This Mandarin orange salad recipe is easy to make and has a delicious apple cider dressing that perfectly balances the sweet, juicy mandarin oranges. It's also naturally dairy-free and Weight Watchers friendly. I got this recipe years ago from a friend when she brought it to a potluck. I loved it because it has a subtle flavor and is not overpowering. It's a nice light salad that pairs perfectly with so many dishes and that's why it's ideal for a potluck. I've only made a few minor changes to the original recipe.
This recipe makes a wonderful winter salad, but is great any time of year. It is an excellent accompaniment to grilled chicken or grilled pork, as it makes a great side salad. You could also add grilled chicken breast and make it a meal. It's ideal for bringing along to a potluck or backyard BBQ.
For this Mandarin Salad, you'll need a handful of simple ingredients:
Mandarin Orange Salad
- Romaine lettuce
- mandarin oranges (*I use canned mandarins)
- red onion
- raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
Mandarin Orange Salad Dressing
- apple cider vinegar
- liquid honey
- olive oil
- sea salt
*See recipe card for quantities.
Whisk salad dressing ingredients together in a small bowl (or use a salad shaker) or mason jar.
Combine all salad ingredients in large bowl.
Mix salad ingredients together.
Pour dressing over salad.
Hint: Do not pour dressing over salad until you are ready to serve (to avoid the salad getting soggy)
📖Variations & Substitutions
- Vegan - substitute agave for honey (use about ½ the amount) to make this vegan!
- Lettuce - instead of romaine lettuce, you can use iceberg lettuce, spring mix or spinach
- Oil - you could use another type of oil (canola or vegetable) instead of olive oil
- Oranges- you could use fresh mandarins instead of canned mandarins
- Onions - you could substitute green onions for red onions
- Spicy - add a little chili pepper flakes to the salad dressing or a couple of dashes of tabasco sauce to spice it up
- Croutons - use any type you like!
- Sunflower seeds- you can use blanched sliced almonds instead. You could also use poppy seeds or sesame seeds instead.
- Add-ins - add grilled chicken on top and make it a full meal! You could also add dried cranberries and/or feta cheese.
🥗 What goes with orange salad?
- Soy Ginger Lime marinate Bbq Pork (shown below)
- Chicken: BBQ Beer Can Chicken Recipe, Baked Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes or Monterey Chicken
- Cornish hens in white wine sauce
- Pasta, such as my Make-Ahead Lasagna (with no boil noodles) or Baked Beef Cannelloni
You'll need a large knife, cutting board, a large bowl and a salad shaker (affiliate link) also comes in handy for this green salad with mandarin oranges. Alternatively, you can simply whisk the ingredients together.
If making this salad with mandarin oranges ahead of time, store the wet ingredients (lettuce, onion and cucumber) separately from the dressing and oranges in the fridge in an airtight container. Add-ins (croutons, and sunflower seeds) can be stored at room temperature. Combine when ready.
Store leftovers in a sealed container for up to 2 days. These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
👪 Serving Size
This easy salad recipe makes 10 servings as a side salad. However, you can half, double or triple the recipe by clicking on the blue serving number and selecting the number of servings you'd like. The ingredient quantities will automatically adjust.
This recipe is Weight Watchers friendly @ 3 WW points. You could further reduce points by using a lower-point crouton (fat-free) or skipping them altogether.
❔ Frequently Asked Questions
You don't need to cut mandarin for a salad if you are using fresh mandarin oranges, you simply peel them, then pull apart each segment and add them to the salad. Canned mandarins are already in segments.
This Mandarin Orange Salad is a delicious salad that's a quick and easy side salad for almost any dish and makes a great potluck salad! It's always a huge hit!
And be sure to give my Spinach Salad a try too!
📋 Mandarin Orange Salad recipe
- 3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoon liquid honey
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Whisk salad dressing ingredients together in a small bowl (or salad shaker)
- Combine salad ingredients in large bowl.
- Mix salad ingredients together.
- Add salad dressing to salad.