Mandarin Orange Salad


Around this vibrant time of year, fresh salads become irresistible cravings. When wholesome greens are topped with the sweet, sun-kissed flavor of citrus, magic happens. This cheerful mandarin orange salad recipe bursts with bright flavor that will leave you wanting more.

What makes this salad special?

The crowning joy of this salad is its homemade orange dressing, made tangy and tempting with orange juice concentrate, lively orange zest, tart lemon juice, and a kiss of sugar. When tossed with the salad, it coats each ingredient—the crisp greens, juicy mandarin slices, chewy dried cranberries, and crunchy sliced almonds—in its irresistible citrus charm. This salad truly stands out!

Why use canned mandarin oranges?

Canned mandarin oranges are recommended because they offer reliably delicious flavor and texture. Canning locks in the height-of-season sweetness and juices that fresh oranges can lack out of season. The results are juicy, vivid orange segments that provide a lovely pop of citrus.

What ingredients can I swap or add?

This adaptable salad welcomes creativity! You can substitute the spring mix with spinach or arugula. Trade the almonds for walnuts or pecans. Add sliced grilled chicken for protein or extras like pomegranate seeds, avocado, Parmesan, or green onions. The possibilities for tasty customization are wide open.

How long does this quick salad take?

From start to finish, this salad comes together in only 10 minutes. That makes it a fast, easy, and incredibly fresh-tasting option for busy weeknights or festive holiday meals. The simplicity of preparation and wonderful results land this recipe in the regular rotation.

Ingredients :

  • Spring mix or spinach: 1 bag (10 ounces)
  • Mandarin oranges: 1 can (11 ounces)
  • Dried cranberries: ½ cup
  • Sliced almonds, walnuts, or pecans: ⅓ cup

For the Orange Dressing:

  • Frozen orange juice concentrate (without water): ¼ cup
  • Orange zest: ½ teaspoon
  • Olive or vegetable oil: ¼ cup
  • Granulated sugar: 2 tablespoons
  • Vinegar (apple cider preferred): 1 tablespoon
  • Lemon juice: ½ tablespoon
  • Poppyseeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Kosher salt: ¼ teaspoon

Preparation Steps:

  1. Combine spring mix, mandarin oranges, cranberries, and your choice of nuts in a large bowl.
  2. Orange Dressing: In a mason jar, mix orange juice concentrate, orange zest, oil, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt. Shake well. Add poppyseeds and shake again right before serving.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss for an even coat.