If you are looking for a salad that makes your taste buds dance, but is still hearty enough for a full meal, this shrimp mango avocado salad is all that and more. With salty feta and a bit of bite from arugula, this salad will transport you to summer any time of year.
It’s official, I might have a mango and avocado addiction. Especially when you add shrimp or salmon. I think half the recipes on this site might now have avocado or mango (or both) in them. But is that really a problem? I don’t see how it can be. Both fruits are so flavorful and good for you that we should all eat lots more of them.
Actually, it’s surprising how few recipes I have using mango and avocado together. They are a perfect match. Sweet and tangy mango, creamy and earthy avocado – it ticks all the boxes. The only way you could make it better is with some salty feta, so of course I added that to this salad!
I love how healthy this shrimp, mango, and avocado salad is despite all the really tasty ingredients. Healthy fats from avocado and shrimp. A good dose of protein. A lot of vitamin C from the mango. Arugula brings in some extra calcium and folates. It’s all-around amazing. And it is light enough to be an appetizer, but hearty enough to be the main course too.
How to select a mango
Picking a ripe mango at the store can be tricky. The best way to select a mango is by smell and feel rather than color. A ripe mango with tender flesh that isn’t stringy will be firm, but have a (very) slight give when squeezed gently. When ripe, they also have a sweet, almost floral smell. Smell from near the stem end though or you won’t get much of anything.
Mangos will ripen somewhat if left at room temperature, especially near fruits like apples and bananas. They last longer in the fridge. Don’t select a mango that is really under-ripe though. Mangos that are very “green” are more likely to be stringy when they ripen. Something firm, but starting to get that fragrant floral scent will be just perfect in a day or two.
How to select and store avocados
In a way, avocados are even trickier than mangos. With that thick skin, you really have no idea about what’s going on inside. Plus, we all know how fast avocados go from perfect-to-eat to way-too-ripe.
It can be tempting to try and find a perfectly ripe avocado you can enjoy that day, but I encourage you to think ahead. You are less likely to be disappointed. Avocados are picked and shipped when very underripe, so they are often still hard when they arrive at the stores. If you try and select a squishy one from the store, all too likely it will be brown and starting to ferment inside.
Instead, select an avocado that is still firm, but with smooth skin. Also check the spot where the stem attaches. If it’s still firmly in place, the avocado will need several days before it is ripe. If it is a little loose but pale underneath, your avocado will be ready to eat in just a couple days. Allow it to ripen on the counter until it just barely starts to give when squeezed, then move it to the fridge until you are ready to use it.
There are so many amazing flavors going on in this salad. Everything is so fresh. A perfectly ripe and tangy mango and some creamy avocado are exactly what the shrimp, feta, and arugula need to lighten them up. I’m sure your family will love this salad as much as mine does.
Shrimp Mango Avocado Salad
For the dressing:
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- salt and pepper , to taste
For the shrimp:
- 1 lb. (450g) unpeeled shrimp , peeled and deveined (approximately 2/3 lb. / 300g peeled shrimp)
- 1 lime , juice only
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 tsp cajun seasoning
For the salad:
- 1 large, ripe avocado , peeled, pitted and cubed
- 1 large mango , diced
- 1/2 red onion , finely sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes , halved
- 3 cups baby arugula , loosely packed
- 2/3 cup feta cheese , crumbled
- Make the dressing by combining the lime juice, olive oil, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard in a small jar with a lid. Cover and shake until mixed well. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.
- Add the shrimp, lime juice, garlic, and Cajun seasoning in a bowl. Stir until the shrimp are coated. Let sit for about 15 minutes or so.
- In a frying pan, arrange the shrimp in a single layer and cook 2-3 minutes until they start turning opaque. Flip and cook 1-2 minutes more, until pink and cooked through. Transfer to a salad bowl.
- Place the avocado, mango, red onion, cherry tomatoes, arugula, and feta in the bowl with the shrimp and toss lightly. Add the dressing and toss gently to coat.