Skip to Content
December 20, 2023

Citrus Chicken Salad

Marinated chicken thighs with creamy avocado, tangy crumbled feta, oranges, and crunchy almonds make this bright citrus chicken salad an easy and impressing salad for guests or weeknight meals.

Categories:

arugula drizzled with citrus dressing topped with chicken, avocado, feta, orange, almonds and chives
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Chicken And Citrus Make A Tasty Pair

A fresh and easy citrus chicken salad that makes a great lunch or dinner. You can cook off the chicken in advance, and have it on hand to quickly throw together this flavorful mayo-free chicken salad. We love to serve it with sliced Sourdough Bread (or as open-faced sandwiches) and a refreshing Rosé Sangria for the perfect weekend lunch.

arugula, chicken, avocado, feta, chives, orange juice, oranges, mustard, garlic, white wine vinegar

💌 Let's Stay Together

There are so many great ways to receive all of our latest recipes, meal tips, and inspiration.

Ingredients You’ll Need To Make Citrus Chicken Salad

  • White wine vinegar. Raw apple cider vinegar, champagne vinegar, or rice vinegar will all work beautifully in place of the white wine vinegar. Any of these acidic components help the chicken tenderize and take on the flavor of the marinade.

  • Oranges – Orange and chicken are a winning combination, like that classic Easy Orange Chicken!

  • Dijon Mustard – Dijon mustard adds a nice texture and depth of flavor. If you don’t have on hand, you can substitute equal amounts of stone ground or yellow mustard.

  • Avocado + Feta – Creamy avocado and tangy feta make everything better. If you don’t have feta, you could also use goat cheese.

  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs – Chicken breasts will work too, if that’s what you have on hand or prefer.

olive oil, vinegar, orange zest, orange juice, honey, Dijon, shallot, salt, and pepper in a glass bowl
chicken being tossed with olive oil, vinegar, orange zest, orange juice, honey, Dijon, shallot, salt & pepper in a glass bowl
citrus chicken being cooked in a non stick skillet
cooked citrus chicken sliced on a cutting board being drizzled with citrus sauce

How to Make Citrus Chicken Salad

  • Make the marinade.Whisk together the olive oil, the vinegar, orange zest, orange juice, honey, Dijon, shallot, salt, and pepper.

  • Marinate the chicken for least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

  • Cook the chicken in a large nonstick skillet.

  • Assemble the salad. This is a beautiful salad, and looks lovely on a large platter.

arugula drizzled with citrus dressing topped with chicken, avocado, feta, orange, almonds and chives

How to Store Citrus Chicken Salad + Tips

  • Whoops, you thought you were going to have time to cook the marinated chicken last night for dinner, but it’s still sitting in a zip top bag in the fridge. Don’t panic. You can freeze marinated chicken, and take it out a day before you plan to use it to defrost in the refrigerator. This is actually one of our favorite ways to prep for weeknight meals.

  • Can I freeze cooked chicken thighs? Absolutely! In fact, frozen chicken is a cornerstone of The Modern Proper kitchen. We wouldn’t recommend freezing the fresh components of this salad.

  • Tempted to use the leftover marinade from the chicken? We hate to waste, but in this case it’s a question of food safety. Once the marinade comes into contact with raw meat, it has potentially come into contact with bacteria that can be dangerous to consume.

  • Love the brightness of citrus, especially in the wintertime? Check out our Christmas Salad recipe.

arugula drizzled with citrus dressing topped with chicken, avocado, feta, orange, almonds and chives

More Great Chicken Salad Recipes From The Modern Proper

Orange You Glad You Made This Citrus Chicken Salad?

For more recipe inspiration, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest or order our cookbook. We love when you share your meals. Tag us on Instagram using #themodernproper. Happy cooking!

Citrus Chicken Salad

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  35 min
  • Cook Time:  15 min
  • Calories: 716

Ingredients

  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice (from 2 oranges)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 5 ounces spring lettuce mix or arugula
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta
  • 1 orange, segmented
  • ⅓ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup minced chives (optional)

Method

  1. In a large bowl or plastic zip-top bag, whisk together ½ cup of the olive oil, the vinegar, orange zest, orange juice, honey, Dijon, shallot, salt, and pepper. Transfer ½ cup of the marinade to a small bowl.

  2. Add the chicken to the large bowl and turn to coat well. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Once the oil is glistening, working in batches, add the chicken thighs in a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, 4 to 6 minutes per side. If the chicken is sticking to the skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Let rest for 4 minutes, then cut into ½-inch-thick slices. Pour 3 tablespoons of the reserved marinade over the chicken and toss to coat.

  4. To serve, place the lettuce on a platter and drizzle with remaining reserved marinade. Top with chicken, avocado, feta, orange, almonds, and chives (if using).


Note: Raw apple cider vinegar, champagne vinegar, or rice vinegar will all work beautifully in place of the white wine vinegar.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories716
  • Protein46 g
  • Carbohydrates21 g
  • Total Fat57 g
  • Dietary Fiber5 g
  • Cholesterol25 mg
  • sodium856 mg
  • Total Sugars11 g

Citrus Chicken Salad

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

or

    Any questions?

    Need to change up some ingredients? Unsure about a step in the method? Click the Ask a Question button above. We’re here for you.

  • T

    This was a big hit in my house!! I swapped out roasted sunflower seeds for the almonds and blue cheese for the feta because that's what I had on hand, and added some leftover cubes of roasted sweet potato.

    Thanks T, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Rose

    Great recipe. Would strongly recommend grilling the chicken thighs or using chicken breasts instead of thighs if sautéing indoors.

    Thanks Rose, glad you enjoyed.

  • Claudia

    This recipe is amazing! The chicken was flavorful and juicy. Perfect summer salad!

    Thanks Claudia, we are so glad you loved it!

  • Kay

    This is the perfect summer salad! I'll be making this again and next time I'm going to grill the chicken.

    Thanks Kay, we are so glad you loved it!