Citrus Salad

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Citrus Salad is a delicious mix of citrus, avocado, and pistachios, with a sweet orange dressing. It’s one of the best salads I’ve ever tasted and a complete show-stopper!

Use leftover citrus in this Citrus Quinoa Salad or Cuban Mojo Chicken with citrus avocado salsa.

A big platter of citrus salad ready to be served.

Citrus Salad

This salad is unique and fun because it doesn’t use lettuce. Instead it’s made by layering sweet citrus fruits, (optional) roasted beets, and creamy avocado. It’s an absolutely gorgeous dish with a mix of textures and fresh, light flavors — perfect for spring.

This salad always makes it on my Easter menu and year after year, it is always one of the most popular dishes. In fact, it’s often my go-to choice whenever I’m asked to bring a salad between winter and spring!

The salad includes several different citrus fruits, which are usually available from December to May. I typically choose four kinds of citrus, but you can pick according to your preference and what the stores have.

The dressing being made in a mason jar.

Citrus Salad Dressing

This dressing has a subtle sweetness that brings out all the salad’s flavors. Here are some tips:

  • Choose high-quality olive oil: The better the olive oil, the tastier your dressing will be. Look for extra-virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
  • Mix the beets with dressing: After roasting the beets, mix them with some dressing while they’re still warm. This helps the beets soak up the flavor and makes them taste better in the salad.
  • Use the right tools: A small grater (like this one) can help you get just the orange zest without the bitter white part. A citrus juicer can make squeezing the oranges easier.
  • Add dressing gradually: Since the dressing doesn’t adhere super well to the citrus, start by adding half of it and then add more as needed. This way, you prevent all the dressing from just sitting at the bottom of the bowl.

The citrus being prepped and all the peels being cut off for this citrus salad.

The Citrus in This Salad

This salad features a variety of oranges, though you can choose based on what’s fresh and available. Aim to include at least three different types to add variety.

  • Cara Cara Oranges: These are sweeter and less acidic than regular navel oranges, with a cranberry-like tang. They look like navel oranges on the outside but have a unique, rich pink, seedless flesh inside.
  • Blood Oranges: Known for their deep red flesh, blood oranges offer a distinct flavor with raspberry notes.
  • Tangelos: A cross between tangerines and grapefruit, tangelos are very juicy and taste similar to tangerines.
  • Navel Oranges: Navel oranges are less tangy and very sweet, adding a delicious flavor to the salad.

Other fruits that also work well in this citrus salad include Valencia oranges, grapefruit, clementines, and mandarins, all of which are great options.

The beets being roasted and sliced for this dish.

Other Citrus Salad Ingredients

  • Avocado: Use avocados that are fully ripe for a delicious creamy texture. To check if an avocado is ripe, press near where the stem is. If it feels like the tip of your nose, it’s ready for the salad.
  • Basil or Mint: Basil gives the salad a slightly sweet and savory taste. You can use mint instead for a different flavor.
  • Goat Cheese or Feta Cheese: Goat cheese goes well with the beets, citrus, and avocado, but feta cheese works great too. You can leave out the cheese if you want a vegan-friendly salad.
  • Pistachios or Almonds: Choose nuts that are dry roasted and lightly salty — more flavor for no extra effort.
  • Beets: Beets are great in this salad, but you can use more citrus instead. For quicker prep, buy beets that are already roasted and peeled, or even canned beats work.


To avoid stains, peel and cut the beets on paper and wear gloves. You can keep and cook the beet leaves like spinach or kale. Wash them, take off the hard stems, and cook them in a pan.

The dressing being poured over the citrus salad recipe.

How To Make Citrus Salad

  1. Dressing: In a jar, mix together dressing ingredients. Shake to combine and then chill until ready to use.
  2. Optional: Roast Beets: Heat oven, trim beets, wrap in foil, bake until tender. Cool, peel, slice, mix with dressing, and refrigerate.
  3. Citrus & Avocados: Slice the peels off of the citrus and remove seeds. Slice avocados.
  4. Assembly: Layer citrus, beets, avocado on a plate. Add cheese, nuts, basil if desired. Drizzle with dressing. Only dress what you’ll eat right away.

Preparing The Citrus

To get the citrus ready and remove the bitter parts, follow these steps:

  1. Use a very sharp knife to make it easier.
  2. Cut the top and bottom off the fruit, then put it flat on a cutting board.
  3. Slice around the fruit to remove the peel and the white part, moving from top to bottom.
  4. Keep going until all the peel and white part are off.
  5. Thinly cut the fruit into slices or half-slices.

If slicing is hard or frustrating, just peel the citrus with your hands and break it into pieces for the salad.

The dressed salad topped with sliced pistachios and fresh basil.


Citrus Salad Storage

Citrus Salad should be eaten fresh as it doesn’t keep well. The dressing can make the pistachios soft, plus the avocados will begin to brown.

To Make Ahead:

  • Cook beets and prepare dressing beforehand. Keep in the fridge.
  • Chop pistachios early and store in an airtight bag at room temp.
  • Cut avocado and citrus just before serving.
  • Assemble the salad at serving time.

More Salad Recipes

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Citrus Salad Recipe

4.92 from 12 votes
Citrus Salad is a delicious mix of citrus, avocado, and pistachios, with a sweet orange dressing. It's one of the best salads I've ever tasted and a complete show-stopper!
A big platter of citrus salad ready to be served.
Print Recipe

Citrus Salad Recipe

A big platter of citrus salad ready to be served.
4.92 from 12 votes
Citrus Salad is a delicious mix of citrus, avocado, and pistachios, with a sweet orange dressing. It's one of the best salads I've ever tasted and a complete show-stopper!
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Healthy, Vegetarian
Keyword citrus salad
Prep Time 35 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 -6 as a side
Chelsea Lords
Calories 295kcal
Cost $10.12



  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice, plus 1/2 teaspoon zest
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons each: honey, apple cider vinegar, olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt & tiny pinch pepper


  • 2 navel oranges (or 4 clementines)
  • 2 tangerines, tangelos, or clementines
  • 2 cara cara oranges
  • 2 blood oranges
  • 2 small avocados
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped pistachios
  • Optional: handful of fresh basil, 1/3 cup crumbled goat or feta cheese

OPTIONAL: Roasted Beets

  • 4 beets (golden, red, or variety) (or use 1 can drained & thinly sliced)


  • DRESSING: Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar, seal, and shake well. Stir if honey doesn't blend. Refrigerate until needed.
  • OPTIONAL: BEETS: Preheat oven to 400°F. Trim beet tops, leaving roots, wrap in foil, and roast on a pan for 50-60 minutes until tender (knife can easily pierce through). Cool, peel, slice, toss with some dressing, and refrigerate.
  • PREPARE CITRUS & CUT AVOCADOS: Cut off citrus ends, peel by slicing around the fruit, and slice into 1/2-inch rounds, removing seeds. (Otherwise, peel and segment). Peel, pit, and slice avocados.
  • ASSEMBLE: On a large plate/platter, layer citrus, beets (if using), and avocado. Add cheese, pistachios, and basil as desired.
  • DRESSING: Shake dressing again and drizzle over the salad to taste (you may not want to use it all). Only dress and add avocado to portions immediately being served to prevent browning; otherwise store separately and assemble right before enjoying.


Recipe Notes

Note 1: Peel and slice the beets on parchment paper to prevent staining the cutting board. Use gloves to avoid staining your hands!

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 4.7g | Fat: 15.9g | Cholesterol: 1.4mg | Sodium: 86.1mg | Fiber: 8.4g | Sugar: 25.1g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


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4.92 from 12 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. This salad alone is just so beautiful, but I really do love roasted beets so that also makes it super tasty and appealing. This would be a nice change from my lunch smoothie!

  2. 5 stars
    this is such a creative recipe, and beets, love them and always forget to use them in anything, they’re such a unique flavor, thank you for this, love it

  3. 5 stars
    Chelsea, this looks absolutely gorgeous! I’ve never tried citrus in salad – it looks like I’m seriously missing out. So I will definitely have to try this! 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for this recipe!
    It was a hit at Christmas lunch today.
    Had to adapt it since it’s summer here and the only citrus available is just your everyday, plain orange. So I added mango for some diversity, haha! The dressing was really great too!

  5. 5 stars
    I did cheat and use already roasted beets- but OMG! I had to make three batches because my 3 teenagers (even the picky eater) kept eating it before I could have any! Thank you for this easy to make , delicious recipe! It is now on weekly rotation and works great with our whole 30 month! 💕💕

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious, and a big hit at dinner! I think next time I’ll leave the cheese off, it’s got a beautiful range of flavors even without it!

  7. The salad does look lovely and I will probably try it, as I too I’m looking for some beautiful, do ahead dishes for Easter.
    My comment actually is on your explanation of supreme citrus. The pictures and your description is not of supreme citrus. That would be when after it is peeled as you described, you then individually cut out the wedges of fruit, so there is absolutely no interior membrane just the “supremes”

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