A taste of summer, this Avocado Cilantro Chopped Salad is a breeze to pull together, and it’s both Vegan and Paleo. The creamy dressing is super satisfying and full of good fats. It’s a wonderful salad for a hot day.
Chopped salads are the new favorite in our home. They’re so easy to pull together quickly, and I love how they get an extra nutritional punch from all of the added veggies.
This Avocado Cilantro Chopped Salad is inspired by a traditional Mexican guacamole salsa, but without the onions and garlic, this salad is lighter and friendlier for folks who need to avoid FODMAPs. (If you’re following a strict Low-FODMAP diet, omit the garbanzo beans and probably leave out the serrano chile pepper, too.)
This salad is kind of a like a bunch of crisp, fresh summery vegetables with a creamy guacamole dressing. As someone who can’t eat dairy, “creamy” is a coveted trait in any food, and blending up a salad dressing with avocado is a terrific way to get a beautifully creamy texture for a stuper healthy salad dressing.
Growing up on a standard American diet, herbs didn’t have much of a presence in our home or in our food. But now, I never leave the grocery store without at least a bunch of cilantro and Italian parsley and maybe some basil and mint if they’re looking good. I love chopping up fresh herbs and tossing them with romaine lettuce so that there’s not just more nutrition but also a variety of flavors and textures.
Herbs are also one of the easiest things to grow in containers, so if you don’t have a lot of gardening space but want to have some fresh veggies for your kitchen, having a few pots of parsley, basil, mint, and cilantro is delightful and actually cost-effective (meaning that you actually save money by growing them yourself – this isn’t the case for growing something like broccoli at home).
The other reason why I love this salad is that it’s more filling than the usual salad that we do with just lettuce and some tomato tossed with lemon juice and olive oil. The avocado dressing brings a ton of healthy fats to the table which help to fill you up. Ditto for the extra fiber that you’re getting from the extra raw chopped vegetables. For my husband, who can’t eat any carbs at all, finding foods that are healthy AND filling is always my goal.
I like to serve this salad with oven-baked cod, so that the protein flavors aren’t overwhelming to the flavors of the salad. But chicken would go well, too, as would steak. I would keep the accompaniments simple – nothing heavy or saucy – so that the salad really shines through. Some grilled corn would go great on a plate with this salad, too.
Why You’ll LOVE this Recipe:
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
- Low Cholesterol
- Quick to make
- No cooking required
Ingredients for Avocado Cilantro Chopped:
- romaine lettuce heart
- English cucumber
- garbanzo beans
- cherry tomatoes
- olive oil
- lemon juice
- serrano pepper
Notes on Ingredients:
Romaine lettuce heart – It’s a chopped salad, so we want a nice, crispy lettuce leaf. Romaine lettuce hearts are perfectly crisp and crunchy.
English cucumber – This is our favorite generally, but any cucumber will do as long as it’s crisp and crunchy.
Carrots – Just a few to give a little sweetness and color.
Cilantro – Chop up the whole bunch. You can even use the stems.
Garbanzo beans – Rinse the canned garbanzo beans very well for easier digestion. If you’re sensitive to FODMAPs, just leave the beans out entirely. The salad will still be delicious.
Cherry tomatoes – I love cherry tomatoes for their incredible pop of textures and flavors. Also, when we use them cut in half, they don’t get as juicy or mushy which is an added plus.
Avocado – Make sure the avocado is nice and ripe. Use the Haas avocadoes.
Olive oil – Olive oil is the healthiest oil for salad dressings.
Lemon juice – A touch of lemon juice brings out the freshest flavors of the cilantro and the avocado and gives an acidic tang to the dressing.
Serrano pepper – If you crave a bit of spice, use a small piece of serrano pepper and blend it up in the dressing. A jalapeno pepper will work just fine, too. I just prefer serranos.
How to Make Avocado Cilantro Chopped Salad From Scratch
This recipe is so simple, there’s just not much to say in terms of instructions – which is exactly what I want when I’m rushing to get lunch on the table in the middle of the work day or dinner after a busy day or school and work or hanging out on the beach.
Make the Salad
Chop up the vegetables and toss them together in a large bowl.
Make the Dressing
In a blender, blend all of the salad dressing ingredients until they’re completely smooth. Add more water if you want the dressing thinner, less if you want it thicker.
Toss the Salad
This kind of dressing works best if it is tossed with the salad before serving – I wouldn’t serve this dressing on the side. It needs to coat all of the vegetables to really work well, and the only way to do that is to toss the dressing together with the salad before serving.
Get creative and add whatever other vegetables you love to eat raw or have hanging around in your fridge. Eat and enjoy!
Avocado Cilantro Chopped Salad – Vegan Paleo
- 1 romaine lettuce heart
- 1 English cucumber
- 2 carrots
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 can garbanzo beans (15 oz)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 avocado
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- ½ avocado
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ serrano pepper (optional)
- ¼ cup water
- pinch of salt
- pinch of pepper
- Prepare the salad: Chop the romaine lettuce heart, cucumber, carrots and cilantro. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Cut the avocado in small chunks. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans. Put everything into a large bowl.
- Prepare the dressing: Put the cilantro, avocado, olive oil, lemonjuice, serrano pepper (if using), water, salt, and pepper into a blender. Blend until completely smooth. Add more water until it reaches desiredconsistency.
- Toss the salad with the dressing to coat the vegetables well.
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