A simple Mexican Papaya Salad (using ripe papaya) with cucumber, red onions, jalapeño, and optional toasted coconut, served over greens with a delicious Cilantro Lime Dressing.  Vegan and Gluten-free. 

A simple Mexican Papaya Salad using ripe papaya with cucumber, red onions, jalapeño over greens with a Cilantro Lime Dressing. Easy and delicious, Vegan and Gluten-free. #papaya #papayasalad

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, humility is thinking about yourself less. Caroline McHugh.

It wasn’t until my friend Tonia told me to squeeze lime over ripe Papaya, that I fell in love with it.  That moment really changed everything for me. It was like all the mild subtle flavors came alive and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Here’s a simple Mexican Papaya Salad that highlights this amazing fruit in its ripe form.  (If you are looking for a Thai-style Papaya Salad using green, unripe papaya, make sure try this Bangkok Papaya Salad.)

You can keep this Papaya salad vegan with Mexican Tofu or sliced avocado, or serve it with grilled chicken or fish.

I love adding toasted coconut and avocado calling it a meal.

Light and delicious, the Cilantro Lime Dressing is one you’ll find other uses for too.

A simple Mexican-inspired Papaya Salad with cucumber, red onions, jalapeño over greens with a Cilantro Lime Dressing. #papayasalad

It starts with 1/2 of a large ripe papaya.

A simple Mexican-inspired Papaya Salad with cucumber, red onions, jalapeño over greens with a Cilantro Lime Dressing. #papayasalad

Scoop out the seeds and peel the skin.

A simple Mexican-inspired Papaya Salad with cucumber, red onions, jalapeño over greens with a Cilantro Lime Dressing. #papayasalad

I use a veggie peeler here.

A simple Mexican-inspired Papaya Salad with cucumber, red onions, jalapeño over greens with a Cilantro Lime Dressing. #papayasalad

Slice the papaya into small pieces.

A simple Mexican-inspired Papaya Salad with cucumber, red onions, jalapeño over greens with a Cilantro Lime Dressing. #papayasalad

At the same time, if you are sensitive to red onions, soak them in salted water, to remove the bite.

A simple Mexican-inspired Papaya Salad with cucumber, red onions, jalapeño over greens with a Cilantro Lime Dressing. #papayasalad

Make a foundation for the salad, using a couple of handfuls of your favorite salad greens. If you’ve been here a while, you’ll notice I always seem to have arugula on hand. Toss in some cabbage if you like, the purple is really pretty here.

Then begin layering. You can make it to this point ahead, then refrigerate before tossing and serving.

A simple Mexican-inspired Papaya Salad with cucumber, red onions, jalapeño over greens with a Cilantro Lime Dressing. #papayasalad

Make the simple Cilantro lime dressing.

Cilantro Lime dressing for the the papaya salad

When ready to serve, spoon the dressing over top and garnish with cilantro, Toasted coconut if you like and thinly sliced jalapenos- also optional.

A simple Mexican Papaya Salad using ripe papaya with cucumber, red onions, jalapeño over greens with a Cilantro Lime Dressing. Easy and delicious, Vegan and Gluten-free. #papaya #papayasalad

I love how simple and healthy this salad is! I think you will too.

A simple Mexican Papaya Salad using ripe papaya with cucumber, red onions, jalapeño over greens with a Cilantro Lime Dressing. Easy and delicious, Vegan and Gluten-free. #papaya #papayasalad

Give the Mexican Papaya Salad a try and let us know what you think in the comments below!!!

Happy Wednesday.

xoxo

 

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A simple Mexican-inspired Papaya Salad using ripe papaya with cucumber, red onions, jalapeño over greens with a Cilantro Lime Dressing. #papayasalad

Mexican Papaya Salad

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: salad, vegan, fruit recipes
  • Method: tossed
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

A simple Mexican Papaya Salad using ripe papaya with cucumber, red onions, jalapeño over greens with a Cilantro Lime Dressing. Easy and delicious, Vegan, and Gluten-free. Serve grilled chicken or fish, Mexican Tofu or sliced avocado.


Ingredients

Scale

 

  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 23 large handfuls arugula (or other salad greens, or add some shredded cabbage)
  • 1/2 large ripe papaya, cubed (about 34 cups)
  • 12 small Turkish cucumbers, sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut, optional
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced jalapeno (optional)

Cilantro Lime Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallion (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons honey, agave, or sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • pinch chili flakes or Aleppo (optional)

Instructions

  1. If sensitive to onions, or to remove their “bite”, soak thinly sliced onions in salted water while you make the salad. ( 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup water)
  2. Halve, seed, peel and cube one half of the papaya, saving the other half for another use. You should have 3-4 cups of 3/4 inch cubes.
  3. Place the greens in a large, wide, serving bowl or on a large platter.  Toss with 1/2 of the onions.
  4. Place the papaya on top of the greens.
  5. Slice the cucumber and scatter over the papaya along with remaining onions. (At this point, you could refrigerate and serve later that evening.)
  6. Make the Cilantro Lime Dressing mixing all ingredients together in a small bowl or jar. (Spoon it over the salad right before serving, gently tossing.)
  7. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves, optional jalapeno and toasted coconut.
  8. Taste, add more lime if you like.

Notes

Avocado is also a nice addition.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 109
  • Sugar: 8.2 g
  • Sodium: 107 mg
  • Fat: 7.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.3 g
  • Fiber: 1.9 g
  • Protein: 0.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: papaya salad, papaya salad with ripe papaya, ripe papaya salad, Mexican papaya salad, papaya salad recipe, papaya salad not thai

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for this wonderful salad recipe. The flavors blend together perfectly with the delicious fresh dressing. 10 stars shine ✨ on this one

  2. Lovely salad; thank you. Substituted nectarines for the papaya as they are in season here. My family really enjoyed it!

  3. This my favorite salad EVER! I’ve made it 3 times already, and definitely am going to make so many more times. THANK YOU!!

  4. I can’t seem to find toasted unsweetened coconut anywhere, but would like to try it. Do you happen to have instructions for that?

    1. Hi Linda! You can just toast it in a dry skillet over medium heat or a 350F oven on sheet pan until golden. 🙂

  5. You can mix in other veggies than the suggested ones but papaya, lime, sugar/honey, olive oil, and cilantro are the key ingredients that give the fresh taste with a touch of sweet and sour. Great recipe!

  6. Delish! I added toasted pepitas. Dressing compliments salad ingredients. Internet is full of green papaya recipe. -I was happy to find this one for ripe papaya.

  7. This is absolutely delicious and my dinner party of 8 all rated it excellent! Some folks admitted they did not know papaya could be so good! (It’s the lime that brings out the best in papaya). Next time I might make it a main dish by adding prawns!

  8. This recipe was very delicious. lime and papaya are always great partners. I will try using fresh mint instead of dry coriander next time or fresh cilantro (coriander) vs dry. Perhaps I misread the recipe but using dry coriander was much too bitter and strong for the lovely vinaigrette. Should the papaya be a bit flat in flavor, additional lime and sweetener will help to pop the fruit flavor. Very colorful and texture of creamy papaya, crunchy cucumber, biting peppery arugula are such a perfect pairing. Lovely. Easy. can be prepped early for service for parties. Colorful. A real winner.