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Citrus Salad

Sweet oranges and tangy grapefruit, tossed in a simple vinaigrette over salad greens, make this delicious citrus salad a lovely all-season salad. Refreshing and pretty.

We use a simple citrus vinaigrette for zip, nuts for crunch and creamy avocado for a contrasting texture. Quick, easy and beautiful. 

citrus salad on platterp3

The salad only takes 10-15 minutes to put together and pairs beautifully with any protein or vegetarian dish.

If you’re looking for a change from the usual green salad, this is a good one. Packed with healthy vitamin C, this simple citrus salad makes a lovely side dish for a BBQ, potluck or weeknight dinner. 

Bonus – the salad is vegan, dairy free and gluten free. And, as always, there are lots of variations and substitutes you can use to tailor it to your preferences and the ingredients you have on hand.

Make it a winter citrus salad when most citrus fruits are in peak season or a summer salad that capitalizes on the light and refreshing factor.

Tip: Although prep for this citrus salad recipe can be done hours ahead, it’s best to assemble it just before serving.

What to serve with a citrus salad

Almost anything goes. Here are a few of my favorites – some winter meals, some summer fare. 

Citrus Fruit FAQ

How do I choose citrus fruits?

Look for shiny, bright fruit without blemishes. The fruit should feel heavy for its size. This is a sign of juiciness. The fruit should have a slight “give” when pressed. This means less white pith (the bitter white part under the skin). 

What is the best way to store citrus fruits?

Citrus fruits can be stored either in the fridge or on the counter. 

When are citrus fruits in season?

Most citrus fruits are in season between November and March. That should be the the best time to buy them, but nowadays, they can be found in grocery stores all year round. Tangerines and mandarins are at their peak in the winter.

How to make a citrus salad

oranges, grapefruits, greens, avocado, vinaigrette ingredients, nuts
Ingredients: oranges, grapefruits, greens, avocado, vinaigrette ingredients, nuts
vinaigrette in measuring cup
Whisk together the citrus vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup.
slicing peel off oranges
Slice the peel of the oranges and grapefruit. The best way to do this is to cut off the two ends, then slice off the peel and white pith with a sharp knife down the sides, conforming to the roundness of the fruit.
sliced citrus fruit and avocado
Slice the fruits into smaller pieces. Peel and slice or dice the avocado.
fruit and avocado in bowl with dressing
Gently toss the fruit and avocado with half the dressing. The orange juice and grapefruit juice will help keep the avocado from browning.
greens on a serving platter
Lay greens on a platter (or individual plates). I like to use a mix of light and darker greens including spinach or kale for great nutrition.
citrus salad on platter
When ready to serve, add the citrus fruit and avocado on top of greens, sprinkle with toasted nuts and other garnishes if desired. Drizzle on a little extra dressing if needed and sprinkle with sea salt or kosher salt. 
citrus salad on platter p

Tailor To Your Taste

Feel free to use your favorite citrus fruits, types of lettuce and garnish.

Citrus fruit options

  • Orange options: Try cara cara oranges, navel orange or blood oranges. Tangerines or mandarins are also great when in season in the winter. 
  • Grapefruit options: ruby red, pink grapefruit or pomelo.
  • Here’s a seasonal calendar for fruits – when they are at their peak. 

Green lettuce variations

  • I like to use a combination of dark and pale leaf lettuce  – spinach and butter lettuce- but a spring mix is fine too.
  • Other good options are: kale, arugula and red lettuce or frisee.

Garnishes

  • Any toasted nuts or seeds – walnuts, sliced almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, pepitas, sesame seeds. 
  • Herbs – chives, mint, parsley, thyme, green onions
  • Add pomegranate seeds and/or crumbled goat cheese for gorgeous color contrast.
  • Try drizzling on balsamic reduction just before serving. 

Shortcut

  • Use any good quality store-bought vinaigrette dressing – honey, balsamic, raspberry, etc. I don’t suggest a creamy dressing as it would cloud the pretty colors. 

Make ahead

  • You can prep the fruit and dressing hours ahead of time, but I suggest assembling just before serving.
  • So prepare the vinaigrette dressing up to a couple days ahead and peel/slice the fruit.
  • Don’t cut the avocado too far in advance as it can turn brown. Squeeze a bit of orange or lemon over it to prevent that. 

Other simple salad recipes to try

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Citrus Salad

Sweet oranges and tangy grapefruit tossed in vinaigrette over salad greens make this delicious citrus salad a lovely all-season salad. Refreshing and pretty! We use a simple citrus vinaigrette for zip, nuts for crunch and creamy avocado for a contrasting texture. Quick, easy and beautiful. 
Total Time15 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 3 navel oranges Note 1
  • 1 red grapefruit
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced or sliced
  • 1/2 head of lettuce, ripped into bite size pieces butter, Boston or Bibb
  • 2 cups (60g or 2 oz) baby spinach leaves, stems removed, ripped into bite size pieces, Note 2
  • 1/4 cup (33g) toasted nuts (pine nuts, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, pecans, pistachios, pistachios, hazelnut, walnuts)

Vinaigrette Dressing, Note 3

  • 1.5 tablespoon lemon juice from fresh lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup neutral olive oil (I don't use extra virgin for this)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more for sprinkling at the end)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Other garnishes (optional)

  • pomegranate seeds, goat cheese, herbs (chives, parsley, fresh mint, thyme), green onion, balsamic reduction drizzle.

Instructions

  • PEEL AND CUT CITRUS FRUIT: To remove peel and white pith (the white flesh under the peel) on oranges and grapefruit: cut off both ends of the fruit and set one cut end on the cutting board to stabilize. Use a sharp paring knife to slice down the sides removing the peel and white flesh, conforming to the shape of the fruit. Then cut the fruits into thin slices (about 1/4 inch/0.36cm). Cut grapefruit slices into quarters and orange slices in half. Place fruit and avocado in a bowl.
  • MAKE VINAIGRETTE DRESSING: Whisk together lemon juice, Dijon, honey, salt and pepper. Slowly add olive oil while whisking, until well blended. Pour half over citrus fruit and gently toss together.
  • ASSEMBLE CITRUS SALAD: Mix lettuce and spinach together and divide among 4 plates (or lay out on a serving platter or shallow bowl). When ready to serve (not before as greens will wilt), place fruit over the lettuce and sprinkle with toasted nuts. Drizzle extra dressing on if needed (you probably won't need it all). Garnish with your choice of garnishes above. Sprinkle on sea salt or kosher salt.

Notes

  1. Citrus fruit options: Cara cara orange, navel oranges, blood orange, valencia. Tangerines or mandarins are also great when in season in the winter.  Grapefruit options: ruby red, pink grapefruit or pomelo.
  2. Green lettuce variations: use any greens. I like to use a combination of dark and pale leaf lettuce. Good options are baby spinach, spring mix, kale, arugula, red lettuce or frisee.
  3. Vinaigrette dressing – for a shortcut, buy a good quality dressing (balsamic, raspberry, honey, etc). Not a creamy one. 
  4. Make ahead: You can prep the fruit and dressing hours ahead of time, but I suggest assembling just before serving. Don’t cut the avocado too far in advance as it can turn brown. Squeeze a bit of orange or lemon over it to prevent that. 
Nutrition values are estimates and only include toasted nuts for garnish. Note that values will be lower if you don’t use all of the dressing. I find you don’t need it all. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Citrus Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 355 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 18g
Sodium 324mg14%
Potassium 699mg20%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 18g20%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 3125IU63%
Vitamin C 93mg113%
Calcium 95mg10%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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