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Whenever I crave a burst of sunshine on my plate, I turn to one of my favorite healthy salads — this mandarin orange salad recipe. There’s something magical about the blend of tangy goat cheese, crunchy walnuts, and those juicy mandarin oranges, all tied together with a sweet orange honey vinaigrette. Like my Christmas salad that has mandarin oranges too, you can have this one on the table in just 10 minutes for a healthy side dish or a light lunch.
Why You’ll Love This Mandarin Orange Salad
- Burst of citrusy sweetness
- Variety of textures
- Less than 10 ingredients
- Done in 10 minutes
- Great for entertaining, potlucks, weeknights, and holidays
What really sets this mandarin salad apart from other fruity salad recipes is the orange honey vinaigrette made with my Wholesome Yum Zero Sugar Orange Honey! This honey is a game-changer, with a sweet orange flavor, minus the sugar typically found in flavored honey.
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best mandarin salad ingredients, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
Mandarin Orange Salad:
- Spinach – My favorite greens to use in this salad with mandarin oranges, but you can substitute with arugula, kale, or a spring mix for similar results.
- Mandarin Oranges – Tangerines, clementines, or even fresh orange segments are great alternatives. For a more fruity salad, consider adding pineapple tidbits, strawberries, kiwi, or mango chunks.
- Goat Cheese – Adds a creamy texture and tangy flavor that contrasts beautifully with the fruit. If you prefer a different kind of cheese, you could use feta or blue cheese.
- Walnuts – Add earthy flavor and satisfying crunch. Almonds, pecans, or toasted pine nuts can also work for a nutty texture. Use sunflower seeds or pepitas for a nut-free option.
- Dried Cranberries – I made my own sugar free dried cranberries, but store-bought can save time.
Orange Honey Vinaigrette:
- Olive Oil – While I prefer olive oil, avocado oil also works.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Adds tang and emulsifies the dressing. You can also use white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, or lemon juice.
- Orange Honey – I used my Wholesome Yum Zero Sugar Orange Honey in this mandarin orange salad recipe for no added sugar, but you can use regular orange blossom honey if it fits your diet.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
How To Make Mandarin Orange Salad
This section shows how to make salad with mandarin oranges, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Combine the salad ingredients. In a large bowl or on a platter, arrange the spinach, mandarin oranges, goat cheese, walnuts, and dried cranberries.
- Make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, orange honey, sea salt, and black pepper.
- Toss together. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the mandarin orange salad. Stir to coat.
- Store: Keep the mandarin salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days, with the vinaigrette separate to maintain freshness and crunch.
- Meal prep: Prepare the orange honey vinaigrette in advance and keep it in a mason jar in the fridge.
What To Serve With Mandarin Salad
Pair your mandarin orange salad with a proteinf or a complete meal:
- Chicken – Make some simple grilled chicken breasts or grilled chicken thighs. Enjoy the chicken as a main course or add it on top of the salad for a protein-packed meal.
- Seafood – Pair your salad with jerk salmon for a citrus-based meal, or choose seared scallops for a light option.
- Steak – A classic New York strip steak tastes great with the mandarin salad. If you like sweet and tangy, try topping your salad with flank steak (like in my steak salad).
- Pork – This salad with mandarin oranges would be a perfect match with some juicy air fryer pork chops or a pork tenderloin.
More Fruity Salad Recipes
Love the sweetness of fresh fruit in a salad? Check out some of my other easy salad recipes with fruit:
Mandarin Orange Salad
You'll love this easy mandarin orange salad with spinach, goat cheese, walnuts, cranberries, and a sweet orange honey vinaigrette.
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them.
Mandarin Orange Salad:
Orange Honey Vinaigrette:
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
In a large bowl or on a platter, arrange the spinach, mandarin oranges, goat cheese, walnuts, and dried cranberries.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, orange honey, sea salt and black pepper.
Drizzle the vinaigrette over the mandarin orange salad. Toss to coat.
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Serving size: 1 1/2 cups
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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