Papaya Salad: A Quick and Delicious Recipe

Salads are light and refreshing dishes that allow for a great variety of ingredients. Today, we'll give you a recipe for a delicious papaya salad.
Papaya Salad: A Quick and Delicious Recipe
Anna Vilarrasa

Written and verified by the nutritionist Anna Vilarrasa.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Papaya is a common ingredient in smoothies and juices. However, thanks to its sweet and fresh taste, it blends perfectly with savory foods as well. Therefore, we recommend preparing papaya salad using the recipes we’ll provide below.

Salads are typical of summer because they’re light and refreshing options. However, they’re a perfect first course or side dish at any time of the year, as they’re a great way to increase the consumption of vegetables and fruits.

Adding papaya to a salad increases the presence of many nutrients, as it’s high in vitamin C, pro-vitamin A, folic acid, and fiber. Also, it’s very light and contains enzymes that facilitate digestion.

Let’s take a look at a few recipes!

Option 1: Papaya salad with feta cheese and palm hearts

An excellent combination of sweet and savory ingredients that takes just a few minutes to prepare and is a perfect first course for lunch or dinner.

Ingredients to prepare two servings:

  • Lettuce or mixed greens–enough for two people
  • 1/4 fresh papaya
  • 1 small jar of palm hearts
  • 3.5 ounces of feta cheese
  • 1 handful of roasted peanuts
  • Extra virgin olive oil and salt
Papaya halves.
Papaya combines well with salty flavors, meaning it can be part of your salads.

Step by step instructions

  • First, prepare the peanuts if they haven’t been roasted. This can be done at home, either in the oven at 350 ºF or in a frying pan. Leave on the fire until they acquire a golden color and then set aside.
  • Next, put the assorted leaves in a bowl or in the same dishes in which the papaya salad is going to be served. For this recipe, it’s good to choose lettuce leaves, arugula, endive, watercress, or a mixture.
  • Cut the cheese and palm hearts into cubes and also peel and cut the papaya.
  • Then, spread over the lettuce and dress with a good splash of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Be careful with the latter, as feta cheese is quite strong.
  • To finish the dish, decorate with the slightly chopped peanuts.

The ingredients can be changed if you have other preferences. The feta cheese can be replaced by blue cheese or goat cheese, which also combines very well. Balsamic vinegar can be added to the dressing for a stronger flavor.

Option 2: Papaya salad with avocado and ham

Another possibility for preparing a papaya salad is to combine it with avocado, a creamy and soft tropical fruit.

Ingredients needed to cook four servings

  • 1 large bag of mixed salad or fresh lettuce, enough for 4 people
  • 10 ounces of avocado
  • 1 long Dutch cucumber
  • 10 ounces of papaya
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 ounce of manchego cheese
  • 4 tablespoons of diced ham
  • 1 handful of walnuts
  • Extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, and salt for dressing

Method of preparation

  • The first step is to arrange all the ingredients, starting by washing, peeling, and cutting the onion into thin julienne strips.
  • Wash and cut the cucumber into very thin slices; if necessary, with the help of a mandolin.
  • Peel and dice the papaya and avocado. The latter can be left for the last minute or sprinkle with a little lemon juice to prevent it from oxidizing.
  • Slice the cheese with a vegetable peeler and prepare the ham. If you can’t buy it already cut into cubes, you can also use slices.
  • Then, prepare the vinaigrette with the proportion of oil, vinegar, and salt to taste. At the last moment, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and dress generously.
  • To prepare more attractive dishes, arrange the ingredients in layers: First, place the cucumber as the foundation, followed by a layer of green leaves. Then the onion, avocado, and papaya. Decorate with the rest. At the end, dress and serve.

Option 3: Papaya and spinach salad

The secret of this last recipe is undoubtedly in the dressing: A fusion of ingredients ideal for combining with spinach and papaya.


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 21 ounces of papaya
  • 10 ounces of fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Steps to follow in the kitchen

  • The first task is to prepare the vinaigrette. To do this, introduce the cup of oil, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, and curry in a blender cup. Then, blend well to emulsify all the ingredients.
  • Then, add salt and pepper to taste and place the dressing in a bowl.
  • Wash and dry the spinach leaves and chop a little if they’re too big. Peel and dice the papaya. Add them to the bowl with the sauce and mix well.
  • At the last minute, toast the pumpkin seeds in a frying pan for a few minutes and be careful not to burn them. Sprinkle on top of the salad to decorate.
A bowl of freshly washed spinach leaves.
This salad combines spinash and papaya, butthe dressing is what gives it its special touch.

Other tips for preparing an easy and delicious papaya salad

The key to preparing tasty and nutritious salads is to choose the right ingredients. That’s why you need to select the papaya at its best: Neither too hard nor too soft and with an intense orange color.

Once at home, it’s preferable to keep it at room temperature, since it ripens better and cold can spoil it. Although once cut, it’s best to keep it in the refrigerator.

Make a longitudinal cut and place the papaya halves face down. Then, remove the skin with the help of a peeler and cut the flesh into wedges lengthwise to remove the seeds will be more practical.

Although these seeds are edible and have properties, you should only eat them in moderation. Once separated, make the cuts for the recipe.

When cooking salads, it’s always better to prepare them on the spot. However, to save a little time, some preparations can be advanced, such as cutting the cheese or papaya and having the green leaves washed.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Krishna, K. L., M. Paridhavi, and Jagruti A. Patel. “Review on nutritional, medicinal and pharmacological properties of Papaya (Carica papaya Linn.).” (2008).
  • Muss C, et al. Papaya preparation (Caricol®) in digestive disorders. Neuroendocrinology letters. 2013. 34(1):38-46.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.