Mango & Avocado Salad with Cotija and Tangy Basil Dressing


The weather is getting warmer, and summer vibes are beginning to set in. Enter all the vibrant colors and refreshing salads. I’ve been eyeing all the mangos for a while at the grocery store and now is the time for them- it’s peak mango season (well I’m actually a little late but better late than never). To be honest, the kick in the butt I needed was a look at my Instagram profile and seeing very little green and almost no salads over the last few months. I took this as a wake up call: I need more salads! And this Mango and & Avocado Salad with Cotija and Tangy Basil Dressing did not disappoint. So if you’re in a bit of a salad rut like me, this is the perfect salad to jump back into the mix.

The base of this Mango & Avocado Salad with Cotija and Tangy Basil Dressing is a combination of slightly crisp and mellow butter lettuce, sweet mango, and creamy avocado. Cotija and the tangy basil dressing add a burst of tangy contrast, and the cotija is nice for a change in texture too (also it looks beautiful). While not everyone loves raw red onion, I personally like the pop of color and flavor they add. I dice or slice them into very thin slices to mellow out their astringent flavor.

Behind this Creamy Tangy Basil Dressing

I developed this dressing recipe several years ago for Edible D.C… and somehow I never got around to actually putting it on the blog! In this recipe, I say you can use any herb you want (cilantro, parsley, basil), but I’m biased toward basil. I’ll be honest- I was slightly worried because I’ve somewhat forgotten about this dressing and haven’t made it in a while and sometimes our palettes change. Luckily, it was just as I remembered. Perfectly tangy and creamy.

Looking for Other Salads?

P.S. Liking the flavors in this Mango & Avocado Salad with Cotija and Tangy Basil Dressing? Here are a few other salads you may enjoy….

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Mango & Avocado Salad with Cotija and Tangy Basil Dressing

Tangy Basil Dressing

  • ½ cup tightly packed, ~1.5 ounce or 1 ½ bunches fresh parsley or other herb of your choice (while the leaves are the best part, it’s okay to use some of the stems here too)
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic or champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, ~1/2 lemon or a bit more
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons, 80g plain 2% fat or higher content greek yogurt or skyr
  • 2 garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, 60g
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • black pepper, to taste


  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 2 mangos, sliced
  • 2 heads butter lettuce, chopped roughly
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion, (about 1/4 red onion)
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese

Make the dressing

  • Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Make the salad

  • Pour about 1/4 cup or so of the dressing in the bottom of a big bowl.
  • Add in butter lettuce and using tongs, toss to lightly coat the lettuce in the dressing.
  • Add mango, red onion, avocado, and cotija on top, along with a bit more of the dressing. Serve immediately.
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