This light and healthy jicama salad is an easy side dish to prepare. Crunchy vegetables and colorful fruit come together in a delicious sweet and tangy cilantro-lime dressing.
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Instead of filling your bowl with the typical leafy greens, give this jicama salad a try. It’s an underrated starchy root vegetable that we often overlook at the market. But when you slice it open, the flesh has a slight sweetness and super crispy texture.
The subtle flavor makes it the ideal base to toss with a bold dressing and other mix-ins. My recipe combines fresh vegetables and fruit, cut into bite-sized pieces for an array of flavors with each bite. Then, drizzle a sweet and tangy cilantro-lime vinaigrette on top for a Mexican-inspired dressing.
Preparing the jicama
Select a jicama bulb that’s about 1 pound. This size gives enough yield for about 2 to 3 cups of sliced pieces. The skin is thick, so use a sharp chef’s knife to remove the brown, inedible outer layer.
Alternatively, you can pull and peel the skin off with your finger, but you’ll still need to make a small cut to get it started. Once peeled, cut the jicama into matchstick-size pieces that you can pierce with a fork, about 1/4-inch thick and 2-inches long. This size lets the root vegetable be the dominant ingredient in the salad while allowing it to toss in the dressing easily.
To complement the mild flavor of the jicama, I add a variety of ripe fruits and crisp vegetables. English cucumbers with their thin skin and tiny seeds are easy to slice and eat. Red bell peppers and onions and a crunchy texture, but keep the pieces slim not to overpower the taste.
Make a dressing
I have a light and refreshing cilantro-lime vinaigrette that infuses nicely into the jicama instead of heavily coating it. This mixture uses an equal ratio of olive oil to lime juice that gives a more concentrated taste. Honey and apple cider vinegar adds dimension and balance.
A pinch of cayenne pepper adds a hint of heat. It’s also a very common pairing in Latin cuisine to enjoy this root vegetable with chili and lime. The freshly chopped cilantro adds an herbaceous note. If you’re not a fan, chopped parsley or mint works well too.
Serve this with
Yes, the flesh is very thick, but it can be cut into smaller pieces and grated. Use the largest hole on a sharp handheld or box grater. The shreds will release a lot of water, so squeeze out the juice to not dilute the recipe’s flavor.
Although a starchy root vegetable, it’s relatively low in net carbohydrates, making it a good option for keto diets. In one cup of sliced pieces, there are about 45.6 calories, 10.6 grams of total carbs, 2.16 grams of sugar, 5.9 grams of fiber, giving 4.6 grams of net carbs per serving [source].
For even better flavor, let the salad marinate
I find that you can enjoy this salad right away, but it does get even better over time. The acetic acid in the vinegar, citric acid in the limes, salt, and sweetener in the dressing lightly pickles the jicama. The marination time also mellows out the sulfurous notes in the onions. The result is a more substantial sweet and tangy taste.
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- 1 pound jicama
- 1 cup english cucumbers, halved lengthwise, ⅛-inch thick slices
- 1 cup red bell pepper, ⅛-inch thick slices
- ½ cup red onion, 1-inch long and ⅛-inch thick slices
- 1 cup mango, ⅛-inch thick slices
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- pinch cayenne pepper, optional
- ¼ olive oil, or avocado oil
- Rinse the jicama under cool water to remove any dirt, and dry thouroughly.
- Using a sharp knife, remove the top and bottom end. Starting from top to bottom, run the knife under the skin, keeping as much flesh intact as possible. Continue to turn and peel until the skin is removed. Flip to the other side to remove the remaining peel.
- Place the jicama with the widest cut-side down on the cutting board. Cut down lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Stack a few pieces and cut them into 1/4-inch strips. Cut into about 2-inch long pieces. Reserve 2 cups for the salad.
- In a large bowl, add the jicama, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onion, and mango.
- In a medium bowl, add lime zest, lime juice, honey, apple cider vinegar, cilantro, salt, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, consistently whisking until a thickened dressing forms. Taste and season with more salt and cayenne pepper as desired.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad, gently toss to combine.
- Recipe Yield: About 5 1/2 cups
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup
- Storing: Transfer to an airtight container, refrigerate for up to 5 days.
- Make it Vegan and Paleo: Substitute honey for pure maple syrup.
- Make it Keto: Add some erythritol, stevia, or blend to add sweetness. Start with a teaspoon at a time, increasing as needed to taste.
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