Fresh is the mood this time of year, and I have a recipe for you to match: Grilled Chicken Breast with Strawberry Avocado Salsa.
This grilled chicken recipe is a shining example of the simple, delicious pleasure that occurs when familiar, individual ingredients unite to create something new and more delightful than they could ever be apart.
It has the fresh-but-familiar feeling of an old friend who can still surprise you.
It’s the summer berries and juicy Grilled Chicken you’ve loved since childhood, presented in a new, unexpected way (like in this summery Grilled Naan Pizza with Strawberry Chicken and Avocado).
- This strawberry grilled chicken recipe begins with a lively cilantro-lime marinade that brightens and tenderizes the chicken.
- It’s topped with a fantastic strawberry avocado salsa that will become a fast house favorite. Try it on a whole variety of grilled meats (or even with Grilled Halloumi Cheese).
5 Star Review
“We made this recipe as written and it was delicious. A keeper for hot summer nights for sure.”— Julie —
How to Make Grilled Chicken Breast with Strawberry Avocado Salsa
With a chunky mix of vibrant ingredients that enhance and balance one another, this healthy strawberry salsa with avocado is the perfect partner to succulent juicy grilled chicken breasts (or Grilled Chicken Tenders).
- Strawberries. With more vitamin C than an orange and loaded with antioxidants, strawberries turn this fruity salsa recipe into a fruity superfood salsa recipe. (Save some strawberries and make this Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie for dessert!)
- Avocado. Loads this salsa with filling and satisfying healthy monounsaturated fats along with potassium, fiber, and vitamin K.
Worried your avocados will not be quite ripe enough for dinner tomorrow? You can speed up the avocado-ripening process by putting an avocado in a sealed paper bag with a banana, apple, or kiwi you have hanging out in your kitchen. These fruits produce what’s called ethylene gas, a plant hormone, that aids the ripening process.
- Cilantro. For freshness and additional vibrant green color.
- Red Onion. Adds contrasting crunch and zip to the creamy avocado and juicy red strawberries.
- Jalapeño. For a subtle kick of heat. (If you have extra jalapeños, serve this recipe with a pitcher of my favorite Spicy Margarita recipe.)
- Lime. Lends a little tang and brightness to the salsa which also helps preserve the color of the bright green avocados.
- Honey. Adds back in just the right amount of sweetness to counter the acidity of the lime.
- Chicken Breasts. Lean, packed with protein, and their mild taste is perfect for soaking up all the yummy marinade without overpowering the berries.
- Marinade. Any citrus-based marinade (like this Chicken Marinade and this Chicken Thigh Marinade) would be lovely with the strawberry salsa. I highly recommend trying this zippy blend of fresh lime juice and zest, honey, olive oil, and garlic at some point!
- Pound the chicken to an even thickness using a meat mallet.
- Whisk together the marinade ingredients.
- Pour over the chicken and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Combine all the salsa ingredients except the avocado.
You can ease the “bite” of the red onion by soaking it in a small bowl of water. The longer you soak, the less bite the onion will have. You can, of course, skip this if you enjoy raw red onion just as it is.
- Toss together gently.
- Fold in the avocado; keep it chunky.
- Grill the chicken, remove, and let rest. Serve chicken topped generously with the strawberry and avocado salsa. ENJOY!
- To Store. Store leftover strawberry salsa with avocado in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. Leftover grilled chicken can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
In addition to being a strawberry topping for chicken, this fruit salsa is also yummy dipped with chips or tossed with greens, leftover grilled chicken, and a simple vinaigrette. For a dressing, try replacing the balsamic vinegar with lime juice in the dressing used for this Balsamic Chicken Salad with Blackberry or this Peach Salad (omit the Dijon).
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Indoor Grill Pan. Ideal if you don’t have an outdoor grill, and you can make these Grilled Chicken Kabobs too.
- Fish Spatula. My favorite for flipping chicken, burgers, pancakes, roasted veggies…you name it!)
- Grill Spatula. If you’re looking for something sturdier for grilling the chicken (tongs work well too).
Fire up that grill, stir together some salsa, and let’s keep it fresh!
Frequently Asked Questions
When using citrus-based marinades, I don’t recommend allowing the meat to soak for more than 24 hours. After 24 hours, the acid in the limes will begin to break down the meat tissue causing the chicken to become overly tender (i.e. mushy), which is not ideal.
Absolutely! If you do not have access to an outdoor grill, you can certainly grill chicken on the stovetop using a grill pan or heavy cast-iron skillet.
I do not recommend freezing this salsa, as it will become watery and lose its texture once thawed.
Grilled Chicken Breast with Strawberry Avocado Salsa
For the Chicken:
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, trimmed of excess fat
- 1 tablespoon lime zest from about 2 limes
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice from the same 2 limes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus additional for oiling the grill
- 2 cloves garlic minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey omit to make the recipe Whole30 or Paleo
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped leaves and tender stems
For the Strawberry Avocado Topping:
- 1/2 small red onion diced (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 cup strawberries diced (roughly 2/3 dry pint of whole strawberries)
- 1 medium jalapeno cored seeded and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 small/medium lime)
- 1/2 teaspoon honey omit to make the recipe Whole30 or Paleo
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (up to 1/2 teaspoon, adjust amount to taste)
- 1 medium avocado diced
- Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board with some space between them and cover with a large piece of plastic wrap. With a mallet, lightly pound the meat to an even thickness so that each piece cooks evenly. Place in a large ziptop bag.
- In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, honey, salt, pepper, and cilantro.
- Pour over the chicken, seal the bag, then "squish" to coat the chicken evenly. Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 1 day, rotating the bag once or twice if time (and memory) allow.
- When ready to grill, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes. Preheat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to medium-high (about 425 to 450 degrees F).
- While the grill preheats, prepare the strawberry salsa: Place the red onion in a small bowl and cover with very hot tap water (this takes off some of the red onion's bite while preserving its flavor. You can skip this step if you like raw red onion just as it is). Set aside
- In a mixing bowl, add the strawberries, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, honey, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.
- Stir gently to combine.
- Fold in the avocado. Taste and add a bit more salt if you feel it tastes a little too flat or additional honey if it is too spicy.
- Lightly oil the grill. Grill the chicken until completely cooked through and the temperature on an instant-read thermometer reads 160 to 165 degrees, about 8 to 12 minutes total, flipping the chicken once or twice throughout. The amount of time you need will vary based on the size and thickness of each breast. Remove to a plate, cover, and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to serving plates and top each with a few generous spoonfuls of the strawberry salsa. Enjoy immediately.
- TO STORE: Store leftover strawberry salsa with avocado in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. Leftover grilled chicken can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
- Nutrition information is meant to be an estimate and has been calculated with half the amount of marinade, as some is discarded. If you’d like to calculate it differently, you can do so for free at myfitnesspal.com.
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