Mango Avocado Salad with Blackened Tofu

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Published June 1, 2023. Last updated June 1, 2023 By Elizabeth Lindemann &nbsp&nbsp/&nbsp&nbspThis post may contain affiliate links.Jump to Recipe – Print

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Move over, boring salads – this Mango Avocado Salad is in anything but! With a hearty boost of protein and flavor by adding spicy blackened tofu (or shrimp, or chicken!), this salad is packed full of sweet, salty, spicy flavors. With the creamy chunks of avocado as well as a creamy avocado lime dressing, you’ll be in salad heaven.

If you’re looking for a fresh new salad to add to your rotation, look no further. This mango avocado salad is anything but ordinary, bursting with unique flavors and hearty and satiating protein and healthy fats.

I’m a huge fan of sweet and spicy combinations, and mango is one of my favorite fruits to pair with spicy or savory foods. Whether it’s mango salsa with fresh jalapeño peppers, mango quinoa salad, shrimp ceviche, or blackened fish tacos topped with mango salsa, it’s a wonderful fruit to add to meals for naturally sweet flavor.

(Though I do acknowledge mangos can be kind of a pain in the neck to peel and cut, which is why I wrote a whole tutorial on two ways for how to cut a mango! And you can always buy them pre-cut.)

In this post I’ll take you through how to make the salad dressing super creamy and smooth, as well as how to blacken the tofu, and how to make the salad vegan, if that’s your thing. Let’s get to it!

Ingredients needed and substitutions

Salad Greens – I used one of those boxes of baby green mixes.

Mango

Avocado

Red Onion – green onions, or thinly sliced other onions will work just fine.

Herbs – any combination of cilantro, mint, dill, or basil. You can omit these if you really need to, but they do add a ton of flavor.

Sour cream – or Greek yogurt.

Lime juice – lemon could also be used.

Extra-virgin olive oil

Tofu – or another protein of choice, like shrimp or chicken.

Blackening seasoning – store-bought or homemade, or other seasoning mix of choice (more on this below).

Butter – this is for blackening the tofu properly, but oil or vegan butter can work here too (more on this below).

How to make the creamy avocado lime dressing

Just add avocado, sour cream, lime juice, olive oil, and salt to a food processor or blender. This will blend everything to an incredibly creamy, smooth consistency. Then, add water as needed to thin out the dressing, making it drizzle-able (yes I just made up that word and you know what? I’m here for it.).

How to make the blackened tofu

Cut the tofu into cubes and pat dry with a paper towel. No need to press it unless you want to. Add it to a bowl along with the seasoning and toss to coat- gently, so as not to break apart the tofu. Melt some butter in high heat in a heavy skillet (I used nonstick, but cast iron can work if it’s well seasoned). Then, add the seasoned tofu and cook in the butter, tossing around to cook each side, until it develops and nice dark crusty outer layer. This took about 8 minutes for me.

How to assemble the mango avocado salad

Just layer all the ingredients in individual salad bowls or on a large platter, then drizzle with the salad dressing!

I do prefer a platter here instead of a large salad bowl, since the mango and avocado are relatively heavy ingredients and will sink to the bottom of the bowl. I find a platter is best for most salads for this reason, and it’s easy for people to serve themselves and ensure they are getting a little of everything in their portion.

FAQs for Mango Avocado Salad with Blackened Tofu

What is blackening? Blackening is a Cajun cooking techniques that uses high heat and butter in a heavy (usually cast iron) skillet. Fish, chicken, shrimp, or whatever is being cooked is coated in a spicy seasoning mix, then cooked in the hot skillet in the butter. The high heat burns the dairy particles in the butter, as well as darkens the spicy mixture deeply, forming a very dark colored crust on the outside. Do I have to use blackening seasoning? No. Blackening is more about the technique than the actual seasoning mix. Usually, it includes paprika, cayenne, onion powder, and garlic powder, and can have other ingredients too. Here’s a homemade recipe for blackening seasoning, and you can usually find it store-bought, too. But truth be told, I actually used my favorite BBQ rub for this, and another seasoning mix like taco seasoning would work just fine if you don’t want to buy a whole other spice mix! Can I make this mango avocado salad vegan or dairy free? Sure! Instead of butter, use oil or a vegan butter substitute. And instead of sour cream, use a vegan sour cream or Greek yogurt substitute, or simply use more avocado in the dressing. What are some other proteins I can use besides tofu? Shrimp would be EXCELLENT here – I was super close to using it for this recipe but decided on tofu simply because I didn’t need to defrost it, hah! That’s how I make a lot of my cooking decisions. Chicken, fish, or a sliced flank or skirt steak would work well too. For another plant-based option, spicy roasted chickpeas would be great, too. How can I make this salad ahead for meal prep? Just assemble the mango avocado salad in your lunch containers and be sure to store the dressing on the side. Just before eating, drizzle with the dressing and you’re good to go!

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Mango Avocado Salad with Blackened Tofu

This mango avocado salad is drizzled with a cool, creamy avocado lime dressing and topped with blackened tofu bites (or shrimp or chicken, if you prefer) for protein! It’s a wonderful combination of sweet, salty, and spicy flavors, with crunchy and creamy textures, and it’s great for meal prep, too.

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Course: SaladCuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes minutesCook Time: 10 minutes minutesTotal Time: 20 minutes minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 338kcal
Author: Elizabeth Lindemann

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IngredientsFor the salad5 oz. salad greens1 mango diced (see notes)2 small avocados (or 1 ½ large avocados, give or take, about 1 cup when diced)½ cup thinly sliced red onion (from about ½ a medium onion)½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, dill, mint, and/or basilFor the dressing1 small avocado (or ½ large avocado, about ½ cup when diced)¼ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt2 tablespoons lime juice (from about 1 lime)½ teaspoon kosher salt1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oilFor the blackened tofu14 oz. firm tofu (or protein of choice, see notes)1 tablespoon blackening seasoning or other seasoning of choice, store-bought or homemade (see notes)1 tablespoon butter (plus more if needed)
InstructionsDrain the 14 oz. firm tofu and dice into cubes about 1-inch large. Pat the surface dry with a clean paper or kitchen towel, and mix in a bowl with the 1 tablespoon blackening seasoning. Heat a large heavy skillet until very hot, then add the 1 tablespoon butter and melt. Add the tofu and cook on each side until spices and butter have turned a deep, dark color and have crisped a bit on the outside. Add more butter if necessary. This will take approximately 6-8 minutes total.Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a food processor, combine the remaining 1 small avocado, the ¼ cup sour cream, the 2 tablespoons lime juice, the ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and the 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Turn the food processor on until everything is very smooth. Add water as necessary to thin out the texture to desired consistency – I like to be able to drizzle mine.Arrange the salad ingredients on a large platter or evenly divided onto four plates or salad bowls: starting with the 5 oz. salad greens and topping with the diced 1 mango, diced 2 small avocados, ½ cup thinly sliced red onion, and ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, dill, mint, and/or basil.When you are ready to serve, add the tofu to the salad and drizzle with the dressing.

Notes
Blackening seasoning is a mix of spices that may vary and are usually spicy, and often include paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. You can buy it premade, or make your own. But blackening really is more the process of cooking something coated in the dry spices in butter over high heat – the high heat creates a black color and crust on the outside from cooking the dairy particles in the butter and really toasting those spices. So really, the combination of spices isn’t super important here – use what you have! I used my favorite BBQ rub, and taco seasoning or something similar would also work here. That way, you can make it as spicy or mild as you prefer.
For a vegan or dairy-free option, substitute the butter with a vegan substitute. You could use oil to cook it up, though it won’t be truly “blackened” as you are missing those dairy particles. Still delish, though! And for the dressing, use a vegan substitute for sour cream/Greek yogurt, or just use more avocado.
Tofu alternatives: Shrimp would be delicious, as would any other blackened or spicy protein, like blackened fish or chicken. A spicy seared flank or skirt steak would be so good here too! For another vegetarian/vegan option, try crispy roasted chickpeas.
Mangos can be a bit tricky to prep! Here’s a tutorial on how to peel, cut, and dice mangos, with two different techniques.

NutritionCalories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 608mg | Potassium: 612mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1886IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 175mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutrition Information DisclaimerThe provided nutrition information is my best estimate and does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information. Feel free to calculate it yourself using one of these tools:
Very Well Fit Nutrition Information Calculator

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