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Green Salad with Sugared Almonds and Mandarin Oranges

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

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • 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.)


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

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

2 Sisters Recipes

Thursday 12th of March 2020

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

John / Kitchen Riffs

Wednesday 11th of March 2020

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


Wednesday 11th of March 2020

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.


Wednesday 11th of March 2020

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.


Wednesday 11th of March 2020

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

Wednesday 10th of April 2019

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!


Friday 20th of January 2017

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!