Feb 21

Spinach Salad Recipe with Chicken, Orange & Avocado


Spinach Salad Recipe with Chicken, Orange & Avocado

I remember the days when weeknights meant sitting down to dinner altogether, playing a game, and then trundling the boys off to bed. Now that they are getting older, our two boys are involved in more activities. Juggling evening soccer and basketball practices with increased homework loads means that evenings are far less relaxed than they used to be. With less time on our hands, it becomes more important to have a repertoire of quick and easy or make-ahead entrees to fall back on. A few of our favorites are Chicken BLT Pasta Salad, Pork Skewers with Molasses and Dijon Mustard Glaze, and Teriyaki Flank Steak Sandwich. Now we can add this satisfying spinach salad to the list.

The salad is filled with shredded chicken, juicy oranges, and avocado. (Be sure to see How to: Segment an Orange.) I poached two boneless, skinless chicken breasts in boiling water for 10 to 12 minutes, then shredded the cooled chicken with my fingers. However, rotisserie, baked, or sauteed chicken breasts would work just as well. The dressing has a kick of garlic and onion, mixed with Asian flavors such as ginger, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. The chicken, oranges, and dressing can be prepared ahead of time. When dinnertime rolls around, all that is left to do is slice the avocado and toss all of the ingredients together. Serve the salad with whole-wheat dinner rolls or Focaccia with Caramelized Onion, Tomato and Rosemary for a full meal.

The recipe:

In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, chicken, orange, avocado, and jalapenos.


For the dressing, combine green onions, canola oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a blender and puree until the mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds.


Toss the salad with the dressing. Serve. It just doesn’t get any easier than that!


Other spinach salads:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Mushroom, Caramelized Onion & Cannellini Bean Spinach Salad
Cookin’ Canuck’s Spinach Salad with Fuyu Persimmons, Jicama & Avocado with Miso Dressing
Family Fresh Cooking’s Sweet Potato, Bacon & Pomegranate Salad
The Perfect Pantry’s Spinach Salad with Glazed Beets & Blue Cheese
Dianasaur Dishes’ Spinach Salad with Feta & Walnuts

Spinach Salad Recipe with Chicken, Orange & Avocado
From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com
Serves: Serves 4 (entree-sized)
The salad:
  • 6 cups (packed) spinach leaves
  • 2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, torn into strips
  • 2 large navel oranges, cut into segments
  • 1 small avocado, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ red jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 4 green onions (green & white parts), roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
  1. In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, chicken, orange, avocado, and jalapenos.
  2. For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a blender and puree until the mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds.
  3. Toss the salad with the dressing. Serve.
Dressing adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine.

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenny February 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm

What a beautiful looking salad! Love it!!


2 Maria February 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Fantastic salad! I love the avocado in there.


3 Brandie@thecountrycook February 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Dara – this sounds so refreshing. And it is so light and I love the added oranges in there. Perfect for a weeknight meal or lunch for work!!


4 RecipeGirl February 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm

mmmm, can you say super healthy, yummy and delicious-looking? I need this today!


5 EatLiveRun February 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm

I love how fresh and bright this looks!


6 Pretty. Good. Food. February 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Sounds so light and refreshing!


7 Amanda February 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Gorgeous pics and beautiful salad!


8 miss February 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm

What a fabulous salad, and the dressing sounds so darn good. I never make salad dressing, I think I'll start with this one!


9 Georgia (The Comfort of Cooking) February 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm

I love the fresh flavors you used in this salad… It looks so delicious and healthy! Plus, I can't resist anything with avocado… Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!


10 Blog is the New Black February 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Tasty, quick, AND healthy?! Love this!


11 Lindsay @Eat, Knit, Grow February 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Delicious and beautiful salad! It looks so fresh!


12 www.kevinandamanda.com February 21, 2011 at 6:02 pm

This salad has everything I love in it. Sounds like a perfect lunch!


13 Heather (Heather's Dish) February 21, 2011 at 6:02 pm

I was just thinking how much I need ti make spinach salad soon…it's so delicious! Reminds me of the salads my mom made growing up with spinach from our garden :)


14 Suzanne February 21, 2011 at 6:06 pm

I just happen to have all the ingredients on hand think this might be lunch or dinner.


15 Lori Lynn February 21, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Hi Dara – that looks so delicious! We made a similar salad a couple weeks ago, vegetarian: with almonds instead of chicken, for National Wear Red Day.

Your photos are awesome, as usual!
spinach + avocado + orange is a great combination!


16 Belinda @zomppa February 21, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Fantastic combination not to mention how many nutrients this has!


17 doughmesstic February 21, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Love the fresh combination of flavors – this is going in my MUST make file!


18 Taylor February 21, 2011 at 7:23 pm

This combination of flavors sounds delicious! I actually have all of the ingredients in my kitchen right now to make this salad…I'm thinking it would be perfect for lunch tomorrow :)


19 Mary at n00bcakes February 21, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Wow, that looks absolutely fantastic! I'm not typically a fan of fruit in salads, but it seems to me that I'd be satisfied with this combination. I loooove avocado and chicken. Thanks for sharing!


20 Pegasuslegend February 21, 2011 at 7:48 pm

A perfect florida salad, and now with your orange section technique this will be a snap!


21 Eliana February 21, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Love the combination of flavors in this healthy salad.


22 Tracy February 21, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Perfectly light and healthy – I love it!


23 Lauren's Latest February 21, 2011 at 11:24 pm

This sounds like a yummy lunch or a light dinner! Looks great, Dara!


24 Jennifer February 22, 2011 at 12:13 am

Beautiful salad ~ great pics! This time of year, after all the holidays, I'm usually craving some good roughage! Spinach salads are the best!


25 Lizzy February 22, 2011 at 12:37 am

Your salad looks fabulous!!! The perfect combination of ingredients~


26 Cookin' Canuck February 22, 2011 at 12:59 am

Thanks so much for all of your comments. This salad comes together so easily and reminds me that, sometimes, simple is best.


27 tastesbetterwithfriends February 22, 2011 at 2:09 am

there is nothing I don't love in that salad! I might throw some pecans in there though:)
It's so simple, so clean looking, so good!


28 Monet February 22, 2011 at 5:04 am

This has two of my favorite veggies…spinach and avocado…so yum! Thank you for sharing your words and this recipe. And thank you for your kind thoughts on my own blog. I appreciate you!


29 Elin February 22, 2011 at 6:44 am

Hi CC…this salad is light and refreshing…love it especially spinach and avocado and the mandarin slices…ohhhh great salad. Thanks for sharing something good like this :)

Have a nice day ,


30 sanjeeta kk February 22, 2011 at 8:32 am

Love that fresh plate of healthy salad! Avocado and spinach is a good combo.


31 bellini valli February 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm

This is so refreshing! It makes me long for Spring, which I know is coming…sooner or later!


32 My Man's Belly February 22, 2011 at 2:08 pm

What's not to love about a dish that's easy to prepare and has avocado in it? YUM!


33 ravienomnoms February 22, 2011 at 2:11 pm

That looks really delicious! I love Avocado


34 Suzanne February 22, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Just wanted to tell you I made this for dinner last night and it was wonderful. I added some crunch with the crunchy Chinese noodles. Also I have a better way of getting the avocado out of it's skin, wasn't sure if you did that for the picture if not check this post out http://www.you-made-that.com/guacamole/


35 pigpigscorner February 22, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Sounds fab! Love the orange in this.


36 thenewlywedchefs.com February 23, 2011 at 3:01 am

Love the combination of avocado and orange! Can't wait to try this soon!


37 Nancy February 23, 2011 at 3:04 am

I know exactly what you are talking about Dara – I also have two teenagers in sports and it is a rare thing for us to all have dinner together during the week. This salad is a perfect solution to the dilemma and I will be adding it to my dinner list!!!


38 marla February 23, 2011 at 4:52 am

Dara, this is certainly the way to make sure that you have healthy food available at all times. You had most of the ingredients all ready to go & then easily added the more delicate ones. This salad is gorgeous & I will be sure to add it to our family meals :) A well rounded main course salad!


39 megi February 23, 2011 at 11:56 am

Hi Dara, the salad just looks beautiful, simple to prepare too, perfect for busy nights.


40 Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food February 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm

This time of year, I often make a similar salad with ingredients from my home garden and those of my generous neighbors. But I've never tried it with the sort of innovative, Asian-inspired dressing you've used here, which sounds so very appealing. Must do … tonight!


41 JodieMo February 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm

This looks so yummy! I love fruit in a salad!


42 Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels February 23, 2011 at 11:19 pm

What a gorgeous salad! The salad dressing sounds so flavorful and sooo good. I'm definitely going to try it out.


43 Drick February 24, 2011 at 1:40 am

my nites are so short, I'm not sure I would have time to put this lovely salad together…. love spinach, chicken with oranges and with your spin, the jalapenos and dressing, this is a real treat….


44 Julie M. February 24, 2011 at 1:42 am

Yum! This is definitely my kind of salad. My oldest adores salad and I'm sure he would love this one; especially with the fruit in it.


45 Ana Helena Campbell February 24, 2011 at 2:37 am

Beautiful salad. I love the colors! you are always so inspiring. I love your recipes.


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