Green Salad with Sugared Almonds and Mandarin Oranges

Green Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Sugared Almonds
This sugared almond and mandarin orange green salad has been a family favorite for years. Sweet mandarin orange slices and crisp, sugary almonds with the addition of crunchy, salty celery make this a kid and husband pleaser. A simple sweet and sour vinaigrette puts this green salad over the top!

It’s been a long time since I made this tasty green salad and I’m not sure why I ever stopped. It’s always been a crowd pleaser and is so simple to put together. Way back, when when I wondered if my kids would ever eat a fresh green salad, I came upon this recipe. 

This is a popular green salad recipe and I bet you’ve had a version of it. Maybe I knew the kids would love anything with mandarin oranges straight from the can. After all, I remember dumping orange slices onto their high chair trays and watching them carefully pick up each slice, one by one, and plop them into their mouths.  

Mandarin oranges were a special treat for them and for me too, because it meant I didn’t have to peel an orange!

Green Salad with Sugared Almonds and Mandarin Oranges

My kids were great eaters and I really didn’t have many problems with their habits. Zoe was always cautious about not eating anything spicy and Alex had to watch his lactose intake, but other than that I was a lucky mom with kids that were easy to please. We had one rule which required two bites of everything, because it was magic that made one’s tastes change. If one didn’t taste, the magic wouldn’t happen.

Alex and Zoe actually believed this and they were always waiting to see when the magic would work. I can truly remember them saying their tastes did change when all of a sudden they discovered that something they didn’t like, became something they did.

They loved Caesar salads at an early age. I think it was the croutons that caught their eye, but as they got older Manservant quickly convinced Alex that the anchovies were the best part. Really.

Green Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Sugared Almonds

Today though we are talking about something as simple as sweet oranges out of a can. Combined with green celery and a few green onions and yeah…the magic of sugared almonds, this salad is sure to please even the pickiest eaters.

The sweet and sour red wine vinaigrette is great on most any salad so  make sure you don’t just use it on this green people pleaser. Perfect on just a head lettuce salad, it is one vinaigrette that is easy and quick to make. Make a lot and it keeps in the fridge quite awhile.

Enjoy this green salad. The combination of crunchy , tangy and sweet is really quite a showstopper. This classic salad is one you will never tire of!


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Green Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Sugared Almonds


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Green Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Sugared Almonds

Sugared Almonds and Mandarin Orange, Green Salad

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 20 Minutes
  • Yield: 4 - 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: American


This sugared almond and mandarin orange green salad has been a family favorite for years. Dressed with a sweet and sour vinaigrette; this green salad is a kid and husband pleaser!


  • 1/2 c sliced almonds
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1/2 head Romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 head Butter Lettuce
  • 1 c sliced, chopped celery
  • 4 green onions, chopped fine
  • 1 11 oz can Mandarin oranges, drained

Sweet and Sour Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 t salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 T chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 T red wine or apple cider vinegar


  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, cook almonds and sugar, stirring constantly until almonds are coated and sugar has dissolved. This burns easily ,so stir constantly. It may take about 10 minutes, depending on the heat of your burner. Cool almonds. (These may also be made ahead and stored for future use.)
  2. Combine lettuce, celery and onions in a large bowl. (If you want to make ahead, I always line the bowl with a paper towel. Add the lettuce. Cover the top of the bowl with a paper towel and store in the fridge until ready to use. Add chopped celery and green onions before serving.)
  3. Combine all dressing ingredients together . Shake or whisk until sugar is dissolved. Chill until ready to toss salad.
  4. When ready to serve add almonds and oranges and toss with the dressing. (This is also great with feta cheese, or slices of chicken if you choose to make this a main course.)

Keywords: green salad recipes, green salad, green salad with mandarin oranges, recipe for green salad, ideas for green salads, green salad types


More great salads:
Farro and Kale Salad   

Farro and Kale Salad with Browned Butter Vinaigrette

          Hearts of Palm, Avocado and Oranges     

Hearts of Palm, Avocado and Orange Salad     

  Macho Salad

Macho Salad

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  • 2 Sisters Recipes
    March 12, 2020 at 6:31 am

    This looks amazing! We love butter lettuce but can’t find it here in the South , only during the summer months.

  • John / Kitchen Riffs
    March 11, 2020 at 7:49 am

    Good to see this one return — so colorful and flavorful, at the time of year when we need both. Thanks!

    • Abbe
      March 11, 2020 at 9:01 am

      So right John. Seems when the season changes its not quite time for all my favorite fruits but these little gems mixed with simple ingredients sure does hit the spot.

  • sherry
    March 11, 2020 at 5:20 am

    i like the sound of this salad but i would leave out all the sugar. it just seems like a heck of a lot to me, and you already have the sweetness of the mandarins.

    • Abbe
      March 11, 2020 at 9:00 am

      Feel free to leave out the sugar Sherry, but then it wouldn’t be a sweet and sour dressing. Kind of just a sour dressing. But hey! To each his or her own.

  • Carol Goss
    April 10, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    I buy mandarin oranges by the case. I love fruit in green salad. If nothing else, look at the color it brings???? Often the surprise factor too. But what is ringing my chimes in this salad is the sugared almonds. Talk about a pleasant surprise to the mouth!

  • mjskit
    January 20, 2017 at 2:49 am

    I love winter for all of the wonderful citrus. It all seems to work great in salads and I do love this salad. Those sugared almonds are a great addition!

  • Sippity Sup
    January 20, 2017 at 1:24 am

    My mom used to make a similar salad. I don't think her almonds were candied though. But I am sure she used mandarin slices from a can. I haven't tasted them in years, but as a kid they were a top 10 food for sure. GREG

  • GiGi Eats Celebrities
    January 19, 2017 at 6:31 am

    I friggin' adore butter lettuce! It's silky smooth and just crisp and wonderful! The best leafy green there is!!!

  • Anna and Liz Recipes
    January 18, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    THis salad looks beautiful and healthy! Thanks for the sharing Abbe!

  • Juliana
    January 17, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Delicious looking salad Abbe, and I am loving the sugared almonds…I always like a touch of sweet in salads…
    Have a great week 🙂

  • Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen
    January 17, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    That fresh lettuce looks so gorgeous. Such a healthy delicious and filler salad. Love the addition of sugared nuts here.

    January 16, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Sounds really like somthing I would love Abbe!I so much like candied nuts in my salads! Pinning!

  • Amy (Savory Moments)
    January 16, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    What a lovely winter salad. It looks delicious and the nuts are a perfect touch!

  • Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    January 16, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    The color of that lettuce is gorgeous. Butter lettuce is always my choice when it's available. Pinning this one. Great sounding salad.

  • Chris Scheuer
    January 16, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    You're right this is the kind of salad everyone loves (well, most everyone). It's beautiful too!

  • Angie Schneider
    January 16, 2017 at 9:13 am

    I love to use spiced or candied nuts in my salads too. This winter salad looks so fresh and delicious.

  • Kitchen Riffs
    January 16, 2017 at 2:04 am

    Neat salad. I crave citrus at this time of the year, and this is a nice way to get it. But do I need a highchair to eat this? 🙂

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 16, 2017 at 2:25 am

      Very funny, Mr. Riffs. I still have two in the attic, in case you want to borrow one. I'm sure they probably aren't up to code any more!

  • Cheri Savory Spoon
    January 16, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Beautiful salad Abbe, those mandarin slices are a family favorite here too, this dish has it all with the sweet, salty and wonderful crunch. Hope your having a wonderful 2017!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 16, 2017 at 2:26 am

      Mandarins always seems to make anything feel special! You to Cheri!

  • Liz Berg
    January 15, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    Ooh, yes! This combination sounds lovely! I know I'd need to make some extra almonds for snacking 🙂

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 16, 2017 at 2:27 am

      Good suggestion Liz! Double the amount of almonds so you have extra for snacking! Love it!

  • Gingi Freeman
    January 15, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    This looks soooo yummy! Thanks for sharing! <3 –