Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe (Quick And Delightful Mix)

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I recommend a homemade Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe , a delightful mix. Fresh greens, juicy mandarin oranges, and crunchy almonds create a symphony of flavors. Tossed with a light vinaigrette, it’s a refreshing dish. This salad is great for any occasion and is commonly loved. It’s easy to prepare and you’ll want to enjoy its vibrant taste.

As someone who’s always on the hunt for refreshing and healthy meal options, I discovered the magic of the Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe. It’s a game-changer for those dull, uninspiring lunches. Imagine sifting through countless salad recipes, seeking something tantalizing your taste buds without compromising health.

Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe

Then, you stumble upon the Mandarin Orange Salad recipe. Its vibrant colors and tantalizing flavors immediately catch your attention. 

You might think an exquisite salad requires complex cooking skills, but here’s the excellent news: it’s astonishingly simple to make! 

My first attempt at this salad amazed me with its citrusy sweetness, perfectly balanced with a tangy vinaigrette and the satisfying crunch of almonds. 

This homemade delicacy has become my go-to for a quick, nutritious meal that always impresses me. 

It’s not just a salad; it’s a culinary celebration in a bowl, ready to transform your mealtime from mundane to extraordinary.

What Is Mandarin Orange Salad?

Mandarin Orange Salad is a vibrant, flavorful dish combining fresh, leafy greens with sweet mandarin oranges. 

This salad typically includes crisp lettuce or spinach, juicy mandarin slices, and crunchy additions like almonds or walnuts. 

Often, it’s dressed in a light, zesty vinaigrette, enhancing the natural sweetness of the oranges. This salad is known for its simplicity, quick preparation, and delightful mix of textures and flavors. 

It’s a popular choice for a refreshing, healthy meal and is great for everyday dining and special occasions.

What Is The Origin Of Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe?

The origin of Mandarin Orange Salad isn’t attributed to a specific region or time. Still, it reflects a fusion of culinary influences. 

Mandarin oranges, rooted in Southeast Asia, were introduced to the West in the 19th century. Western cuisine likely evolved the salad, combining these sweet, tangy fruits with local salad ingredients

It became popular as a refreshing, healthy dish, particularly in the United States. The recipe’s simplicity and the widespread availability of mandarins contributed to its popularity. 

This salad embodies a blend of Eastern fruit and Western salad-making tradition, creating a universally loved dish.

Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe

Ingredients List

For Salad

Spring mix (or spinach)1 (10-ounce) bag
Mandarin oranges1 (11-ounce) can
Dried cranberries½ cup
Sliced almonds (or walnuts/pecans)⅓ cup

For Dressings

Frozen orange juice concentrate (no water added)¼ cup
Orange zest½ teaspoon
Olive oil (or vegetable oil)¼ cup
Granulated sugar2 Tablespoons
Vinegar (apple cider vinegar recommended)1 Tablespoon
Lemon juice½ Tablespoon
Poppyseeds1 teaspoon
Kosher salt¼ teaspoon

What Are The Variations Suitable For The Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe?

Here is the some variations list for Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe:

Protein Additions

For a heartier meal, add grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu. These protein options make the salad suitable for a main course.

Cheese Varieties

Include soft cheeses like feta or goat cheese for a creamy texture and rich flavor.

Nut Alternatives

Swap almonds for walnuts, pecans, or sunflower seeds for different crunch and nutritional profiles.

Dressing Twists

Experiment with dressings like honey mustard or a balsamic glaze for a different flavor profile.

Fruit Substitutions

Besides mandarin oranges, try strawberries, blueberries, or pomegranate seeds for freshness.

Greens Mix

Use arugula, kale, or a blend of mixed greens instead of spinach for varied tastes and textures.

Herb Infusions

Incorporate fresh herbs like mint or basil for an aromatic touch.

What Are The Tips For The Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe?

  • Fresh Ingredients: Use the freshest greens and mandarins for the best flavor and texture.
  • Drain Oranges Well: Ensure canned mandarins are thoroughly drained to prevent a soggy salad.
  • Toasting Nuts: Lightly toast nuts like almonds or pecans to enhance their flavor and crunch.
  • Balance Dressing: Adjust the sweetness and acidity of the dressing to your taste. A well-balanced dressing complements the salad’s flavors.
  • Chill Salad Ingredients: Chill the greens and mandarin oranges before assembling to keep the salad crisp and refreshing.
  • Add Dressing Last: Toss the salad with the dressing just before serving to maintain freshness.
  • Garnish: Garnish with extra orange zest or herbs for an aromatic finish.
  • Customize: Avoid adding or substituting ingredients based on personal preferences or dietary needs.

Are There Any Unusual Or Exotic Ingredients That Work Well With This Salad?

Mandarin Orange Salad typically includes classic ingredients, but you can introduce unusual or exotic elements for a unique twist:

  • Starfruit: Adds tropical flair with a citrusy, mildly sweet flavor.
  • Pomegranate Seeds: Provide vibrant color, sweet-tart juiciness, and crunch.
  • Dragon Fruit: Imparts a visually stunning element with a mild, slightly sweet taste.
  • Lychee: Offers a tropical, sweet, and floral note.
  • Candied Ginger: Adds sweet and spicy kick with a touch of warmth.
  • Passion Fruit: Provides a tangy, tropical burst of flavor.
  • Toasted Coconut Flakes: Impart a toasty, tropical depth.
  • Mint or Basil Leaves: Bring a fresh herbal lift for an extra layer of aroma and taste.
Bowl and Spoon

Recipe Directions

Salad Assembly

  • In a large bowl, toss the spring mix, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, and sliced almonds until well combined.

Orange Dressing

  • Add the orange juice concentrate, orange zest, olive oil, granulated sugar, vinegar, and lemon juice in a mason jar.
  • Secure the lid and shake the jar vigorously until all ingredients are well combined.
  • Before serving, add the poppy seeds to the dressing and give it one final shake.

Finishing The Salad

  • Drizzle the orange dressing over the salad.
  • Toss the salad gently to ensure it’s evenly coated with the dressing.
  • For the best flavor, let the salad rest in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before serving. This step is optional but helps the flavors to meld together.

Create a refreshing and vibrant dish with a mandarin orange salad recipe – simple and delicious.

What Herbs And Spices Work Well In Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe?

  • Mint: Adds a refreshing, cool flavor that pairs beautifully with the sweetness of mandarins.
  • Basil: Offers a slightly sweet, earthy note, complementing the citrus tones.
  • Cilantro: Brings a fresh, slightly lemony dimension, great for a zesty twist.
  • Chives: Provide a mild onion-like flavor, adding depth without overpowering.
  • Ginger: A hint of ginger can introduce a warm, spicy note, balancing the salad’s sweetness.
  • Black Pepper: A sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper adds a subtle heat and sharpness.
  • Cinnamon or Nutmeg: A pinch can add a warm, aromatic quality, especially in fall-themed salads.
  • Lemon Thyme: Infuses a citrusy, slightly floral aroma, enhancing the mandarin flavors.
  • Dill: Offers a slightly grassy and sweet taste, pairing well with citrus salads.
  • Cardamom: A small amount can contribute a unique, slightly sweet, and spicy flavor.
Salad Recipe

Nutritional Values

The Mandarin Orange Salad is a nutritionally rich dish. Mandarin oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, essential for immune support and skin health. 

The greens offer fiber, aiding digestion, and a range of vitamins. Almonds provide healthy fats and protein, which are beneficial for heart health. 

This salad is relatively low in calories, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a light yet nutritious meal. 

What Are The Total Calories In The Salad?

The total calories in the Mandarin Orange Salad require considering each ingredient. The salad primarily contains spring mix, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, and almonds. 

The dressing adds calories from orange juice concentrate, olive oil, sugar, vinegar, and other minor ingredients. 

Generally, a serving of this salad can range from 200 to 300 calories, depending on the exact amounts and types of ingredients used, especially the dressing. 

Health Benefits Of The Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe

Rich In Vitamins

Mandarin oranges are a great source of Vitamin C, which is vital for immune support and skin health.

High In Antioxidants

Cranberries and almonds contain antioxidants that help combat oxidative stress and inflammation.

Heart Health

Olive oil and nuts, rich in healthy fats, improve heart health by improving cholesterol levels.

Low In Calories

This salad is a low-calorie option, ideal for weight management.

Digestive Health

The fiber in greens and fruits promotes healthy digestion.


Mandarin oranges have a high water content, aiding in hydration.

Bone Health

Almonds provide calcium, which is crucial for bone strength.

Energy Boosting

The natural sugars in fruit provide a quick energy source.

Skin Health

Vitamin E from nuts and vitamin C from oranges support skin health.

Mental Wellness

The combination of nutrients can positively impact mood and mental well-being.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

What Dressings Are Best Served With This Salad Recipe?

Mandarin Orange Salad pairs well with various dressings to enhance its flavors. Here are some excellent dressing options:

  • Citrus Vinaigrette: Adds zesty brightness with a blend of citrus juices and vinegar.
  • Honey Lime Dressing: Balances the sweetness of the mandarin oranges with tangy brightness.
  • Poppy Seed Dressing: Provides a creamy, slightly sweet and nutty flavor.
  • Asian Sesame Dressing: Offers a savory, nutty, and slightly sweet twist with sesame oil and soy sauce.
  • Balsamic Reduction: Adds a sweet and tangy depth of flavor.
  • Greek Yogurt Orange Blossom Dressing: A healthier, tangy option with floral notes.
Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe

Nourish your body and delight your palate with a mandarin orange salad – a refreshing treat.

Are There Any Unique Toppings That Can Elevate The Crunch Factor?

  • Crunchy Chickpeas: Roasted chickpeas add a savory crunch and are a protein-rich topping.
  • Seeds: Sunflower, pumpkin, or sesame seeds offer a nutty crunch.
  • Pomegranate Arils: These provide a juicy yet crunchy texture and a pop of color.
  • Wonton Strips: Crispy wonton strips can add an unexpected, delightful crunch.
  • Tortilla Chips: Crushed tortilla chips bring a salty, crunchy dimension.
  • Rice Noodles: Fried rice noodles offer a light, airy crunch.
  • Coconut Flakes: Toasted coconut flakes add a sweet, tropical crunch.
  • Crispy Quinoa: Toasted quinoa provides a unique, nutty crunch.
  • Cacao Nibs: For a slightly bitter, crunchy twist.
  • Granola: A sprinkle of granola can add both sweetness and crunch.
Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe

What Is The Difference Between Homemade And Store-Bought Mandarin Orange Salad?

The difference between homemade and store-bought Mandarin Orange Salad lies in several key aspects:

  • Freshness: Homemade allows the use of fresh, high-quality ingredients, enhancing flavor and texture.
  • Customization: Homemade recipes offer flexibility to adjust ingredients and seasonings to personal preferences.
  • Quality Control: Making it at home ensures ingredient quality and avoids additives or preservatives often found in store-bought versions.
  • Cost: Homemade can be more cost-effective, especially when using readily available ingredients.
  • Taste: Homemade often has a fresher and more authentic taste, reflecting individual culinary choices.
  • Convenience: Store-bought provides a quick, convenient option for those with limited time but may compromise on freshness and customization.

How Can You Store Or Preserve The Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe Leftovers?

  • Separate Components: Store the dressing separately from the salad ingredients to prevent sogginess.
  • Airtight Containers: Use airtight containers to keep the salad fresh in the refrigerator.
  • Consume Quickly: Ideally, consume leftovers within 1-2 days for optimal freshness.
  • Keep Greens Dry: Ensure the salad greens are dry before storing to prevent wilting.
  • Cool Temperature: Store the salad in the coolest part of the refrigerator.
  • Avoid Freezing: Freezing is not recommended as it can significantly alter the texture of the salad ingredients.
  • Garnish Later: Add crunchy toppings or herbs before serving, not storing.
Mandarin Salad Recipe

Special Tools & Equipment List

  • Large Mixing Bowl: Essential for tossing and combining the salad ingredients.
  • Salad Spinner: Useful for washing and drying greens effectively.
  • Mason Jar or Dressing Shaker: Ideal for mixing and storing the salad dressing.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Necessary for accurately measuring ingredients.
  • Chef’s Knife: For chopping or slicing ingredients neatly.
  • Cutting Board: Provides a stable surface for preparing ingredients.
  • Citrus Zester: Handy for adding fresh orange zest to the dressing.
  • Colander: To drain the mandarin oranges and rinse any canned or fresh ingredients.
  • Skillet or Toaster Oven: For toasting nuts, enhancing their flavor and crunch.
  • Serving Utensils: Tongs or salad servers for easy serving.
  • Peeler or Parer: For preparing additional fruit toppings.
  • Grater: Useful if adding cheese to the salad.
  • Lemon Juicer: To efficiently extract fresh lemon juice.
  • Salad Plates or Bowls: For individual servings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Fresh Oranges Instead Of Canned Mandarin Oranges?

Yes, you can use fresh oranges. They provide a fresher taste and texture compared to canned mandarins. When using fresh oranges, peel and segment them, removing as much pith and membrane as possible. This substitution maintains the citrusy flavor and adds a burst of freshness. Fresh oranges might be less sweet than canned mandarins, so adjust the salad dressing’s sweetness accordingly if needed.

Is There A Vegan Alternative For The Salad Dressing?

For a vegan dressing, substitute honey or other animal-derived sweeteners with agave syrup, maple syrup, or vegan sugar. Also, ensure that your vinegar and other dressing ingredients are vegan-friendly. Many store-bought dressings may contain additives derived from animals, so making your own at home is a safe bet for adhering to vegan standards.

How Can I Make The Salad Gluten-Free?

The salad is naturally gluten-free, primarily consisting of fruits, nuts, and greens. However, be cautious with the dressing ingredients. Some vinegar and store-bought dressing components might contain gluten. Always check labels if you’re using packaged items. For total control, prepare the dressing at home using trusted, gluten-free ingredients.

What Are Some Protein Additions For A Non-Vegan Diet?

Grilled chicken, shrimp, or sliced steak are excellent protein additions for those not adhering to a vegan diet. These proteins complement the salad’s citrusy flavor and make it more filling. Ensure that the protein is cooked adequately and let it cool slightly before adding it to the salad to maintain the freshness of the greens.

How Long Does The Salad Keep In The Refrigerator?

The salad (without the dressing) can last in the fridge for 1-2 days if stored properly. However, it’s best consumed fresh. The dressing should be stored separately to prevent the salad from becoming soggy. Once dressed, it’s advisable to consume the salad immediately. If you’ve already added the dressing, eating the salad within a few hours is best.

Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe (Quick And Delightful Mix)

Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe (Quick And Delightful Mix)

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Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Salads


Prep time





The Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe is a refreshing and vibrant dish, perfect for any season. It features a delightful mix of crisp greens, juicy mandarin oranges, tart-dried cranberries, and crunchy almonds tossed in a homemade citrus-infused dressing. This salad strikes a perfect balance between sweet and tangy flavors.


  • For Salad
  • 10 Ounce 10 Spring Mix (Or Spinach)

  • 11 Ounce 11 Mandarin Oranges

  • ½ Cup ½ Dried Cranberries

  • Cup Sliced Almonds (Or Walnuts/Pecans)

  • For Dressing
  • ¼ Cup ¼ Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate (No Water Added)

  • ½ Teaspoon ½ Orange Zest

  • ¼ cup ¼ Olive Oil (Or Vegetable Oil)

  • 2 Tablespoons 2 Granulated Sugar

  • 1 Tablespoon 1 Vinegar (Apple Cider Vinegar Recommended)

  • ½ Tablespoon ½ Lemon Juice

  • 1 Teaspoon 1 Poppy Seeds

  • ¼ Teaspoon ¼ Kosher Salt

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Prepare The Salad Base
    Take a large bowl.
    Add the spring mix (or your choice of greens) to the bowl.
    Add the mandarin oranges, ensuring they are well-drained.
    Include dried cranberries.
    Add sliced almonds (or your choice of nuts).
    Toss all these ingredients until they are thoroughly combined.
  • Make The Orange Dressing
    Take a mason jar or any jar with a tight-fitting lid.
    Add the following ingredients to the jar:
    Orange juice concentrate.
    Freshly grated orange zest.
    Olive oil (or vegetable oil if preferred).
    Granulated sugar.
    Your choice of vinegar (apple cider vinegar recommended).
    Lemon juice.
    A pinch of Kosher salt.
    Secure the lid on the jar.
    Shake the jar vigorously until all the ingredients are well combined and the dressing looks emulsified.
  • Add Poppy Seeds To Dressing
    Just before you are ready to serve the salad, reopen the jar.
    Add the poppy seeds to the dressing.
    Reseal the jar and give it one final shake to distribute the poppy seeds evenly.
  • Dress The Salad
    Drizzle the dressing over the tossed salad in the bowl.
    Toss the salad again to ensure that the dressing coats all the ingredients evenly.

Recipe Video


  • Versatility: The salad’s ingredients can be easily modified to suit dietary preferences or to utilize seasonal produce.
  • Make-Ahead: Prepare the dressing in advance and store it separately for a quick assembly.
  • Serving Suggestion: Serve chilled for a refreshing taste, especially during warmer weather.
  • Nut Allergies: Substitute nuts with seeds or omit them entirely if allergies concern you.
  • Kid-Friendly: Its sweet and fruity flavor also makes it appealing to children.

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