This mandarin orange salad is fresh, sweet and loaded with flavor. It is topped with an amazing homemade orange salad dressing that you can’t live without!
Around this time of year, I crave ALL the salads and this mandarin salad is absolutely one of my top recipes. The fresh ingredients mixed with the sweet orange vinaigrette is such a great combination. We love to top it with grilled chicken to make it a full meal.
This mandarin salad always makes an appearance at our family reunions and is so yummy! It comes from my Aunt’s ‘Favorites’ cookbook and everyone loves it! In her original recipe, she also adds in green onions, mushrooms, avocado and tomatoes, however my family prefers it with just mandarins, cranberries and nuts.
This salad is so versatile…you can really add in anything and it would still be just as delicious! Just make sure to keep in the mandarin oranges because that’s what makes the whole salad recipe! It is SO good!
Orange salad dressing
The star of the show is this delicious orange salad dressing. It calls for only a few simple ingredients and is so easy to make. It’s similar to a poppy seed dressing, but with an orange twist. The orange juice and zest add a fresh flavor that is simply irresistible.
- Frozen orange juice concentrate
- Orange zest
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
Instructions: Add all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined. You can also add the ingredients to a mason jar and shake until combined.
Tips: If you have extra dressing leftover, simply store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also make the dressing a few days in advance if needed. Just store it in the fridge, then drizzle on top of the salad before serving.
- Any type of greens will work. I used spring mix, but arugula, kale or spinach all taste great.
- Add sliced grilled chicken for more protein.
- Can swap out almonds for walnuts or pecans. You can even use candied pecans if preferred.
- If limiting sugar, you can easily omit the dried cranberries.
- Feel free to add more toppings like fresh shaved parmesan, pomegranates, green onions or sliced avocado.
More fresh salads with fruit:
Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe
- 10 ounce bag spring mix (or spinach)
- 11 ounce can mandarin oranges
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds (can use walnuts or pecans as well)
- 1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
- 1/2 teaspoon orange rind
- 1/4 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vinegar (I used apple cider)
- 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon poppyseeds
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Add the spinach, oranges, cranberries and almonds to a large bowl.
- Add the orange juice, orange rind, olive oil, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice and salt to a mason jar. Shake until well combined. Add the poppyseeds and shake just before serving. Then pour over the salad. Toss until combined.