Lots of layers of flavour make this Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken probably my favourite summer salad of the year. Coconut-Lime-Mango dressing is used both as marinade for the super flavourful chicken and dressing for the salad. Which comes in form of coleslaw and added toppings to complete the tropical profile. Lentils boiled in aromatic broth, finished with more lime and coconut add more protein and fibre, plus a delicious bite. Peppers and fresh mango lend sweetness and absolutely addictive maple-lime baked coconut chips crown the whole thing.
My Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken came into being because a friend asked me for a salad with lentils and showed me a video with lentils and mango. My mind went straight to creamy coconut and coconut chips and then started to sing “Put the lime in the coconut” and we went from there.
This is for Esther, from one of my favourite places in Ireland, the Fossey Mountains Springs Ranch. The place where you can get horse cuddles from the nicest and curious horses I have ever met, Western Riding lessons and trails, Natural Horsemanship lessons and the always present tea and chats with amazing people. Oh and not to forget Archery, knife and axe throwing, roping and so many things more.
Of course, for my weekly salad I wanted as many veggies and nutrients as I could squeeze into it, but with low calories for the dressing ideally. Which the Mango-Coconut-Lime dressing delivers perfectly.
Now I know this looks like a long list, but most are store cupboard ingredients and then all the veggies you need to cover your 5-a-day and then some. So, you basically get the loose-weight-and-be-healthy package all in one incredible salad for your weekly meal prep.
To get each ingredient taste it’s very best, we need to prepare them separately and add flavour to each layer. This gives you the epic salad you deserve and makes it so much easier to stick to your meal plan.
The chicken is marinated for extra flavour and was inspired by this recipe from “Platings + Pairings”
Some of the veggies are mixed into a quick coconut lime slaw and some get added on top, so they don’t lose their crunch and distinctive taste. Part of the same marinade/dressing we made for the chicken is used for it.
The Lentils are cooked in broth and then seasoned with coconut, lime and a bit of fish sauce and chili sauce (if you like).
The coconut chips get a quick coating of maple and take a quick roast in the oven to get super crispy.
From there it’s just frying the chicken and assembly and, if you made enough, you have amazing salad for several days. Or just one incredible meal for the family that no one will be able to resist.
I keep each of the parts of the Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken in a separate meal prep container in the fridge and only layer them when I’m ready to eat. Except the coleslaw, which we really want to marinade in the dressing.
That way you have fresh and crunchy salad every day that you can enjoy, without any soggy leaves.
For the chicken: While I fry it on day 1, I usually re-heat it together with the lentils for a minute or two in the microwave, as those 2 ingredients taste best warm.
The Coconut chips…you might want to double, even though the amount given makes more than you need for the salad topping. But they are incredibly delicious as snack.
From there, 5min of assembly, and your Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken is done.
And for dessert? Try my Sourdough Chocolate Banana Bread with Protein.
Looking for a meat free salad? How about Sweet Potato Grape Salad with Goat Cheese?
Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
What other recipes would you like to see?
If you enjoyed this recipe, please share. It helps me a lot. 🙂
Lentil Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Lime Chicken
- 4 Chicken Breasts
- 1 cup coconut milk from a can of full fat coconut milk.
- 2 cups fresh Mango cubed
- 5 limes zested and juiced + juice from the 2 limes of coconut chips if needed
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 tbsp sweet chili sauce
- 4 cloves garlic 3 smashed, 1 chopped
- 2 in piece fresh ginger grated (or 1 tsp powder)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup black Lentils
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- ¼ white cabbage - shredded
- ¼ red cabbage or one head of either – shredded
- 3 carrots – shredded
- 1 red onion – thinly sliced
- 1 can sweetcorn or fresh
- 2 red peppers – thinly sliced
- 1 bunch cilantro roughly chopped (optional)
- 1 bag Baby leaves
- 2 cups coconut chips makes more than you’ll need, but less than you’ll want
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Start by zesting all 5 limes. Zest 1 lime into a bowl and set aside for the lentils. Zest 2 limes into a blender or food processor for the dressing/marinade. Zest the remaining 2 limes into another bowl for the coconut chips.
- For the Mango Coconut Lime Dressing/Marinade:
- In a blender or food processor, combine 1 cup of coconut milk, 1 cup of chopped mango, the zest of 2 limes, juice of 2-4 limes (adjust to taste), fish sauce, sweet chili sauce, smashed garlic cloves, half of the grated ginger, brown sugar, and 1.5 teaspoons of kosher salt (or adjust to taste). If desired, add cilantro. Blend until smooth.
- Place the chicken breasts in a freezer bag and add 1 cup of the prepared dressing/marinade. Seal the bag and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or overnight for best results. Reserve the remaining dressing for the salad.
- For the Lentils:In a saucepan, gently fry the remaining half of the grated ginger and 1 clove of chopped garlic until soft.
- Wash the black lentils and add them to the saucepan along with the vegetable broth. Cook the lentils in the broth for 15-20 minutes or until they become tender.
- Stir in the zest of 1 lime, juice from 2 limes, fish sauce (to taste), sweet chili sauce (to taste), and the remaining coconut milk from the can. Warm the mixture through and let it thicken to your desired consistency. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
- For the Coconut Lime Slaw:
- In a large bowl, mix together the shredded red and white cabbage, shredded carrots, thinly sliced red onion, and sweetcorn. Add half of the remaining dressing and refrigerate to allow the flavours to meld.
- For the Caramelized Coconut Chips:
- Preheat your oven to 165°C (325°F).
- In a bowl, combine the coconut chips, maple syrup, lime zest, and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
- Spread the coated coconut chips on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Stir the chips and then bake for an additional 5 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them cool; they will crisp up as they cool.
- For the Chicken preheat a frying pan, griddle pan, or barbecue to medium-high heat.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and discard the marinade.
- Fry the chicken breasts for about 5 minutes on each side or until they are golden and cooked through in the middle. If unsure, cut one piece to check for doneness.
- Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes. Add any chicken juices to the salad dressing for extra flavour.
- To Serve: On each plate, create a bed of baby leaves and drizzle with a bit of the remaining dressing. Mix thoroughly.
- Top the salad with the Mango Lime Slaw, chicken, thinly sliced red peppers, cooked lentils, chopped remaining mango, and caramelized coconut chips.
- If desired, sprinkle with cilantro and drizzle with more dressing according to your taste.
Kept in separate airtight containers, this salad keeps fresh in the fridge for about 4 days. Calories: Approximately 400-500 calories
Fat: Approximately 10-15 grams
Protein: Approximately 20-25 grams
Carbohydrates: Approximately 50-60 grams
Sugar: Approximately 10-15 grams