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This vegan spinach mandarin orange salad is served with almond slivers and tossed in a quick Dijon vinaigrette for an easy spring side dish.
A few weeks ago, I found the prettiest mandarin oranges at Trader Joe’s, and of course I bought more than I could eat.
They were just so bright and cheery– I couldn’t resist!
I asked you guys (on my Instagram stories and on Facebook) what you like to do with mandarin oranges– and while “eat them” was definitely at the top of your list— a ton of you told me “make a salad!”
And you know what?
I totally did make a salad.
And it was scrumptious.
My favorite idea was a spinach salad– and I won’t lie– it’s because I already had fresh spinach in the fridge!
Sometimes things work out perfectly like that.
This spinach mandarin orange salad is a springtime twist on a spinach and strawberry salad that I eat at a local café, and is made with just a few easy-to-find ingredients.
Want more salad ideas? Try this Greek Salad with Sardines
What are Mandarin Oranges?
Mandarin oranges are small citrus fruits that are closely related to oranges.
They’re usually a little easier to peel than a navel orange, and you’ll find them both with and without seeds.
For this spinach mandarin orange salad– I recommend seedless mandarins if possible.
Can I Use Cuties or Halos Instead?
First of all– Yes.
Yes you can.
Second– Keep in mind that both Cuties and Halo are actually brand names, not a type of orange. And that type of orange is…
A mandarin orange!
Technically, they’re selling clementines, which are a type of mandarin orange.
So yes– you can use oranges labeled mandarins, clementines, Cuties, or Halos.
Can I Use Bagged Spinach For This Spinach Mandarin Orange Salad?
Look for fresh spinach with the lettuce. You should be able to find it either loose or pre-bagged.
Personally, I like to buy the loose, non-bagged spinach, because spinach has a tendency to become a little slimy when it sits in the bag too long.
And that doesn’t sound appetizing at all.
Can I Make This Salad a Main Dish?
Yes! As is, this salad already has almond slivers and sesame seeds.
If you want to make it more filling, you could add a few more nuts or diced avocado, or try adding these Spicy Sautéed Shrimp from The Healthy Home Cook.
Spinach Mandarin Orange Salad
Spinach Mandarin Orange Salad:
- 4 ounces fresh spinach
- 4 mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented
- ⅛ cup almond slivers
- ⅛ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- ¼ teaspoons sea salt
- Toss together spinach, mandarin slices, and almonds.
- Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients. Add as much dressing as you’d like to the salad, and toss. Store any leftover dressing in the fridge, and use within a month.
- Serve salad immediately.
- Make Ahead: Toss together all the salad ingredients up to 2-3 days ahead of time. Add the dressing immediately before serving.
I needed to make lunch yesterday and I had just seen this post on Instagram. And guess what! I had oranges and spinach! It was the perfect salad for spring. I ate it outside with my friend Jessica. The tiny size oranges are great for each bite without squirting anyone. Instead of almonds I used peanuts and added parmasian cheese. I also used a ginger dressing I already had a bottle of. So simple to make in a hurry and still healthy. Thanks for the inspiration.
Yay!! Your version sounds tasty too!! 💕