Orange, Avocado & Candied Pistachio Salad
This Orange, Avocado & Pistachio Salad is light and fresh and perfect for spring! It’s packed with thin slices of orange, creamy avocado and crunchy spicy pistachios that take just a few minutes to make. This delicious salad is perfect as a light starter, side dish, or it can be topped with chicken or shrimp for a more filling meal. This salad is Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal and Vegan.
WHY YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS ORANGE, AVOCADO & PISTACHIO SALAD
- This salad is fresh and light and perfect for spring!
- It’s packed with refreshing slices of orange which perfectly compliment the creamy avocado and crunchy spicy pistachios. The flavors all work so well together!
- This Orange & Avocado Salad is very versatile, you can serve it as a starter, as a side dish for a bigger meal (like with this salmon) or cook up some chicken or shrimp to serve overtop and enjoy it as a filling meal.
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS SALAD
- Lettuce: I like using mixed baby greens/spring mix for the base of this salad not only for its flavour but also because I love the variety of colour (dark greens, lights greens and purples) that it adds to this salad. Spinach, romaine or arugula would also work as a base
- Oranges: Navel oranges work best in this recipe and are the most common type of orange that you will likely find in your grocery store. While you can use a mandarin or tangerine in this recipe I find that they don’t look as good.
- Avocado: hold an avocado in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze it. If it has slight give to it then it’s ripe and should be perfect for eating.
- Red onion: thinly sliced red onion adds a nice spicy kick to each bite. You can roughly chop the red onion, or thinly slice it into strips depending on what you prefer. If you find red onion to be too strong a taste you can also swap it for thinly sliced/finely diced shallots which I find to be milder in flavor.
- Mint: fresh mint adds an unexpected freshness to this salad
- Pistachios: I recommend using raw shelled pistachios that are not salted
HOW TO MAKE THE CANDIED PISTACHIOS
These candied pistachios take less then 15 minutes to make and are the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. If you have never made candied nuts before then this is the recipe for you, its truly foolproof.
- In a saucepan on medium heat add the honey and once it has begun to thin out (2-3 minutes) add in the pistachios. Stir in the salt and cayenne powder and leave to cook for 3 minutes.
- After 3 minutes remove the pan from the heat and pour the pistachios out onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Use a fork to separate the pistachios so they aren’t all in one big clump.
- Leave them to cool for 10 minutes or pop them into the fridge to cool them faster.
- Store them in an airtight container.
HOW LONG WILL LEFTOVER CANDIED PISTACHIOS LAST?
This recipes makes a large amount of candied pistachios which may not all be used in the salad. Any leftover candied pistachios will last for up to 2 weeks stored in an airtight container in the pantry. Alternatively you can spread them out onto a baking sheet and freeze them for a few hours before transferring them to a ziploc bag or airtight container, this will prevent them from freezing into a big ball and make them much easier to separate. They can be frozen for up to 2 months and are best left to come to room temperature on the countertop before using. You can add any leftover candied pistachios to salad or sprinkle them over yogurt, ice cream or fruit salad. Even though the pistachios have a kick of spice I find that it’s a nice compliment to the sweetness of fruit or yogurt or ice cream.
CAN I USE A DIFFERENT TYPE OF NUT?
Absolutely! I like using pistachios in this recipe because they are vibrant green in color and have a slight sweetness to them. If you don’t have pistachios, you can easily substitute them for pecans, flaked, slivered or whole almonds or walnuts.
IS THIS SALAD VEGAN?
With one simple substitution you can easily make this salad vegan. When making the spicy candied pistachios, substitute the honey for an equal amount of maple syrup.
WHAT’S IN THE DRESSING?
This salad dressing is tangy, sweet, spicy and sour. Its the perfect compliment to the flavours of this salad and is incredibly easy to make. Simply combine all of the salad dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk together, or if making it in advance, place them in a mason jar and shake until well combined.
- Orange juice and zest: Be sure to always zest citrus (including lemons and limes) before juicing them
- Apple cider vinegar: it helps to cut through the sweetness of the orange juice and honey in the dressing. Depending on what you have on hand you can substitute it for champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar.
- Dijon mustard: I prefer using dijon mustard in this dressing but for a less spicy tasty, grainy mustard also works.
- Honey: the honey in this dressing is optional, and can be skipped if you prefer a tangier dressing. Alternatively you can also swap the honey for a different sweetener of choice such as maple syrup, coconut sugar, monk fruit etc.
- Olive oil: I recommend using good quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavour
VARIATIONS TO THIS ORANGE, AVOCADO & PISTACHIO SALAD?
- Add in protein such as grilled shrimp or chicken.
- Swap the pistachios for a different type of nut (variations listed above)
- Use mandarin oranges or blood oranges in place of navel oranges
- Add in some thinly sliced roasted beets for vibrant colour
- Add in crumbled goat cheese or feta for extra creaminess
WHAT SHOULD I SERVE WITH THIS ORANGE & AVOCADO SALAD?
This is a great salad to serve as part of a bigger meal. Here are a few dishes that would be delicious served alongside this salad
- Pistachio Crusted Salmon
- Peruvian Chicken with Green Sauce
- Seared Chicken Thighs in Garlic & Herb Sauce
- Blackened Salmon with Green Sauce
CAN I MAKE THIS SALAD IN ADVANCE?
As with the majority of lettuce based salads I recommend only assembling and dressing this Orange, Avocado and Candied Pistachio Salad right before serving to prevent it from becoming limp and wilted. You can make the candied pistachios up to a week in advance and store them in an airtight container. Up to 4 hours before serving you can slice the red onion and peel and thinly slice the orange and store them on a plate in the fridge. To cut down on prep time I also recommend buying a bag of lettuce so you simply have to open the bag and add it into a big salad bowl before serving.
Here are a few more easy salad recipes that you might enjoy…
- Thai Watermelon Salad
- Citrus, Fennel, Avocado & Shrimp Salad
- Creamy Cauliflower Faux-Tato Salad
- Pesto Zoodle Salad with Prosciutto & Pine Nuts
- Roasted Fennel & Green Bean Salad
- Grilled Zucchini & Asparagus Salad
- Carrot Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
- Roasted Cauliflower, Date, Red Onion & Parsley Salad
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Orange, Avocado & Pistachio Salad
- 6 cups baby greens or spring mix baby greens/spring mix
- 2 Navel Oranges
- 1 large avocado or 2 small
- ½ Red Onion thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
- ⅔ cup Raw pistachios
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Honey or Maple Syrup
- ¼ tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp Orange zest
- 3 tbsp Orange juice
- 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tbsp Honey (or maple syrup) optional
- Arrange the lettuce on a large serving platter or in a salad bowl.
- Peel the oranges and cut them into 1/4 inch thick slices. Thinly slice the avocado. Arrange the avocado and oranges along with the thinly sliced red onion and mint overtop of the lettuce.
- In a saucepan on medium heat add the honey and once it has begun to thin out (approx 2 minutes) add in the pistachios. Stir in the salt and cayenne powder and leave the pistachios to cook for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes remove the pan from the heat and pour the pistachios out onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Use a fork to separate the pistachios so they aren’t all in one big clump. Leave them to cool for 10 minutes or pop them into the fridge to cool them faster.
- Once the pistachios of cooled and hardened, roughly chop them into smaller pieces. Add the pistachios to the salad
- In a bowl combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk them together. Taste and adjust the ingredients as desired.
- Right before serving pour the dressing overtop.