Gluten-Free, Vegan Papaya + Avocado Salad


As someone who is often forced to order salads while eating out (so as not to be “that person” to the kitchen crew) I’ve become quite the salad connoisseur. While there are a few salads I would order again and again—like the Vegan BLTA Caesar Salad from Leaf & Ladle in Bellingham, WA—I prefer to enjoy salads at home and enjoy different options while dining out.

If there was one statement that applies to this salad it would definitely be “Not all salads are created equal.”

This ain’t your run-of-the-mill garden variety, toss-some-lettuce-and-veggies-last-minute salad. It’s wow-wow-wowza!!!

Fresh, crisp greens tossed with creamy avocado, soft papaya cubes, and zingy dressing.

Light, colorful + flavorful.

A splendid Springtime dish. (Hint, hint: Easter is coming up quick…April 1st!)

I love everything about this salad, but let me say that I make extra of this dressing to keep on hand because it is PERFECTION!

Note: This recipe has been circling my family for years now and I’m not sure where it originally came from. I did find a similar recipe on Best of Bridge ( This may be where the recipe originated, but over the years with several makings, here’s what we've got now.



Yield: 1 large salad, perfect for dinner parties and gatherings


For Dressing:

  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, additional to taste
  • 2 tbsp papaya seeds
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard

For Salad:

  • 1 head of Green Leaf lettuce, washed, dried and chopped
  • 8 oz fresh baby spinach, washed, dried and chopped
  • 1 ripe papaya, peeled, halved and seeds removed
  • 2 large avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced 1/2 large red onion, chopped


  1. Blend all dressing ingredients until papaya seeds become fine ground pepper-like specks.
  2. Store dressing in fridge.
  3. Combine salad ingredients in large bowl.
  4. Gently toss with dressing (amount to taste) and serve immediately.
  5. Store additional dressing in fridge.