, spinach, arugula, or any greens of choice instead of kale, but wait to dress the salad until right before serving.
- For a nut-free option, add toasted quinoa for an added crunch like in my Asian crunch salad.
- Grape tomatoes are a great replacement if you don't have Roma tomatoes.
- Substitute regular cucumbers for English cucumbers, but I suggest removing the seeds, so the salad doesn't get soggy.
Cilantro & Lime Dressing
As simple as making the salad, the dressing is just as easy. Blend the following ingredients:
- Peanuts: (Optional): peanuts provide a creamy component to eh dressing and a nutty, salty flavor.
- Rice vinegar: Rice vinegar is incredibly sweet and delicate.
- Soy sauce or Tamari (for a gluten-free option): Soy sauce adds a deep, savory flavor to vegetables that beautifully complements their light, fresh taste.
- Fresh lime juice and zest: Fresh is always best. Ripe limes will be firm but not hard, and squeezable, but not too soft.
- Garlic: I love garlic and fresh lime juice. It tames the sourness of the citrus flavor. I would suggest using fresh garlic whenever possible.
- Red chili flakes: Be careful when adding spicy ingredients to a recipe. Always start with less than the recipe calls for, taste, and adjust for individual preference.
- Water: This helps thin the dressing.
Of course, a high-speed blender helps blend the ingredients.
- Choose peanut butter powder like PGFit for a lower-fat option.
- Skip the peanuts. The dressing is excellent without the peanuts.
- If you don't have rice vinegar, champagne vinegar, and apple cider vinegar are close substitutes.
Once the oil-free lime peanut dressing is blended, dress the salad, toss, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Then, right before serving, toss again.
Sometimes, I like to add some peanuts to garnish the salad for an extra crunch.
If, for some reason, you avoid nuts in your diet for dietary reasons or allergies, leave the nuts out of the dressing. The lime dressing without peanuts is fabulous on its own.
Another suggestion is to add the avocado right before serving to avoid turning brown because the salad is prepared and dressed in advance.
Cut the fruit lengthwise. Slice on each side of the rib. Make sure that you cut as close to the seed as possible.
For most mangos, the first ripening stage involves getting nice and soft—think like a ripe avocado. Color: The mango will go from green to some shade of yellow/orange. The mango doesn't have to be entirely orange but should have primarily orange or yellow spots.
Once ripe, mangos should be moved to the refrigerator, slowing the ripening process. Whole, ripe mangos may be stored in the fridge for up to five days.
- Removing the stems from the kale and chopping them finely makes them easier to eat and digest.
- When adding kale to salad, it's best to dress the salad in advance to soften the kale and marinate all the ingredients.
- Always add the avocado right before serving, so it doesn't brown.
- I suggest adding the peanuts before servings so they don't get soggy.
You will love this fresh, summery mango salad for lunch, dinner, or your next party!
Other Vegan Salad Recipes to Enjoy
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- 8 cups kale stem and veins removed, chopped or any green of choice
- 2 mangos cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 English cucumber deseeded and julienned
- 2 Roma tomatoes cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 small red onion cut into slivers
- ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 avocado cut into bite-sized pieces (wait to cut until right before serving)
Oil-Free Lime Peanut Dressing
- ¼ cup peanuts
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce or Tamari
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes optional
- ¼ cup water
- 2 limes juiced and zested
- Place kale in the base of a large bowl
- Prepare vegetables for the salad (except for avocado; wait until ready to serve to add avocado.
- Add all ingredients to the bowl of kale
Peanut Lime Dressing
- Combine all ingredients into a high-speed blender
- Blend until smooth
- Pour the dressing into the salad and toss
- Cover the dressed salad until ready to serve
Serving Mango Salad
- Remove the mango salad from the refrigerator
- Toss again
- Add cut up avocado
- Serve with peanuts on top if chosen
Nut-Free Dressing Option
- Omit nuts from the recipe
- Blend and toss
- Skip the peanuts in the salad and in the dressing for a nut-free option, or add toasted quinoa for a crunchy addition.
- Refrigerate both mangos and avocados as soon as they are ripe to preserve them longer (3-5 days).
- If using kale, dress the salad in advance, so it softens the kale and marinates the rest of the ingredients.
- Choose fruits and vegetables in season to find the best prices on produce.
- The salad will last, dressed, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂
I made this salad for my 2 sisters for lunch today. Everyone loved it. I used chopped baby kale and spring mix. I felt like a gourmet cook with the beautiful presentation.
I am not a big fan of raw kale so I always use Baby Bok Choy for my green in a salad. It gives crunch as well as leafy green. It is especially good in Mango Avocado salad.
Hi Patricia, what a great suggestion. A lot of people struggle with kale, so this is a great substitute. Thank you so much!