Mandarin Orange Salad is made with just a few ingredients and a tasty almond dressing, and it takes just a few minutes to make. It's a terrifically tasty lunch or light dinner, and it can be served as a main or side dish. This easy recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
Asian-Inspired Mandarin Orange Salad
Several years ago I taught a cooking class at my local ShopRite. I wanted to show the students that making a healthy vegan meal after work on a weeknight isn't so difficult. Going with an Asian-inspired meal theme, I made Tofu and Shirataki Noodle Stir-Fry as the main dish. I created this salad recipe to go with it as a side. Dessert was a raw brownie made with nuts and dates from Practically Raw Desserts.
The class had a big turnout, and I don't think too many of the attendees were vegan. Everyone loved what I made, and I was happy to show plant-based newbies that tofu isn't something to be afraid of.
Almond Butter Dressing
When making Asian-inspired dishes, I tend to turn to my old friend Spicy Peanut Sauce. Here, I've used almond butter instead. I had Asian almond sesame cookies in mind when I created it. Plus, I really love the crunch that slivered almonds add to salads.
How to Make Mandarin Orange Salad
This recipe comes together in a flash!
- First you mix together all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Then you mix together all of the dressing ingredients in a blender. It comes together in seconds in my Blendtec.
- Finally, you top the salad with the dressing and serve it!
This dish makes a terrific light meal for the summer, and it's also a great side dish. If you're taking it with you for lunch at the office or prepping your meals in advance, store the dressing separately and pour it over the salad right before serving it.
How to Customize Your Mandarin Orange Salad
You can make this recipe your own by altering it to suit your tastes and the contents of your pantry!
- Not crazy about almonds? You can use peanut butter in the dressing and top your salad with peanuts.
- Sunbutter and sunflower seeds can be used instead of almond butter if you have a nut allergy.
- If you don't have edamame on hand, you can use cooked chickpeas.
- You can use baby spinach instead of mixed salad greens, if you prefer.
- Canned mandarins can be used if you don't have fresh on hand.
- Add your favorite salad ingredients, such as cucumber or shredded cabbage.
- Toss in a little baked tofu.
This recipe won the Definition Magazine Summer Salad Redux Recipe Contest in 2014.
Asian-Inspired Mandarin Orange Salad
For the Salad
- 5 ounce package spring mix salad greens
- 3 mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented or two 11 ounce cans, drained
- ½ cup edamame fresh or thawed frozen
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- 3 scallions sliced
For the Dressing
- ½ cup unsweetened plain nondairy milk
- ¼ cup almond butter
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger or ¼ teaspoon dried ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- Mix all of the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Mix all of the dressing ingredients together in a blender until smooth and creamy. If it’s too thick, add a little water.
- Toss the dressing in with the salad and serve.
Other salad recipes you might enjoy include:
- Kale and Edamame Salad with Lemon Herb Dressing
- Tahini and Tofu Kale Salad
- Chinese Tofu Salad
- Peanutty Thai Quinoa Salad
- Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Avocado
Other Asian-inspired recipes you might enjoy include:
- Tofu Teriyaki
- Coconut-Peanut Butter Chickpea and Broccoli Stir-Fry
- Tofu and Shirataki Noodles
- Vegetable Stir-Fry with Spicy Orange Sesame Sauce