A match made in heaven.
There are certain combinations that just go together like peanut butter and chocoalte or cranberry and orange. This latter duo is a classic that’s scrumptious in baked goods, but you can also get that same flavor in a healthier format as well.
This mandarin orange cranberry salad brings together those two sweet-tart flavors into one glorious salad. I don’t normally use that adjective for salads which should be some indication of just how yummy this dish really is.
For this recipe I used mixed greens but you can use Romaine, iceberg, or spinach if you prefer. I also think watercress would be a lovely, slightly spicy base for this salad, too.
The dressing for the salad is easy to make, but has a unique combination of flavors that enhances the citrus flavor of the mandarin oranges. In the dressing is some orange juice, some chives, and some apple cider vinegar.
The mandarins here are canned, but if you have some fresh that would be even better. Then comes the toppings of cranberries, and for extra orange flavor you could use the orange-flavored ones. But, not every grocery carries that kind.
Then the chopped pecans and some feta cheese are the last toppings. They add that savory element to the salad that makes it really satisfying. If you wanted more protein some shredded or cubed chicken would be ideal. I could also see some crispy, chopped bacon on this salad, too!
For the perfect lunch or even a light dinner this mandarin orange cranberry salad has all the flavor and crunch that takes a salad from health food to healthy food you actually enjoy eating.
Mandarin Orange Cranberry Salad
20m prep time
1 cook time
For the dressing:
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
- salt and pepper to taste
For the salad:
- 6 cups (10 oz) mixed spring greens
- 1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, honey, mustard, and orange zest until uniform in color. Fold in chives, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Make on big salad or 4-6 smaller salads, starting by adding dressing to the greens. The top greens with oranges, cranberries, pecans, and feta.
- Enjoy dressed salad immediately.
Recipe adapted from Dinner at the Zoo.