Avocado Citrus Salad is a light, refreshing salad with creamy avocado, tangy grapefruit and oranges tossed in a delicious homemade poppy seed dressing.
This is a salad recipe I make often throughout the summer. It goes great with all my barbeque favorites such as Beer Can Chicken. But, don't just save this recipe for summer. Avocado Citrus Salad makes a tasty winter salad to serve with hearty entrees like Ham and Mozzarella Stuffed Meatloaf or Baked Spaghetti Pie.
I love this salad for lunch topped with fresh shrimp. Add an extra zip of flavor, and drizzle the shrimp with freshly squeezed lemon juice! Another option to make this a full meal salad, is to add feta or goat cheese.
Healthy and refreshing, this vibrant salad combines fresh garden greens, tangy orange and grapefruit slices, avocado, and toasted almonds. These healthy ingredients are all tossed together in my homemade poppy seed dressing.
Ingredients for the Poppy Seed Dressing
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - it is the best oil for flavor. I buy a superior quality extra virgin olive oil to use just for dipping and making dressings.
- Vinegar - plain white vinegar.
- Poppy Seeds - Be sure to check the expiry date on the poppy seeds. Poppy seeds that are not fresh have a terrible, rank taste to them and will ruin your salad.
- Red Onion - finely chopped.
- Dry Ground Mustard - dry ground mustard adds a tasty tang to the dressing. ½ tablespoon of Dijon mustard can be used as a substitution.
- Sugar - this recipe calls for plain white sugar. Sugar adds balance and flavor to salad dressings. Substitute with honey, agave, or sweetener if you prefer.
- Salt - I prefer to use Kosher salt, but sea salt or table salt will also work.
- Pepper - fresh ground black pepper
How to make this simple vinaigrette
Whisk together the poppy seeds, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, finely chopped red onion, dry ground mustard, sugar, salt, and black pepper. I often use a small mason jar to prepare the salad dressing. It is so easy to place all the ingredients in the jar, shake and store until ready to use. Poppy seed dressing tastes awesome on citrus avocado salad, sweet fruit salad, as well as any tossed salad.
Ingredients for making the salad.
- Fresh Salad Greens - leafy spring mix or organic baby leaf lettuce mix. Baby spinach, kale, or arugula can also be added for a bolder flavor.
- Oranges - segment the orange to remove the pith and chewy membrane. I usually use navel oranges, but some other varieties that work well in this recipe are mandarin and blood oranges.
- Grapefruit - segment the grapefruit to remove the bitter pith and chewy membrane. The grapefruit sections add a great tangy flavor to every bite! I usually use pink grapefruit, but red or ruby grapefruit also taste great.
- Avocado - make sure your avocado is ripe and ready to eat. Ripe avocados yield to a firm, gentle press and may have a darker color. Peel and cut right before serving so it does not become brown.
- Red onion - what salad doesn't taste better with a bit of red onion?
- Almonds - sliced roasted almonds add a tasty crunch to this salad. You can substitute with roasted pecans, pistachios, or walnuts.
This post was originally published April 28, 2012. Occasionally I update with fresh tips, content, and photos. Current update February 25, 2023.
Avocado Citrus Salad
- 6 cups salad greens
- 2 medium grapefruit sectioned
- 3 navel oranges sectioned
- 1 ripe avocado chopped
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
Poppy Seed Dressing
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon red onion finely chopped
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- ½ tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
Poppy Seed Dressing
- In a small mason jar add olive oil, sugar, vinegar, red onion, poppy seed, dry mustard, and salt. Seal with a lid and shake until well combined.
- Start by toasting the almonds. I usually buy raw sliced almonds and roast them. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the almonds in a single layer and roast in 350º F oven for 3-4 minutes. Keep a close eye on them, as you do not want them to burn! Nuts can burn easily and then they taste bitter and are unusable.
- Segment the orange and grapefruit to remove the white pith and chewy membrane.
- Wash greens and remove water using a salad spinner. Tear into bite-sized pieces and place in a large serving bowl.
- Peel and chop the avocado into chunks. I do this right before serving so the avocado does not brown.
- Toss all the ingredients together with the poppy seed dressing. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds.